Molt Be Blog

Friday, September 09, 2005

Republican Quotes in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

A friend forwarded this list to me... fun! - Greg

Republican Quotes in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

"A large part of the response to the hurricane's impact is to jump-start the region's economy, which requires a vibrant national economy," said White House Deputy Press Secretary Trent Duffy.Duffy asserted that the vast spending that would be required to address the hurricane's impact adds to the need to change Social Security, which threatens to strain the budget in coming years.
Congress Daily, September 7, 2005

"What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them." -- Barbara Bush, in Houston
(AP). September 6, 2005

Secretary Snow: "Making the tax cuts permanent would be a real plus in a situation like this because people would know they had, going forward, the advantage of lower tax rates," Snow said. "And when people know they have lower tax rates locked in going forward, it affects their behaviors. It makes them more confident of the future." Press Statement September 6, 2005

President Bush: “Brownie, you’re doin’ a heck of a job.” September 2, 2005

While Chertoff said the levee breach that flooded New Orleans "exceeded the foresight of planners," Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center, said Brown and other top federal officials were briefed as much as 32 hours in advance of landfall that Hurricane Katrina's storm surge was likely to overtop levees and cause catastrophic flooding.

Washington Post, September ?, 2005

Asked in an interview with the Daily Herald, a suburban Chicago paper, whether it makes sense to spend billions rebuilding a city that lies below sea level, a reference to New Orleans, Hastert
replied, "I don't know. That doesn't make sense to me." He added it was a question "that certainly we should ask. And, you know, it looks like a lot of that place could be bulldozed."
Hastert expressed sympathy for victims of the hurricane and said "we are going to rebuild this city. We can help replace, we can relieve disaster." At the same time, he said "we ought to take a second look at it. But you know, we build Los Angeles and San Francisco on top of
earthquake fissures and they rebuild, too. Stubbornness," he said.
Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, as reported by AP, 9.1.05

“I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.”
President George W. Bush Interview,ABC-TV Good Morning America, September 1, 2005

"It's truly been a catastrophic event," said FEMA Deputy Director Patrick Rhode. – as quoted August 30, 2005 by AP

"There's money available for the urgent needs right now, resources available," McClellan said. "But this is a major catastrophe and we're certainly going to do everything from the standpoint of the federal government to make sure that the needs are met as best we can.”
As quoted by Reuters, August 31, 2005

"The leader is committed at this point to a vote on full repeal [of the estate tax] regardless of what anyone does," a spokeswoman for Frist told Tax Analysts.
Quoted in Tax Notes, September 1, 2005

"Flood control has been a priority of this administration from Day One," said White House press secretary Scott McClellan, adding that the administration in recent years has dedicated a total of $300 million for flood control in the New Orleans area. Beyond that, he dismissed questions about specific projects as mere partisan sniping. "This is not a time for finger pointing or playing politics," McClellan said.

Quoted in the Washington Post, September 2, 2005

"I fully understand people wanting things to have happened yesterday," he said on ABC. "I mean I understand the anxiety of people on the ground. . . . But I want people to know that there is a lot of help coming."
Bush, as quoted in Washington Post, September 2, 2005

Asked later whether that included those stealing food or water to survive, White House press secretary Scott McClellan said yes. "There are ways for them to get that help," he said. "Looting is not the way for them to do it."
As quoted in the Washington Post, September 2, 2005

Michael Brown, director of FEMA, conceded in a CNN interview that the relief effort was struggling. "What you're seeing is unacceptable," Mr. Brown said. "We're going to help those people."
As quoted in the WSJ, September 1, 2005

"Our citizens must understand this storm has disrupted the capacity to make gasoline and to distribute gasoline."
Bush, as quoted in WSJ, September 1, 2005

"This spending is essential and I don't think it will fundamentally undermine our ability to hit the deficit targets that the president has set for the country," White House budget director Joshua Bolten told reporters. Bolten announced that President Bush was asking Congress for an initial $10.5 billion in emergency disaster relief for the victims of the storm. A second, larger funding request is expected later this month. Bush has set a goal of halving the federal budget deficit by 2009. "Right now we see ourselves on a continuing declining path in the deficit out over the next several years toward the 2009 goal that the president talked about," Bolten said. "This kind of spending adds a challenge to us in meeting those goals but I don't think it's a long term challenge. I think the kind of spending we're talking about here is something that will be a concern in the next year or two and not long run for the economy," he added.
As quoted by AP, September 1, 2005

“People are still stranded, they’re reaching their breaking point and they need our help now,” Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R Tenn., said. “That’s why at 10 o clock tonight we are acting.”
As quoted in CQ, September 1, 2005

"I suspect that means some kind of stimulus package out there to be sure that we see the economy move forward as it needs to rather than it might in response to this disaster," Blunt concluded.
As quoted in BNA, September 6, 2005

"We're going to take a hard, hard look at our disaster response," Frist said.
As quoted in Washington Post, September 6, 2005

Lawmakers also will weigh allowing exploration for oil and gas along the coast of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, and letting states lease federal offshore land to companies exploring for natural gas along the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts. "We can put that on the table very quickly," said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton of Texas, citing support for the offshore leasing proposal from Resources Chairman Rep. Richard Pombo of California. Coastal states with big tourism industries, such as Florida, are likely to resist on environmental grounds.
As quoted in the WSJ, September 6, 2005

"We do not foresee this rising to a level that takes us off track for achieving the president's budget objectives," Treasury Secretary John Snow said.
As quoted by Knight-Ridder, September 6, 2005

Their language says this, now is not time to cut services to the most vulnerable, cut taxes for the most fortunate and add to the deficit. That's the basic theme of the [Reid-Conrad-Pelosi-Spratt] letter. If allowed to go forward, this bill, and they are talking about the reconciliation bill would cut programs that would likely cut programs that many victims of hurricane katrina will be relying on including medicaid, food stamps and student loans. Those two statements are, as I said, boldly Inaccurate....We've Had some of the best job creation in the history of this country over the last few years and as a result people are paying taxes and revenues are going up. Totally Ignored and misrepresented in this letter. More specifically and the thing I find most unreasonable about the terms of this letter or as a say most boldly inaccurate is this representation of the can – this will somehow effect programs that benefit people relative to the problems that we have in the south today as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Nothing Could be further from the truth, be more inaccurate or be more of an attempt to use the trauma and tragedy of katrina to assert a political agenda here in the Congress of the United States Which they have been trying to assert, as I said, since they voted against this budget six months ago. The two have no substantive relationship but there's an attempt to use the political arena to link them up.
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Gregg, floor statement, September 7, 2005

In a WTAE-TV interview airing 9/4, Sen. Rick Santorum (R) addressed those who did not evacuate ahead of Katrina: "I mean, you have people who don't heed those warnings and then put people at risk as a result of not heeding those warnings. There may be a need to look at tougher penalties on those who decide to ride it out and understand that there are consequences to not leaving."
As quoted in The Hotline, September 7, 2005

Meanwhile, House Ways and Means Chairman Thomas said he envisions three separate bills moving one per week over the next three weeks, beginning with a vote Thursday on freeing up funds under programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and also encouraging charitable donations. "We're not putting a lot of new money out there; it's freeing up money that's there already," Thomas said.
As quoted in CongressDaily, September 7, 2005

That is a distortion of absurd proportions,” Kevin Madden, spokesman for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, said of Pelosi’s charges that Congress has underfunded FEMA and first responders.“Congress has and will continue to fund first responders and ensure that we have the resources that are needed to respond to disasters and emergencies,” Madden said. “In light of the federal response to Katrina, Congress is focused on reviewing where the emergency plan faltered, how to fix it and taking action to ensure any mistakes are remedied and not repeated in the future.”
As reported in CQ Today, September 7, 2005

“I certainly think it’s important to keep it completely focused on the disaster at home,” Vitter said.
As reported in CQ Today, September 7, 2005

“How are we going to pay for this?” asked Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. “What are we going to cut?”
As reported in CQ Today, September 7, 2005

“We will not leave this week until we complete action on that bill,” Frist said.

As reported in CQ Today, September 7, 2005

“What can we do to make this a different kind of recovery, a bolder, better recovery than we’ve ever seen before?” Lott asked the chairmen.
As reported in CQ Today, September 7, 2005

"Given the abysmal failure of state and local officials in Louisiana to plan adequately for or respond to the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the city of New Orleans, and given the long history of public corruption in Louisiana, I hope the House will refrain from directly appropriating any funds . . . to either the state of Louisiana or the city of New Orleans."
Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO), Letter to Speaker Hastert, September 7, 2005

“Americans deserve answers. We must do all we can to learn from this tragedy, improve the system and protect all of our citizens."
Senate Majority Leader Frist, as quoted in the Washington Post, September 8, 2005

"We don't need to sit here with our mouths taped shut, and not defend the president, when the governor of Louisiana did not ask for the National Guard and the mayor didn't order a mandatory evacuation" early enough, said Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia. Gov. Kathleen Blanco and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin are both Democrats.
As quoted in the Wall Street Journal, September 8, 2005

After Mr. Reid predicted that the federal response would cost as much as $150 billion, Mr. DeLay told reporters the Nevada Democrat was playing "political games" by making a prediction that high. "It implies that you know what's going on," Mr. DeLay said. "There's no way that anyone knows."A few hours later, Sen. Judd Gregg, the New Hampshire Republican who is chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said federal spending on the disaster could reach $200 billion.
Wall Street Journal, September 8, 2005

After officials asked for help evacuating New Orleans, the department dispatched an Amtrak train, he said. "We had a train ready in Avondale for 600 passengers, and all FEMA delivered to us were 96 people," Mr. Mineta said, adding that if FEMA "couldn't muster the folks from the convention center," the Transportation Department figured it wasn't a good use of its resources.
Wall Street Journal, September 8, 2005

“All of these bills have one goal," Mr. Hastert said, "to get help to the people of the Gulf Coast and to get it to them now."

As quoted in the New York Times, September 8, 2005

Texas expects FEMA "to reimburse us 100 percent for everything," said Robert Black, a spokesman for Gov. Rick Perry.
Washington Times, September 8, 2005

President Bush: "The private sector needs to do its part."
As quoted by Michael Hiltzik in Golden State/LA Times, September 5, 2005

This deplorable performance has deep roots. Joe M. Allbaugh, a Bush campaign hack without any crisis management experience who was named director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, disparaged federal disaster assistance as "an oversized entitlement program" before Congress in 2001. The public's expectations of government in a disaster situation, he said, "may have ballooned beyond what is an appropriate level." He advised stricken communities to rely for help on "faith-based organizations ... like the Salvation Army and the Mennonite Disaster Service."
As quoted by Michael Hiltzik in Golden State/LA Times, September 5, 2005

Thursday evening on NPR, I heard Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who oversees FEMA, dismiss reports of thousands of refugees trapped at the New Orleans convention center for days without sustenance. He called the reports, in so many words, "rumors and anecdotes. Informed that an NPR reporter had been on the scene, he sniffed, "I can't argue with you about what your reporter tells you." Later, his staff called back to say that he had "received a report confirming the situation" and that he was now "working tirelessly" to get food to the location. As quoted by Michael Hiltzik in Golden State/LA Times, September 5, 2005
As quoted by Michael Hiltzik in Golden State/LA Times, September 5, 2005

At a news conference that day, FEMA Director Michael Brown, Allbaugh's successor and college chum, attributed the death toll in New Orleans "to people who did not heed evacuation warnings." Insensitive to the truth that many of the stranded had no way of responding to the warnings - no money, no transport out of the city and nowhere to go - he blamed them for having failed to prepare any better than, well, the federal government. He also described security in the city, where snipers were firing on rescue boats and a mob beat back police trying to impose order at the convention center, as "pretty darn good." The image of lawlessness, he said, was fomented by those willing to "stick a camera" in front of "bad people."
As quoted by Michael Hiltzik in Golden State/LA Times, September 5, 2005

“It would have been interesting if she had shown some level of restraint.”
RNC spokesman Brian Jones responding to Senator Clinton’s criticisms of FEMA

|As quoted in the Washington Post, September 8, 2005

“The project manager of the Great Pyramids probably put in a request for 100 million shekels and only got 50 million. Flood protections is always a work in progress; on any given day, if you ask whether any community has all the protections it needs, the answer is almost always: Maybe, but maybe not.”
John Paul Woodley Jr., Bush administration official overseeing the Army Corps
As quoted in the Washington Post, September 8, 2005

“I’ve got this down,” Michael Chertoff boasted to aides last weekend as he staveds off questions on television about handling the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
As quoted by Robert D. Novak, Washington Post, September 8, 2005

Definition: adoxography, the art of eruditely praising worthless things.

During a discussion on hurricane relief efforts, an off camera protester shouts, "Go fuck yourself, Mr. Cheney. Go fuck yourself." The camera remains on Cheney while we hear scuffling in the background. Cheney continues speaking. CNN's reporter asks Cheney, "Are you getting a lot of that Mr. Vice President?" Cheney replies, "First time I've heard it., Must be a friend of John..., er, ah never mind." Laughter ensues from the VP and reporters.
Incident carried live by CNN and MSNBC, as reported on

“I spoke to Mike Chertoff today -- he's the head of the Department of Homeland Security. I knew people would want me to discuss this issue, so we got us an airplane on -- a telephone on Air Force One, so I called him.”
President Bush
Pueblo El Mirage RV Resort and Country Club, Arizona, August 29, 2005
two hours after receiving word that New Orleans’ levees had broken

“Ten days after Katrina, the private economy is holding up nicely.”
First sentence of the lead editorial in the Wall Street Journal, September 8, 2005

"There are ongoing problems on the ground, and that's why we're working to address those issues."
Scott McLellan, as quoted by AP, September 8, 2005

"We're just beginning the process we've got to rebuild people's homes, we've got to rebuild people's businesses, we've got to rebuild the infrastructure," said Gregg, a New Hampshire Republican.
As quoted in the Baltimore Sun, September 8, 2005

Rep. Randy Cunningham, a California Republican who also serves on the House Appropriations Committee, told Reuters after the meeting that conservatives fretted about the huge relief costs with "more storms (gathering off the southern coast), the Iraq war and health care" costs that are rapidly escalating for the federal government. Cunningham said that none of those Republicans suggested scaling back costly tax-cut proposals they have advanced for the past few years. Instead, he said they urged the Bush administration to look at ways to save on Gulf Coast reconstruction by waiving rules requiring union laborers for upcoming federal contracts.
As quoted in the Baltimore Sun, September 8, 2005

“And the last thing we need to do, as a result of the Katrina disaster, is to add any additional burden to the economy. And raising taxes adds a burden to the economy. What we need is to have the economy continue to do well. That provides the fuel, that provides the resources to pay for the Katrina disaster and to pay to get these communities back on their feet.”
National Economic Council Director Al Hubbard on CNBC, September 7, 2005

“If we ever had an excuse, a reason to cut the budget, this is it,” Flake said of the Katrina spending.
Congressman Jeff Flake (R-AZ) as reported in CQ Today, September 8, 2005

According to Gregg, "the one thing we have proved beyond a reasonable doubt" is that tax cuts stimulate the economy, create jobs, and ultimately raise revenue. "They must be ignoring history," he said.
As quoted in Tax Notes Today, September 8, 2005

House Ways and Means Committee Chair William M. Thomas, R Calif., was equally critical of the letter. "Let's deal with what we should do," he told reporters. "To issue letters on what we should not do now isn't all that much help."
As quoted in Tax Notes Today, September 8, 2005

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