In observance of the two year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Congressman James E. Clyburn, House Majority Whip and Chair of the House Democratic Task Force on Hurricane Katrina, released the following statement:
“Two years ago, one of the most catastrophic natural disasters in our nation's history occurred as the storm known as Hurricane Katrina ravaged and destroyed significant portions of our Gulf Coast. This fierce hurricane's ruinous force and the failure of the levees left a tragic trail of death and destruction as neighborhoods were flooded, homes decimated, and public infrastructures obliterated.
“Despite the Gulf Coast region's obvious need for immediate aid and long-term assistance in overcoming Katrina's cataclysmic aftermath, the initial response of the Bush Administration and the then Republican-led Congress were inefficient and ineffective. The American public and large segments of the international community watched as many Gulf Coast residents endlessly waited in hazardous conditions for help to arrive.
“Fortunately, with the recent change of leadership and new direction of the U.S. Congress, significant progress is being made in addressing both the urgent and long-term needs of the Gulf Coast region. Already this year, Democrats have passed legislation that provides Gulf Coast communities with billions of dollars in funding for levee reconstruction, school rebuilding projects, and public safety initiatives. In addition, Democrats remain steadfastly united and committed to continuing to pass legislation that helps to remedy the region's housing and public infrastructure crisis.
“While Democrats have made significant strides this Congressional session in aiding Gulf Coast recovering efforts, our task of fully restoring the region to its pre-Katrina functioning level remains a tenured work in progress. Many tough challenges lie ahead in bringing prosperity and a sustained stability back to the Gulf Coast region, but Democrats know what we're up against and we're energized, resolute, and ready to fully fulfill our obligation to those displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
“As Chair of the House Democratic Caucus Task Force on Hurricane Katrina, I will continue seeking to ensure that Congress honors its promises and establishes a strong and productive partnership for the future with those victimized by this hurricane's unyielding wrath.”
See the Gavel’s Katrina archive for a picture of what Democrats have done thus far and what will be on the legislative agenda going forward, honed during the Congressional Delegation to the Gulf Coast earlier this month.