John Kerry Responds to President Bush’s Speech to the Nation: "Leadership isn’t a speech or a toll-free number"

Leadership isn’t a speech or a toll-free number. Leadership is getting the job done. No American doubts that New Orleans will rise again, they doubt the competence and commitment of this Administration. Weeks after Katrina, Americans want an end to politics-as-usual that leaves them dangerously and unforgivably unprepared. Continue reading

9/11 Reconstruction Watchdogs Issue Warning About Hurricane Katrina Rebuilding Plans

Three watchdog groups, including two in New York that monitored the post-9/11 reconstruction of Lower Manhattan, today cautioned Gulf Coast leaders and members of Congress that they “should closely monitor the design of Hurricane Katrina aid packages so that low- and moderate-income people, unemployed workers, and small businesses are treated fairly.” In New York, the groups warn, much of the $20 billion allocated for economic development has benefited real estate developers and wealthy neighborhoods.

Pre-Speech Criticism and the Right-Wing Talking Points

The Daily Nightly has a pre-released exerpts of Bush’s speech tonight, here. ThinkProgress has the right wing’s talking points for the speech here. Here’s the first pre-speech criticism from the Newswires: Former Democratic Whip David Bonior’s Statement on President Bush’s Plans to Lock Poverty into Gulf Coast’s Recovery WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 /U.S. Newswire/ — Following is a statement from former Democratic Whip David Bonior: “Whatever apologies and promises the President makes publicly tonight, we know to whom he’s pledged his allegiance behind closed doors: Big business.

Summary of the Snowe-Kerry-Vitter-Landrieu Small Business Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief Amendment (S.Amdt. 1717)

Summary of the Snowe-Kerry-Vitter-Landrieu Small Business Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief Amendment (S.Amdt. 1717) Changes to original Kerry-Landrieu proposal in parentheses Deferred Payments on SBA Disaster Loans: Disaster loan borrowers –homeowners or businesses — would have a one-year period after receiving a disaster loan before they would need to begin making interest and principal payments on the loan — as we did for 9-11 victims. (Reduced from two-year period) Refinancing of Existing Disaster Loans and Business Debt: Many small businesses in the Hurricane Katrina disaster zone are paying off existing disaster loans or other business debt. This provision would allow these debts to be refinanced under the disaster loan program to help businesses consolidate and reduce debt with low-interest loans. Extension … Continue reading

Senate Passes Kerry Legislation to Provide Tax Relief, Help Guard and Reserve Troops Hurt By Katrina

A successful day for Senator Kerry in the Senate today, with more news of Kerry legislation passing today. See my previous post on John Kerry’s Relief Package for Small Businesses Devastated By Hurricane Katrina passing in the Senate today, as well. WASHINGTON – Today the Senate passed legislation proposed by Senator John Kerry (D – Mass.) that will provide financial support to National Guard and Reservists through immediate tax relief to their employers affected by Hurricane Katrina. The provision is a modified version of a key part of Kerry’s Military Family Bill of Rights and was included in the tax package that passed the Senate today. It provides a tax credit to employers in the Gulf Coast impacted by Katrina … Continue reading