67 Days: Elizabeth Dole voted against relief for Katrina victims

DAY 67

As Hurricane Gustav barrels towards the Gulf Coast on the 3rd Anniversary of Katrina’s landfall, worried residents are scrambling to make sure they are safe in case the federal government comes up short again. Who will be there to advocate for them when they need it most? Not Elizabeth Dole. After tragedy struck the Gulf Coast in 2005, Dole voted against a bevy of measures that would have provided immediate and ongoing relief for Katrina’s victims and ensured that emergency responders would be prepared for the next storm. North Carolinians might be far from the Gulf Coast, but could they trust Elizabeth Dole if a crisis were to strike them?

Dole Voted Against Commission To Examine Katrina Response Twice. In 2005 and 2006, Dole voted against establishing an independent commission to examine the Federal, State, and local responses to Hurricane Katrina. [Vote 229, 9/14/05; Vote 6, 2/2/06; Newsweek, 6/5/08]

Dole Voted Against Emergency Funding For Health Care For Hurricane Katrina Victims. In November 2005, Dole voted against an amendment would have granted access to Medicaid to Hurricane Katrina victims for up to five months; it also provided full federal funding for Medicaid in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama for up to one year; provided $800 million to compensate providers caring for Katrina evacuees; it temporarily suspended the Medicare Part B late enrollment penalty; and permitted states hit by or serving evacuees to access the TANF Contingency Fund. It would have been offset with funds unspent by the FEMA. [Vote 285, 11/3/05]

Weeks After Katrina, Dole Rejected $5 Billion For Communications Improvements. In September 2005, just weeks after Hurricane Katrina, Dole voted against providing an additional $5 billion for interoperable communications grants for first responders. [Vote 227, 9/14/05; CQ, 3/14/05; Las Vegas Review-Journal, 9/18/05]

Dole Voted Against Unemployment Benefits For Katrina Victims. In September 2005, Dole voted against an amendment that would have provided financial relief for victims of hurricane Katrina. The amendment would have allowed up to 52 weeks of unemployment benefits for an individual who lost their job due to a major disaster, under the Disaster Unemployment Assistance Program. [Vote 234, 9/15/05]

Dole Rejected Tax Benefits For Areas Affected By Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, And Wilma. In November 2005, Dole voted an amendment that provided tax benefits for areas affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. [Vote 330, 11/17/05; Conrad Press Release, 11/17/05]

Dole Voted Against $2.1 Billion For Local Law Enforcement In Katrina Affected Areas. In September 2005, Dole voted against providing $2.1 billion for the Community Oriented Policing program in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. [Vote 226, 9/13/05; CQ Today, 9/16/05]

Dole Voted To Cut Funding To Support Katrina Volunteers. In May 2006, Dole voted to cut $20 million in funding for Americorps to support Katrina relief volunteers. Republican Senator John Thune proposed the amendment, calling the agency "mismanaged.” Republican Senator Thad Cochran led the opposition to the amendment, arguing the AmeriCorps volunteers in his state of Mississippi have helped to clothe, feed and house more than 1 million people. [National Journal's CongressDaily, May 4, 2006; Vote 111, 5/4/06]

---Disclosure: I am Kay Hagan's Online Communications Director---