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Jindal: Feds Should Lead or Get Out of the Way

12:50 PM, Jun 29, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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Joe Biden is in the Gulf today, and Bobby Jindal talked to NBC about his problems with federal response:

As he waited for Biden to arrive, Jindal -- in an exclusive on-camera interview with NBC News this morning -- said his message to the vice president is that the federal government "needs a greater sense of urgency" and that it needs to treat the disaster "like a war and either lead or get out of the way."

Jindal said he's "thrilled" Biden is making the trip, but added he's frustrated that bureaucratic "red tape" with the permitting process has delayed efforts to narrow the coastal passes to prevent more oil from reaching Louisiana's shores.

And, it's not just Republicans complaining. Democratic Rep. Gene Taylor of Mississippi has his quibbles, too:

As oil spread as close as 1½ miles from Jackson County’s coast Saturday, U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor called the response to the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster “incompetent.”

“I’m having a Katrina flashback,” said the Bay St. Louis Democrat after an aerial survey of the Mississippi Sound and barrier islands Saturday morning. “I haven’t seen this much incompetence since Michael Brown was running FEMA.” …

Both Jindal and Taylor say the Gulf needs more skimmers, especially before a hurricane starts blowing waves of oil toward the shore, which they have told the federal government. Meanwhile, Haley Barbour and the state of Mississippi have ordered 23 skimmers and are having them built there because the federal government allotted so many fewer than needed.

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