The Gulf Coast is in critical need of reconstruction. These efforts, however, will have to compete for resources with lagging reconstruction in Iraq. Reuters reports:
Extra funding will be needed to finish key Iraqi reconstruction projects, given high unexpected outlays for security, the top official auditing $18.4 billion in U.S.-funded Iraq projects said on Wednesday…[Stuart Bowen, U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction] said it was not the right time to discuss more money to finance Iraqi reconstruction, given the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in the U.S. Gulf region, but it was clear that eventually more funding would be needed.
The money will be requested in “another supplemental.” The administration can pretend it’s able to do everything at once but money that will be spent on reconstruction in Iraq is money that could improve the lives of the people in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. Pushing off specifying an exact figure doesn’t change anything.