State GOP Lawmakers defend Deal after storm fiasco - CBS46 News

State GOP Lawmakers defend Deal after storm fiasco

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Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is taking the heat over the state's handling of the winter storm that plunged Metro Atlanta into frigid fiasco.

Republican state lawmakers on Friday defended the governor, saying the criticism is unfair.

GOP leadership said Deal acted appropriately given the information he had.

State Sen. Charlie Bethel, (R) Dalton, conceded that crisis the storm created "was not good."

Bethel, the governor's leader on the floor of the Georgia Senate, defended the administration's response to  the crisis.

"The governor did everything he could  do given the information he was provided," Bethel said. "Once Georgia students were stranded, Gov. Deal acted immediately to see they were brought to their parents or a safe location as soon as possible."

"I think he did handle it appropriately given the information he had to work with," said House Speaker David Ralston.

When asked if he would support spending more money on snow plows along with salters and sanders to prepare for future winter storms, Ralston responded, "we have to put money in the budget based on our experiences here in Georgia. I'm not sure that budgeting for things like that is appropriate."

Even State Sen. Jason Carter, (D) Decatur, who was Deal's Democratic challenger in the governor's race and one of Deal's toughest critics, avoided a direct attack.

"I'm not laying blame," Carter said. "The governor has apologized. There's going to be an investigation into what happened."

Carter, without specifying who was to blame, said that the crisis was mishandled.

When asked what he would do differently, Carter answered, "No. 1, you have to have unified command. No. 2, you have to get out ahead."

When asked if he would budget more money for preparedness, Carter responded, "one of the things we don't know is whether we had sufficient sanders and salters et cetera to perform the job because of the preparedness."

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