Bush to shift $1.3 Billion of levee funds in NOLA…Vitter: ‘We will not recover if this happens’

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!

4 thoughts on “Bush to shift $1.3 Billion of levee funds in NOLA…Vitter: ‘We will not recover if this happens’

  1. And THIS news hits as we are in the on-deck circle for Hurricane Season ’07…
    The chimp in all his vanity and insanity makes me freakin’ nauseous.
    Since the faulty levees broke, I have not been able to make it to New Orleans as much as I used to (initially no easy accommodations, and recently, lack of schedule availability) but I want to, desperately. I want to come see/help New Orleans as much as I can, so that I can at least have memories when she is once again washed away so that shrub’s friends can stay high and dry. I am just sick…

  2. Even though I will be the first to criticize earmarks for pointless “pork barrel” projects like the Bridge-to-nowhere and the Teapot Museum, I am also rather petrified that the current Democratic “no earmark” budget will give Shrub the ability to move funds around a will to pay off political friends.
    [OK I stand corrected, he’s done a pretty vilanous job of paying off political friends already. The no-earmark budget will make it even worse and remove what little transparency there is.]

  3. What’s new with this? The West Bank leans to the Right, and it’s mainly white. (re: the CCC Bridge incident post-Flood.)
    I’ve been awaiting this kind of poop.
    Thanks for the head’s up!

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