The hurricane relief may be part of a larger economic stimulus package that Democrats would love to pass before adjourning and heading home for reelection. And with this hurricane aid, the once light fall legislative calendar is already getting jammed up — a sweeping energy bill is on the docket this week and the disaster aid will quickly follow.
In announcing the aid, House 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."