Washington, DC – Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement:
“The President offered comforting words tonight, but the victims of Hurricane Katrina don’t need just words, they need a plan that will lead the way in recovery, rebuilding, and renewal. We cannot change the past for the victims, but we can change their future and this unprecedented national disaster demands an unprecedented national response. It will take more than dollars to rebuild communities and that’s why we’ve offered a Marshall Plan to help families get back on their feet, back into homes and back on the job.
“It takes more than just taking responsibility to right the many wrongs that occurred over the past two weeks. The American people need answers from independent experts outside of the political arena to learn from the past and prepare and protect our nation and our communities for the future. We can and must do better.
“This region of our nation deserves our support, our cooperation and our sympathy. We are concerned by Bush Administration initiatives this week waiving wage protections, environmental safeguards, and protections for veterans, minorities, women and the disabled. The Gulf Coast region does not deserve to be treated as a laboratory for political opportunism or ideological experimentation. Now is the time for unity. It is a source of sorrow to our nation that so many were left behind as the waters rose. We must now commit that none will be left behind as the waters recede.”