The Clarion-Ledger, 6/24/8

Federal officials say they will stand by a plan to stop supplying ice to disaster victims, despite harsh criticism from 4th District Rep. Gene Taylor, who has referred to the officials as “buttheads” over the issue.

“States and local governments are in the best position to provide needed resources in a timely manner following a disaster,” Alexandra Kirin, a spokeswoman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said Monday.

Taylor, a Democrat, wrote to FEMA Administrator David Paulison earlier this month, asking him to reverse a decision to provide ice only for medical reasons.

The letter was sent a few days after Taylor attended a meeting of the Hancock County Board of Supervisors, where he referred to FEMA officials as “a bunch of buttheads,” Taylor’s legislative director, Brian Martin, confirmed Monday.