“Without question, we deserve a good bit more funding than has been provided.”
Louisiana 6TH District Congressman Garret Graves is talking about federal funding for rebuilding from the August flood. He's frustrated by what went down before Congress recessed last week, authorizing less than $500-million for Louisiana's needs.
“The Flint, Michigan, money; trying to shut down Congress; making it a Republican versus Democrat – I mean, this is people’s lives, livelihoods, futures, homes – and you’re going to try and politicize that? Come on!” he says, sarcastically.
And Congress won't be returning to work till after the November 8th election. How will a lame duck Congress find the will to authorize the money Louisiana needs? Graves says the Bayou State's delegation has put together an argument for the funding that few can argue against.
“We have been doing every single thing we can to save ourselves and to save the government money,” Graves explains. “We rescued ourselves; we largely sheltered ourselves; we fed ourselves; and we stripped and gutted these homes ourselves.
“This isn’t a community who’s sitting around waiting – we are being incredibly proactive, incredibly self-reliant – but we are beginning to hit that wall of progress and are going to need federal assistance to get us beyond here.”
And, he says, the delegation has a promise.
“We secured a commitment from the leadership and from the Appropriations chairman in the House that we are going to sit down to take a fresh look at all this data. We are confident that the data shows that not millions are needed, not hundreds of millions are needed, but billions more are needed to address some of the challenges down here.”
In addition, Graves says the lame duck Congress will have no choice but to take up another appropriations bill.
“The continuing resolution that’s funding government right now expires on December 9th.”