Floor Statement of Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich:
The Supplemental for Hurricane Katrina
WASHINGTON - September 2 - Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) gave the following speech today on the House floor during a special session to provide relief money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina:
â€œThis amount of money is only a fraction of what is needed and everyone here knows it. Let it go forward quickly with heart-felt thanks to those who are helping to save lives with necessary food, water, shelter, medical care and security. Congress must also demand accountability with the appropriations. Because until there are basic changes in the direction of this government, this tragedy will multiply to apocalyptic proportions.
â€œThe Administration yesterday said that no one anticipated the breach of the levees. Did the Administration not see or care about the 2001 FEMA warning about the risk of a devastating hurricane hitting the people of New Orleans? Did it not know or care that civil and army engineers were warning for years about the consequences of failure to strengthen the flood control system? Was it aware or did it care that the very same Administration which decries the plight of the people today, cut from the budget tens of millions needed for Gulf-area flood control projects?
â€œCountless lives have been lost throughout the South with a cost of hundreds of billions in ruined homes, businesses, and the destruction of an entire physical and social infrastructure.
â€œThe President said an hour ago that the Gulf Coast looks like it has been obliterated by a weapon. It has. Indifference is a weapon of mass destruction.
â€œOur indifferent government is in a crisis of legitimacy. If it continues to ignore its basic responsibility for the health and welfare of the American people, will there ever be enough money to clean up after their indifference?
â€œAs our government continues to squander human and monetary resources of this country on the war, people are beginning to ask, â€œIsnâ€™t it time we began to take care of our own people here at home? Isnâ€™t it time we rescued our own citizens? Isnâ€™t it time we fed our own people? Isnâ€™t it time we sheltered our own people? Isnâ€™t it time we provided physical and economic security for our own people?â€ And isnâ€™t it time we stopped the oil companies from profiting from this tragedy?
â€œWe have plenty of work to do here at home. It is time for America to come home and take care of its own people who are drowning in the streets, suffocating in attics, dying from exposure to the elements, oppressed by poverty and illness, wracked with despair and hunger and thirst.
â€œThe time is NOW to bring back to the United States the 78,000 National Guard troops currently deployed overseas into the Gulf Coast region.
â€œThe time is NOW to bring back to the US the equipment which will be needed for search and rescue, for clean up and reclamation.
â€œThe time is NOW for federal resources, including closed Army bases, to be used for temporary shelter for those who have been displaced by the hurricane.
â€œThe time is NOW to plan massive public works, with jobs going to the people of the Gulf Coast states, to build new levees, new roads, bridges, libraries, schools, colleges and universities and to rebuild all public institutions, including hospitals. Medicare ought to be extended to everyone, so every person can get the physical and mental health care they might need as a result of the disaster.
â€œThe time is NOW for the federal government to take seriously the research of scientists who have warned for years about the dangers of changes in the global climate, and to prepare other regions of the country for other possible weather disasters until we change our disastrous energy policies.
â€œThe time is NOW for changes in our energy policy, to end the domination of oil and fossil fuel and to invest heavily in alternative energy, including wind and solar, geothermal and biofuels.
â€œAs bad as this catastrophe will prove to be, it is in fact only a warning. Our government must change its direction, it must become involved in making America a better place to live, a place where all may survive and thrive. It must get off the path of war and seek the path of peace, peace with the natural environment, peace with other nations, peace with a just economic system.â€
September 15th, 2005 - Posted in Other Alternative Energy | |