House Democratic Caucus Chair Clyburn Calls for Independent Commission

Jan 25, 2006

(Washington, DC) - House Democratic Caucus Chair James E. Clyburn (D-SC) reacted today to reports the White House is not cooperating with Senate investigations into the response to Hurricane Katrina by once again calling for the formation of a non-partisan independent commission:

“This White House has a long history of acting as though it is above the laws of this country. Americans want and deserve an objective, non-political assessment of the federal government’s failures in the relief and ongoing recovery response to Katrina. Leaders here in Washington and across our nation have called for an independent Katrina Commission since early September 2005. Sadly, in 2006, we remain bogged down in the secretive shadows that are the hallmark of this White House. We can do better. Americans deserve better.

“This President and his cronies have a history that is disturbing: taking America to war under false pretenses, fostering the most unprecedented culture of corruption in Washington, spying on our own citizens, breeching national security by outing covert American operatives, and their continued blocking of an independent commission to investigate the criminally negligent response to Hurricane Katrina. If there were ever a need for an independent commission to investigate, it is now.

“What is this White House hiding concerning its response to the devastation of American lives and property? Why do Republicans oppose an independent commission?  The 9-11 Commission was independent.; It provided our nation a great service.  It helped us better understand what happened and the course we need to take to make Americans safer. An independent Katrina Commission will do the same – shine light on the truth and make America stronger and safer.  It is time to let the sunshine in.”