October 24th, 2007
05:23 PM ET
15 years ago

Senators say fire response an improvement from Katrina

California Sen. Barbara Boxer praised Schwarzenegger's response to the fires.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Key senators Wednesday praised the federal government's emergency response to the Southern California fires - in sharp contrast to their negative reaction to its slow response to Hurricane Katrina.

"To this stage, I am satisfied with the response," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who was a vocal critic of the White House's response to Katrina.

"I believe lessons were learned from Hurricane Katrina," said Sen. Trent Lott, the Senate's second-ranking Republican who lost his own Gulf Coast home to Katrina.

"What I see happening long-distance, just looking at the media, it looks to me like the administration is responding aggressively and appropriately in trying to help the people of California with this fire," he said.

Even Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, who in the past has raised concerns about having so many National Guard troops serving in Iraq and not available to respond to a natural disaster in California, said she is pleased.

"Because of the governor's swift action," Boxer said, "we have enough personnel at our disposal."

The senators praised Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff for going right to California with his Federal Emergency Management Agency director, David Paulson, to help marshal the response.

"I think that sends a good message to the American people," Reid said.

Lott said it's also important that President Bush plans to visit the scene Thursday.

California's other senator, Democrat Dianne Feinstein, said the response shows the federal government "has really learned from Katrina."

She said she's concerned about reports that not enough aircraft are available to fight the fire but said Bush was right to quickly declare an emergency and issue orders to provide assistance to homeowners who need help with rent and rebuilding costs.

"That's a big step forward," she said.

- CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett

Filed under: Senate
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    The news may be show white folk but San Diego has s major Hispanic populaiton and the L.A area is a black mecca. So race has nothing to do with the response. The big differences are people evacuated when told to, are not standing there with their hands out but taking care of each other like the people in Mississippi, Alabama, and the outer Louisianna Parishes, and they are not do a mass lotting of the city. California may be full of fruits and nuts (I know, since I spent a good part of my youth there) who do not let the controlled burns and timber cutting to prevent this, they are responding extremely well this time.

    October 25, 2007 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  2. Matt, Chico, CA

    I can't help but notice how CNN leaves out the part about Boxer ranting and raving (incorrectly I might add) about the response being inadequate yesterday. Another liberal flip-flopper.

    October 25, 2007 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  3. Anonymous

    No comment for the good thing that Republicans has done? See, only the bad things are exposed, not the good ones. You guys are disgusting.

    We the conservatives usually are more fair in assessing something than you are the liberals. If it's good, we'll say good. If it's bad, we'll say it's bad in a constructive way.

    God bless you, my friends.

    Posted By Me, Fullerton, CA : October 24, 2007 6:53 pm

    Are you kidding me???? Did you actually read the article???? Democrats are praising the president and governor for their quick response and the way that they are handling this situation.

    Stupid Republicans- you can turn anything into an attack on Democrats

    October 25, 2007 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  4. therealist

    California lead by a Republican.
    Louisiana lead by a Democrat.

    See the difference??

    October 25, 2007 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  5. Darko, New Orleans LA

    "New Orleans has little economic importance beyond some minor cultural/musical history, which honest who really cares about."

    It only has one of the largest ports in the WORLD. It also is the backbone of a very large percentage of our nations refineries.

    California is lead by a semi-rebublican. I won't go so far as to call him a RINO. I like the guy for the most part.

    Louisiana just elected a Republican in a landslide.

    October 25, 2007 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  6. Darko, New Orleans LA

    There is few similarities between katrina and the fires other than the destruction involved.

    I bet the help being provided to San Diego would be nil if the local residents had automatic weapons and were shooting at rescuers and first responders.

    At least Cal. has a governer that knows what he has authority over in these situations.

    October 25, 2007 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  7. Ryan Indianapolis

    Oh my God, could there be a more uninformed raging lunatic then Boxer. This woman blames the worlds problems on Bush , I mean I think this woman would say Bush personally lit the fires if she could get away with it. I have never seen a more tragic being in the US congress, This woman should be tried for TREASON.

    October 25, 2007 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  8. George Chicago

    Notice all the blame with Katrina goes to the President and all the Praise now goes to the state,............Hmmm anybody see any contradiction there.

    October 25, 2007 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. Ann ME

    Barbara Boxer at the beginning, before any data was available, began spewing evil lies about the war, National Guard and President Bush. How did she ever get elected? Stupid idiot cannot even tell the truth, for God's sake!

    October 25, 2007 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
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