U.S. Senator Patty Murray "Shocked and Outraged" By Vice President Cheney's Remarks on Disaster Prevention

Mar 04 2001

Cheney labels disaster prevention program, Project Impact, "ineffective;" Murray argues otherwise

WASHINGTON, DC -- Earlier today, the Vice President appeared on CNN's "Late Edition" to discuss the administration's budget proposal. In discussing the budget cuts to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Cheney advocated for the elimination of "Project Impact" on the grounds that it was ineffective.

Project Impact provides funding to local communities to prepare for natural disasters. A recipient of Project Impact funding, the city of Seattle has used the federal support in conjunction with local efforts, to retrofit schools, buildings, bridges and other structures, to make them safer in an earthquake.

After hearing Vice President Cheney's remarks, Senator Murray was so moved that she called in to CNN, to discuss the importance of the program the administration proposes to eliminate.

"I am shocked and outraged that Vice President Cheney said that Project Impact is ineffective. I have been on the ground here in the Pacific Northwest for the last three days examining the aftermath of this earthquake, and I have surveyed incredible damage to businesses and homes, to buildings and to roads.

But I have been enormously impressed by the fact that in those communities which have received Project Impact funds and have been retrofitted and done prevention work, the damage has been mitigated. There is a stark contrast between the damage done to communities that have prepared for natural disasters, and those that have not.

Contrary to Vice President Cheney's assertions, I have first hand knowledge of the value of this program , and I think the Washington state experience has really shown us that."

Senator Murray continued, "I am afraid that as we begin to see the choices being made by this administration, like the reported cuts to rural health programs and to nuclear waste cleanup, it will become clear what the real costs will be to pay for a $1.6 trillion dollar tax cut.

These are cuts that don't make sense. As this budget process moves forward, I hope we will make the right choices to produce a budget that reflects the priorities of the American people."