Record flooding expected in South Dakota has exposed Congresswoman Kristi Noem’s budget cutting hypocrisy, according to Ben Nesselhuf, Chairman of the South Dakota Democratic Party.
“In trying to play ‘budget-busting politics,’ Noem has put our local communities at further risk from flooding while calling on President Obama to exert the leadership she refuses to exercise,” Nesselhuf said.
Noem voted in line with Republican leaders in Washington to completely eliminate the Watershed and Flood Prevention and Operations program from the GOP House Budget (H.R. 1). With record-level flooding now approaching, Noem joined with Senators Johnson and Thune in urging President Obama to preemptively declare a federal emergency.
Nesselhuf explained that Noem’s slash-and-burn budget cuts have real consequences. “Behind each shortsighted cut to policies like flood prevention, are real families, homes, and livelihoods here in South Dakota now at greater risk because of Noem’s hypocrisy,”
The watershed programs, administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, provide flood mitigation resources for state and local governments and tribes.
According to South Dakota officials, nearly half the counties in South Dakota will require federal assistance for record levels of flooding expected this weekend.
This is strike two for Noem on fiscal issues, Nesselhuf concluded. “Noem’s vote last week in support of Alaska’s infamous Bridge to Nowhere would cost taxpayers $183 million. Noem’s vote to gut flood prevention funds for states and local governments will cost our families and local communities more than just money. Hypocrisy will neither ease our budget deficits nor protect our communities. South Dakota deserves real leadership – not political double-speak.”