February 20th, 2009
12:21 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama extends aid for Gulf Coast

The president is extending the operations of a federal office tasked with overseeing reconstruction efforts along the Gulf Coast.
The president is extending the operations of a federal office tasked with overseeing reconstruction efforts along the Gulf Coast.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama will send two Cabinet officials to the Gulf Coast next month to assess progress in rebuilding the region that was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, the White House announced Friday.

The president is also extending the operations of a federal office tasked with overseeing reconstruction efforts along the Gulf Coast. Obama signed an executive order keeping the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Gulf Coast Rebuilding open through Sept. 30, 2009. It was initially scheduled to close at the end of this month.

“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.”

The office was established by former President Bush in November 2005.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan will head to the region on March 5 and 6.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (197 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    @ Gary

    While that might be optimum, building the levees for a Cat 5 first, the fact is people down there need safe and healthy places to live and conduct business and schools, etc., to educate and keep their children occupied. This isn't a perfect world and the ideological ideal cannot always be achieved.

    February 20, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  2. Raymond

    Halleluja the messiah has come!! He'll magically fix everything!!

    Never mind the idiots in New Orleans live BELOW SEA LEVEL next to the ocean and prone to future flooding. Obama will just raise his hands and stop the next hurricane, right??

    February 20, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  3. Beverly, NYC

    Mr. President, you can deploy these assets elsewhere, Governor Jindal is flush with cash and his city doesn't need it. After his comments yesterday, I am no longer going to waste a week of my time volunteering or sending money to any charity rebuilding the 9th ward.

    February 20, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  4. Sam

    What a joke.

    Houston, Galveston and Beaumont were devastated too (only 5 months ago) but everyone here got to work immediately re-building our own cities. 3 1/2 years after Katrina and New Orleans is still not right. This has nothing to do with Bush or the GOP – just the welfare system that was in place in NOLA before the storm.

    February 20, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  5. Jean2

    I STRONGLY AGREE WITH THIS ACTION.

    AND THE REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR DOSE NOT WANT THE RECOVERY MONIES................

    February 20, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  6. Todd

    Yeah Mr. Obama!!! Wait, where will the funds for this bill come from...
    Oh, you didn't think about that?? I mean, I can write check after check after check and fill my home with anything and everything that I want, but in the end...it WILL come back to haunt me!!

    I feel for the American people once "the bill" comes due on all of the things Mr. Obama is just signing off on!!

    February 20, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  7. Obama supporter

    That loser governor of LA needs to be ashamed of him self, not wanting to take any of the stimulus money because he is a rep and don't agree with the bill. Well gover your voters need this money there are people still struggling since Katrina and there has been little improvement when bush was in office. I tell you, repbulicians are doing everything to make Pres Obama look bad but the president keeps reaching out to those cry babies. Pres Obama is trying to do the right thing, but it's people like those republician that keep trying to throw a snag in his plan, what a bunch of losers.

    February 20, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  8. Simpliticus

    Republicans are un-American. To have New Orleans go on and on well after Katrina hit and still there is no completion, where is the humanity? FEMA still hasn't released all funds associated with something which took place over three years ago. I blame Bush because if he wanted it released, it would have been released. Because it wasn't released, there must be a reason and that reason is blatantly clear: Bush doesn't like these people and now President Obama has to pick up all the pieces. Kanye West was more than correct. Bush didn't like people there and as a result, stopped the clean-up process or slowed it to a crawl. The Wealthy American is the Other American, everyone else is disposable!

    February 20, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  9. NYC REPUB

    Gary, I agree w/ you 200%!!!!! Strong levees first...... then the rest of the infrastructure...... Hey guys we all need to team up and support this Prez........ he's not perfect, but he posesses empathy for the avg. American...... While the GOP is grading Obama, he's out there visiting their districts, trying to help those who may never vote for him.... I like this guy, and hope he stays in for 2 terms.

    February 20, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  10. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    WOULD SOMEONE PLEASE REMIND THE REPUBLICANS THE STIMULOUS WAS NOT DESIGNED FOR FAILURE. REPUBLICANS NEED TO RECOGNIZE THEY REPRESENT FAILURE FOR THE PAST 8 YEARS SO FAILURE IS ALL THEY KNOW WHICH IS VERY PATHETIC.

    February 20, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  11. Jo

    I guess the governors of Mississippi and Lousiana will not want help from Wshington. Since they don't want part of the stimulus money, let these 'wise' men rebuild their own cities and states. They know so much, let them show us all they can do it. Its been four years so surely they have made progress. At least this president cares about the people down there, compared to Little George.

    February 20, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  12. Ajay Jain, Garland, TX, USA

    Better than the inept Bush Administration!

    Obama / Biden 2012

    February 20, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  13. Nate Hussein

    Wonder if the Republicans will block this too?

    February 20, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  14. Tony Poston

    Finally we have a President that cares for all people and not just the rich. Of course the Republicans will disapprove of this because it is doing something for the everyday people.

    February 20, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  15. LetFreedomRing

    Karen ,

    The problem with America right now is because there are too many people like you who sit and "wait for the rebubs to do something"..

    Ask not what the government should do for you – but what you should do for yourself.

    Let me guess, you're waiting for Obama to buy you a house and a new car too.

    February 20, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  16. Jax

    What about IKE's victims. The only hospital on the island is shutting down services and OBAMA doesn't care!!!

    Oh, that's right, if Hollywood doesn't care, why should Obama.

    Difference between Obama and Lincoln – Lincoln wanted to keep the country together not divided based upon who elected him and who didn't.

    February 20, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  17. endithinks

    It is refreshing to see real action being taken within his first month in office. I just hope that real improvements are made to those systems that failed. We also need to really replant the trees and keep those remaining wetlands sacrosant.

    February 20, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  18. gt

    yes lets rebuild it for them , then pay for the morgagaee, then give them there utlities and there food and heck lets give them all a new car this would help the auto makers ,,,, when will it end and some one take care of themselve

    February 20, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  19. america first

    in President Obama's short time in office, he's already shown more concern and compassion for all of AMERICA AND THE WHOLE WORLD THAN THE LAST ADMINISTRATION EVER DID, WE ARE SO BLESSED TO HAVE PRESIDENT OBAMA.

    February 20, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  20. Casey | Sebastopol, CA

    Once again, fixing another mess made by W.

    It's about time some real help got to that area – something more than incapable cronies running through millions of $$ without getting anything accomplished. This would be a great place to start building that infrastructure - building levies and pumping stations capable of handling the kind of storms we'll see in the future because previous administrations insisted that global warming was a fantasy.

    It's beyond me why anyone ever thought George W. Bush was capable of any job, much less President of the United States... he ran EVERY single business he was ever in charge of into the ground.

    I guess that makes him consistent – consistently incompetent.

    Go Obama... we the people are behind you!

    February 20, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. BC in NC

    very good move.

    February 20, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  22. southerncousin

    Karen-Phoenix-You need a reality check. Mississippi which suffered worse damage is recovering very nicely thanks to a republican governor. New Orleans and Louisiana unfortunately were controlled by the democrats who were trying to figure out how to steal the money and totally inept at rebuilding.

    February 20, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  23. Vicki5

    Obama to the rescue. I was surprised that Louisianna voted republican in the election. They actually wanted Bush's form of government–even after what he did and didn't do to and for them. What is up with that. Obama is a good man, and he does not hold grudges. He will now help Louisianna, and I wonder if they will appreciate that.

    February 20, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  24. 4 Hillary

    Thank You President Obama....this only comes about 4 years LATER!!! Something Bush shoulda done, but one more thing he left for YOU to deal with. Good Job.

    February 20, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  25. Baaaa... Baaaa... Baaaa ......

    .... can any of you liberal suckups explain to us how "sending 2 cabinet officials" to the region will do anything other than provide a photo op?

    And tto those who say this was Bush's mess...... shouldn't you also lay some blame on Nagin and Blanco? Liberals are such mindless hypocrites.

    February 20, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
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