Democrats move to force vote on independent Katrina panel


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.


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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