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WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today regarding President Bush’s visit to the Gulf Coast to view the ongoing relief and recovery efforts in response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina:
“Last week, during our Congressional Delegation visit to the Gulf Coast, I witnessed firsthand the excellent work that many selfless volunteers and workers are performing. And, they all deserve our gratitude.
“There are many positive aspects of our response to this natural catastrophe, but it is undeniably true that the federal government’s response to the human suffering experienced by literally hundreds of thousands of American citizens has been – and continues to be – woefully inadequate. Even today, six months after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast region, the federal government does not have an effective, pro-active plan to return victims to their hometowns and to help provide them with livable, affordable housing.
“In the richest and greatest nation on the face of the earth, this failure by our federal government to respond effectively is absolutely unacceptable – and this failure lies squarely at the feet of this Administration.
“I am pleased that the President made a return visit to the Gulf Coast today. There is no doubt in my mind that he cares deeply about those who have borne the brunt of this deadly hurricane. However, the residents of the Gulf Coast region need more than expressions of concern. They need an effective, pro-active plan by their federal government that contains identifiable benchmarks for recovery and that ensures that the citizens of the Gulf Coast can return home.”