Exploiting the same suffering a few weeks later to try to move the entire federal budget to Louisiana a piece at a time.
Louisiana's congressional delegation has requested $40 billion for Army Corps of Engineers projects in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, about 10 times the annual Corps budget for the entire nation, or 16 times the amount the Corps has said it would need to protect New Orleans from a Category 5 hurricane.
Louisiana Sens. David Vitter (R) and Mary Landrieu (D) tucked the request into their $250 billion Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief and Economic Recovery Act, the state's opening salvo in the scramble for federal dollars….
Vitter and Landrieu did not return calls. But in a news conference Thursday after they unveiled their bill, they described it as an unprecedented response to an unprecedented tragedy, and said that rebuilding their state as quickly as possible would have long-term benefits for the nation. They said their requests were based on recommendations from Louisiana's municipal, spiritual, educational, medical and commercial leaders.
"We're going to fight hard for every dollar," Landrieu said. "We wanted to tell people the truth: It's going to be an expensive recovery, but worth the investment."
Corps funding is only part of what Louisiana wants. The 440-page bill also includes $50 billion in open-ended grants for storm-ravaged communities and $13 billion for the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, along with mortgage assistance, health care, substance abuse treatment and other services for hurricane victims. It also includes hefty payments to hospitals, ports, banks, shipbuilders, fishermen and schools, as well as $8 million for alligator farms, $35 million for seafood industry marketing, and $25 million for a sugar-cane research laboratory that had not been completed before Katrina.
What? No money left over the the Pelican State's failed attempt to market nutria flesh as the really other white meat?
Whole Wash Post story here. Given that Lousiana was already pulling down beacoups bucks for levees and the like–and spent it on luxury projects–the answer to this whole proposal should be a polite fuck you.