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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Screw You Louisiana… Says the Government

I’m not to surprised to find out that our government that is supposed to look out for its people has chucked the bird at our friends and family in the devastated State of Louisiana. Over 18 months after hurricane Katrina and people are still struggling to get back to the basics of life in Louisiana? Why? What is wrong with this picture?

We can spend hundreds of billions on a war thousands of miles away that was built on lies and deception and yet we as a nation can not help our own people? Granted it takes an act of Congress to get anything done but why are these people still waiting for help?

Does the fact that Louisiana is one of the poorest states in the union ring a bell? Why are we still talking about this issue and what needs to be done in Louisiana?

Senators at Louisiana Hearing Criticize Federal Recovery Aid

Published: January 30, 2007 - The New York Times

NEW ORLEANS, Jan. 29 — Three United States senators sounded off on Monday about the slow pace of recovery from Hurricane Katrina at a hearing in the French Quarter, criticizing federal officials for perceived inequities in aid to Louisiana and for imposing rules that are halting government assistance.

With Senator Barack Obama, Democrat of Illinois and a presidential candidate, expected to speak at the hearing of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee, dozens of residents lined up outside the Louisiana Supreme Court building hoping to be admitted. But only a small fraction were allowed inside, where Mr. Obama jousted with Donald E. Powell, the federal coordinator of Gulf Coast rebuilding, about where the money was, and why more of it was not in Louisiana.

Mr. Obama and Senator Mary L. Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana, focused on why Louisiana, which had far more damage than Mississippi, did not receive a larger proportion of federal aid. Mr. Powell said Congress had put a cap on how much aid money any one state could get.
The senators complained about federal rules requiring a local match for aid after disasters; Mr. Powell said that in some cases, like the removal of the tons of debris that inundated the landscape here, the rules had been waived.

The senators, including the panel’s chairman, Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, voiced little criticism of Mayor C. Ray Nagin or other local officials, and Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco of Louisiana was not on the witness list. Ms. Blanco is responsible for the Road Home, a troubled housing assistance program that has made little progress in getting federal rebuilding aid to thousands of homeowners.

Fewer than 300 homeowners have received aid under the program, Mr. Lieberman said, though more than 100,000 have applied. (A program official said on Monday that 359 had received grants.) The program’s failure is cited as a crucial reason for the faltering repopulation effort. - The New York Times

If we can not rely on our government to help out with our own citizens when devastation like what happened in the state of Louisiana then who can we count on for a helping hand? Meanwhile, the people suffering here in these United States of America are passed over so the government can rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan in the tens of billions of dollars.

Something is not right with this scenario.


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