Thursday, September 01, 2005

Congress will return to Session tomorrow!

Rumors all around Washington have confirmed that Congress will reconvene to approve an emergency supplemental tomorrow. Bush has informed the Bicameral Leadership that FEMA needs additional funds this week.

New Orleans is still in shreds and will be for a long time. Over 1,400 national guardsman are being sent to New Orleans daily. Congress hopes to send about $10 billion dollars for all Hurricane Katrina victims.

article from the Roll Call

Congress to Return Friday for Katrina Aid Package

September 1, 2005
By Mark Preston and John Bresnahan,
Roll Call Staff

Congressional leaders are expected to cut their summer recess short Friday to approve an emergency aid package in the $10 billion range to help fund relief efforts along areas of the Gulf Coast devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

President Bush is scheduled to speak with Congressional leaders during a 3:30 p.m. conference call to talk about the emergency supplemental bill, Congressional aides said.

"Disaster relief should be the first order of business of this Congress," said Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)." Sen. Reid feels this sends the appropriate message that we stand behind these people during this time of need."

The bulk of the estimated $10 billion aid package will be sent directly to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is taking the lead in federal relief efforts in Louisiana, Mississippi and other affected states.

Congressional aides said the emergency supplemental bill is likely to pass by unanimous consent and will serve as a temporary funding measure until a much larger relief package is approved.

"FEMA is currently spending $500 million a day, and under this scenario they will be broke shortly," Manley said. "This $10 billion will give then another 20 days as they continue to assess their needs."

Ron Bonjean, a spokesman for House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), said the GOP Congressional leadership is committed to helping the victims in the Gulf region.

"We've approached the Minority Leader with a proposal to bring the House back into emergency session to pass emergency funding for Hurricane Katrina victims," Bonjean said.

Ben Pershing contributed to this report.

Copyright 2005 © Roll Call Inc. All rights reserved.

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