Confusion and a diapered up bill

Facing South has a good post on whether the FEMA trailer Parks are closing or not…

Earlier this week, the Associated Pressreported
that a number of the parks would be closing today as part of the effort
to move residents into permanent housing. But now the agency is saying
that the parks will stay open as long as there are residents who have
not found apartments or houses to rent, according to the Baton Rouge Advocate.
That has upset some trailer residents like Celeste Jackson, who packed
up her belongings yesterday despite not having anywhere to go.

The problem is where are people to go given the lack of affordable housing in NOLA and David Vitter is apparently playing politics with a bill (the Gulf Coast Housing Recovery Act sponsored by Sen. Mary Landrieu) that could help with that. Facing South continues…

Astory about the controversy in the latest Congressional Quarterly Weekly offers partisan politics as one explanation for his actions:

…[P]olitical
experts say the senatorial flap is not unexpected, given Louisiana’s
rough-and-tumble politics and Vitter and Landrieu’s chilly
relationship. Landrieu is up for re-election next year and has emerged
as the GOP’s top target among incumbent senators, in part because of
the state’s rightward shift in recent elections.

“The fact that
Mary Landrieu is widely identified as the most vulnerable Democrat
coming into the next election cycle, you certainly don’t want to give
her big victories in helping the state,” said Kirby Goidel, a professor
of political science at Louisiana State University. “He probably feels
safe enough to hold it up as long as it’s not too obviously political
and he has some policy-related cover. He’s a pretty hardball political
player.”

The story notes that political insiders have pretty much given up on
any chance of Vitter’s support, and the bill probably can’t move
without his approval. If the only victims of the senator’s obstinacy
were his low-income constituents, we could almost understand his cold
political calculus. But what makes Vitter’s position particularly
puzzling is that he’s also bucking business groups like the Chamber for
Southwest Louisiana and Greater New Orleans Inc., who recognize that
the region’s reconstruction is imperiled by workers’ inability to find
affordable housing.

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