Louise Slaughter's office sent me this in an e-mail:
Washington, DC - Tonight, after five weeks vacation, in the wake of what is quickly becoming the worst natural disaster in American history, the Republican Leadership in the House of Representatives made the decision to limit floor consideration of the Federal response to Hurricane Katrina to just forty minutes.
Rep. Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Rules Committee, led Democratic opposition to a Rules Committee vote this evening that makes the $52 Billion Supplemental Appropriation bill, a Suspension Rule that will prevent any amendments from being offered and allow for a grand total of 40 minutes of consideration. The bill, which enjoys broad bipartisan support, is expected to pass on the House floor tomorrow.
Republicans on a party line voted to deny Rep. Slaughter's amendment that would have allowed for a modest 2 hours of discussion and opened up the measure to be amended.
Democrats on the Rules Committee and in attendance at the hearing passionately implored the Republicans to allow amendments, which would enable consideration of critical and urgent measures, such as which areas and to which agencies relief dollars were most needed and how to restructure FEMA so that it would be more effective. Members also noted that no one had yet to even see a copy of the legislation.
Note the bit about "no-one having seen a copy of the legislation". So we don't actually know what it contains! Isn't modern politics marvelous in this one-party country.