Obama Dodges Perry During Texas Trip

Wednesday, 11 May 2011 09:11 AM

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry had hoped to meet with President Barack Obama who made a trip Tuesday to the Lone Star State to talk about immigration. Perry, who has been overseeing the emergency response to the wildfires in his state, hoped to address the lack of federal aid for the hard-hit state, USA Today reported Wednesday.

obama, perry, texasKatherine Cesinger, Perry’s spokeswoman, said the Republican governor requested a quick meeting with the president as the president landed in Austin. Perry wanted to invite Obama to tour the wildfire damage in Texas in the hopes of persuading the president to declare a disaster area, which would make federal funds available.

"They said he didn't have time to do that," Cesinger said. "They suggested a quick greeting out in El Paso, but given the distance and the short time, we weren't able to arrange that."

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved 25 grants to assist the state of Texas with battling wildfires that have damaged an area greater than the size of Rhode Island and Delaware combined. But Perry insists the state needs a federal disaster declaration to clear the way for additional federal aid.

The governor's priority right now is battling the wildfire, his spokeswoman said.

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