Layoffs may hit Toon Town: Senators go after DHS mascots


You know things are getting bad when even fictional jobs are no longer safe.

Congress was given until Oct. 14 to make recommendations to the Super Committee tasked with finding at least 1.2 trillion in savings over the next 10 years. What Congress sent their way was a veritable cornucopia of suggestions ranging from cuts to the federal workforce to opening up federal land to oil drilling.

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia offered a wide array of possible spending cuts – including a cartoon mountain lion family.

The mountain lions are part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s effort to reach out to kids through its Ready.Gov/kids website and are supposed to teach children about disaster preparedness. Here they are, in all their mountain lion-y greatness. (Which can be found at

Rex the dad is an explorer who loves taking his family on adventures. Purrcilla is the energetic and wise mom. And Rory is the strong-willed daughter who loves helping her parents plan for the family's many adventures.

Johnson said consolidating all the mascots and child outreach programs under one roof would save $2.6 million over 10 years in development costs. It also marks Herman the Crab, the “Disaster Twins,” and the U.S. Fire Administration’s Marty and his turtle friend Jett for elimination.

This isn’t the first time these mascots have been targeted. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., first proposed the cut in July.

However, a perusal of the FEMA site shows no mention of the Disaster Twins, who have apparently starred in several comic books but have apparently vanished from the “What to do in a hurricane” genre.

And FEMA’s response to all this? According to a spokesman, the website was launched in 2006 and “since that time minimal resources have been expended to maintain each effort. ” But that the agency is consolidating all of its kids web-based content because “there is value in saving and reducing the duplication of effort.”

So there may be some mascots looking for work in the near future. Maybe all of you can figure out a better mascot than the mountain lion family or what the out of work mascots can do once they are out of a job…


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