Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has criticized the FEMA formula for declaring disasters, saying it rewards smaller states and punishes bigger ones for catastrophes of the same size.
During a hearing last month, Coburn told Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano: "Oklahoma had 22 FEMA grants last year. I'm thankful that the federal government is helping Oklahoma out, but in a lot of those, we weren't overwhelmed and we could have taken and dealt with it. And some states that may be in much worse budget shape than we are had twice as much but got no help from the federal government on like-minded events. "
Joseph Nimmich, FEMA associate administrator for disaster response, said Thursday that politics has absolutely nothing to do with Oklahoma's many disaster declarations: "It's purely a natural occurrence."