(202) 225 - 3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in observance of the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina:
“Two years ago Hurricanes Katrina and Rita reached American shores, and wreaked havoc on the Gulf Coast Region. The one-two punch of these storms caused significant damage, but the real tragedy is what occurred – or rather, what did not occur – in the aftermath as the levees collapsed and floodwaters washed over streets, homes, and entire neighborhoods in the City of New Orleans.
“The devastation that followed was catastrophic. To our shock, our nation watched as the emergency response failed. To our distress, we waited for signs of help that should have been immediate, but was instead, no where to be seen. And to our horror, we witnessed thousands of our fellow citizens struggle for days without water, food or shelter.
“A breakdown on several fronts led to the series of manmade disasters that followed the natural disaster, but the bottom line is our government failed to fulfill its basic duty to protect its citizenry and respond at a time of great need. Two years later, the need still exists.
“To address that need, this Congress has vowed to be a committed partner in rebuilding the Gulf Coast region. In the first eight months of the new Majority, we have approved $6.4 billion in recovery aid; waived local match requirements under the Stafford Act to save the region $1.9 billion and allow crucial projects to move forward; and provided much-needed Congressional oversight.
“Two weeks ago, a delegation of House Democrats visited the Gulf Coast to assess progress and to demonstrate once again our commitment to aiding the survivors of Hurricane Katrina. While hope is alive and rebuilding is taking place, there is still much to be done.
“On this second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina we must recognize that while the floodwaters receded long ago, a watermark remains on the gates to the City of New Orleans and in the communities that are still struggling to rebuild. Our work is far from finished.”