House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will visit Cedar Rapids, Des Moines and other parts of the state, like Parkersburg, that were hit with strong spring storms. Senator Chuck Grassley issued a biting statement on the eve of Pelosi’s visit.
Grassley, a Republican, says her trip gives Iowans the chance to directly ask her why “the Democratic Congress hasn’t acted on assistance for the victims of the devastating storms that hit” Iowa. Grassley cited what happened after Hurricane Katrina as comparison, pointing out the Republican-led congress of 2005 set aside 60 billion dollars for hurricane victims within a week after Katrina hit, and just three weeks later congress passed legislation to ease the tax burden on hurricane victims.
Grassley says after more than two months, the Democrats who lead congress — like Pelosi — need to tell Iowans hit hard by this spring’s storms why they’re different than the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat, rode with President Bush as the Republican president visited Cedar Rapids and Iowa City earlier this summer. Harkin will not be traveling with Pelosi today.
“I’m going to be in my office in Washington. We have about three weeks, maybe four at the most, to get a lot of work done. As you know, I’m on the appropriations committee and I’m working very hard to make sure we get the money in the bill before we leave here for the flood damages in Iowa,” Harkin says. “That’s my number one priority.”
Pelosi will be accompanied by Congressman Leonard Boswell on her tour of an area of Des Moines where a levee broke, flooding homes and businesses. Congressman Dave Loebsack will accompany Pelosi during her tour of Cedar Rapids. Congressman Bruce Braley will accompany Pelosi as she tours Parkersburg and other areas of his district that were hard-hit by storms.