Democratic Women Senators Announce "Checklist for Change"
Landrieu Calls for Comprehensive Disaster Response Reform.
The nine Democratic women of the United States Senate today joined together to launch Democratic Women for Change, an initiative that calls for a new direction for America, and for a change in tone and a change in agenda in the United States Senate. Meeting at the historic Sewall-Belmont House, Senators Barbara Mikulski, D-Md, Dianne Feinstein, D-Ca, Barbara Boxer, D-Ca, Patty Murray, D-Wa, Mary Landrieu, D-La, Blanche Lincoln, D-Ar, Debbie Stabenow, D-Mi, Maria Cantwell, D-Wa, and Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-NY, unveiled their "Checklist for Change," a list of nine issues Congress can immediately address to better the lives of the American people.
Sen. Landrieu emphasized the need for better disaster preparedness. "Nearly 10 months have passed since hurricanes Katrina and Rita and multiple levee breaks devastated South Louisiana and much of the Gulf Coast. And nearly 5 years have passed since 9/11," she said, pointing out that "our national government has made scant progress in arming, equipping, training, and funding state and local governments to better prepare for the next major catastrophe."
In order to better prepare for future disasters, Sen. Landrieu advocated the restoration of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to Cabinet-level status, building on the Department of Transportation's Gulf Coast Study to develop safe and efficient evacuation plans, reforming the Stafford Act to better manage large catastrophes, and adopting the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission in order to adequately prepare America for another terrorist attack.
"We, the Democratic women of the Senate, are writing to challenge you to change direction, change the tone, and change the agenda to match the priorities of the American people," wrote the nine Senators in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. "There are approximately 50 days left in this legislative session--still plenty of time to change direction and focus instead on meeting the challenges that affect the American people in their daily lives."
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