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Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pledged Monday to move quickly to provide a multibillion dollar emergency package to assist victims of Hurricane Ike.

The package will also respond to victims of other recent disasters, including Hurricane Gustav, Western wildfires and flooding in the Midwest.

“The devastation caused by Hurricane Ike demands a swift federal response,” Pelosi said. “From debris removal and housing needs to the restoration of infrastructure and local economies, the emergency disaster package will cover the range of recovery needs that must be immediately addressed.”

In June, Congress appropriated an initial $2.65 billion in response to Midwest floods. The Speaker said much of that funding still has not reached the targeted families, businesses and localities.

“It is unacceptable that the Bush administration and bureaucratic red tape has unnecessarily slowed delivery of these vital funds to the affected regions and individuals. I call on President Bush to direct FEMA, HUD, SBA and other agencies responsible for administering disaster response to expedite release of the funds Congress appropriates to all states, localities, communities and families in need,” she said.

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