March 12, 2006 - Posted at 12:43 p.m. CST
LITTLE ROCK (AP) _ Senate minority leader Harry Reid wasn't
pleased to see for himself the rows upon rows of mobile homes lined
up at the Hope airport. After his visit yesterday, he said he was
upset at the failure of President Bush's administration to put the
trailers to use sheltering hurricane victims on the Gulf Coast.
The Nevada senator said, quote, ``I'm terribly mystified,
disappointed and ashamed for our country,'' unquote.
He and U-S Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas visited the site where
the Federal Emergency Management Agency is storing the mobile
homes. They were bought after Hurricane Katrina destroyed the homes
of thousands of people in Louisiana and Mississippi. FEMA has said
that it has been unable to put the trailers to use because federal
regulations prohibit placing them in flood plains.
Reid said that, after viewing the sea of trailers, he and Pryor
wrote a letter to Bush urging him to sign an executive order that
would provide a temporary exemption from the flood-plain
regulations. Pryor has offered legislation to do that, but Reid
said legislation isn't needed, that Bush could do it with the
stroke of a pen.
Reid said he was particularly appalled because he knows that, in
Pass Christian, Mississippi, for example, more than 100 hurricane
victims are living in a flood plain -- in tents.