Earlier today Tony Snow was pointing a finger of blame at Kansas Gov. Sebelius as part of his push back at her criticism that National Guard deployments to Iraq were slowing the disaster response to the Greensburg tornado. Later in the day he backed off. (see Holden’s Gaggle)
However at the White House press briefing he did say this…
The President also signed an emergency declaration that makes
immediately available individual aid for people saying, my house is
down, I need help; public aid, for instance, for the state —if you
need equipment, you can get it from private vendors, you can get it from
non-profits, you can get it from other state and local governments. So
there are a lot of resources available. (my emphasis)
Here is the problem with this. The declaration of which Tony speaks is available on “a
cost-sharing basis.” The state of Kansas will have to pay a 25% share of funds made available for things such as debris removal and other emergency measures. (This is that pesky match requirement which has been a major obstacle to the Gulf Coast recovery)
Keep in mind that under Title 32 if the Kansas National Guard is under State Active Duty (SAD) as is usually the case when responding to a natural disaster…then the state funds the Guard. If that is the case then in effect what Tony is suggesting makes the state of Kansas pay twice. First Kansas taxpayers will pay for the National Guard. But if it can not fulfill the mission due to lack of equipment then they will pay again for 25% of a private contract to fill the gap that the Guard could not fill.
Given a history of the outrageous cost of these private contracts and the time and cost involved in the paperwork to meet requirements for these funds one could certainly argue that Kansas will pay more than if they had only needed to assume the cost of a properly equipped state National Guard to respond.
Once again it is another example of the Bush administration failing to meet the responsibilities of the federal government and of course outsourcing it to the private sector. What is truly sickening is their blame of others, in this case Gov. Sebelius, for their inability to govern. Heckuva job once again.