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Palazzo Appealed for Federal Disaster Relief After Hurricane Katrina


Palazzo's future congressional district, including his hometown of Biloxi, Miss., was ravaged by the 2005 storm. Roughly a month after Katrina made landfall, Palazzo -- then Deputy Director and CFO of the Biloxi Housing Authority -- did not mince words when he addressed what was necessary in order to repair the damages.

"We will rebuild and we'll provide homes for those displaced; but we cannot do that until it is funded," Palazzo said in a pamphlet published by the Biloxi Housing Authority and still available online. "We're ready to do the work- but we simply do not have the financial resources on our own to handle a catastrophe like Katrina."

"Tell our national leaders- don't send more inspectors- we know what's damaged and how to fix it," Palazzo continued. "Send us money so we can put families back together and do our part to rebuild our community."

The handout includes a breakdown of the "Total Funds Needed Right Away," ultimately requesting more than $38.5 million in federal largess.

In April of 2006, The Sun-Herald of Biloxi, Miss. credited Palazzo with helping the Housing Authority "win a $7.2 million grant to replace housing for displaced residents."

Palazzo was one of 67 members - all Republicans - to vote against the $9.7 billion Sandy relief package that overwhelmingly passed the House on Friday. Laura Chambers, a spokeswoman for the congressman, provided TPM with a statement later that day in which she indicated Palazzo would have supported a bill with "offsets," equivalent spending cuts to cover the cost of Sandy relief aid.

Notably, in the fall of 2005, as Congress struggled to reach a consensus on the scope of Katrina relief and how to pay for it, congressional Republicans demanded offsets much like Palazzo did on Friday.

Palazzo's office did not respond to TPM's request for comment on this story.

About The Author


Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at