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Illinois Political Leaders Want Answers from Bush

By Amy Hart in News on Sep 22, 2005 2:54PM


As Hurricane Rita gains steam and takes aim at Texas, the Bush administration is still reeling from the criticisms of its failures and slow action in the tragedy that is Hurricane Katrina.

Last night Senator Barack Obama addressed the 35th annual legislative conference of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and condemned the President’s response to Katrina and his efforts, or lack thereof, to deal with poverty honestly in this country.

In response to Bush’s televised address to the nation last week, Obama said, “I understand why people would be cynical, when [Bush] makes the decision to give tax breaks to Paris Hilton instead of providing child care and education…It was the first time in his presidency he acknowledged poverty in this country."2005_09_barackobama.jpg

Tuesday night’s speech is just the latest example of how Obama is calling out Bush for his lack of action in adequately assisting the poor before and after Katrina, with a high profile speech at Harvard Law School and an appearance on CBS News' Face the Nation last week, and another expected today at a town hall meeting at the conference of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

Obama may be taking the stage front and center, but other Illinois leaders are getting in on the action as well, although they are not criticizing Bush as harshly. Senator Dick Durbin is calling for assistance for those affected by Katrina, as well as an end to price gouging at the gas pump. He is not alone, as Governor Rod Blagojevich has joined forces with governors from seven other states to request that Bush investigate allegations of gas price gouging following Katrina.

Chicagoist is dreaming of a joint announcement by Obama and Kanye West saying, “George Bush does not care about poor people or black people.” Until then, we hope Rita and Katrina do not share much in common, and that, if you have not already (SHAME!), you will give to the Red Cross to assist the hurricane victims.