I am busy getting ready to leave for NOLA on Wednesday and so have little time at the moment to offer a fact check on Bush’s statements today. But I had to respond to one part of his statements in today’s press conference. It looks like the blame is on locals for the slow progress on the Gulf Coast especially Louisiana.
Now I offer no support of the mostly AWOL Ray Nagin (at this point he does deserve some blame for the halting recovery now). However today Bush stressed the responsibility for rebuilding housing on locals and by extension blame for lack of progress which ignores his obstructionism this past year in moving a housing recovery plan forward. He stated the “strategy from the get go was to work with the local folks” on housing recovery plans and “upon approval” the feds would allocate the money.
What must be remembered is that last year it was Bush who killed the Baker Bill which addressed housing buyouts and reconstruction. The Baker Bill had widespread and bi-partisan support of the “local folks.” But Bush would not support or approve and thus it died. Many months were lost in rebuilding housing and one must ask what NOLA might look like now if Bush had supported the Baker Bill that the locals put to him last year?
That’s not to even mention if we had a preznit who had sheparded a type of Marshall Plan for recovery from the “get go.”
I leave it to others to address his claims on debris removal, federal funding allocated, infrastructure repair and education (“I understand the schools are running now in New Orleans, a lot of schools are”) Notice nothing was said on rebuilding levees……