Paul spoke to "Fox News Sunday" shortly after FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate reviewed a series of actions in response to Hurricane Irene taken on the orders of President Obama. Paul said with FEMA on the brink of going broke, it's time to bury the agency.
"We've conditioned our people that FEMA will take care of us and everything will be okay, but you try to make these programs work the best you can, but you can't just keep saying,
'Oh, they need money,' ... Well, we're out of money, this country is bankrupt."
Paul added that FEMA is a gross distortion of the U.S. insurance system because it rewards bad behavior.
Governors of both parties are praising the federal response to Hurricane Irene, giving a much-needed vote of confidence to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which has been struggling to regain its good name after its response to Hurricane Katrina.
Top officials including Napolitano, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, Vice President Biden, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley and Homeland Security Advisor John Brennan all participated in the call.
"Craig Fugate and the people at FEMA, Secretary Napolitano and President Obama -- they have been excellent," said O'Malley. O'Malley was referring to the "olden days" of the Bush administration, when FEMA became a national joke under Michael Brown, who oversaw the agency during Hurricane Katrina. It's going to keep people safe. Paul is libertarian. As such, he sees a smaller role for government, especially the federal government, in directing emergency response efforts.
On Friday, Paul criticized FEMA in an interview, saying, “FEMA is not a good friend of most people in Texas, because all they do is come in and tell you what to do and can't do, you can't get in your houses, and they hinder the local people and they hinder volunteers from going in, so there's no magic about FEMA.”
Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace asked Paul to explain those remarks further: “You would do away with FEMA and all the things it's doing to help the hundreds of thousands of people on the East coast?”
Giving checks to people who didn't even live there. Paul also said that FEMA is “in big trouble financially” and “about $20 million in debt."
Wallace also asked Paul if he would support an emergency funding bill for FEMA in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.
We don't have any money. Paul asked rhetorically.
Paul did suggest one way, however, that the federal government could help with monetary aid for Hurricane Irene disaster relief.
“Obama, you want a billion dollars? We've conditioned our people that FEMA will take care of us and everything will be OK. Well, we're out of money, this country is bankrupt.”
FEMA also creates more problems by providing insurance to people who build homes in coastal areas, according to Paul.
Insurance should measure risk.