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GOP Rejects Democrats’ Call For Independent Commission On Katrina Response

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Republican Congressional leaders this week rejected a call by Democrats to establish an independent commission to investigate the response to Katrina.

Instead, House Majority Leader Dennis Hastert (R-IL) and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) announced the formation of the “Hurricane Katrina Joint Review Committee,” which will report findings no later than Feb. 15.

Strangely, Democrats were absent from the announcement of the “bipartisan committee.”

“Democrats strongly prefer that the response to Hurricane Katrina be investigated by a commission of independent experts like the 9/11 commission,” Reid said in a Sept. 7 article in the New York Times. “An investigation of the Republican administration by a Republican-controlled Congress is like having a pitcher call his own balls and strikes.”

Democrats were not bashful about questioning a committee they say will be hand-picked by Hastert and Frist, with an not-yet-determined ratio of Republicans to Democrats.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said yesterday that the Congressional committee “is not truly bipartisan, will not be made up of equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans, cannot write legislation and will not have bipartisan subpoena power.”

The 9/11 commission, which was made up of non-lawmakers and was equally balanced between Republicans and Democrats, won wide praise for assessing how the 2001 terrorist attacks occurred, and for recommending changes in the government’s anti-terrorism structure.

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This article first appeared at Journalists Against Bush’s B.S.

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About David R. Mark