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Disaster Relief Could Become Presidential Campaign Issue

“I remember there was a fight in Congress last fall over making sure that we had funds ready for future disasters and there were some leading House Republicans who opposed that,” Carney said. “And the president fought hard to ensure that those funds were in place for just this reason.”

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is skipping the Republican convention to contend with the storm, was critical of the Obama administration decision to not immediately grant federal reimbursement for a broad array of protective efforts in advance of landfall.

“Given the extraordinary developments of this storm and its approaching impact on the State of Louisiana, I ask that you exercise your discretion to approve the State’s pending request for all emergency protective measures,” Jindal wrote in an Aug. 27 letter to Obama.

Speaking at Iowa State University in Ames on Tuesday, Obama began his remarks with a reference to preparations for the storm before turning to his stump speech.

“We’ve been getting ready for this storm for days. We’ve got response teams and supplies in place. America will be there to help folks recover no matter what this storm brings because when disaster strikes we’re not Democrats or Republicans first, we are Americans first,” Obama said. “We are one family. We’re one family and we help our neighbors in need.”

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