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Senate investigation of Hurricane Katrina says FEMA should be disbanded

RAW STORY
Published: Wednesday April 26, 2006

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A bipartisan Senate report investigating Hurricane Katrina will assert that FEMA is so flawed and beyond repair that it should be disbanded, RAW STORY has learned.

According to a story set for tomorrow's New York Times, "The report, which is scheduled to be released on Thursday, says that the effort by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to 'retool' FEMA will not work."

Officials for Homeland Security tell the Times that they're "not impressed" with what they've heard about the report.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the cover letter of the report; their story can be found here.

From AP:

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The U.S. is unprepared for a disaster of Hurricane Katrina's scale, according to a Senate inquiry that lawmakers said Wednesday took a critical look at failures in responding to the storm.

The final report is "fair and tough, and it charts a course to strengthen our nation's emergency preparedness at all levels," leaders of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee wrote their colleagues.

The Associated Press on Wednesday obtained a copy of the letter written by the committee's head, GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, and the top Democrat, Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut. The report's title is "Hurricane Katrina: A Nation Still Unprepared."

FULL AP STORY

Excerpts from New York Times article:

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency was so fundamentally dysfunctional during Hurricane Katrina that Congress should abolish it and create a new disaster response agency from scratch, a draft bipartisan Senate report has concluded.

The new agency, which would still be part of the Department of Homeland Security, should be more powerful, with additional components that would give it a budget twice as big as FEMA's, the report recommends.

....

The report also has not yet been shared with the Bush administration. But officials at Homeland Security said that from what they have already heard, they were not impressed.

"It is time to stop rearranging organization charts and start focusing on how governments at all levels are preparing for the fast-approaching storm season," said Russ Knocke, the department press secretary.

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FULL TIMES ARTICLE HERE