Bush Will Not Mention Katrina In State Of The Union


White House officials have told CNN that President Bush’s State of the Union tonight will not contain a single mention of Hurricane Katrina or the ongoing Gulf Coast reconstruction effort.

During last year’s State of the Union, Bush said the federal government was committed to rebuilding New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, and promised to “stay…at it until they’re back on their feet.”

The work of rebuilding the Gulf Coast is far from over. House Financial Services Committe Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) says he believes the neglect of the housing situation in New Orleans effectively amounts to “ethnic cleansing through inaction,” a deliberate attempt to make Louisiana richer, whiter, and more conservative. The Institute for Southern Studies reported today that Louisiana is “still largely an economic disaster area as a result of Katrina.”

President Bush last visited the Gulf Coast in August and Cheney last visited in October for a Republican fundraiser.

UPDATE: ThinkProgress obtained a copy of Sen. Jim Webb’s (D-VA) response to President Bush’s address. In the second paragraph, Webb says he hopes “this administration is serious about improving education and healthcare for all Americans, and addressing such domestic priorities as restoring the vitality of New Orleans.”