Quico Canseco Voted Against Increased Funding for Firefighter, First Responder Assistance

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Quick facts in the story below:

  • Congressman Canseco claims that President Obama isn't funding relief for the Texas wildfires. (Source). This is a lie.
  • FEMA has issued 26 grants to pay for the fire, which covers 75% of the cost – the same rate Texas would have received from Perry's request. (Source)
  • Canseco voted against increased funding for firefighters and first responders. (Source.)

Congressman Quico Canseco – like Governor Rick Perry – has begun to falsely attacked President Barack Obama about funding to fight the disastrous Texas wildfires. As the San Antonio Express-News reported today (which came 16 days after the Christian Science Monitor first reported it), FEMA has provided 75% of all funding that has been used to fight Texas wildfires:

It is an impression contradicted by officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, who awarded Texas its 26th grant Sunday to help cover the cost of firefighting efforts.

“This administration, through FEMA, has been working closely with the state throughout the duration of these fires, and we are supporting the firefighting efforts,” FEMA spokeswoman Rachel Racusen said.

Those 26 grants will reimburse 75 percent of the costs related to fighting designated fires throughout the state – the same reimbursement rate the state would have received if Perry's request for major disaster status had been accepted.

The facts couldn't be more clear. But that doesn't stop the intellectually bereft* Congressman Quico Canseco from following the dishonorable lead of Governor Rick Perry and trying to blame the President for not fully funding the fires. Canseco has released a fraudulent YouTube video, blaming President Obama for not funding the fire.

Canseco's lies are disturbing, but not nearly as disturbing as the fact that he has the temerity** to lie about the President's lack of funding when Congressman Quico Canseco voted against funding firefighter and first responder assistance earlier this year.

In 2011, Canseco voted against increasing funding for FEMA firefighter assistance grants by $510 million. The new total funding would have given $390 million for firefighter assistance grants and $420 million for Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants. In fact, Canseco was one of only 113 of the 435 Members of Congress to vote against funding for firefighters and first responders. (Roll Call Vote #60).

Like Republicans in Texas — who, in the Texas Legislature, voted to cut funds for volunteer fighters by 75% earlier this year — Congressman Canseco is making a losing argument to try and hide the fact that he voted against increased funding for firefighters and  first responders. For the good of all of Texas, we need Texas Republicans — from Canseco to Perry — to stop lying about federal funding and start actually voting to help our state. Until he does, Congressman Canseco should at the very least keep his lying mouth shut.


*The phrase “intellectually bereft” means “dumb.” Since the Congressman seems to have trouble with the most basic of knowledge, I figured I should clarify it for him in case he happened to come across this post.

**Temerity = boldness.


About Author

Phillip Martin

Currently the Research and Policy Director for Progress Texas and the Texas Research Institute, Phillip Martin writes occasional long-form pieces for BOR that promote focused analysis and insight into Texas politics. Born and raised in Austin, Phillip started working in politics in 2003 and started writing on BOR in the summer of 2005. Phillip has worked for the Texas Democratic Trust, the Texas Legislative Study Group, and now the Progress Texas family. He is a lifelong Houston Astros fan, a loyal Longhorn, and loves swimming at Barton Springs Pool.

1 Comment

  1. Intellectually bereft indeed
    It's not surprising that Congressman Canseco and Governor Perry don't understand where FEMA money comes from. They hardly even know a wildfire from gunfire. It's hard enough to figure out where Juárez is. Is it in the United States?  Is it the same as El Paso? It's so hard to figure out places that are just outside your district when you've been a Congressman only four months or a Governor only ten years!

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