You may remember when we sent Mardi Gras Beads to Bush to call for full funding of levee construction in NOLA. Well it never ends.Now Bush plans to shift $1.3 Billion of the already inadequate funding for levee protection of New Orleans…
WASHINGTON — President Bush is expected to shift $1.3 billion away from
raising and armoring levees, installing flood gates and building
permanent pumping in Southeast Louisiana to plug long-anticipated
funding shortfalls in other hurricane-protection projects, a move Sen.
David Vitter describes as a retreat from the president’s commitment to
protect the whole New Orleans area.
Vitter, R-La., who unveiled Bush’s plans Thursday, condemned the move
in a strongly worded letter to the president and called on him to ask
Congress for more money to complete work that he promised would be done
– and Congress financed – in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
“I believe your fiscal 2008 budget proposal would be a step back from
that commitment, however unintended,” Vitter wrote. “I am deathly
afraid that this vital emergency post-Katrina work is now being treated
like typical (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) projects that take decades
to complete. We will not recover if this happens.”
John Paul Woodley Jr., assistant secretary of the Army for Public
Works, said that the money will go toward critically needed hurricane
protection on the West Bank that has left residents vulnerable. Without
it, he said, work would have to stop in a matter of months when
financing dries up.
One West Bank official though agrees with Vitter…
But Jerry Spohrer, executive director of the West Jefferson Levee
District, was not enthused by the proposal, saying it could pit
different parts of the metropolitan area against each other.
“That is what happened to us for so many years prior to Rita and
Katrina. Money would be appropriated and they would throw us in a sack
like a bunch of cats and fight for what we can get,” Spohrer said. “We
certainly concur with Sen. Vitter concerns that federal assistance we
need and has been promised shouldn’t be given to one area at expense of
Cost estimates that were put together hastily and increases in labor and material were the reason the West Bank projects will run short of money.
Vitter asks…why not ask Congress for more money?
This is bullshit. Bush publicly proclaims to be rebuilding the levees better than ever.
He Is Not.
It is that simple.
Levee protection is an absolute necessity if New Orleans is to survive. It should not be a matter on one part of New Orleans over another.
We have a Democratic Congress now and they should pressure Bush to request the money…Now. Call Lieberman. Call Obama. Call your Congress person. Enough is Enough!