WASHINGTON – Today Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), Chairman of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, made the following statement on the eve of the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina:

“Two years after Hurricane Katrina there is still a long way to go to get the Gulf Coast region back on its feet. Too many families and businesses are still struggling with too much red tape and an incompetent federal response that put our kids in toxic trailers and mismanaged billions of taxpayer dollars. Two years ago, Katrina pulled back a curtain and showed the world the true extent of poverty and inequality that still exists in our country. Remembering this tragedy with photo ops isn’t enough. We must finally force accountability and action from the federal government that will get our families and small businesses back on track.

“When Katrina hit, there was no effective safety net to help the individuals and small businesses that were devastated by the storm. And two years later, we still lack a plan that ensures that a Katrina-like response never happens again. I’ve worked with Senator Mary Landrieu and others on a bipartisan basis for two years to provide the government with critical tools to respond more quickly and effectively in the case of future disasters. We passed a disaster loan reform bill in the Senate, and we need to get this legislation on the President’s desk and signed into law.”

“Many families and businesses owners have put themselves back on track and the Gulf Coast region is making progress because of their own hard work and determination. It’s long past time that Washington gives the victims of Katrina a policy that equals their incredible perseverance and hope.”

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