Wednesday, June 04, 2008

McCain Confused About Katrina Votes

Today John McCain held a press conference in Baton Rouge in which he claimed to have voted for all investigations of Hurricane Katrina.




Yeah, no.

McCain indeed voted twice against empowering an independent commission to investigate the levee failures that caused the inundation of the city of New Orleans.

In the McCain campaign's email response to Talking Points Memo, a spokesman claimed that McCain had been "speaking to his strong support for the Homeland Security Committee's comprehensive, bipartisan investigation of Hurricane Katrina, which was already fully underway when these other proposals were suggested."

Oh, he was talking about the "bipartisan" investigation rammed down the throats of Democrats by the then-majority Republicans desperately trying to limit the political damage of the disaster.

They rejected Democratic appeals to model the panel after the Sept. 11 commission, which was made up of non-lawmakers and was equally balanced between Republicans and Democrats. That commission won wide praise for assessing how the 2001 terrorist attacks occurred, and for recommending changes in the government's anti-terrorism structure.

House and Senate GOP leaders announced the "Hurricane Katrina Joint Review Committee," which will include only members of Congress, with Republicans outnumbering Democrats by a yet-to-be-determined ratio. The commission, which will have subpoena powers, will investigate the actions of local, state and federal governments before and after the storm that devastated New Orleans and other portions of the Gulf Coast.


Ultimately, there were three Katrina investigations, one each by the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the Presidency. That which was produced by the House was boycotted by Democrats. That which was produced was the President was intended to be toilet paper. The Senate investigation was what the Democrats were left with after the independent commission was rejected in a vote down party lines.

This Senate investigation was launched on September 15th, 2005.

Thus, it was not "fully underway" when John McCain voted against the independent investigation on September 14th, 2005.

Levees.org is still demanding a real investigation of federal levee failures today.

Has McCain now flip-flopped to support an independent commission? Or is he just confused about where his "maverick" image ends and his vote to protect the Bush administration from being held accountable for the Katrina response begins?

Somebody should ask him.

Does Stephanie Grace of the Times-Picayune still think Katrina is "risk-free" for John McCain?

She seems just as confused.

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