A federal appeals court told the Bush administration Friday that it does not need to immediately restart a housing program for thousands of Hurricane Katrina victims.It is completely unbelievable that our government would still be paying the rents of hurricane evacuees over a year, OVER A YEAR, after the hurricanes of 2005 that hit the Gulf Coast states of Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.
The ruling suspends an order by U.S. District Judge Richard Leon, who said last month that the Federal Emergency Management Agency violated the Constitution when it eliminated short-term housing assistance.
Under Leon's order, FEMA appeared on track to restore housing payments to families in Texas.
"Maybe we can get this thing jump-started and get these people a roof over their heads before Christmas," Leon said Monday.
The ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit puts that on hold at least until March, when the court will hear arguments in the case.
Under Leon's order, FEMA told officials in Texas early this week to expect federal money for housing about 4,200 evacuees.
I say this in the vein of a person who has lived in Tornado Alley for most of his life. We don't get rental assistance. We don't get debit cards worth tens of thousands of dollars. There isn't BILLIONS of dollars in misspent money, fraud and waste after tornados destroy our communities. Yes, we do get low rate loans to help our rebuilding. But, many of us have do what we have done over the years..... rely upon family, friends, and ourselves. We have relied on them, our own abilities and our insurance monies to rebuild our lives and livelihoods.
We would see it as an insult if the government were to INSIST that they pay to put us up in hotels in other states like Utah, Texas or even Hawaii. Yes, it would be nice to be put up in Hawaii. But we would see it as a vacation and not an entitlement. But, to EXPECT that the government keep paying for room, and sometimes room and board, for OVER A YEAR after the disaster!?!?!?
And, recall, many of these people who have received this entitlement were from New Orleans flooded area where the only damage they received was that their homes were flooded. Yes, they lost most of their possessions, but it was not a tragic and emotional devastation like that which occurs following a tornado's destruction.
This lunacy must end. This idiocy of providing welfare entitlements to victims of natural disasters must be stopped. Yes, the government must still be responsible for providing rescue assistance and temporary relief in the form of temporary shelter, food and clothing in the immediate aftermath of disasters. I would even support the subsidizing of Red Cross and the like as they have been in the rescue business forever. There would be less corruption with giving money to Red Cross than would be if the money were given directly to people themselves (as seen in the Billions in fraud and waste that occurred with the 2005 Hurricane Evacuees).
Tell these people that it is time to go back home and get a job.