Today, the U.S. Senate passed a $109 billion bill to pay for both the war in Iraq and hurricane relief in the United States, and George W. Bush has made it clear that he will veto it if it becomes law as is. "The House will not take up an emergency supplemental spending bill for Katrina and the war in Iraq that spends one dollar more than what the president asks for," said House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio. "Period."
The Congressional Research Service says that the bill would bring total Iraq war spending to about $430 billion. In addition to $28.9 billion for other hurricane relief,, the bill includes $4 billion for levees and flood control projects in Louisiana. It includes $65.7 billion for war operations. Bush says that the bill is supposed to cover emergency spending, and that the Senate has filled it with "unecessary spending."
Speaking today on WWL Radio, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco said that if she has to, she will use the courts to obtain the funding that Louisiana needs to rebuild. It is now an indisputable fact that the Army Corps of Engineers intentionally failed to provide appropriate protection for New Orleans when it constructed levees and floodwalls. No whistleblower came forward to tell the public what was going on, and as a result, we have the devastation that was caused during Hurricane Katrina. To make matters worse, the Orleans Parish Levee Board did a terrible job of inspecting the levees.
And now for some good news: Word came today from Washington that the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet is being deauthorized ASAP. There will be no more dredging, nad MRGO will probably be closed in the near future.