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. Mike

    Yep, when it comes to spending money, obama is all for it. Why did he not send help to Kentucky where many froze to death when power was lost due to snow storms? Rebuild a city below sea level is about as dumb as it gets.

    February 20, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. Marc

    Matthew, Detroit – By your logic everyone that lives in California (most populous state of the country) is on his/her own due to the fact that they are living in a land that is bound to happen earthquakes. Everyone that lives in that area that is considered the best place on Earth to have twisters is an idiot and should not be helped when tragedy happens and, finally, anyone that lives in the Gulf Coast or Southern Atlantic Coast (area prone to be path of Hurricanes) is only waiting for his/her chance to get yours and mine money when a Class-3 or Class-4 hits them hard...
    You must have a nice life to be so shallow...

    February 20, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  3. Dieter Zerressen, Denver, CO

    The reason the government is responsible is because the government, specifically the Corp of Engineers, failed in their design and maintenance of the levees. The hurricane had already past by before the levees broke. How do you right wing christians even sit in church on Sunday's and pretend you're following the will of Jesus? It's disgusting.

    February 20, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. wycky

    republicans say thats not good enough...lol

    February 20, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. sandee in Portland

    What a refreshing change President Obama is. That said, the levee system should be built to withstand Cat 5 or more before anything else is done. Although why anyone would want to move to a place that is below sea level is beyond me, there are a lot of people born and raised there that don't have the resources to move to another location. The best thing to do is to try to come up with a plan to keep the same disaster from happening again. Hopefully, this is what our wonderful, caring President will do. It's refreshing to have a President that actually cares.

    February 20, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  6. Aubrey

    I live on the gulf coast, Not an outsider. New Orleans has been a social dissaster waiting to happen for over 20 years. The former Gov of Louisiana, along with the Mayor, kept the Fed Gvernment from helping New Orleans people for nearly 3 days,due to political fight of who could supervise the Statte National Guard and it was not Bush's priviledge to go over their heads. As soon as the Gov and Mayor got aside, federal help was there already and many hundereds were air lifted by helicopter and other means, while the gove and mayor would not let a lot full of school busses be used to transport the needy out. I'm really tired of all the whining from N.O. while the rest of the gulf coast hit just as hard simply got to work cleaning up and rebuilding without any ones help.What ever aid did come to them, was not the reason they succeded.They were not whinners and looking to the government to do every thing for them.
    All from the outsiders have no voice or right to saying what should be done and who should do it. So Get over it and get out of the way, let the people do it.

    February 20, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  7. rob c

    Its bout time. Gw sent all the aid for the tsunami but those right here n tha states got nothing but red tape. If we can't help our own why should we b leaders in a world full of problems. Obama is doing what is right for our people, the American people. And if the republicans want to cry about generational theft (IRAQ, KATRINA, deregulation, and more) take a pay cut. I've been laid off twice in three years don't tell me I'm a welfare recipient because the recovery plan wen you all set the path for me to lose my job.

    February 20, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  8. Debby, NJ...foot soldier 'til 2016

    You know, it just amazes me how the Republicans just complain and complain, but do absolutely NOTHING for the PEOPLE, but spend taxpayer money on their estates...it is time to repair the Gulf Coast!!!

    February 20, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  9. Linda in MS

    to New Yorker;

    Yes, the support we deserve, you creep. If you think for one minute that Katrina victims didn't and don't deserve support, you are just plain mean and stupid. I wish you had been here during and after that storm to she what hell looked like and who suffered, you insensitve jerk. I would never say that the surviors of victims of 9|11 didn't deserve support from FEMA or Homeland Security, or any other disaster.

    February 20, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  10. vic

    Just make sure the money isn't lining the pockets of the powers that be on the gulf coast.

    February 20, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  11. Q

    Thanks for that comment RJ. These people seem to think he is the best thing since sliced bread...

    February 20, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  12. S.M.R.

    After Bush denied government help to rebuild the levies,said they had to raise their own money (a poor state that could never raise their own money) this money was only a few million!!! Another GOP president that don't care about (poor people). Now the price tag is in the billions: how smart was that? Plus lost many lives and families there had to relocate which cost millions more. WHO LOOKS STUPID NOW?

    February 20, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  13. Doris, KY

    The golden goose is just about dead. When it's finally gone, then we'll all be in the same boat. Then we'll all get the Federal support "that we all deserve".

    February 20, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  14. Kathy in Michigan

    Well, the Govenors of those states say they don't need or want the stimulus money. (???)

    I am glad that the President hasn't forgotten those who are still hanging on. Many were give one way tickets in the second African Diasporia with no homes to come back to. Its a disgrace. This is American.

    February 20, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  15. Marc

    Seems like it didn't made it in my first attempt.
    A memo to Matthew –
    California: The most populous State of the country, also the most likely place where a earthquake can happens on US soil
    Tornado Alley – Between the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains, the most likely place in the USA where tornados (or twisters) can happen, especially in Oklahoma.
    The Southern part of the Atlantic Coast + the Gulf Coast (not only New Orleans) – The most likely places of the USA that can be considered Hurricane Paths.
    By your post anyone that lives in those places ARE irresponsible people who made bad choices... and therefore deserves no help for their actions based on their bad judgements.
    To me they're human beings, mostly Americans, who are only trying to make a living where they are living.

    February 20, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  16. mj

    Just a question to CNN – why are some articles closed to comments with only 15 comments and mostly favorable to Obama. There are other points of view.

    I will believe all this Obama worship when he earns my respect. So far all he has done is prove that he has a Socialist agenda. I resent my govenment taking my money, thinking they know best how to spend it. (i.e. the enormous spending,not stimulus, package)

    February 20, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  17. Linda in MS

    Boy, what a day for jerks... here we go again.

    Matthew in Detroit...i suppose if New York, or Boston were wiped out by a hurricane, or Los Angeles by an earthquake, you'd simply say it was a poor choice to live there, so let them move, right? New Orleans is one of the most beautiful and historical cities in the U.S. , far older and more cultured than Detroit, I can assure you. By the way, why don't all of you snowbirds stay in Michigan if it's so damnned safe and wonderful, half of you must live down here by now, judging from the license plates.

    February 20, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  18. To New Yorker

    First-If you are at or near the poverty line then you are not paying taxes the way you claim. Second- That region of the US is responsible for 40% of all our imports and exports. Our economy runs from day to day because of that region for the most part. It needs to be populated and is a huge source of tax revenue from all the employment it generates. Third- If our hard earned tax payor money was actually spent wisely in the first place, as every administration was told over the years to fix the levy systems, then that natural/man made disaster would have never happened in the first place. Fourth- go live in the Red States where you were more than likely originally from. Either that, or your actually not at or just above the poverty line. The people who milk our system are but a fraction of a percent of our GDP. Much much more money is wasted to corporate welfare and tax give aways for big business. Such as Halliburten and the Iraq War Military Complex/Private Contractors. Our treasure was pilferred by these people and you sit and bitch about those of us (who you don't even know but just assume are worthless) who may or may not need help when tragedy strikes.

    For the sake of our Nation... which with people like you is not very Christian.... we need to stick together and help each other.

    February 20, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  19. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    By all means, let's pour more federal money into rebuilding an area that is certain to be destroyed again within our lifetimes, especially if the levees are only able to withstand a Category 3 storm at best as they now are. But it looks good for The One.

    February 20, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  20. To New Yorker

    First-If you are at or near the poverty line then you are not paying taxes the way you claim. Second- That region of the US is responsible for 40% of all our imports and exports. Our economy runs from day to day because of that region for the most part. It needs to be populated and is a huge source of tax revenue from all the employment it generates. Third- If our hard earned tax payor money was actually spent wisely in the first place, as every administration was told over the years to fix the levy systems, then that natural/man made disaster would have never happened in the first place. Fourth- go live in the Red States where you were more than likely originally from. Either that, or your actually not at or just above the poverty line. The people who milk our system are but a fraction of a percent of our GDP. Much much more money is wasted to corporate welfare and tax give aways for big business. Such as Halliburten and the Iraq War Military Complex/Private Contractors.

    February 20, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  21. Spencer/Bad Newz, VA

    @ RJ

    Well if it was implemented by Bush, I don't trust it to work anyway. I'm just satisfied their is no more laziness in the White House and things are beginning to move and get on the ball. I can understand that you're a die hard right winger, but you need to realize that your republican president left us in a *#@^%$ up predicament.

    February 20, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  22. What are you talking about

    It takes a subdivision almost 5 to 10 years to be fully complete but people like 'Marilyn' are complaining its been 3 years for a whole city to be brought back. A city that was underwater which bulidings and homes that stood for century are now gone. Are ya'll serious!? Not eveyrthing is like Extreme Makeover Home Edition it takes time. Ya'll take a visit to New Orleans then make a informed comment.

    February 20, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. llim

    Repugs sound loud. But do their ideas and plans manage to gain supports from Democrates?

    Clearly, Repugs do not care about bipartisanships.

    February 20, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  24. WhoCares?

    I see the Christian Moral Right is once again following Jesus's teachings by letting the less-fortunate that have lost their entire lives in the Gulf go under without doing everything we can to help.

    Ahhh yes...The Christian Moral Right – The first in line for the pits of Hell.

    February 20, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  25. Tough Lady, NC

    To Jean: The Republican Governors of Louisiana and Miss. do not want stimulus money. Shame on the governors that do not want help for their states.

    February 20, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
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