President Obama to Visit Baton Rouge
(ABC News) -President Obama is expected to travel to Baton Rouge next Tuesday to get a firsthand look at the devastating flood damage in the state.
The White House said in a press release the President was updated Friday morning by DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, who is on the ground in the state, on the ongoing recovery efforts in the flood-affected regions.
Obama this weekend is wrapping up a 16-day vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, and has received some criticism for participating in leisurely activities like playing golf while Louisiana contends the damage brought about by historic flooding.
But White House officials have pushed back on those who have compared it to former President George W. Bush’s reaction to Hurricane Katrina, pointing to the massive recovery operation underway by FEMA and regular updates Obama has been receiving on the situation throughout the week.
Obama is scheduled to leave the Vineyard on Sunday, so the announcement of his visit to Louisiana does not mean he will be cutting his trip short like some have demanded.
“The President today directed his team to coordinate with Louisiana officials to determine an appropriate time for him to visit,” press secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement. “The President is mindful of the impact that his travel has on first responders and wants to ensure that his presence does not interfere with ongoing recovery efforts.”
Earnest said the president is “eager to get a first-hand look at the impact of the devastating floods, hear from more officials about the response, including how the federal government can assist and tell the people of Louisiana that the American people will be with them as they rebuild their community and come back stronger than ever.”