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Obama Statement on Toxic Gulf Coast Trailers

Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) today released the following statement after the Center for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed that housing trailers contaminated with formaldehyde were provided to Hurricane Katrina victims. In December, the Senate passed legislation introduced by Senators Obama, McCaskill and Landrieu to launch an investigation into reports of contamination and negligence by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). This law was originally offered in July 2007 as an amendment to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill, with cosponsorship from Senators Mark Pryor (D-AK), Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT), John Kerry (D-MA), and Tim Johnson (D-SD).

"Today's CDC report confirms our worst fears - the trailers distributed to victims of Hurricane Katrina by the Bush Administration were contaminated with dangerous levels of toxic fumes.

"Every day we learn more and more about the Bush Administration's catastrophic failure to respond to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Instead of deploying the resources required to save lives and rebuild communities, the Administration consistently cut corners and buried the truth. Lives were put at risk, and countless Americans were left homeless and without the help they needed to rebuild.

"When reports surfaced that families living in these trailers suffered from severe headaches and children suffered from bloody noses, I joined with Senators McCaskill and Landrieu to introduce legislation to force the Bush Administration to take swift action and guarantee that Hurricane Katrina survivors seeking shelter in FEMA trailers were not putting their families at risk.

"I demand that the President immediately find safe shelter for these families, who have suffered so much after the federal government failed to protect them during Hurricane Katrin

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