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Democrats move to force vote on independent Katrina panel

RAW STORY

Rep. Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Rules Committee, will be joined by Rep. Robert Menendez, Chair of the Democratic Caucus, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Committee, and Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL), to announce the creation of a discharge petition to force debate and a floor vote on the formation of an independent, 9/11 style, commission to investigate the government's response to Hurricane Katrina, RAW STORY has learned.

Slaughter's petition could force an up or down vote on legislation originally authored by Rep. Doc Hastings, a Republican congressman from Washington state. Republicans blocked the legislation from reaching the floor in the Rules Committee.

The members are to appear at a 10:15 am briefing while the Republican-led Select Committee on Hurricane Katrina will be questioning former FEMA Administrator Michael Brown. Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has refused to appoint any Democrats to the commmittee, so it is currently all Republicans.

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The members will also accept the petitions of more than 400,000 Americans calling on Congress to create the independent commission.

A similar measure authored by Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) recently failed in the Senate. Clinton's office did not return calls seeking comment.

A recent poll showed that more than 70 percent of Americans would prefer an independent, bipartisan committee.

Correction: Sen. Clinton's state affiliation was incorrectly listed in the first edition of this article. She is from New York.

Originally published on Tuesday September 27, 2005.

 


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