President Trump plans to cut the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) budget in order to help pay for his long-promised border wall and immigration detention centers.
We don’t have to go back farther than Hurricane Katrina to see what happens when a president fails to prioritize disaster preparedness. FEMA provides vital disaster response after catastrophic events, including severe storms and tornadoes. Trump’s plan would also end funds for floodplain mapping. Floodplain mapping helps FEMA and citizens prepare for and assess their flood risks. NOAA tracks storms and predicts disasters. NOAA monitors and predicts climate trends. Without NOAA services, many states would be ill-prepared for extreme changes in weather and climate.
Funding a wall (that was supposed to cost the U.S. nothing) with money stolen from vital emergency services is the height of irresponsibility. With the rapid changes seen in climate trends over the past several years, we need to invest more in NOAA and FEMA, not less. Decreasing FEMA’s and NOAA’s budgets will reverse the progress this country has made in emergency preparedness and response by many years. The irony is that these budget cuts are likely to most directly harm the populations that supported Trump strongly, and which he promised to serve and protect. Trump’s budget, which prioritizes the wall before all, will be harmful for the country and cannot stand.
Trump sends his budget to Congress this week. Let Congress know that you will not support a budget that puts the wall before all. Tell Congress you will not support a budget that turns our country into a larger military industrial complex than it already is. This budget cannot stand!