Yesterday, President Bush said “I want to thank all the folks at the federal level and the state level and the local level who have taken this storm seriously.” He’s not one of them. Bush has sought to slash funds that would help New Orleans prepare for a major hurricane. From the 6/6/05 New Orleans CityBusiness:
In fiscal year 2006, the New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is bracing for a record $71.2 million reduction in federal funding…The cuts mean major hurricane and flood protection projects will not be awarded to local engineering firms. Also, a study to determine ways to protect the region from a Category 5 hurricane has been shelved for now.
Landrieu said the Bush administration is not making Corps of Engineers funding a priority. “I think it’s extremely shortsighted,” Landrieu said. “When the Corps of Engineers’ budget is cut, Louisiana bleeds. These projects are literally life-and-death projects to the people of south Louisiana.”