Floodwaters from Hurrican Harvey encompass the Motiva Enterprises LLC in Port Arthur. Photo: Adrees Latif / REUTERS

By Lisa Rein
29 August 2017

(The Washington Post) – As he toured rising floodwater in Texas on Tuesday, President Trump effusively praised his administration’s Hurricane Harvey response, an effort he began touting on Twitter last weekend even before the storm made landfall.

But not too long ago, the president proposed a budget calling for cuts to some of the federal government’s most consequential efforts to prepare states and local communities and help them recover from catastrophic events such as Harvey.

Congress is likely to approve a Harvey recovery bill, as it has after past disasters, to cover the huge cost of storm damages. The cuts proposed by the Trump administration would slice away funding for long-term preparedness efforts, many of them put in place to address the sluggish federal response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The proposed cuts would include programs run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, whose new administrator was praised by Trump in a tweet last weekend for “doing a great job”; the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which helps rebuild homes, parks, hospitals and community centers; the National Weather Service, which forecasts extreme storms; and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, whose research and community engagement help coastal residents prepare for disaster.

“The president has definitely sent a signal with his budget that emergency management is not of interest,” said Scott Knowles, a historian at Drexel University who studies risk and disaster. [more]

Trump would slash disaster funding to the very agencies he’s praising for Harvey response

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