Rand Paul On FEMA: Disasters Better Handled At Local Level


Rand Paul must feel like a broken record right now, because he pretty much repeated verbatim during his interview with Neil Cavuto this Monday what he said on CNN last week -- don't borrow money to pay for FEMA and let local organizations and churches handle disasters like hurricane response. Because we all know the people who just had their homes destroyed with no electricity are the best prepared to respond to huge natural disasters.

As we all know well around here, the apple didn't fall too far from the tree with this one -- Ron Paul to Tornado Victims: You're on Your Own. It's like father, like son when it comes to telling Americans to go pick themselves up by their own bootstraps. I wonder if Paul thinks the local churches had the equipment available to go pump water out of the subways and tunnels in New York?

Rand Paul: FEMA is 'inefficient':

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky held firm on his stance Thursday that local government provides better service when disaster strikes than the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

This summer, the Republican senator made headlines when he held up a bill re-authorizing the National Flood Insurance Program by attaching a non-related "personhood" amendment that called for defining life as beginning at conception.

Asked why he worked to stall the flood bill, Paul said the government was spending too much money it didn't have.

"I have always maintained that FEMA should exist on money that comes in as revenue, but not on borrowed money," the fiscal conservative said Thursday on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront."

Paul, a longtime critic of the agency, argued the U.S. should instead fund FEMA with the money it sends overseas in foreign aid. He also argued that local communities - as well as private groups such as the Salvation Army and the Red Cross - do a better job than federal agencies in the immediate aftermath of large-scale emergencies.

The Republican senator shared a story about the local response in cities devastated by tornadoes earlier this year in Kentucky, saying "the churches stepped up."

"Two thousand responders a day were being fed by churches, and the people were being put up in houses," he said. "So I don't think this is entirely a government response. I think it's important to really laud the private folks, as well as the churches who step up."

While he maintained "government is inefficient" in major disasters, he added, "I'm not saying government doesn't have a role."


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