Senators Collins, Lieberman Hold First Congressional Hurricane Katrina Hearing

WASHINGTON, DC— Senator Susan Collins, Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Ranking Member Joseph Lieberman today held the first Congressional hearing on Hurricane Katrina as part of the committee’s investigation into the problems with preparedness and response to the disaster in the Gulf Coast. The focus of today’s hearing was what the government should be doing to help meet the immediate needs of victims of this terrible storm.

Testifying before the full committee hearing today were Former California Governor Pete Wilson; Patricia Owens, Former Mayor of Grand Forks, North Dakota; Marc Morial, CEO, National Urban League and Former Mayor of New Orleans; and Iain Logan, Operations Liaison International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, all of whom have experience in planning for and dealing with natural disasters.

Senators Collins and Lieberman have released this statement:

“Our thoughts continue to be with the hundreds of thousands of families who have lost loved ones, been left homeless, or suffered in other ways from Hurricane Katrina. These individuals and families have suffered unimaginable circumstances over the past two weeks. It is our hope that our investigation can facilitate assistance where there is a need.

“Today’s witnesses brought extensive and diverse ranges of expertise to our committee which will be very useful as we consider the next steps in dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Their insight and advice will be of great use as our committee investigation continues to move forward.”