Chertoff admits preparations before the storm were inadequate and says he got conflicting information about damage from the hurricane.
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Key issues include lack of equipment standards, inadequate funding and turf wars among federal, state and local officials.
White House says it has already contributed a significant sum to rebuilding Louisiana.
Plan to cut number of planned combat brigades by nearly 10 percent while continuing heavy deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan met with skepticism came from both sides of the aisle.
Requests for military operations, foreign assistance and Gulf Coast reconstruction could be slightly more than White House said last week.
Democrats would be better off staying in the minority than they would be winning the House and Senate by a narrow margin.
Agreement changes existing cargo plane contract to make it more transparent, requiring the military to report cost and price information.