February 20th, 2009
12:21 PM ET
5 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. Michael in Houston, Texas

    What about Hurricane Rita and Ike victims?????? I know New Orleans got hit pretty bad but so did Houston and the surrounding cities, where the heck is our help!

    February 20, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  2. New Yorker

    "have not always received the support they deserve from the Federal government"?

    Oh really? The support they deserve?

    To all the people out there who don't know this: the federal government only exists because SOME people pay taxes. Our money paying politicians who use it the way they want and often it is handed over to people who choose a lifestyle that drains others of their hard earned $$ and choose to live in places that are prone to natural disasters. Obama is just paying back his voter base at taxpayer expense and living high on the hog in the White house. This is where OUR money is going. Our family lives near poverty level, we pay our taxes and other expenses on time AND bail out folks who live in homes that are 4 times the value of ours. This is ridiculous! What are the fat cat politicians going to do if we all go on government support? Get out the whips?

    February 20, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  3. rich

    It seems every day President Obama is going about cleaning up the mess Bush left behind. I look forward to the day when we are beyond Bush's mess, and we can embrase and celebrate the wonderful things that President Obama can do for this country and the world of his own making.

    February 20, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  4. zak666

    Shame on us for not pressuring the former so called president to something,, thanks Mr. President

    February 20, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  5. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    They say that a man's character determines his destiny-–and wit that being said--it can also determine a city's future. Late in coming--but at last--assistance has arrived-–my hat off to you Mr. President.

    February 20, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  6. tk1

    oh yeah Bush told Katrina to wipe out New Orleans, It's been 5 years I live in Lafayette LA the Lazy people in New Orleans are still waiting for the goverment to clean the trash out of their yards. Where are you from since you know what goes on here??? How about Iowa they are under water right now, Wheres their assistance??????? is that Bushes fault too?????? IS IT???? Did Bush Flood IOWA TOO????????? you people are Ignorant and Live 20,000 MILES AWAY WHAT DO YOU KNOW????? Those people are lazy wellfare recipiants who will ALWAYS RELY ON YOUR TAX DOLLARS TO PAY THE BILLS.. OBAMA WILL MAKE SURE THEY GET EVERY PENNY OF YOUR MONEY, BLEEDING HEART LIBERALS YOU ALL MUST BE RICH SINCE NONE OF THIS BOTHERS YOU..

    February 20, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  7. rob

    The feds spent billions on the Gulf coast already. This is nothing more than a gigantic photo op. Don't throw more $ into New Orleans, its run by the most corrupt and inept govt in the country. They teach the people not to do for themselves, but wait for the Feds to do everything.

    February 20, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  8. Linda in MS

    This is great news to me because I live in the area in Mississippi where Katrina did the most damage, ie. a 30 foot plus storm surge and 135 plus mile per hour winds sustained. 90% of the structures were lost or damaged, and we are still strugg ling to get back on our feet. FEMA has only agreed to "clean up the place, not restore it".
    Our city and county have to put up matching funds, but they are broke because so many people and businesses relocated. Rebuilding has come to a standstill due to high insurance rates, insurance companies not paying up, the mortgage situation among other things.
    We in this "part of the world" to quote Mr. Bush, feel like he truly allowed us to be forgotten.

    February 20, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  9. the idiot

    To all negative republican haters, hopefully CNN will allow this post. They keep knocking me off. Look at Mississippi, under a republican governor and legislature it is healing rapidly although more heavily damaged. Look at Louisiana, where they had to replace the democratic governor and a lot of other democrats, before they could start healing. That is the true story of the recovery, not republican bashers & Bush hating. You people are so, very uneducated, guess that is what happens when our public education system is run by the NEA.

    February 20, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  10. ray

    I DO WONDER WHY ALL REPUBLICANS ARE SUCH OBSTRUCTIONIST?. I DO HOPE AND PRAY EVERYDAY THAT ALL THESE TERRORIST IN BOTH HOUSES OF COGRESS ON THE RIGHT BURN IN HELL SOONER THAN LATER AND LET THIS WONDERFUL COUNTRY AND WORLD BE A BETTER PLACE. TO ALL AMERICANS ON BOTH SIDE , VOTE THSES OBSTRUCTIONS AND RACISTS OUT OF OFFICE SOON.

    February 20, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  11. Matthew, Detroit

    I disagree with this completely.

    Anyone that wants to live on the coast lives there by their own choice. If they can not get or can not afford to have insurance in the area than they should not live there.

    New Orleans is a city built in a hole. Beyond being a flood plain. You can not get a Mortgage on houses in most cities, west, midwest, east, if you live in a flood plain. I question why they are allowed to build.

    The federal governent can use money to pull people out of the wreckage. I believe in saving lives in an emergency. I do not believe in paying for the rebuilding of these towns, cities, houses, etc... when they are built in places that Acts of god can trash.

    Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc... I do not believe we should fund this ignorance. Why should be continue to build a cement wall around a city that is below ocean level. Then the goverment gets blamed when the OCEAN flows into a city.

    Please move on. Do not throw additional money at this.

    February 20, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. sherry

    Something Bush should of done over three years ago.

    He was slow to help when Katrina struck and is slower to help.

    Finally a president who is for the people

    February 20, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  13. Matthew, Detroit

    They need to tell people to move out of a city that is underwater.

    They can choose to live there but if they can not get an insurance carrier to take them then they should not live there.

    Explain to me why the goverment is RESPONSIBLE to take care of these people who make bad choices.

    February 20, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  14. tk1

    I AM FROM LAFAYETTE LA, IT'S ABOUT 90 MILES FROM NEW ORLEANS, THE LAZY WELLFARE RECIPIANTS ARE STILL WAITING FOR THE GOVERMENT TO CLEAN THEIR YARDS, YOU PEOPLE KNOW NOTHING. HOW CAN YOU BLAME A NATURAL DISASTER ON BUSH? IS THE FLOODING IN IOWA BUSHES FAULT TOO?

    February 20, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  15. BW

    Sure, blame Bush again! You liberals crack me up. It was a terrible hurricane...but do any of you remember that those people had 4 days of warning, and a lot of them wouldn't leave? Not to mention, their own local and State government did nothing to assist...except blame the federal govt. and the Bush administration? How about the levee system that their Mayor said was not a problem? Now you actually believe that because Obama is in office, everything will be like new. Please, stop with the constant "What a great president Obama is!" You hate the fact that conservatives are pointing out the mistakes he is making in his first 30 days...so quit acting like he is GOD Almighty in his first 30 days!

    February 20, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  16. tk1

    ONE MORE THING HOW ABOUT OBAMA SEND THE TROOPS TO IOWA AND SEE IF THEY GET SHOT AT??? HOW COME THERE IS NO MEDIA COVERAGE ON THE LOOTING??? WHY ?? BECAUSE THOSE PEOPLE ARE HARD WORKING AMERICANS WHO WILL DO IT ON THEIR OWN.... 5 YEARS STILL LOOKS A MESS, IT'S MARDI GRAS HERE IN LA AND NEW ORLEANS SMELLS OF URINE IS THAT BUSHES FAULT TOO??

    February 20, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  17. Matthew, Detroit

    After the SECOND round of hurricanes in New Orleans...

    People were on the news and stated-

    " I am glad the goverment came and saved us, but where is my check"? I need money.

    First it was the goverments job to save you from dying.
    Then it was the goverments job to give you temporary house and food.
    NOW the goverment must give you money and income.
    NOW the goverment must support you and build you a house.
    WHO made the choice here? Who decided to live there.

    NO MORE MONEY FOR HURRICANES IN THE SOUTH. JUST STOP.
    Get your own insurance, create a savings account, MOVE... but stop asking for handouts.

    February 20, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  18. tk1

    YOU PEOPLE KNOW NOTHING YOU ARE 20,000 MILES AWAY, WHAT DO YOU KNOW. DID YOU KNOW THEY WERE KILLING EACH OTHER HERE???? DID YOU KNOW THEY WERE RAPING WOMEN AND CHILDREN??? OH WAIT THAT WAS BUSHES FAULT.

    February 20, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  19. Matthew, Detroit

    I am just mad I have not figured out a way to scam the goverment

    and have them give me money for my bad decisions or life choices.

    I wish I would have bought a bunch of properties in New Orleans and

    figured out a way to sell all the swamp land back to the goverment.

    I could have been rich.

    February 20, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  20. tk1

    KATRINA WAS NOT A GOVERMENT ISSUE, KATRINA WAS AND STILL IS A FREE RIDE. I WAITING FOR SOMEONE TO SAY SOMETHING ESPECIALLY ONE THAT LIVES IN ARIZONA.. I'M GOING TO REPEAT I LIVE 90 MILES FROM NEW ORLEANS WHAT THE HECK DO YOU KNOW??

    February 20, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    I am soooooo sick of people whining about Karina – 3-1/2 years later! Why in hell don't they put their hands back in their pockets, quit begging and find some meaninful work. There's enough reconstruction going on but the blacks just couldn't see fit to work for actual money when they could just hold out their hands. This was in the newspapers – they had to bring out-of-state workers in because the lazy people of Nawlins won't work. Where is all the aid for Galveston that was all but wiped out with Ike just last September? I haven't heard one whine! So now Nobama spreads more of our taxpayers' dollars, dollars that he does NOT have to spend because he has spent ours, our children's and so on for generations to come. I'm not a republican either and I'm sick of this man already!

    February 20, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  22. Matthew, Detroit

    It never used to the goverments job to SAVE everyone.

    I blame BUSH. He should have never tried to do SO much to help

    the people in New Orleans. He should have flown down, pulled everyone out, put them in a Gym for 30 days and given them access

    to phones to call their INSURANCE agents. After that the assistance

    should have ended. This extension after extension is a joke.

    February 20, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  23. Steve (the real one)

    Dutch, Karen, Michael (both of Phoenix)
    ------------
    Really?? If my memory serves me well, as your's seem to be failing, wasn't the Governor during Katrina a Democrat? Wasn't the Mayor a democrat? Wasn't "Dollar Bill" Jefferson a democrat? Yet somehow you forget this and blame Bush instead of the incompetence of local Democratic leadership who were the first responders. Did you forget the flooded school buses that could have been used to evacuate people? Who made that fine decision not to use those buses? Nagin, the democratic Mayor, yet is was Bush's fault? Pathethic!!!

    February 20, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  24. Katrina Survivor

    THANK YOU PRESIDENT OBAMA!!! YOU ARE THE BEST! CAN WE PLEASE GET SOME CATEGORY 5 PROTECTION? WHILE YOU'RE AT IT, MY HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE PREMIUM FOR $200,000 IN COVERAGE IS $5,000 A YEAR. WE DESPERATELY NEED INSURANCE RELIEF TOO!

    February 20, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  25. Marilyn

    So, are we going to "rebuild" New Orleans for the rest of our lives??? It has been more than 3 years folks. It is time for these people to help themselves and stop depending on the government to support them. Of course, with Obama as president, we'll all be dependent on the government sooner or later.

    February 20, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
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