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Hastert Blames Residents of New Orleans, Says City Should Not Be Rebuilt
Thursday, September 01, 2005
New Orleans Times Picayune
By Bill Walsh
WASHINGTON - House Speaker Dennis Hastert dropped a bombshell on flood-ravaged New Orleans on Thursday by suggesting that it isn’t sensible to rebuild the city.
"It doesn't make sense to me," Hastert told the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago in editions published today. "And it's a question that certainly we should ask."
Hastert's comments came as Congress cut short its summer recess and raced back to Washington to take up an emergency aid package expected to be $10 billion or more. Details of the legislation are still emerging, but it is expected to target critical items such as buses to evacuate the city, reinforcing existing flood protection and providing food and shelter for a growing population of refugees.
The Illinois Republican’s comments drew an immediate rebuke from Louisiana officials.
“That’s like saying we should shut down Los Angeles because it’s built in an earthquake zone,