Thursday, August 25, 2016

The anti-recovery caucus

Economic downturn, budget crisis, and now a major disaster.  Louisiana has a lot of work to do digging out from this mess.
With the floodwaters still receding, the expected cost of the disaster is unclear. The Federal Emergency Management agency said it's too early to make any estimates, but judging from prior disasters such as Hurricane Sandy, the tally will be well into the billions. The Red Cross expects its costs to exceed more than $30 million, making it the organization's largest disaster response operation since Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast in 2012.

"It's not anything we haven't seen in Louisiana before, it's just more of it," said Greg Langley, spokesman for the state task force managing the recovery. "It's unprecedented in its scope, in its magnitude, other than Katrina."

It all comes as Louisiana faces a $2 billion budget shortfall that required Governor John Bel Edwards to push through a temporary tax hike in March to avoid going over a looming fiscal cliff. "The fiscal condition of this state is not going to limit what we do to make sure that people get the assistance they need," Edwards said earlier this week.

Long term, Louisiana will benefit from billions in federal aid and insurance dollars coming its way.
How much federal aid is on the way?  Having been through this before we know the value of fighting for every cent.  Well.. some of us know, anyway. Unfortunately, some of our representatives in Washington are having difficulty processing. 
NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy is facing a political problem as he lays the groundwork to seek billions of dollars in federal recovery aid for Louisiana flood victims.

Cassidy, the first-term GOP senator, was in the U.S. House in January 2013 when he joined 189 other Republicans to vote against a $50 Billion Dollar aid package for Hurricane Sandy victims.

At the time, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, blasted the GOP House members for partisan politics at its worst. Now that Cassidy and fellow Louisiana Republicans Steve Scalise and John Fleming are asking for federal disaster relief and rebuilding grants for their state, some in the national media are calling them hypocrites.

But Cassidy says he’s being consistent.

“I voted for Sandy relief,” he said. “What I didn’t vote for was $20 billion or so tacked on as pork unrelated to Sandy relief…. I want this to be related to disasters, and obviously, we’ve had a disaster in our state.”
Because the one thing we need to make abundantly clear when we ask for help is that we don't think anyone should be trusted with it.  

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