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Bush rules out tax hike to fund recovery
Updated: 2005-09-17 10:55

Opening Friday's joint news conference with Putin, Bush thanked his guest for sending supplies to the Katrina relief effort, saying the gesture would help "lift the spirits" of hurricane victims. The Russian said that Katrina provided "serious lessons" for Russia and other countries. Putin did not specifically mention the criticism of relief efforts in the Gulf Coast.

The hurricane killed hundreds of people across five states, forced major evacuations and caused untold property damage.

Bush also said he wants Congress to consider changing the law to allow the military to step in immediately if a catastrophic disaster occurs again. "It's important for us to learn from the storm what could have been done better," he said. Under fire, the White House has accused state and city officials of not authorizing federal involvement quickly enough, although critics say the administration didn't need approval to act.

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