An extremely pressing issue here in Louisiana is Bush’s refusal to waive the 10% requirement of state matching funds in order to receive federal disaster assistance under the Stafford Act. The Democrats saw fit to take care of this in the Iraq supplemental bill but we know Bush will veto this. However he would veto it regardless of the bill it were in. The White House has made it clear that it opposes such a waiver…
The Administration opposes a waiver of the State match requirement.
OK it doesn’t get any clearer than that.
Under the law Bush is allowed to waive the matching requirement when the per capita cost of a recovery bill exceeds $65.
In Louisiana the per capita recovery cost is at $6,700 so far.
The matching requirement was waived when the recovery cost of Hurricane Andrew reached $139 per capita.
It was waived for New York when 9/11 cost per capita reached $390.
The matching requirement has been eliminated 32 times since 1985 for other disaster recoveries.
Louisiana has already paid back $400 million as required under the Stafford Act, more than any other state has ever had to do for disaster recovery. The state still faces paying an estimated $1 billion more.
Bush refuses to waive this requirement and in the process has hamstrung the Gulf Coast recovery. Communities here are broke. They can not come up with the 10% match and so necessary recovery projects such as roads, bridges and schools are on hold.
Bush’s refusal is an obstacle to recovery and it should be exposed. He ought to be shamed into finally waiving this unfair requirement. Your Democratic congress people are well aware of the problem. I doubt the American public is and question if the media is for that matter.
If we want to help the Gulf Coast now we need to make a concerted effort to bring pressure to bear on Bush To Stop Playing Politics with the Gulf Coast Recovery.
Call your Congressional reps and urge them to continue to fight for the waiver. Write letters to the editors and email media outlets. If you have a blog do a post on this. This is something we can do for New Orleans and Waveland and Chalmette and Pass Christian and all the other communities waiting for the same consideration and fairness that has been extended to other Americans.
This is the largest recovery effort ever in America and Bush is doing it on the cheap and playing politics to boot. Expose him for that.