Senator Carper Joins Committee Investigation into Federal Response to Katrina

WILMINGTON, DE (September 2, 2005) –Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), a senior member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, joined committee Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ranking Member Joe Lieberman (D-CT) in calling for an oversight investigation into the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina and the flooding in New Orleans. The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has jurisdiction over the entire Department of Homeland Security, including FEMA and the Coast Guard – the lead federal agencies on the ground in New Orleans and the Gulf coast. The initial focus of the investigation will be to determine if everything is being done to help the hurricane victims. Once the situation has been brought under control, the committee will hold a series of oversight hearings on the response to the hurricane. “It’s difficult to understand how, four years after September 11th and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, the federal government appears to have been unprepared for a catastrophe of this magnitude,” Carper said. “We’ve known for more than a century that this type of event could occur in New Orleans and were aware of Katrina’s strength and the damage the storm could cause several days before it hit land. I applaud the brave men and women on the ground in the region doing the best they can to help those in need. I can’t help but think, though, that we could be doing a much better job than we currently are at restoring order and getting aid to those in need. The committee will thoroughly examine the federal government’s response to this tragedy, while ensuring that Congress is doing everything it can to help the response teams on the ground. At a time when our country is still living under the threat of terrorist attack, we need to get this right. We can’t afford to be caught flat-footed again.”