Underwhelming Response in Wake of Hurricane Katrina

Washington, DC – Rep. Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Rules, issues the following statement in response to the lack of accountability and poor response in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the devastating destruction of Hurricane Katrina. I hope everyone will take a moment to lend their support to the recovery effort by making a donation to the American Red Cross.

Our brothers and sisters in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama need our help right now and it is incumbent upon each of us, as Americans, to reach out to them.

But make no mistake, the shock and grief we feel right now is giving way to anger. The Federal Government’s woefully inadequate response to this disaster has been stunning.

We found out this week that we have no real, effective emergency preparedness in America. And it borders on criminal that our government could allow people to go without food and water for five days after a disaster of this magnitude, right here on American soil.

The lack of an adequate, swift response to this emergency should not be covered up with political grand standing and slaps on the back. This failure must not be swept under the rug.

Today, Congress will pass a $10.5 billion dollar emergency supplemental appropriation for Hurricane Katrina relief, which I will support. But this is simply not enough.

Over the last four years, the Bush Administration repeatedly cut funding which would have upgraded and improved the levees that protected New Orleans.

The American people must demand accountability for the lack of prevention and slow response to this disaster and Congress must work to ensure that these events are not ever repeated.”

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