Friday, November 18, 2005

James Lee Witt -- D.C. doesn't understand Katrina damage.

Nearly four months after Hurricane Katrina struck, congressional leaders still don’t understand the economic and environmental damage wreaked on the Gulf Coast, James Lee Witt told 20 county leaders from around the nation who gathered Thursday in Little Rock.

The former Federal Emergency Management Agency director, who is advising Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco on the Aug. 29 hurricane’s cleanup, said an independent panel is needed to examine the federal government’s response to the storm.
. . . . . .
Many complaints about the government response to the hurricane can be traced to the decision to put FEMA under the Department of Homeland Security, Witt said. Under Clinton’s administration, Witt’s job was a Cabinet-level position.

“They created a bureaucracy that will never function,” Witt said. “When you have the director of FEMA reporting through a chain of command and not directly to the president, that lapse in the timeline can cause major problems.”

Moreover, they have good reason NOT to want to understand, with huge deficits, tax cuts and Bush's war sapping the budget.

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