House Fails to Act on Resolution to Commemorate Katrina Anniversary

From Scout:

There’s some well deserved snark for Congress in this Times Picayune story titled: “A Day To Forget?”

WASHINGTON — In the week before leaving for summer vacation, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to honor bicyclists, a college fraternity and a retired baseball pitcher, but it failed to go on record noting the upcoming anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the most expensive natural disaster in the nation’s history.

The House departed for its monthlong summer recess July 29 without acting on a bipartisan resolution by members from Louisiana and Mississippi that was little more than a national sympathy card.

Kevin Madden, a spokesman for House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said no slight was intended.

“The language is still being worked on,” Madden said. “We’re looking for agreement on that. There are a lot of discussions still going on.”

It’s hard to figure what there is to discuss in a nonbinding resolution recounting the scope of the hurricane damage and lauding Congress and the American people for their generosity. Melanie Roussell, spokeswoman for the resolution’s author, Rep. William Jefferson, D-New Orleans, said some Republicans are reading between the lines.

She said they took issue with the line that “reaffirms” the House’s “commitment to rebuilding the Gulf Coast region and improving the quality of life for all of its residents.” After spending billions of dollars on hurricane recovery, Roussell said, some saw the line as an IOU.

“It is our understanding that some Republicans objected to any vague reference to committing more work to the Gulf Coast,” Roussell said. She didn’t name names.

TP asks whether Jeferson as the sponsor was the problem?

That’s bogus, Roussell said. “It’s a deflection from the issue that the Republicans don’t want to commit to the future of the Gulf Coast.”

TP also asks and answers if maybe the House just ran out of time?

But resolutions aren’t usually time-consuming affairs. Before leaving, the House quickly passed resolutions expressing support for Hire a Veteran Week and National Bike Month. It also took time to urge states to make sure that driver’s license applicants “exercise greatly increased caution” when motoring near a “potentially visually impaired individual.”

The House zips right along when it wants to. It took only a minute to mark the 100th anniversary of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and three minutes to designate the official American Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo

The House got bogged down for seven minutes on a resolution commemorating the 1946 season of Hall of Fame Pitcher Bob Feller. The marathon debate was mostly because the sponsor, Rep. Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio, spent time recounting the many noteworthy accomplishments of the former Cleveland Indian, such as the time “Bullet Bob” threw a fastball clocked at 109 mph.

I like the ending the best…

It’s not that the Senate was any more interested in marking Katrina’s Aug. 29 anniversary. No one on that end of the Capitol even proposed a resolution.

Both the House and Senate are due back Sept. 5, the anniversary of federal troops arriving in New Orleans a week after the storm. (my emphasis)

Good one