Obama gets storm update at FEMA HQs, sends Cabinet members to states
- President Barack Obama visits FEMA Saturday. L-R: FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, Obama, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama said Saturday that "there's nothing more important than us getting this right" as he visited the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for an update on superstorm recovery efforts before beginning a final weekend of campaigning before Election Day.
"Obviously we've now seen that after the initial search and rescue, the recovery process is difficult and it's painful," he said. "But I'm confident that we will continue to make progress as long as state and local and federal officials stay focused."
The White House said several Cabinet secretaries were heading to Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.
"What I told the governors and the mayors, what I've been saying to my team from the start of this event - that is we don't have any patience for bureaucracy, we don't have any patience for red tape and we want to make sure that we are figuring a way to get to yes as opposed to no when it comes to these problems," Obama said.
He cited the need to restore power; pump out water, particularly from electric substations; ensure that people's basic needs are addressed; remove debris; and getting federal resources in place to help transportation systems come back on line.
"There's nothing more important than us getting this right and we're going to spend as much time, effort and energy as necessary to make sure that all the people in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut know that the entire country is behind them in this difficult recovery effort. And we are going put not just 100 percent but 120 percent behind making sure that they get the resources that they need to rebuild and recover," Obama said.
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