Congressman Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish) celebrated the passage on Tuesday of legislation intended to help communities recover from devastating wildfires.
Via press release from Neguse’s office:
Congressman Joe Neguse and Congressman John Curtis (R-UT), Co-Chairs and Founders of the Bipartisan Wildfire Caucus, announced that the House of Representatives passed their legislation to help ensure impacted communities have the resources they need to recover from devastating wildfires. The bipartisan Wildfire Recovery Act would increase flexibility in the federal cost share for Fire Management Assistance Grants (FMAG) to bring in additional resources for communities as they rebuild from wildfire damage. [Pols emphasis] The bill is sponsored by California Senator Alex Padilla in the U.S. Senate.
“Coloradans have been impacted by multiple natural disasters in recent years, from the devastating wildfire season in 2020 to the record-breaking Marshall Fire just this past year. For them and for all the communities across this country impacted by wildfires, floods, and more, we must ensure full and adequate federal support for recovery,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “The Wildfire Recovery Act helps to support state and local governments in cases of disaster, covering the costs of critical services needed for protection and recovery. The strong bipartisan support for this bill – demonstrated by the House vote today – gives me hope that Colorado families and communities will never again have to navigate recovery alone.”
The Wildfire Recovery Act has a ton of bipartisan sponsors, as you might expect for something that wouldn’t look like a political maneuver no matter how hard you squinted. In short, the legislation allows people impacted by devastating fires, such as the Marshall Fire in Boulder County in 2021 that destroyed more than 1,000 homes, to qualify for additional federal assistance through Fire Management Assistance Grants (FMAG).
The Wildfire Recovery Act was approved on the House Floor on Tuesday by a wide margin (328-88). Two of those ‘NO’ votes, all of which came from Republicans, were cast by Colorado Reps. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) and Ken Buck (R-Greeleyish).
These votes are indefensible considering what Aldo Svaldi reported for The Denver Post on Tuesday:
Nearly 320,000 single-family homes in Colorado are at risk of wildfire damage with potential losses highest in El Paso County, according to CoreLogic, a property information firm that prepares an annual Wildfire Report.
California, Florida, Texas, Colorado and New Mexico are the top five states in terms of the number of homes susceptible to wildfire damage, CoreLogic estimates. But given their much smaller populations than the first three states, Colorado and New Mexico are more vulnerable on a percentage of homes basis.
As you can see from the map below, the five Colorado counties with homes that are most at-risk for severe fire damage include THREE that are within areas represented by Boebert (Eagle and La Plata) and Buck (Douglas).
El Paso County is considered to have the highest risk of single-home damage, which is probably why even Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs voted for the Wildfire Recovery Act.
As far as we can tell, neither Buck nor Boebert have said anything about why they would have voted against a bill that would provide significant help for people IN THEIR OWN DISTRICTS.
It is inexplicable why any voter in Colorado would continue to support the likes of Boebert and Buck when they go to such great lengths to work against the interests of their constituents.