Bush The Obstructor: Standing in the way of NOLA recovery

Here are two important items via Oyster which demonstrate how Bush continues to stand in the way of NOLA recovery.

First is this from the Times Picayune

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials based in New Orleans
on Monday defended a White House budget recommendation that
would temporarily shift $1.3 billion to complete
construction of West Bank levees and levee walls, instead of
reserving that money for east bank hurricane-protection
projects.

But during a briefing with reporters, the local corps
officials also confirmed that the White House had turned
down a third alternative
, which would have allowed the corps
to reshuffle its available money another way: to build a
flood gate to block storm surge at the Industrial Canal and
another structure at the intersection of the Mississippi
River-Gulf Outlet and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

SNIP

The alternative rejected by the White House would have
allowed the corps to spend money from either supplemental
appropriation in a way some corps officials felt would have
provided the best protection to both banks of the river.

Then there is this regarding housing…

WASHINGTON — House Democrats are moving swiftly to target
an estimated $500 million this year for affordable rental
housing along the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast and put the
brakes on the demolition of New Orleans’ public housing
until alternatives are identified.

SNIP

Frank, chairman of the committee, said he will
resuscitate legislation passed by the House last year to
steer $500 million toward the construction of affordable
rental properties from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the
congressionally chartered housing finance companies.

“We’re ready to pass a bill,” Frank said
in an interview last week. “That bill could be passed
by June. We could have money flowing soon.”

Standing in the way, however, is expected opposition from
the White House, which was against the plan last year.

The White House plan is to demolish 4 housing projects…

But Frank said Congress can withhold demolition funds
unless HUD provides guaranteed replacement housing for the
low-income public housing residents displaced by the storm.

“Don’t tear down public housing that low-income
people can live in until you have a plan to replace
them,” Frank said. “We are prepared to provide
funding, but not to shut down public housing so you can
remove some people.”

UPDATE:

Here is a link for Live Webcast of the House Committee on Financial Services chaired by Frank occurring Now.Frank is on fire

One thought on “Bush The Obstructor: Standing in the way of NOLA recovery

  1. TheaLogie says:

    “The alternative rejected by the White House would have allowed the corps to spend money from either supplemental appropriation in a way some corps officials felt would have provided the best protection to both banks of the river.”
    I’ll bet they’re peeved. Maybe the admin’s objection is that a barrage across the MRGO and other waterways would get in the way of shipping (such as it is in that part of the world): but such a reaction would be remarkably shortsighted. If the alternative is the potential for the infrastructure of such shipping to be routinely damaged by future hurricanes it’s worth the investment.
    Not to mention – investing in a barrage would actually take just a bit of the heat off the ongoing project to reconstruct levees both banks of the river rather than forcing the local corps to rob Peter to pay Paul.
    I wonder what “dramatically increased” the cost of labor and materials for the ACOE?

    Like

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