Today President Obama travelled to Wayne and Paterson, New Jersey to tour areas damaged by Hurricane Irene. While visiting the Temple Street Bridge in Paterson, the President gave brief remarks reassuring the people of New Jersey and all those affected by Hurricane Irene that the federal, state and local governments would be there to help them rebuild after the devastating storm.
The main message that I have for all the residents not only of New Jersey but all those communities that have been affected by flooding, by the destruction that occurred as a consequence of Hurricane Irene is that the entire country is behind you and we are going to make sure that we provide all the resources that are necessary in order to help these communities rebuild.
And I know that there's been some talk about whether there's going to be a slowdown in getting funding out here, emergency relief. As President of the United States, I want to make it very clear that we are going to meet our federal obligations -- because we're one country, and when one part of the country gets affected, whether it's a tornado in Joplin, Missouri, or a hurricane that affects the Eastern Seaboard, then we come together as one country and we make sure that everybody gets the help that they need. And the last thing that the residents here of Paterson or the residents of Vermont or the residents of upstate New York need is Washington politics getting in the way of us making sure that we are doing what we can to help communities that have been badly affected.
So, again, I want to thank federal, state, local officials who have been working around the clock to respond to this crisis. We know it could have been worse but we should not underestimate the heartache that's going through a lot of these communities and affecting a lot of these families. And we want to make sure that we're there to help, and I'm going to make sure that even after the cameras are gone and attention is somewhere else that FEMA and federal officials continue to work with our local officials to make sure we're doing the right thing.