Democrats propose ‘Marshall Plan’ for Gulf Coast

Hours before Bush arrived in New Orleans’ historic French Quarter for his nationally televised speech outlining “his plans for repairing the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina”, Democratic congressional leaders, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi “issued their own call for a domestic “Marshall Plan” to rebuild the Gulf Coast.”

The families in the Gulf don’t need to hear a speech from me and, frankly, they don’t need to hear another speech from the president,” said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada. “What they need is leadership.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said the Democratic vision for a Marshall Plan is “a partnership with the people in the region to build new housing, revive farmland, repair infrastructure, construct schools — to rebuild your communities, to rebuild your lives, to restore your economies.”

The idea would be modeled on the U.S. effort after World War II to rebuild war-ravaged Europe, under the direction of Secretary of State George Marshall, which lasted more than two years and cost $13 billion –about $100 billion in today’s currency, adjusted for inflation.

“We helped them help themselves. That’s what we must do here,” Pelosi said. “Democrats are saying to the people of our ravaged Gulf Coast, ‘You deserve nothing less.'”

Reid also called for an independent “ethics watchdog” with investigative power “to police this spending and make sure everyone plays by the rules.”

We Democrats want to be certain that the money goes to help the victims, not to enrich the contractors,” the senator said. “We want to make sure that the well-connected get treated no better than the carpenters, the plumbers and electricians who do the work.”

Pelosi also said local residents in the storm-damaged areas “must have priority for the tens of thousands of jobs building new homes, schools and businesses.”

“Local small businesses and workers, not just giant corporations with no-bid, cost-plus contracts, should take the lead,” she said.

Reid and Pelosi also renewed their call for appointment of an independent, non-partisan panel — similar to the 9/11 commission — to investigate what went wrong in the response to the hurricane, rather than the joint congressional investigation proposed by GOP leaders.

“The American people deserve to know the truth about how their government prepared for and responded to this crisis,” Pelosi said. “The Bush administration and the Republican Congress should not investigate themselves, and partisanship has no place in this inquiry.”

Reid said Katrina “was a failure of leadership.”

“The day before the hurricane made landfall, the president of the United States received a briefing on the enormity of the storm. But when floodwaters poured into America’s Gulf Coast, America’s government sat on its hands.”

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About Pamela Leavey

Pamela Leavey is the Editor in Chief, Owner/Publisher of The Democratic Daily as well as a freelance writer and photographer. Pamela holds a certificate in Contemporary Communications from UMass Lowell, a Journalism Certificate from UMass Amherst and a B.A. in Creative Writing and Digital Age Communications from UMass Amherst UWW.
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16 Responses to Democrats propose ‘Marshall Plan’ for Gulf Coast

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great speech tonight by Bush!

  2. Ron Chusid says:

    Kerry pointed out the flaws in Bush’s speech.

    Actually it wasn’t a bad speech. The problem is that what we needed was early action, not a speech this long afterwards.

  3. Donnie From Houma, LA says:

    Pamela and Ron, I have come to notice something in the time that I have been here, posting on this sight, and seeing things have made me understand some things. The GOP knows one thing for sure, and that is the fact that you guys swear your hearts on your shoulder, and have used that as an advantage. Exploiting the heart is so wrong, but now I see it plainly. The Question is, how can we make it go away? It’s becoming so clear now.

  4. KJ says:

    Donnie, I’m not Pamela or Ron, but am wondering exactly what you meant by “make it go away” above? The insights you bring here are unique, and, growing up in a family where one parent was a staunch Republican and one was a staunch Democrat, I’ve always been party to hearing both sides of an argument.

    Do you think it is wrong to wear your heart on your sleeve, so to speak? Is that what you mean by the above? I’m confused.

    I see what Reid and Pelosi proposed as a return to one of the times in America when we were in a period of growth and evolution… the people of that generation (my parents generation) were grownups. The rebuilding of Europe as a model for the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast is something I would love to see more people talking about.

    Sorry, am sort of rambling. Still not awake. LOL

  5. KJ says:

    Ps. Hope to God the above didn’t sound confrontational. Am sort of gun shy these days (again) about that! LOL

    I’m just curious, Donnie, what do you see? What is so clear? What do you think?

    I do know that… again… we have been provided with a unique and hugely historical moment with which to act. How we respond to this will be the sum of who we are. At least, in my opinion.

  6. KJ says:

    It will be the sum of who were are, since we responded so IRresponsibily to the attacks on September 11, 2001.

  7. Donnie From Houma, LA says:

    KJ, there is nothing wrong with wearing your heart on your sleeve!! I refer to the tactics of the GOP. I have come to realize that it is the very thing that they use against the Dems. when they go into the attack mode. That is what I wonder about in the statement of making it go away. I compare it to the lil kid on the playground with the big heart, getting bullied by the bigger kids. The lil kid didn’t come there to fight, but to make friends. The bigger kids(GOP) make up for their downfalls by taking it out on the lil kid. Leadership by Force!!! Leadership by Intimidation!!! If you can call it leadership that is.

  8. KJ says:

    Donnie, exactly, I think you’ve nailed it. At least, from my own experience.

  9. KJ says:

    And, again, from my own experience, all hell breaks loose when someone– who isn’t afraid to wear their heart on their sleeve– is also able to fight and stand up to the bullies.

  10. KJ says:

    This is where training to become a spiritual warrior comes in. And, the Tao is an excellent teacher.

    Whether there is ever enough change… or ever enough examples shown… I don’t know. I do know that for me, continuing on the path of the Tao is the only way I know how to survive and keep my heart from being pummeled, stolen, or lost to despair. It’s worked, more or less, now for over two decades, so, at least that is something!

    That’s the only thing I know to recommend. What are your thoughts and ideas? Great topic you brought up!!!

  11. Donnie From Houma, LA says:

    The Dems. in my eyes, need to fight back. Back that bully down!! One lady did just that, and you know her as Cindy Sheehan. Look at what she brought about. This is that bully boy attitude in action. Can’t make em leave, just take away the place where they stand.

    September 15. 2005 6:57AM

    Texas County Bans Parking Near Bush Ranch

    The Associated Press

    Two weeks after Cindy Sheehan left her anti-war campsite by the road leading to President Bush’s ranch, county commissioners have banned parking along 23 miles of roads in the area.

    Before the 4-1 vote Tuesday, McLennan County Commissioner Ray Meadows said about 80 residents had complained of blocked roads, loud music and public health and safety concerns during the 26-day protest near Bush’s ranch outside Crawford, about 20 miles west of Waco.

  12. KJ says:

    Donnie, agreed. Years ago my husband told me to feel free to go right ahead and bully a bully…. because they usually back down. Not exactly “The Way of the Tao” there, but good advice, just the same.

    And yes, that is what Cindy is doing.

  13. KJ says:

    Right, and if you can’t beat ’em, take away the field of play. Have seen that done before, as well.


  14. Donnie From Houma, LA says:

    And 23 miles at that!!!

  15. Donnie From Houma, LA says:

    i also wonder if someone could actually talk to these so called 80 people!!