Louisiana congressional delegation criticizes lack of storm relief funding

By Victor Skinner 

Members of Louisiana’s congressional delegation tried unsuccessfully to include more storm damage relief in the omnibus spending bill approved by Congress on Thursday, though they haven’t given up the fight.

“I am frustrated our amendment to add $2.5 billion for disaster aid to tonight’s omnibus appropriations bill did not pass,” U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., posted to Twitter. “But despite this, Southwest Louisiana will and is coming back. I will continue to do whatever I can to deliver relief and complete the process of recovery.”

U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., who represents a large section of southeast Louisiana ravaged by Hurricane Ida in August, also attempted to secure several amendments to the omnibus bill that would have boosted disaster relief, but the measures were blocked.

One amendment “would have provided $3 billion to Economic Development Administration for the purposes of providing expedited disaster relief to victims of natural disasters in 2020 and 2021,” according to a prepared statement.

Another “would have provided $3 billion to Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery account (increasing funding provided from $5 billion to a larger figure) to provide natural disaster relief to victims of the 2022 and 2021 hurricanes,” the statement read.

Yet another failed Graves amendment would have directed $379 million in disaster relief for fisheries while also banning Russian seafood imports.

“The White House asked for tens of billions for COVID response, disaster response in other countries and assistance to Ukraine,” Graves said. “Meanwhile, they included zero for Louisiana’s hurricane recovery efforts in the funding bill today.”

Graves noted that the state’s … Continue Reading Full Story

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