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Recapping Bush's Visit to New Orleans
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Recapping Bush's Visit to New Orleans

Recapping Bush's Visit to New Orleans

Recapping Bush's Visit to New Orleans
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On a trip to New Orleans to mark the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, President Bush acknowledges that parts of the city — and of southeastern Louisiana — have yet to emerge from the cleanup phase.

ED GORDON, host:

From NPR News, this is NEWS AND NOTES. I'm Ed Gordon.

Congressional Democratic leaders say they'll soon offer a recovery report based on what they see and hear today from community members in New Orleans. The delegation of 28 lawmakers is in the Gulf Coast region measuring progress made a year after hurricane Katrina.

Leading the charge is House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. We'll hear from the leader in just a moment. We also invited Republican House leaders for their response and hope to present that on Thursday.

But first, President George Bush paid a visit to New Orleans yesterday, and acknowledged part of the city and Southeastern Louisiana have yet to emerge from the cleanup phase.

President GEORGE W. BUSH: Katrina exposed the big things that need repairing, yet it's most devastating impact has been on the rhythms of everyday life.

Some of you still don't know whether you have a neighborhood to come back to. Others of you, who made the decision to return, are living in trailers. Many are separated from their loved ones and simply long just go to church on a Sunday afternoon with somebody you care about.

Many of you find yourself without jobs and struggling to make do without the convenience of a supermarket nearby. Many fear for your safety because of violent criminals. The challenge is not only to help rebuild, but the challenge is to help restore the soul.

GORDON: President Bush vowed the government's commitment to rebuild has not waned, but admitted his administration has made mistakes.

President BUSH: I take full responsibility for the federal government's response. And a year ago I made a pledge that we will learn the lessons of Katrina and that we will do what it takes to help you recover.

(Soundbite of applause)

President BUSH: I've come back to New Orleans to tell you the words that I spoke on Jackson Square are just as true today as they were then. Since I spoke those words, members of the United States Congress from both political parties came together and committed more than $110 billion to help the Gulf Coast recover. I felt it was important that our government be generous to the people who suffered.

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