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Clyburn Convenes Committee Chairmen On Katrina

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February 16, 2007
Fri, 02/16/2007 - 12:00am -- 1brightstar

WASHINGTON, DC - At the request of Speaker Pelosi, House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn today convened the first in a series of meetings of Democratic leadership, committee chairmen, Gulf Coast members and Tri-Caucus chairmen to discuss the needs and legislative priorities related to the relief and recovery efforts in the Gulf Coast as a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

"Yesterday I announced legislation that we can act on in the short-term to waive the Stafford Act and Community Disaster Loan requirements and bring relief to the Gulf Coast in short-order," said Clyburn. "Today, I called a meeting to address the longer-term legislative needs of the region. I plan to meet regularly with this group to coordinate the efforts of these chairmen and bring to the floor this spring, legislation to cut the bureaucratic red tape, and deliver resources to the recovery effort in Louisiana and Mississippi. The citizens of the Gulf Coast now have a Congress that is willing and ready to respond. A disaster of this magnitude, the most devastating in our nation's history, produces a broad range of needs and challenges and therefore demands a coordinated congressional response. This is a top priority of the Democratic leadership. We're rolling up our sleeves and getting down to work."

Committees with jurisdiction over these issues include Appropriations, Ways and Means, Financial Services, Transportation and Infrastructure, Small Business, Energy and Commerce, Education and Labor, and Judiciary.

In addition this week, Clyburn introduced The Hurricane Katrina and Rita Federal Match Relief Act of 2007, legislation to help cut the bureaucratic red tape and speed up funding assistance to areas in the Gulf Coast. The bill waives the 25 percent local funding match required under the Stafford Act and cancels the required repayment of Community Disaster Loans. Clyburn discussed the legislation with President Bush in separate meetings this week at the White House with bipartisan bicameral Congressional leadership and the Congressional Black Caucus.

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