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WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after returning from the Gulf Coast region to assess the damage done by Hurricane Katrina, as well as the ongoing rebuilding and reconstruction efforts:
“More than six months after one of the most devastating natural disasters in American history, I was struck by the overwhelming amount of work left to be done to rebuild and revitalize the Gulf Coast region. Thousands of dedicated workers and volunteers have accomplished much for the people of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Yet this region, which is so vitally important to our nation as whole, demands the renewed energy of all levels of government. Now is a crucial time for the future of the Gulf Coast, and we must seize this opportunity to move the region forward.
“As we continue to look at the most effective and efficient ways to rebuild the Gulf Coast, the needs of displaced residents to be assured of safety, security, and the rule of law when they return remain paramount. Furthermore, the federal government must coordinate with state and local officials to ensure that the needs of Katrina survivors are being met, including assistance with housing, business development, debris removal and other basic needs.
“The Administration’s planning and immediate response to Hurricane Katrina was inept and unacceptable. We simply must do better in the rebuilding efforts, and I call on Congress to remain steadfast in our commitment to the Gulf Coast.”