Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

David Vitter, Pwned Again

Posted by MEC on May 12, 2009

David Vitter, Republican Senator from Louisiana, has agreed to stop blocking President Obama’s nominee to head FEMA, Craig Fugate. And about time, too. It made my brain hurt to consider that a senator from the state where a city was nearly destroyed by a hurricane is preventing the federal agency that handles disaster relief from doing an effective job.

Vitter backed down “amid bipartisan criticism that he was leaving the agency vulnerable just a few weeks away from hurricane season”.

The AP’s explanation that Vitter was holding up the nomination “until FEMA officials provided answers on several lingering questions involving Hurricane Katrina rebuilding” is disingenuous. Vitter’s specific concern is apparently that FEMA wouldn’t fund reconstruction projects in flood zones:

FEMA has a policy not to fund rebuilding of structures destroyed in a catastrophe, such as Hurricane Katrina, if they are in a V-Zone, a flood-prone area where the structures likely would be damaged again. Vitter has demanded FEMA fund construction for a gym, a library, and a fire station on Louisiana’s Grand Isle.

To me, it makes sense not to encourage reconstruction in areas where there’s a high risk the new buildings will suffer the same fate as the buildings they’re replacing. But it seems that for Senator Vitter, spending money is more important than saving lives, or even than spending responsibly.

Vitter now says that Craig Fugate has offered assurances that the rebuilding issue will be resolved. Let’s hope this doesn’t mean Fugate has agreed to bend FEMA’s rules about flood zones. There should be no compromise with stupidity. The appropriate response to demands like Vitter’s is, “You lost the last election. There’s a reason you lost the last election. It’s because you’re wrong.”

[Edited to add:] The Senate wasted no time after Vitter gave in: Craig Fugate was confirmed as head of FEMA on a voice vote.

One Response to “David Vitter, Pwned Again”

  1. Wow. Thanks for this, MEC!

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: