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Seeking Wildfire Help, Perry Lambastes Federal Bureaucracy

Gov. Perry spoke during a news conference this morning at Steiner Ranch.
Photo by Erika Aguilar, KUT News
Gov. Perry spoke during a news conference this morning at Steiner Ranch.

Governor Rick Perry may have left the presidential campaign trail to return to Texas yesterday, but in dealing with the wildfires, he couldn’t avoid one of the central themes of his campaign: the heft of the federal bureaucracy. 

“One of the problems that we’ve historically had when we’re making requests for federal assets, and I’m talking about [the Department of Defense] in particular, is there’s just a lot of bureaucracy there,” Perry said in a news conference this morning at Steiner Ranch.

“It’s one of the things we need to continue to work on as a country,” he said.

Perry says the state would like to borrow heavy equipment from Fort Hood, such as bulldozers and motograders, to help dig fire lines around the wildfires burning in Central Texas and elsewhere in the state to prevent them from spreading.

The GOP presidential hopeful has sought to galvanize support among small-government conservatives by positioning himself as fiercely anti-Washington. Federal “overreach” is a core theme of his book, Fed Up. When Perry announced himself as a candidate for the GOP presidential nomination in August, he vowed to “work every day to make Washington, D.C., as inconsequential in your life as I can.”


Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion-dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on X @KUTnathan.
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