Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) visited New Orleans on Sunday and toured the area together with Sens. David Vitter (R-LA) and Craig Thomas (R-WY), stopping in at a Lakeview home where he got into a candid chat with the homeowners:
"He said, 'Why would we want to rebuild these homes in an area below sea level?' and said that in Alaska, when a disaster of this magnitude occurs, they relocate the town," Stafford said.
"But people have their businesses here," [one of the homeowners] said. "People have their lives here."
Norma Jane Sabiston, chief of staff to Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., who arrived at the Stafford house about 5 minutes after the committee bus left, said both Vitter and Landrieu are attempting to bring as many members of Congress as possible to the New Orleans area to see the damage, in hopes of winning support for more aid for the city and support for the Category 5 hurricane protection proposal and for coastal restoration efforts.
She said the difficulty facing the state's congressional delegation is convincing senators like Stephens that there is a reason to rebuild in New Orleans.