Washington — U.S. House members from southeast Louisiana paid tribute to the resilient spirit of New Orleans and the state in speeches on the House floor Wednesday marking the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
“The good thing about the people of New Orleans is we always pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and continue to do the work to rebuild and make a better life,” said Cedric Richmond, a Democrat from New Orleans.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, a Republican from Jefferson whose district includes part of New Orleans, lauded “the people of the Gulf Coast who persevered, who rebuilt.”
Citing the influx of young people to the reviving city, Scalise said, “It’s an exciting time to be in the New Orleans region today.”
Garret Graves, a Republican from Baton Rouge, also spoke of the economic resurgence of Louisiana in the aftermath of the storm. “We’re seeing a manufacturing renaissance, and it’s happening because our people are so resilient.”
But Richmond also criticized the response of the National Guard and the Red Cross, saying units refused to come into New Orleans because of unfounded fears about personal safety. He also said the mayor, Ray Nagin, was not forceful enough in calling for an evacuation.
Richmond spoke of shortcomings in the federal Road Home program that compensated homeowners for losses, and he called for additional aid to help them, as well as others who continue to suffer from the effects of the hurricane.
The more than one hour of speeches also included remarks from House members from Alabama and Mississippi.
Katrina made landfall in Louisiana on Aug. 29, 2005. The House will leave Washington for its August recess after this week.
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