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Public Papers

Remarks on Hurricane Andrew Disaster Relief

1992-08-30

The President. Let me simply say that this meeting is just a follow-on meeting. The Secretaries and Administrators here are able to help the victims of the hurricane, and I'm going to hear from them, each of them, as to what their Departments can do. We'll figure out how to follow up.

Over the weekend I was in touch with the manager of Homestead, city manager Alex Muxo; talked to the director of public safety of Dade County, Fred Taylor, and to Otis Wallace, one of the top officials in Florida City; and then General Sullivan called in with a good report as to what they're doing. And I must say I think progress is being made. And now we need to follow up with our Agencies and Departments in every way that we possibly can to assist the victims of this storm.

I might say for the benefit of the reporters here, as far as we're concerned, cooperation between the State and Federal is good. I've talked with General Sullivan about the coordination between the Guard and the regular Army, and he felt that that's in good shape, as did the director of public safety of Dade County. So I think real progress is being made, but there's still an awful lot of human suffering there. And what we all are going to try to do is continue to move forward as fast as we can to help alleviate that.

Q. Mr. President, some people have suggested that additional funding is going to be essential to help the people of southern Florida. Are you prepared to ask Congress now for additional funding?

The President. Yes. I think I made that statement the other day, that we are prepared. As soon as we get the estimates that are pouring in every day, why, we will go forward.

Q. Do you have any idea how much you'll be asking for?

The President. I don't have it now.

Note: The President spoke at 11:05 a.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Gen. Gordon Sullivan, Army Chief of Staff in charge of the Federal forces involved in the recovery efforts in Florida.