CONGRESSMAN DOYLE CALLS FOR ACTION TO HELP HURRICANE VICTIMS

September 8, 2005
Press Release

Washington, DC - U.S. Representative Mike Doyle (PA-14) today called for action to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of the people who are suffering as a result of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina,” Congressman Doyle said today. “I am touched by the many efforts that are underway locally to help the victims of this hurricane – although I am not at all surprised by the generosity of the people of western Pennsylvania – and I want to commend them and urge them to continue these efforts in the weeks and months to come.”

“The scope of this disaster is unprecedented, so our response must be as well,” Congressman Doyle said. “The federal government needs to take dramatic action to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina – and to make certain that it does better next time.”

“The federal government needs to do its part in the efforts to meet the needs of the people whose homes have been damaged or destroyed by the hurricane,” Doyle added “Congress has already acted to provide $60 billion for these efforts, and I am confident that we will provide whatever it takes to help these people and the affected communities get back on their feet.”

“Locally, my staff and I have been working with the Allegheny County executive to make 200 public housing units in Allegheny County available for use by hurricane evacuees. I am pleased that our region has agreed to host hurricane victims, and my staff has been actively involved in the process of housing and assisting those individuals. I want to particularly commend Goodwill Pittsburgh, the 911th Airlift Wing, the Pittsburgh Project, the Urban League, the United Way, the Pittsburgh Foundation, the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, UPMC, and Allegheny General hospital for their leadership and generosity in this effort.. Several of my professional caseworkers stand ready to help these people secure all available assistance from the federal government.

“I’ve also joined a number of other Members of Congress in sending letters to the Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission asking them to thoroughly investigate allegations of gasoline price gouging. I’ve also asked the President to increase emergency LIHEAP funding as well, and I’ve joined a number of other Members of Congress in urging House Speaker Hastert not to cut funding for Medicaid by $10 billion when hundreds of thousands of people along the Gulf Coast will desperately need help from that program.”

“In terms of the long run and better preparing for future disasters, I think we need to restore the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s independence and expertise,” Doyle said. “With that end in mind, I have cosponsored legislation that would take FEMA out of the Department of Homeland Security and restore its status as an independent cabinet-level agency. This legislation also requires that the Director of FEMA be an emergency management professional.

“At this time of great challenge, we all need to pitch in to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina,” Congressman Doyle said.. “If you want to know what you can do to help, information on how to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina can be found at: https://www.usafreedomcorps.gov/, https://disasterhelp.gov/portal/jhtml/index.jhtml, and https://www.fema.gov/press/2005/katrinadonations.shtm.

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