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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Bush blames Congress for Katrina problems

Six months after Hurricane Katrina, President Bush got a close-up look Wednesday at the mountains of debris, the abandoned homes and the boarded-up businesses that are shocking reminders of the "pain and agony" New Orleans endures still.

In the devastated Lower Ninth Ward, few residents were around to tell Bush how they felt. But two young women held up a sign for his motorcade that said, "Where's my government?" Farther up the road, a man waved a flattened cardboard box on which he had written, "Pres. cut the red tape and help us."


"We want people coming home," Bush said.

To help make that a reality, the president said Congress must come forward with money to compensate Louisianans whose homes were damaged or destroyed and to rebuild New Orleans' broken levees. Without it, Bush said, residents and businesses won't have enough confidence in their city's future to return and bring it alive again.

He criticized Congress' earlier diversion of $1.5 billion in levee-rebuilding money to non-New Orleans-related projects, saying lawmakers "shortchanged the process" of rebuilding the city. He said Congress must reverse the decision — even as lawmakers were poised to do so. A $19 billion hurricane-relief measure, set for approval by a key House panel, provides $1.5 billion in various Army Corps of Engineers water projects, chiefly for rebuilding New Orleans' levee systems.

The House bill also includes $4.2 billion in hurricane housing projects, but lawmakers directed that money to all states affected by Katrina. Bush said Congress must dedicate all that money just to Louisiana.
Good grief! He can't be serious. This is the person who too busy playing a guitar on vacation while a level five hurricane (which he was warned about) wiped the gulf states off the map.

Now after six months, the President wants us to believe that Congress is at fault for the slow recovery response? Does anyone believe a word that comes out of his mouth anymore?
Democrats said Bush has not done enough to help the city recover. Democratic Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and John Kerry of Massachusetts issued a report they said detailed the Bush administration's failures to respond adequately to the needs of homeowners and small businesses.

The report said 120,000 Gulf Coast residents are waiting to find out if they will get a disaster loan while more than 140,000 others have been turned down.

Some independent experts have suggested that the Army Corps of Engineers is taking shortcuts and using shoddy materials to meet the president's June 1 deadline to rebuild the levees. The agency denies those allegations and Bush said the levees will be "equal or better than what they were before Katrina."
The President said the levees will be better...gotcha. Just like there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and no one from the White House outed a CIA covert agent, and no one anticipated that the levees would be breached, etc, etc, blah, blah.