Republican Rep. Charles Boustany wasn’t happy when the Bush administration stopped full payment for debris removal in his parish that was hit by Hurricane Rita. What happened when he tried to get an explanation from his own party’s administration just pissed him off….
Since late June, Boustany has been trying to find out how FEMA made its decision. He suspected that Katrina was overshadowing Rita, “the forgotten hurricane,” as he calls it. Unsatisfied by what he was told, he filed a Freedom of Information Act request with FEMA, an avenue more commonly used by journalists, lawyers and gadflies to dislodge information from the federal government.
If Boustany thought he would get special consideration as a member of Congress and of the president’s party, he was wrong. He was told the information was off-limits because it was “part of the deliberative process” and “pre-decisional in nature.”
“Release (of the documents) would inhibit candor and the open and frank discussions and expressions of opinion necessary for agency decision makers to make informed decisions,” a Department of Homeland Security official wrote to a Boustany aide in an e-mail.
Boustany appealed, only to be unceremoniously told that he would have to wait his turn.
The congressman said he doesn’t expect to get extra money for his district, but still wants an explanation. Even if he gets one, however, it seems unlikely to soothe matters much.
“I do not take these actions by FEMA lightly,” he wrote to his fellow congressmen, “nor will I soon forget them.”
Now he’s calling for hearings. Well there is this at least for many LA Republicans. They are so far behind they are ahead, politically speaking at least, in shedding the Dubyatross (TM Eli) stank.