Election Bulletin Board: Clark blasts Cravaack votes to cut FEMA fundingTarryl Clark, DFL candidate for Congress’ 8th District, on Thursday praised local Northland officials for their efforts to bring their communities back after the devastating June flood, and then bashed the Republican incumbent for votes to cut funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
By: News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune
Tarryl Clark, DFL candidate for Congress’ 8th District, on Thursday praised local Northland officials for their efforts to bring their communities back after the devastating June flood, and then bashed the Republican incumbent for votes to cut funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Clark, former state senate minority leader, said incumbent Chip Cravaack voted three times to cut disaster funding for federal agencies, including FEMA, which is now being called on to help Duluth and other communities recover.
“While Congressman Cravaack has said he will help Duluth seek federal assistance since the flood, he repeatedly voted to cut funding for exactly the type of disaster relief that Duluth residents and business owners need so desperately,” Clark said in a statement after a news conference in Duluth. “I am glad that Congressman Cravaack is now in favor of it, but it
shouldn’t have taken a historic flood or an election to convince Congressman Cravaack that FEMA and disaster relief are worth funding.”
According to the Clark campaign: Cravaack voted in July 2011 against a motion to authorize FEMA to provide grants to flood victims in major emergency or disaster zones declared by the president to help with their rebuilding costs. The motion also would have allowed those people to be exempted from flood insurance premium increases for three years. In February 2011 Cravaack voted for a bill that would have cut $1.5 billion from FEMA management and administration, state and local programs, grants for firefighters, and emergency food and shelter. On June 6, Cravaack voted against a bill that would have ensured readiness and response for floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters. The bill would have increased money for the Corps of Engineers Flood Control and Coast Emergencies account by $31.6 million and cut the Corps’ administrative account by the same amount.
A Cravaack spokesman said two of the three votes were on motions to recommit — parliamentary moves he said are used in election years by the minority party, in this case the Democrats. The February 2011 vote was for cuts to FEMA that would have sent that money to military personnel and veterans benefits.