A logistics specialist with FEMA speaks with N.Y. National Guard members on Oct. 30 at Republic Airport in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. President Obama instructed federal agencies to speed relief to hurricane victims. (Bruce Bennett / Getty Images)
President Obama on Tuesday said he instructed federal agencies to “cut through the bureaucracy” to speed relief to victims of Hurricane Sandy.
“My message to the federal government: no bureaucracy, no red tape,” Obama said. “There’s no excuse for inaction at this point. I want every agency to lean forward and to make sure that we are getting the resources where they’re needed as quickly as possible.”
Obama, speaking at a Red Cross office in Washington, said most recovery efforts will be coordinated by local responders. But Obama said he’s also looking for ways the federal government can bring in nontraditional resources. He said the military may have some equipment that can speed up pumping of floodwaters out of New York City’s subways, for example.
Obama also promised community leaders he will intervene to remove any logjams holding up federal assistance.
“I told the mayors and the governors if they’re getting no for an answer somewhere in the federal government, they can call me personally at the White House,” Obama said.