As the Texas coast recovers from Hurricane Ike and Louisiana continues its slow recovery from Gustav, House Democrats are already lining up billions in federal aid to help the devastated region.
The hurricane aid bill may be part of a larger economic stimulus package that Democrats would love to pass before adjourning and heading home for re-election. With this hurricane aid bill, the once light fall legislative calendar is already getting jammed up _ a sweeping energy bill is on the docket for this week, and the disaster aid will quickly follow.
In announcing the hurricane aid, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) didn't let an opportunity go without bashing the Bush administration.
"Within weeks of the disasters [summer floods] that struck the Midwest, Congress appropriated an initial $2.65 billion for immediate recovery needs," Pelosi said. "However, much of that funding still has not reached families, businesses, and localities that are struggling to restore their communities. It is unacceptable that the Bush Administration and bureaucratic red tape has unnecessarily slowed delivery of these vital funds to the affected regions and individuals."