WASHINGTON – Today the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report addressing the federal government’s failures in getting timely disaster assistance to Gulf Coast hurricane victims. The report can be viewed on GAO's website. Following is reaction from Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), top Democrat on the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship:

“Here’s confirmation that in spite of all the promises made after Katrina, nothing much has changed in Washington. Tens of thousands of hurricane victims are still waiting for assistance. Two and a half months to process a disaster loan application is beyond unacceptable. People’s livelihoods are on the line, many of them are losing everything, and still they wait while the SBA gets its act together. Americans demand swift, capable response to disaster, and I will be pressing the SBA to implement the GAO’s recommendations.”

In June, Kerry introduced legislation to improve the Small Business Administration’s Disaster Loan Program. Many of the provisions in S. 3487 were included in the comprehensive small business reauthorization package passed by the Committee yesterday.

For more information on Kerry’s proposal, please click here.