Clueless About 2013 Blizzard, Trump Sees No Connection Between Gov’t Shutdown and Hurricane Relief

Donald Trump thinks his threat to shut down the federal government if Congress won’t fund the wall Mexico was supposed to pay for to keep Mexicans out has nothing to do with the federal government’s effort to help Texans put back up walls, roofs, and other structures to keep the rain out after Hurricane Harvey:

[Todd Gillman, Dallas Morning News]: I’m wondering what you can tell the people of Texas in terms of long-term recovery efforts. And, in particular, you have been feuding [with] key congressional leaders and also threatened a government shutdown, potentially next month, over border wall funding. Are these [fights] going to hamper, long term, the funding that will be needed long term? …

TRUMP: No, Todd. I think you’ll see very rapid action from Congress, certainly from the president, and you’re going to get your funding. It’s a terrible tragedy. Your governor has been absolutely outstanding in the job he’s done.

… We expect to have requests on our desk fairly soon, and we think that Congress will feel very much the way I feel — in a very bipartisan way. That will be nice, but we think you’re going to have what you need and it’s going to go fast. …

GILLMAN: Does this situation make you reconsider the possibility of a government shutdown next –?

TRUMP: I think it has nothing to do with it, really. This is separate — this is going to go very, very quickly. I’ve spoken to many of the people we’re talking about, and everybody feels the same way I do [White House press conference, transcribed in Jeff Stein, “Trump Refuses to Retract Government Shutdown Threat Despite Hurricane Crisis,” Vox, 2017.08.28].

Now maybe Congress can approve money fast, but federal agencies like FEMA and its National Flood Insurance Program, along with the Small Business Administration and the Department of Agriculture, will be working with state and local officials well past September 30, the day the government runs out of money absent a budget deal.

If Donald Trump really thinks his reckless pretense of “negotiation” has nothing to do with emergency relief, he should talk to the South Dakota ranchers who voted for him in big numbers in 2016 but who found their emergency assistance after the October 2013 blizzard delayed for days by the last government shutdown:

Sylvia Christen, who works with livestock producers though the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association,… says that private insurance bought for cattle losses rarely covers suffocation deaths in a blizzard. She notes there are programs through federal agencies like the USDA aimed at disaster recovery for ranchers who suffer massive losses.

But when ranchers call the USDA these days, here’s what they get: “Hello, you’ve reached the USDA service center. Due to the lapse in current federal government funding, all employees aren’t available until further notice. Thank you” [Charles Michael Ray, “Shutdown Hunders S.D. Post-Blizzard Cleanup,” NPR, 2013.10.14].

Understanding that you have to keep the federal government open and funded to provide disaster relief isn’t a complicated requirement for being President of the United States; it’s just common sense. But hey, maybe Donald Trump thinks he can get FEMA to work for free just like his overstretched Secret Service agents.

10 Responses to Clueless About 2013 Blizzard, Trump Sees No Connection Between Gov’t Shutdown and Hurricane Relief

  1. mike from iowa

    Maybe here is where all the government money went.

    Drumpf doesn’t seem to get what his job entails or the separation of powers. We are going to have to keep borrowing more money until wingnuts finally figure out what taxes do for the country.

    Then Obama stepped up to the plate and thanked all first responders for doing their jobs while Drumpf was hawking a book by crazy sheriff Clarke.

  2. Keep in mind that Kristi Noem, A rancher, voted for the government shut down during the Atlas blizzard. When tragedy strikes, farmers and ranchers head to their FSA offices. Even though they realize that monetary help is months and possibly years ahead, they look to their county office for a little bit of solace and hope that help may be coming. If Kristi didnt understand the importance of having an FSA office open in the aftermath of this blizzard, she doesn’t understand much.

  3. Darin Larson

    That’s ok, Trump is in good company with his good friend, Lyin’ Ted Cruz who opposed aid for New Jersey and New York in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Watch as Cruz decides federal spending on his state is quite justified and forgets his small government pull yourselves up by your own bootstraps shtick.

  4. Yes, when it comes to passing the hat for Texas, those GOP party Texans hold out the 10-gallon hat to congress. When it comes to passing the hat for New York, those same Texans are all hat – no cattle.

    Trump’s takeaway from his Texas visit tomorrow will be, “Those poor oil companies need a bailout to get their refineries back on line. But by giving billions of taxpayer money to the oil companies, he’s really just helping their employees and Americans who need cheap gas.” Watch how Trump moves oil companies to the front of the soup line.

    As to Trump shutting down the government to get a border wall funded, fat chance of that. Neither party is going to jump at that, since Trump promised repeatedly to make Mexico pay for it. All congress needs to do on that one is sit back and give Trump sufficient time to work his voodoo magic on Mexico.

  5. Mike Henriksen

    Chris Farley voice: “Remember that time that Kristi couldn’t get through to the FSA offices and couldn’t figure out why? Ya, that was fun….”

  6. Porter Lansing

    States like Texas, and SoDak for that matter, who continually bad mouth Washington – who try to undermine every effort USA makes as a group, in order to purchase at a reduced rate – who won’t even take care of their own poorest citizens and in the case of Texas, often bluster about seceding from our great country, should be forced to wait until their entire state is bankrupt for the aid they now beg us for. Repeal Obamacare? No? Eliminate FEMA, Rick Perry. You’ll at least remember that federal agency next time you run for office.

  7. mike from iowa

    A few weeks ago someone in the WH rolled back Obama era regs flood proofing new infrastucture. I mind the time a dumbass dubya cut mine safety and inspection budget shortly before Penns. miners got trapped and were rescued on national tv with dumbass dubya right up front,cheerleading.

  8. Porter Lansing

    A state that requires a citizen with a medical emergency to lose their home and bankrupt themselves before they get government assistance should be held to the same treatment. Let Texas spend all it’s own assets before it gets government help like Texas does to their uninsured. Along with state’s rights comes state’s responsibility to pull itself up by it’s own cowboy boots. The days of milquetoast liberalism is ending. Payback’s a bitch, Republican states!!

  9. mike from iowa

    W/O Planned Parenthood where are all them poor Texans gonna get emergency care as well as everyday needs met?

  10. Porter Lansing

    @MFI … Not Joel Osteen. He’s split town, locked up his mega-church (which could help so many homeless) and left armed guards inside. Not Glenn Beck. He’s left town to find new dupes for his gold sales schemes. Not Ted Nugent. Not Grover Norquist. Not Joe Pags, the self consumed phoney. Not Open Carry Texas. Not Ted Cruz. No libertarians are interested in anyone but themselves. No “Patriots” whatever the hell they are. Nobody’s willing to help because, “It’s the Government’s job to pay for this mess!!”
    In today’s Texas, which has fallen into the hands of gun nuts, border-sealers and talk-radio charlatans, George W. Bush would practically be considered a communist.