Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Instead of Restoring FEMA to the Well-Run Agency It Was Under Clinton, Senate GOP Votes to Abolish It

Republican Senator Susan Collins wins support for abolishing FEMA

Maine Sen. Susan Collins, chairwoman of the Homeland Security Committee, won a victory when the Senate voted to abolish the Federal Emergency Management Agency and replace it with a retooled and strengthened agency.

Replacing FEMA in a functioning form, delivering the services as it used to to the American people, services that Americans expect and will require of it, will NEVER happen with Republicans in control of the government. That's not anywhere on the GOP playlist.

The abolishment of FEMA has been the wet dream of Republicans, who want to abolish it and all other government agencies except the military, the DoD. HHS, Labor, Transportation, Interior, Veterans' Affairs, Agriculture, et al, "if an agency serves the People of the U.S. and not the Corporations, then it has to go" is the motto of Republicans. Especially FEMA, which in the coming years would be expected to respond with rescue operations for increasing numbers of Americans from the climactic catastrophes that are being caused by Corporate|Republican policies.

Boston Globe reports:
The Senate voted 87-11 Tuesday in favor of an amendment to the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill that would keep the overhauled agency under the Department of Homeland Security.

The measure would implement a key recommendation of the Homeland Security Committee, which investigated FEMA's response to Hurricane Katrina.

"The overarching objective of the amendment is to strengthen FEMA by giving it new authority, new capabilities, and new responsibilities for all-hazards emergency preparedness and response," Collins, R-Maine, said. "As last year's tragedy demonstrated, FEMA urgently needs our help to be more effective."

Collins and Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman, the ranking Democrat on the committee, have introduced separate legislation that mirrors the amendment by Sens. Trent Lott, R-Miss., and Tom Carper, D-Del.

"We cannot legislate leadership. But we can legislate changes in government structures to make them more sensible and better suited to protecting people in times of disaster," Lieberman said in a statement.
As usual, Democrat Joe Lieberman is on the wrong side of this issue, and on the other side of the people. He talks a good game, but when it comes to delivering, he's like his evangelical soul-mate in the White House, "All hat, no cattle."
The spending bill faces additional votes. The House is debating whether or not an overhauled FEMA would remain within Department of Homeland Security or as a free-standing agency with cabinet-level status.
They have no plan. This is like Bush's desperate rush to begin the attack on Iraq with no plan for after "Mission Accomplished," Republicans are desperate to eliminate FEMA with no plan for its replacement.

In the coming years, the American people are going to need government agencies like FEMA more than ever, and not the anemic, Potemkin village-agencies that the Republican Congress and Bush administration have been un-funding and setting up for failure. Never trust people who don't believe in government and who have worked to eliminate government to run the government.

Look carefully at these pictures - you just may be gazing into your own future.

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