Bush’s Inflates $110 Billion for Gulf Coast

Bush says Congress committed $110 billion and GAO says it’s $88 billion. Fromda po’ boy who has been diligently following the money…

This is what the President was saying when he visited the area August 29:

I’ve come back to New Orleans to tell you the words that I spoke on Jackson Square are just as true today as they were then.

Since I spoke those words, members of theUnited States Congress from both political parties came together and committed more than $110 billion to help the Gulf Coast recover. I felt it was important that our government be generous to the people who suffered. I felt that step one of a process of recovery and renewal is money.

In a report released yesterday, the Government Accountability Office, the agency that“studies how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars,” gavea different number (page 72 of the PDF):

To date, Congress has appropriated approximately $88 billion of federal support through emergency supplemental appropriations to federal agencies for hurricane disaster relief and recovery efforts related to the 2005 hurricanes. (emphasis mine and it is p. 72 of the report not the pdf)

The discrepancy may lie in Bush including flood insurance as federal support in his totals (seepic of his notes) which doesn’t sit well with people who paid premiums for decades for that insurance.