Pelosi: ‘Federal Response to Katrina an Example of Corruption, Cronyism, and Incompetence’

Feb 15, 2006
Press Release

Pelosi: ‘Federal Response to Katrina an Example of Corruption, Cronyism, and Incompetence’

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Contact: Brendan Daly/Jennifer Crider, 202-226-7616

Washington, D.C. â€" House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined other Democratic leaders and Congressman Charlie Melancon of Louisiana at a press stakeout this morning after the Democratic Caucus meeting to discuss the Davis Committee report on Hurricane Katrina that was released today, and to reiterate her call for an independent, bipartisan Katrina Commission. Below are Pelosi’s remarks:

“Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I want to join you in commending our colleagues from the Gulf Coast for their great leadership on behalf of their constituents.

“Katrina challenges the conscience of our country. The stories we have seen shared by Mr. Melancon today and at our issues conference, tear at the hearts of all who hear them.

“So once again the Republicans have put out a one-sided review. Yes, they were critical of the White House â€" that was self-evident; that information was largely in the public domain. The report that was issued today is a Republican review of the White House. It could only go so far.

“That is why we need an independent commission. Unless you use the power of subpoena to get the documentation and the emails, we cannot fully understand everything that went wrong. And why is that important? It’s important for the future.

“The federal response to Katrina is a glaring example of the culture of corruption, cronyism and incompetence that has marked the Republican leadership in Washington D.C.

“Many more lives were lost, livelihoods are gone, housing has disappeared, and schools are unserviceable to children because of the inadequacy of the response. We will not know the whole story until we have an independent commission look at it.

“We want to go forward. Only open government and honest leadership will take us there, but in addition to that, we must immediately in the right way meet the housing needs, health care needs, education needs, and job needs of the people affected by Katrina and the other hurricanes.

“We can only do this if we have it based on a foundation of honest leadership and open government. We haven’t seen that yet.”