Thursday, September 08, 2005

Ford Calls On The President To Be A Uniter

Today Congressman Harold Ford made the following statement:

"The President should take this moment and do what he promised to do when he was elected - unite the country. It is important that President Bush respond to the needs of Katrina survivors across the country, figure out why the nation's emergency response system failed the people of Louisiana and Mississippi and call for a moratorium on the blame game."

"The investigation into what happened will reveal who did not do their job well enough. Presumably, corrective steps will be taken by the President then. If the President chooses not to follow the recommendations resulting from the investigation, Congress should act on its own. We must remember that less than half of the recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission were adopted by the Bush Administration. This time, the President cannot afford to move slowly and take a piecemeal approach to reforming our nation's emergency response infrastructure."

"I have called for FEMA Director Michael Brown to be replaced immediately. I stand by that request because his incompetence led directly to the woefully inadequate response of FEMA to provide water, food and rescue efforts for tens of thousands of Louisiana residents. Most important, lives were lost because of his inaction. The overall investigation will reveal other shortcomings in our nation's emergency response system that must be addressed and corrected. I am especially interested in what the investigation's findings will say about FEMA's ability to respond to an earthquake. Memphis sits on the New Madrid fault and unlike the advance warning FEMA received about Hurricane Katrina, Memphis will not get the same kind of warning if a catastrophic earthquake occurs. The investigation will reveal other holes in our national emergency response system that need to be addressed and corrected."