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Congress Passes $51.8 Billion Relief Billion Relief Bill for Hurricane Katrina Survivors

by Kevin Caruso

September 8, 2005

The U.S. Congress has approved $51.8 billion for Hurricane Katrina relief. This amount is in addition to the $10.5 billion that Bush signed into law on September 2.

President Bush said that he wanted to make it "as easy as possible" for hurricane survivors to collect government benefits.

Democrats supported the $51.8 billion bill, but many complained that most of the money would go to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). And FEMA has been harshly criticized - and rightfully so - for its inadequate response to the hurricane.

Both Democrats and Republicans agreed the response by FEMA and government was deplorable.

"There was a systemwide failure," said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee. "There were problems at the local, state and federal levels and we will get to the bottom of that in a bipartisan investigation."


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