It appears President George Bush will greeted with bipartisan approval when he visits the flood-damaged areas of the state Thursday. Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat, joined Republican counterpart Chuck Grassley today to talk about efforts to secure federal flood aid.
Harkin and others have been critical of the administration and Federal Emergency Management Agency’s response to Hurricane Katrina. But when asked about the current FEMA director’s response to Iowa’s troubles, Harkin had positive things to say.
Harkin says from everything he can tell, FEMA seems to have a good handle on things, and are disciplined and have a “better handle on things then they have in the past.” Harkin says he will continue working with Grassley to try and make sure the federal response works.
Harkin says in any disaster, people are almost in shock over losing their homes and belongings and he says while there are always bureaucratic mixups that happen, they will try to keep those problems to a minimum. Harkin and Grassley toured some of the flood-damaged areas this past weekend with FEMA director David Paulison.
Harkin and Grassley say they aren’t sure if they will be able to accompany the president on his tour, as they don’t yet know the president’s schedule.