Facing some criticism that the $787 billion stimulus plan he signed this week does not include money set aside for Hurricane Katrina rebuilding, President Obama today re-upped a federal coordinator on the Gulf Coast recovery and dispatched two top officials to tour New Orleans and the coast next month.
The White House announced that Obama signed an executive order extending the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Gulf Coast Rebuilding, which was to expire on Feb. 28, through Sept. 30, and asked Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan to do an on-site visit on March 5 and 6 to assess the reconstruction efforts.
“The residents of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast who are helping rebuild are heroes who believe in their communities and they are succeeding despite the fact that they have not always received the support they deserve from the Federal government,” Obama said in a statement. “This executive order is a first step of a sustained commitment by my administration to rebuild now, stronger than ever.”
“We must ensure that the failures of the past are never repeated," he added. "My administration is committed to strengthening our preparedness, response, and recovery efforts.”
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.