After watching Spike Lee's documentary the past two nights, reading this
fills me with even more rage than it already would have:
"It's a time to remember that people suffered and it's a time to recommit ourselves to helping them," Bush said Wednesday. "But I also want people to remember that a one-year anniversary is just that, because it's going to require a long time to help these people rebuild."
Bush spoke on the South Lawn of the White House after meeting in the Oval Office with a New Orleans-area man who lost his home in the storm. Rockey Vaccarella, 41, of Meraux in St. Bernard Parish, has been traveling the Gulf Coast region to mark the Katrina anniversary.
Nearly a year after the hurricane, criticism lingered.
In a report entitled "Broken Promises," House and Senate Democratic leaders described what they called "the failed response" of the administration since the hurricane hit.
Released Wednesday by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and her Senate counterpart, Harry Reid, D-Nev., the report asserted that "thousands of families are still waiting" for FEMA trailers and that a significant proportion of money that FEMA has spent there "has been waste, fraud and abuse."
"The Republican Congress didn't enact needed housing money for homeowners in Louisiana until June, 10 months after Katrina - and the money has still failed to reach these homeowners," it said.
The president was designating Tuesday, the Katrina anniversary, as a National Day of Remembrance to honor those who lost lives and property and those who helped rescue victims, said spokeswoman Dana Perino.
Bush is spending two days in the Gulf region next week to mark the anniversary. He will be in Mississippi on Monday, to have lunch with community leaders, walk through a neighborhood, and deliver a speech on the rebuilding effort, before traveling to New Orleans, where he was scheduled to have dinner with state and local official and spend the night. On Tuesday, Bush is attending a service of prayer and remembrance, conducting a roundtable discussion on an effort headed by first lady Laura Bush to restock Gulf Coast libraries. He also will give a speech and visit with local residents, Perino said.