Bush visited the Gulf Coast yesterday and made it clear that he and other officials are keeping a close eye on Hurricane Rita:
"We're watching very closely, of course, its track," Bush said later at a Folgers coffee plant in Louisiana that recently restarted operations. "All up and down the coastline people are now preparing for what is anticipated to be yet another significant storm."
...Bush began the day in Gulfport, Miss., where he dropped in on the first meeting of Gov. Haley Barbour's Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal, applauding their "can-do spirit" and pledging to help clean up the devastated Gulf Coast. He flew along the coast over mile after mile of destroyed homes...
...White House press secretary Scott McClellan acknowledged that some of Mississippi's more rural areas still are waiting for federal help that has been focused in New Orleans and other larger population centers.
After Bush returned to Washington, the White House issued a statement saying Bush had signed into law legislation that allows the National Flood Insurance Program to borrow up to $3.5 billion a year from the Treasury, up from the current ceiling of $1.5 billion. He also signed into law a measure that excludes federal assistance for mitigating flood damage from being considered income when determining a person's eligibility for other federal benefit programs.
From the transcript of his remarks:
...I spent some time -- quality time at the Chevron plant in Pascagoula...
We've got people looking at the infrastructure. One of the questions I asked in Washington, D.C., as the principle party responsible for rebuilding the infrastructure, is, have you got your assessment teams out there?
Couldn't he have done all this via teleconferencing?