Hurricane Katrina and the "NO" vote....
Many people are lashing out at the federal government about its response, or lack thereof regarding Hurricane Katrina. The blame game has been tossed back and forth between the local, state, and federal government. Some people have brought up issues of race being a factor in the slow response, and some have cited a lack of preparedness on the local government. One thing that is certain, however, is the fact that this event will be talked about for a long time to come. I did notice, with particular interest that 11 members of Congress voted against a 51 Billion dollar Katrina relief spending bill. All were Republican. I wouldn't go so far as to claim that this shows a "lack of compassion" on the part of the Party on the whole, but seeing as this is one of the worst natural disasters to occur in the United States, you have to ask about the reason behind the "No" vote.
Some of the Republicans who voted against the aid package claimed that they voted no because they were not satisfied that there would be proper oversight of the disbursement of the money. One notable quote that came from Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ),
"$50 billion is simply too much to give FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) all at once and ensure proper oversight."He noted that he'd supported the earlier $10.5 billion supplemental bill for hurricane relief, and said, "this is an issue of oversight, not priority."
I understand oversight, and the need for oversight. However, I think I would rather worry about that later and get much needed money to the people who are in distress. This may be an "issue of oversight, not priority", but our first priority is the people, is it not? Just like President Bush said, there is plenty of time for blame and finger-pointing, but lets alleviate the problem first, and then we can start typing our white papers on this one.
Lastly, Democrats blasted Rep. Flake, and spoke of how he voted for H.R. 1268 which was an $80 billon aid supplemental aid to the Tsunami victims in Indonesia. But, to be fair, the spending bill also covered more appropriations for the continued war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Who knows how this will pan out?