By: E&P Staff
A tally this week by The Times-Picayune newspaper in New Orleans found that only 44 of 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have come to the city to see the devastation from Hurricane Katrina.
That’s a far cry from the percentage that visited New York after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, said U.S. Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-La. “When 9/11 happened, you had to beat members of Congress off with a stick from going to New York City,” Melancon said. New Orleans, he pointed out, is “is a major city we need to save.”
Melancon said he and other members of the Louisiana delegation plan to send a letter urging House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., to encourage more members to visit the region. “Let them smell the stench. Let them see the inside of homes,” he added. “It shows them these people just can’t come back (home) tomorrow.”
Thirty senators have visited New Orleans since the storm, according to a spokesman for U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.)