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Red Tape and Hurricane Relief

Location: Washington, DC

RED TAPE AND HURRICANE RELIEF -- (House of Representatives - September 14, 2005)

(Mr. PITTS asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, many of us were appalled at the red tape that hindered the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Hundreds of surgeons and paramedics were stranded in a state-of-the-art mobile hospital without patients to treat, prevented by Louisiana State officials from mobilizing their taxpayer-funded hospital closer to the disaster zone. State homeland security officials prevented the Red Cross from trucking in supplies in the immediate aftermath.

Police shut down a key bridge after the hurricane hit, preventing escape by victims of the storm. Churches in Louisiana asked by FEMA to take in victims of the hurricane have received no financial assistance from the agency, because FEMA cannot offer assistance to uncertified faith-based groups.

Survivors sleep on the floors of these churches while FEMA is storing unused cots in Louisiana warehouses. The worst thing that can come from all of these hearings, investigations, and commissions is more red tape of the sort that has slowed current relief efforts and probably cost many, many lives.

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