Skip to comments.Wexler (D): Bush Administration's Response to Hurricane Katrina a Disgrace
Posted on 09/03/2005 5:12:38 AM PDT by My Favorite Headache
Wexler: Bush Administration's Response to Hurricane Katrina a Disgrace
(Washington, D.C.) - Today, Congressman Robert Wexler (D-FL) issued the following statement from the floor of the House of Representatives in response to President George Bush's failed handling in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina:
Like all Americans, my heart goes out to the millions of people displaced and suffering from one of the largest national catastrophe in our nation's history. I hope all the victims of Hurricane Katrina know that our prayers are with them in this most difficult hour. I strongly support today's initial aid package to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
However, the Administration's response to this catastrophe is nothing short of a national disgrace. How is it possible that the Administration did not realize earlier what a catastrophe this is? There is a 90,000 square-mile footprint of disaster; and yet, last night FEMA's director Michael Brown admitted that the Administration had no idea exactly how bad the situation was. Even worse, he had previously characterized the security situation in New Orleans as "pretty darn good" and stopped just short of blaming the residents of New Orleans themselves for not evacuating.
The Bush Administration failed the American people in advance of the hurricane by cutting critical funding in spite of pleas by the Army Corps of Engineers -- money that would have been used to reinforce the very levees that broke and flooded New Orleans. We had plenty of money to pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans but none to save the poorest Americans with an ounce of prevention.
And in terms of the response to the disaster itself, what we have seen there is unquestionably too little too late. While the President today said the relief efforts so far were "not acceptable," how can he possibly be surprised by this deplorable response? How can he say that the flooding wasn't anticipated? Quite to the contrary, it was expected. It was predicted. What is not acceptable is the President's response.
One year ago we had the opportunity to learn from the disasters in Florida. Floridians experienced the consequences of FEMA's failure to deliver aid to communities who needed it the most. We saw the most vulnerable in our society - the elderly and the poor - being left out or overlooked. Last year we had the opportunity to prevent this from happening again. At that time, I called for the resignation of FEMA head, Michael Brown because of his grievous mismanagement. The President did not heed that call, nor did he see fit to make any substantial changes in FEMA.
Last year, when the President's election was in question, his response to the hurricanes in the swing state of Florida was tremendously fast -- even passing out ice in the immediate aftermath. Where was he in the immediate aftermath for Gulf coast? Where were the trucks of food? Where were the water buffalo? Where were the tents of aid that are just now being established? The President and Congress dropped everything and flew back to Washington on Palm Sunday to intervene on behalf of Terri Schiavo. Why did the President delay so long for an entire American city in crisis? These are desperate people who need food, water, shelter and safety, not a photo op - which even itself comes 5 days late. Every asset of the American military in this hemisphere should have been devoted to America's humanitarian crisis starting on Monday at 5 PM.
I was in Aceh in Indonesia last month. I saw first-hand the greatness of the American aid efforts. Our response in the aftermath of the tsunami was one of America's finest hours. I was extremely proud as an American to see all the work our country had done to stave off famine and disease. Our aircraft carrier was off the Aceh coast within two days. If we can do that thousands of miles away in Indonesia, why not New Orleans? If we had even just met that same standard, help would have been in New Orleans on Wednesday. It should have been self-evident on Monday that now is the time to use our strength for the benefit of our own people.
Hurricane Katrina is another tragic wakeup call for America. After the immediate crisis has passed, we must create a national disaster fund. We must restructure FEMA. And, we must do more than talk about disaster preparedness. We must do everything possible to ensure that we are fully prepared for a national disaster and the possibility of a terrorist attack.
Congressman Wexler is a senior member of the House International Relations Committee and is a member of the House Judiciary Committee.
Lale M. Mamaux Communications Director Office of Congressman Robert Wexler 213 Cannon House Office Building (202) 225- 3001 firstname.lastname@example.org
I saw who was pontificating and scrolled on by..
Why didn't you, Wexler? Cat had your tongue?
This must be more about voting than a concern for humanity.
hey Wexler, you numb-nut, was the tsunami relief completed in 24 hours. Didn't think so, you second rate loser. Disaster relief takes time. It IS a disaster area, and that presents challenges.
Wexler should thank God the Jeb Bush was governor of FL when their FOUR hurricanes hit last year. Can you imagine Gov. Blanco in that situation? It's called "leadership", you whining leftist pig, something Democrats don't know anything about.
Democrats like Wexler don't realize that when this country comes under a major attack, America is going to throw them out of the foxholes.
Finger pointing and blame finding are the first resort of the foolish.
These must be the new Dem talking points.
From the DNC website, the latest spin:
Why is it that President Bush was able to send food and supplies to Afghanistan the same day our invasion began, but it has taken five days to even begin to send supplies to New Orleans?"
Because the destination sites for the supplies in Afghanistan weren't under water?
I want to know where all the Republican leaders are and why they are not countering these ridiculous statements - they let the Dems spout off day after day and say nothing to defend the President - they should be ashamed and I hope people remember this at the polls.
When did Wexler get his double degree in meteorology and prophecy?
To: Robert Wexler
Hey, big Presidential critic! Where were you when Ahab Clinton sold out America to the Chinese army for a campaign contribution? And then built walls to cover his treachery that enabled Muhammed Atta's gang to kill three thousand plus innocent Americans who were minding their own business?
Why don't you mind yours and let President Bush mind his?
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