OK Democrats, Time to Get Up Off This
From First Draft:
One of the few Democrats Melancon praised was Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., who as head of the Financial Services Committee held a hearing on the shortage of affordable housing in the hurricane zone and proposed a bill to shift $500 million in profits from mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to build rental property.
But Melancon expressed dismay that Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., chairwoman of the housing subcommittee, has called for rewriting Louisiana's Road Home grant program for flooded-out homeowners.
Waters, who has traveled to the region five times, called the Road Home program "a joke" and suggested at a hearing last week that Congress rewrite the rules to speed the disbursement of checks. As of last week, only some 500 had been issued.
"She wants to start from scratch," Melancon said. "If you stop it right now and start anew, it will be another year" before the money flows.
Melancon, a second-term Democrat whose South Louisiana district was hit by both Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, has proved to be one of the most conservative Democrats in the House. He served on the House committee that investigated the response to Hurricane Katrina and was consistently critical of the Bush administration's actions and policies.
Recovery from the storm and floodwall failure must be made a national priority. And I'll keep repeating: IF YOU CAN'T FIX NEW ORLEANS, YOU DON'T STAND A CHANCE IN IRAQ. Period. End of story.