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Bush: Katrina response 'not acceptable'
Updated: 2005-09-03 11:22

NEW ORLEANS - Scorched by criticism about sluggish federal help, President Bush acknowledged the government's failure to stop lawlessness and help desperate people in New Orleans. "The results are not acceptable," Bush said Friday in the face of mounting complaints from Republicans and Democrats alike.

President Bush leans on Lousiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco as FEMA Director Mike Brown, left, and Sen. David. Vitter, R-La., right, look on following a news conference at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, Friday, Sept. 2, 2005. Bush is touring the Gulf Coast communities battered by Hurricane Katrina, hoping to boost the spirits of increasingly desperate storm victims and exhausted rescuers. [AP]

Bush promised to crack down on crime and violence, rush food and medicine to the needy and restore electrical power within weeks to millions of customers across the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

"This is a storm that requires immediate action now," the president said after a daylong tour of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. "I understand the devastation requires more than one day's attention. It's going to require the attention of this country for a long period of time."

Bush planned to talk about hurricane relief in his weekly radio address in a rare live broadcast Saturday from the Rose Garden. He also is expected to travel again to the Gulf Coast area on Monday, but White House officials would not disclose where he would stop.

Congress passed a $10.5 billion disaster aid package, and Bush signed it immediately upon his return to the White House. He also said National Guard troops were moving in to restore order in New Orleans. He said the city's convention center, where thousands of people sheltered for days in unsafe conditions, was secure.

Bush also issued a memorandum saying the hurricane had created a "severe energy supply interruption" and formally authorized a drawdown of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. He said that the disruption had resulted in a severe increase in the price of oil products and that the price rise could damage the national economy.
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