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Obama Administration Rejects Aid for Fire Victims of Yarnell and Peeple’s Valley

Posted: September 16, 2013 at 11:00 am   /   by

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Members of the Arizona congressional delegation issued the following responses upon learning of the Obama Administration’s rejection of federal FEMA aid for the fire victims in Yarnell and Peeples Valley.

Congressman Paul Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) said: “I remain puzzled by what appears to be an arbitrary and capricious decision to deny FEMA aid.  It’s beyond disappointing that once the TV cameras have left, the administration would turn its back on Yarnell and Peeple’s Valley. The President made a promise to provide the support these communities justifiably deserve but has now done an about-face. Despite the administration’s decision, our community will rebuild and endure.”

Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-08) said: “The administration’s promises of support when this heartbreaking human tragedy first occurred seem to have been so quickly forgotten.”

Congressman Matt Salmon (AZ-05) said: “After the historical losses suffered by the people of Yarnell and Peeple’s Valley in life and property, I am deeply disappointed that the Obama Administration would chose to deny these families their promised support. Despite the reticence of the Obama Administration to offer federal assistance, the people of Arizona will band together in order to rebuild these communities.”

Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01) said: “After the Yarnell tragedy, we promised the folks in this region that we would do all we could to provide resources and support. I am disappointed that the administration has not done the same.”

Congressman Ron Barber (AZ-02) said: “This tragedy that took the lives of 19 brave Arizona men is clearly a disaster – regardless of how it is labeled by FEMA. I am disappointed in FEMA’s decision to deny Gov. Brewer’s appeal, forcing the people of Yarnell to rebuild and recover without the assistance of their federal government.”

Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09) said: “I’m deeply frustrated with FEMA’s decision.  The devastated communities of Yarnell and Peeple’s Valley have waited months for the so-called support the administration assured.  Displaced families and children have been let down.  As Arizonans who stick together, my colleagues in the congressional delegation and state officials remain committed as ever to helping to rebuild.”


  1. dleeper47 says:

    Did anyone in the administration step forward to explain why Arizonans didn’t qualify for FEMA help? Perhaps this was the action of a couple “rogue FEMA agents”?
    With no explanation, we’re free to speculate that this denial is punishment for Arizona having asserted positions that aren’t to Washington’s liking. 
    I’m sure the President wasn’t involved in this decision, but at least one of his political appointees somewhere surely was. Who?  We’ll likely never know. 
    The President doesn’t have to tell any of his appointees what to do when it comes to Arizona.  They already know.  That’s why he appointed them.  Shame on him and shame on them.

    1. dleeper47 Dave, this was the first thing I thought of as soon as I heard this. I am personally skeptical of federal-level disaster relief of any kind, but since we’re doing it, why would AZ be denied. And I believe you have described in our comment the real reason.

Obama Administration Rejects Aid for Fire Victims of Yarnell and Peeple’s Valley