Skip to comments.Louisiana Senators Propose $250-Billion Katrina Reconstruction Package
Posted on 09/23/2005 2:48:35 PM PDT by econjack
Louisiana Senators Propose $250-Billion Katrina Reconstruction Package, Other Lawmakers Seek Offsetting Cut
September 23, 2005
Louisiana's Senators, Mary Landrieu (D) and David Vitter (R), have proposed legislation to provide about $250 billion in federal aid to help their state rebuild from Hurricane Katrina. The massive, 10-year plan, contained in a bill introduced on Sept. 22, includes about $180 billion in direct federal spending, Vitter said. The rest would represent the cost of various tax breaks.
But Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and several other GOP colleagues want at least some of the federal hurricane relief spending to be offset with spending cuts. Among their suggestions: a 5% across-the-board cut in discretionary spending other than defense and homeland security; and rescinding $24 billion in earmarked highway projects in the recently enacted highway and transit authorization bill.
Already, Congress has approved $62.3 billion in post-Katrina relief aid for Louisiana and other Gulf Coast states. The Office of Management and Budget has said it further spending would be requested.
The Landrieu-Vitter package would draw most of its funds from federal appropriations, but they also are seeking 50% of the revenue from oil and gas leases off their state's coast. Vitter says that 50% share of lease payments recently has ranged between $3 billion and $4 billion annually. Those revenues would go for restoration of coastal wetlands and barrier islands as well as infrastructure.
The energy bill signed into law in August provides Louisiana with $135 million in oil and gas lease revenue annually for four years to be used for coastal restoration work.
The new plan also includes more than $16 billion for transportation, of which $2.9 billion would be emergency relief aid to repair highways and other infrastructure; and $50 billion in Community Development Block Grants "to provide disaster relief and promote long term recovery" in the affected area, according to a summary of the bill prepared by Landrieu's staff.
There also would be $40 billion that an envisioned new "Pelican Commission" would use for Corps of Engineers hurricane and flood protection, coastal restoration and navigation projects."
Landrieu says she recognizes that the sum she and Vitter are seeking is large, but she says of the hurricane's aftermath, "It's not a local problem. It's not a state problem. It's a national tragedy and it needs an unprecedented national response."
The legislation also would allot $150 million to the National Park Service for historic preservation grants "to owners of historic structures and artifacts affected by Hurricane Katrina," says the bill summary. The non-federal matching share for the grants will be 25%, instead of the usual 50%.The non-federal match could be cash or services, labor or equipment. The program would be administered together with the State Historic Preservation Office and National Center for Preservation Technology and Training in Natchitoches, La.
In addition, the measure would provide $30 million to the Park Service for preservation grants for National Historic Landmarks, plus $8 million to technical assistance and training for people who want to restore historic property, and $20 million for the Trust's preservation services.
Mary Landrieu's going to punch you for pointing that out.
Much cheaper would be to give LA back to France.
Easier to not take it away from the ocean.
That sounds allright.
They need to go soak their heads in the 9th Ward.
I think all federal education funding should be cut to pay for this. And funding for the Nat'l Endowment for the Arts, too. And all federal farm bill funding, and federal funding for abortions--I can think of lots of ways to pay for this monstrosity.
Why not just round it off and make it an even zillion?
Perfect description of the Democrat Party ...
Hey its starting to rain here in Houston... I have questions:
Where is my $2000 FEMA Card!?!?
Where are the Greyhound Buses to come take me out!?!?
I will take a buyout of $200,000... oh ummm okay I live in an apartment... Yeah a buyout of $150,000...
Uhm .. NO ... not just not but HELL NO. Louisiana can fix this with taxes of their own.
". Louisiana can fix this with taxes of their own."
I agree. If people want to live below sea level, they can pay for it.
Feds should pay for infrasturture repairs for anything above sea level. Bulldoze the rest, plant some grass seed, and call it Nagin/Blanco memorial park.
You don't know jack about economics if you think New Orleans is capable of taxing it's citizens and tourist enough to protect itself.
Hey New Orleans elected officials........PROPOSE THIS!!!
The non-federal match could be cash or services, labor or equipment.
Hello, "Who's Your Daddy?" bloated invoices.
Not a problem...I'm hiding behind President Bush...
They have no f'n idea how much it is going to cost. None! I felt some sympathy for them before. But now. F the greedy bastards!!! (no relation to Joe Bastardi).
Why not just make it a Kazillion? It's just our tax money after all, and there's no limit on that.
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