The only thing more astounding than FEMA’s rejection of Governor Brad Henry’s application for individual assistance for the recent ice storm damage is the impotence of the Oklahoma Congressional Delegation in being able to deliver on the application.

How can a state that once produced such political powerhouses from both parties, such as Senators Robert Kerr, Henry Bellmon, Dewey Bartlett, and Mike Monroney, along with House members such as Page Belcher, Ed Edmondson, Carl Albert, Tom Steed, and Mickey Edwards, have shrunk to the point of irrelevance in Washington?

Our delegation, both Democrat and Republican, is one of the most reliable for voting with the Bush Administration. One would think that such reliability would produce relationships inside the Administration that would make certain our citizens get the same treatment as those in other states when natural disasters occur. That, however, is not the case in the instance of FEMA and the ice storm.

There are many troubling aspects of the Congressional Delegation’s impotence. For example, how can Democratic Congressman Dan Boren, who represents part of Rogers County, continue to tell his Democratic constituents that his support of the Bush Administration gives them unique influence in our nation’s capitol? Likewise, how can Republican Congressman John Sullivan, who also represents a part of Rogers County, justify his inconsistent stance of one day appearing to support the Henry application and another day not. Is he for his constituents or is he against them?

And Oklahomans across the state will question Senator Jim Inhofe’s impotence in being the most senior member of the delegation and not being able to make certain Oklahomans receive the same assistance from natural disasters as citizens in other states.

Hopefully the Congressional Delegation will meet, devise a strategy, and put a full press on the Bush Administration. Otherwise, one has to question why we even bother to have them in Washington.