Saturday, June 7, 2008

Obama's Record on New Orleans

I wrote yesterday about more misstatements by John McCain about Iraq and New Orleans.

Obama's record in speaking out against Republican lies on Iraq is well-documented, but less well-known are his actions regarding New Orleans. Here's a rundown of what Obama has done for this area. Here's what the blog, "Think On These Things," compiled through February 2008.


Sept. 2, 2005: Obama holds press conference urging Illinoisans to contribute to the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

Sept. 5, 2005: Obama goes to Houston to visit evacuees with Presidents Clinton and Bush.

Sept. 7, 2005: Obama introduces bill to create a national emergency family locator system

Sept. 8, 2005: Obama introduces bill to create a National Emergency Volunteers Corps.

Sept. 8, 2005: Obama co-sponsors the Katrina Emergency Relief Act of 2005 introduced by Senator Harry Reid

Sept. 8, 2005: Obama co-sponsors the Hurricane Katrina Bankruptcy Relief and Community Protection Act of 2005 introduced by Senator Russ Feingold

Sept. 12, 2005: Obama introduces legislation requiring states to create an emergency evacuation plan for society’s most vulnerable

Sept. 15, 2005: Obama issues public response to President Bush’s speech about Gulf Coast rebuilding.

Sept. 21, 2005: Obama co-sponsors bill to establish a Katrina commission to investigate response to the disaster introduced by Hillary Clinton

Sept. 21, 2005: Obama appears on NPR to discuss the role of poverty in Hurricane Katrina.

Sept. 22, 2005: Obama and Coburn’s Hurricane Katrina financial oversight bill unanimously passes Senate committee.

Sept. 22, 2005: Obama’s amendment requiring evacuation plans unanimously passes Senate committee.

Sept. 28, 2005: Obama and Coburn issue statement about the need for a Chief Financial Officer to oversee the financial mismanagement and suspicious contracts occurring in the reconstruction process

Sept. 29, 2005: Obama and Coburn investigate possible FEMA refusal of free cruise ship offer

Oct. 6, 2005: Obama and Coburn issue statement on FEMA Decision to re-bid Katrina contracts

Oct. 6, 2005: Obama co-sponsors Gulf Coast Infrastructure Redevelopment and Recovery Act of 2005.

Oct. 21, 2005: Obama releases statement decrying the extension of FEMA director, Michael “Brownie” Brown’s contract. Obama calls Brown’s contract extension, “unconscionable.”

Nov. 17, 2005: Obama and Coburn introduce legislation asking FEMA to immediately re-bid all Katrina reconstruction contracts.

Feb. 1, 2006: Obama gives Senate floor speech on his legislation to help children affected by Hurricane Katrina

Feb. 2, 2006: Obama introduces legislation to help low-income children affected by Hurricane Katrina

Feb. 23, 2006: Obama issues statement responding to a White House report on Hurricane Katrina. Obama noted that the top two recommendations that the report had for the federal government were initiatives he had been working on since immediately after the storm hit. Obama called the administration’s response “delinquent.”

May 2, 2006: Obama gives speech about no-bid contracts in Hurricane Katrina reconstruction

May 4, 2006: Obama’s legislation to end no-bid contracts for Hurricane Katrina reconstruction passed the Senate.

June 15, 2006: Obama and Coburn announce legislation to require amendment to create competitive bidding for Hurricane Katrina reconstruction for federal contracts over $500,000. Although it passed previously, the language was stripped in conference.

June 15, 2006: Obama releases podcast about his pending Katrina reconstruction legislation in the Senate.

June 16, 2006: Obama and Coburn get no-bid Hurricane Katrina reconstruction amendment into Department of Defense authorization bill.

July 14, 2006: Obama and Coburn’s legislation to end abuse of no-bid contracts passes senate as amendment to Department of Defense authorization bill.

August 11, 2006: Obama visits Xavier University in New Orleans to give Commencement address

August 14, 2006: Obama and Coburn ask FEMA to address ballooning no-bid contracts for Gulf Coast reconstruction

Sept. 29, 2006: Obama and Coburn legislation to prevent abuse of no-bid contracts in the wake of disaster passes Senate to be sent to President’s desk to become law.

Feb. 2007-Present: As Obama begins his Presidential campaign he references Katrina as a part of his stump speech as he travels around the country in his familiar line, “That we are not a country which preaches compassion and justice to others while we allow bodies to float down the streets of a major American city. That is not who we are.”

June 20, 2007: Obama co-sponsors Gulf Coast Housing Recovery Act of 2007 introduced by Senator Chris Dodd.

July 27, 2007: Obama and colleagues get a measure in the Homeland Security bill that will

investigate FEMA trailers that may contain the toxic chemical, formaldehyde.

Aug. 26, 2007: Obama outlines a detailed Hurricane Katrina recovery plan.

December 18, 2007: Obama calls on President Bush to protect affordable housing in New Orleans.

February 16, 2008: Obama releases statement on toxic Gulf Coast trailers.

And something tells me he's not finished speaking to the problems in the Crescent City.

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