Congressman Refuses to Fall for Republican Tricks to Politicize Katrina; Votes Against Resolution to Create Partisan Committee
Washington, DC—Today, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) joined his Democratic colleagues in the House in calling for an independent commission, modeled on the highly successful 9/11 Commission, to investigate the response to Hurricane Katrina. The Republicans refused to consider the creation of a truly bi-partisan and independent commission.
“It is shameful that the creation of this essential independent commission, supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans, has been rejected,” said Congressman Higgins. “The Republicans are playing politics with this devastating natural disaster. A bi-partisan and independent commission is the only way to ensure that partisan bickering and finger-pointing will not take place during the investigation of this very tragic and sensitive matter. The proposal I support, along with my Democratic colleagues in the House, has already proven worthy—it is modeled after the successful 9/11 Commission, which maintained its independence throughout, scrutinized every detail from readiness to response and answered the tough questions, whether they were easy to swallow or not.”
Proposed by Representatives Alcee Hastings (FL-23) and Robert Menendez (NJ-13), the Katrina Commission would be charged with providing a comprehensive and unbiased evaluation of the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina at all levels of government: what could and should have been done to avoid the extraordinary damage, the loss of life, and the inadequate relief efforts that have exacerbated the dislocation and suffering of millions of Americans affected by Katrina. H.R. 3764, the Hastings-Menendez bill, was not allowed to be brought up for consideration by the Rules Committee and the Republican leadership in the House.