WASHINGTON – Today Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), Chairman of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, made the following statement on the Bush Administration’s disaster response framework released by the Department of Homeland Security:

“This disaster response plan falls short by ignoring the key immediate role that agencies like the Small Business Administration need to play in a time of emergency. Within days of a disaster, the SBA must be on the ground as part of the response team so that businesses and homeowners alike have access to financial assistance without delay. We learned lessons after Hurricane Katrina about the need for better intergovernmental coordination and the tools agencies need to improve their disaster response. That’s why I’ve worked in a bipartisan manner to pass legislation to reform the disaster loan program and give the SBA the tools they need to provide short-term aid and assist in long-term economic recovery.”