Berry Joins House Leadership on Tour of Gulf Coast Region

MARCH 2, 2006 - Posted at 4:45 p.m. CST

WASHINGTON - First District Congressman Marion Berry joined more than 30 members of House Leadership today on a weekend tour of the Katrina reconstruction efforts in Louisiana and Mississippi.  The idea of the trip is to give House members the opportunity see first-hand how FEMA, the Department of Defense, and the Army's Corps of Engineers is spending the $62.3 billion Congress appropriated for rebuilding the Gulf Coast region.

"I am deeply concerned that so many victims in the Gulf Coast region are still struggling to put their lives back together," said Berry.  "We gave FEMA billions of dollars to restore life to that region and deserve some explanation on where that money is going.  I hope we see signs of progress, and can reassure the victims that Congress is committed to helping the Gulf Coast make a full recovery."

The delegation, which includes the House Speaker, House Majority and Minority Leaders, and members of the House Appropriations Committee, will visit New Orleans and Gulfport, Mississippi, to tour areas severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina.  The group is scheduled to meet with Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, and FEMA's Deputy Director for Gulf Coast Recovery, as well as several local elected officials throughout the region.

The three-day trip will include driving tours of several neighborhoods affected by the storm, and visits to a school in New Orleans.  Berry says he also intends to closely inspect the levee rehabilitation and construction efforts currently underway to ensure maximum protection for the fast-approaching hurricane season.