Six U.S. House members from Texas asked President Barack Obama Wednesday to reconsider his decision deny Gov. Rick Perry’s request to declare the Lone Star State a federal disaster area as it fights raging wildfires over 2.2 million acres.
The GOP representatives said Obama was punishing the state for not voting for him, The Houston Chronicle reported Thursday.
“I don’t know whether Mr. Obama is playing politics with a major disaster, but my constituents can’t help but wonder if Texas is being punished for not voting for the president,” Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco
, R-San Antonio, said. “I, and many of my colleagues up here today, are small-government, fiscal conservatives, but there are responsibilities of the federal government and protecting America is one of them.”
On May, 3, Obama denied Perry’s request, which would have made the state eligible for more federal aid.
Rep. Bill Flores, R-Bryan, said the administration has punished Texas on a number of issues, including adding a native Texas lizard to the endangered species list, denying Texas a retired space shuttle for museum display and delays in approving offshore drilling permits.
“Mr. President, we respectfully request that you quit punishing Texas for our success in creating jobs, economic growth and energy,” Flores said.
Rep. Pete Olson of Sugar Land added: “I call on the president to be the president Texas needs right now. To set aside partisan politics and do what’s right for the people of our state — they’re hurting, they’ve lost businesses, their homes, their livestocks, their crops.”
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