Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Louisiana Coastal Erosion and the Stimulus Bill

I figured Jake Tapper of ABC would not just roll over

Gibbs: We Can't Be Expected to Weed Out All the Silly Spending
Jake Tapper of ABC — quickly becoming the toughest questioner in the White House press pool — pointed out that Obama managed to get Rep. Henry Waxman to remove $200 million in the bill set aside for family-planning services; he asked White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs why the president can't do it for other porky items, like the funds set aside for "smoking cessation" efforts. (Some portion of $500 million, by my reading.)
"Let's focus on the larger picture," is Gibbs' mantra. "If we get focused on this number and that number, and two-one-hundreths of one percent of the spending... while we're discussing this, in the past forty-eight 70,000 people have gotten a pink slip."
Tapper: "Why not take the money marked for 'smoking cessation' and give it to people who are out of work?"
Gibbs: "The vast majority of this bill does that... We can't afford to wait. We have to act."
01/28 02:05 PM

By the way as to all these projects what about LOUISIANA COASTAL EROSION? I mean we have a national emergency down here and the plans are on the books that coul demploy thousands upon thousands!!

Here is the latest form the Picayune

Louisiana senators angling for levee money
by Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune
Saturday January 24, 2009, 1:55 PM
Louisiana's two U.S. senators have begun a full-court press to include more than $6 billion in coastal restoration and levee construction projects in an economic stimulus bill now moving through Congress.

On Friday, Sen. David Vitter, R-La., sent Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, and President Barack Obama a letter urging that the bill include the long list of projects that was provided to Louisiana members of Congress by the state Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration. "Millions of Louisianans remain at risk from inadequate coastal, flood and hurricane protection systems as we approach the fifth hurricane season since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and less than one year after Hurricanes Gustav and Ike," Vitter said in a news release.

A spokeswoman for Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said she also plans to include the list in amendments she will submit during a Tuesday meeting of the Appropriations Committee during which the Senate version of the bill will be written. Landrieu has been pushing for the Louisiana corps projects for several weeks with both Democratic leadership and members of Obama's transition team, said Landrieu press secretary Stephanie Allen.

A House version of the bill contains only $4.5 billion for corps projects, although corps officials have said there's a backlog of projects ready for construction that totals more than $65 billion. Col. Al Lee, commander of the corps' New Orleans district office, said the agency is still preparing its list of projects that meet the rules expected to be included in the stimulus bill: The projects must already be authorized and ready for construction, or must be part of ongoing operation and maintenance work. Included on the state list are most of the major diversions and restoration projects included in the nearly $2 billion Louisiana Coastal Area Ecosystem Restoration Plan. The list also includes 24 smaller Breaux Act restoration projects and several other state-proposed projects that are designed and awaiting money for construction.

Hurricane protection projects on the list include "advanced measures" for the Donaldsonville to the Gulf project in Lafourche Parish, sections of new levees to be built on Lake Pontchartrain in St. Charles Parish, and portions of the Larose to Golden Meadow levee system. The list also includes money to restore damage done by recent hurricanes to several barrier islands, to relocate businesses affected by the now-closed Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet, and $200 million for raising or relocating buildings in flood-prone areas.. . . . .

The time is now. If we don't get his funded and have this as a part of this then where will the money come from?

We cannot wait till Port Fourchon is gone and then reporters wonder why the Country just lost 20 percent of their energy supply.

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