The Clarion-Ledger, 3/5/9

The heads of the federal housing and homeland security agencies plan to visit the Gulf Coast today to assess federal recovery efforts since hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will stop in New Orleans as part of a two-day tour of the area. On Friday, Napolitano will head to Gulfport, while Donovan visits Houston.

Craig Fugate, President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will participate in the tour with the secretaries, congressional lawmakers and local officials, including Gov. Haley Barbour.

“They’re doing a good job, but they need to do it better,” said Dan Turner, a spokesman for Barbour. “They need to step up and get things rocking along.”

Lawmakers, civil rights groups and Coast residents have criticized HUD and the Homeland Security Department under the Bush administration for responding slowly to the hurricanes.