Texas Republican leaders, including Gov. Rick Perry
, Sens. John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchinson, blasted President Barack Obama for denying the state federal aid as it battles thousands of wildfires burning 2.2 million acres of land. Obama rejected Perry’s request to designate as a federal disaster area, the Houston Chronicle reported Thursday.
"I am dismayed that this administration has denied Texans the much-needed assistance they deserve," Perry said after learning the state didn’t get the aide earlier this week. "It is not only the obligation of the federal government, but its responsibility under law to help its citizens in times of emergency."
Cornyn said the administration's "flat-out denial" of Perry's aid request justifiably prompts speculation that politics may be in play.
"When you don't have a good explanation for why things are being done, you speculate and wonder," he said. "Texas has not been a place that has received equal and fair-handed treatment with other places around the country. It seems like a lot of politics are in the calculations. It seems like Texas has been treated negatively."
Hutchison called the decision "extremely disappointing."
"We've suffered major agriculture and livestock losses and many Texans have lost their homes," she said. "We need to equip communities with all of the tools and resources possible to effectively battle and recover from these fires. I am sure the governor will work with the administration to ensure all the requirements are met for timely delivery of this disaster aid."
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