WASHINGTON, DC— Senator Susan Collins, who chairs the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which oversees the Federal Emergency Management Agency , has released this statement regarding Secretary Chertoff’s announcement that he has assigned the Coast Guard’s Chief of Staff, Vice Adm. Thad Allen to oversee Hurricane Katrina relief efforts:
“I commend Secretary Chertoff for this wise decision. I discussed this matter with the Secretary earlier this week, and he informed me that he would appoint a Coast Guard official to assume the role of overseeing Hurricane Katrina rescue and recovery efforts.
“During the briefing Senator Lieberman and I held yesterday at the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, it became clear that the Coast Guard was the most organized and best prepared entity in dealing with the initial response.
“Vice Admiral Thad Allen is a strong choice. He is a highly respected leader who should be very effective in improving the coordination of assistance for the hundreds of thousands of individuals and their families who were affected by the hurricane.”