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National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for the Victims of Hurricane Katrina

Location: Washington, DC

September 15, 2005

Prayer Also for Men and Women in Iraq

WASHINGTON, D.C. ..."I join the President and all Americans in praying for the victims of Hurricane Katrina on this national day of prayer and remembrance, September 16, as proclaimed by President Bush. America stands united in our support of the families who have suffered tremendous hardship from this natural disaster, and we remember those who lost their lives and pray for strength and comfort for their families.

Texans in particular have rushed to assist thousands of evacuees who have relocated, temporarily or permanently, in counties throughout Texas. Citizens of the Fourth Congressional District have welcomed hundreds of families into their communities, homes, schools and churches. I will work with local officials to ensure that Federal assistance will be available to help with these transitional needs.

In times of tragedy, Americans come together as a Nation. On September 11, 2001, our Nation bonded in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Now we are bonding in our response to the worst natural disaster in our Nation's history - one that will require our resolve, our compassion, and our hard work to help the Gulf Coast and New Orleans recover.

Congress has passed two emergency relief supplemental packages to meet the immediate needs of the affected communities and families. Committees of jurisdiction have held hearings and approved a host of other measures, including streamlining Federal assistance for the victims. The Energy and Commerce Committee, on which I serve as chairman of the Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee, held a hearing last week on gasoline prices and the effects of the Hurricane on consumers and the oil and gas industries. We are working to facilitate provisions in the recently enacted Energy Policy Act that will help improve our Nation's energy infrastructure and bring down costs for our citizens.

As we join in prayers for the victims of Katrina, we also need to remember our men and women in uniform in Iraq, Afghanistan, and throughout the world. We pray for their safety and for their families who await their safe return. America remains free and strong because of their dedication and willingness to sacrifice for their country.

I support the President in his efforts to bring stability and recovery to the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina, and I support the President in the war in Iraq. I would like to see our troops come home from Iraq and Afghanistan tomorrow, and have suggested such to him, but I support our President and believe that he has the information needed to determine when Iraq can govern itself and when America can withdraw our forces. I trust his judgment and will so vote.

We pray that God will give us the strength, wisdom and guidance needed to meet these dual challenges facing America, and we pray that from these tragedies will come a renewal of faith and unity in America."

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