Landrieu threatens hold action on Presidential
Urges Action on Levees, Coastal Restoration
U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., said today that she intends to exercise her power as a member of the United States Senate to prevent further consideration of any and all Executive appointments until significant progress is made to secure White House commitments to levee protection and coastal restoration in Louisiana.
"This is literally a life-or-death situation for the people of my state," she wrote in a letter sent to President George W. Bush this afternoon. "We can no longer rely on promises. We need action, and we need action now." Last week, the Administration's Gulf Coast recovery coordinator, Donald Powell, announced that it will cost the Army Corps of Engineers nearly $6 billion in additional funding to protect Gulf Coast families and fully repair Louisiana s levee system. The White House has yet to submit a request for the additional funding to Congress.
In her letter, Sen. Landrieu urged the President to put the full weight of his office behind an immediate national commitment to fully fund and implement an integrated, coordinated, and comprehensive levee, flood control and coastal restoration program that protects the lives of Americans living in the New Orleans area and along the Louisiana coast.
She also urged the President to make an immediate, specific request to Congress of at least $6 billion to fund this effort, and called for him to issue Executive Orders instructing agencies such as the Army Corps of Engineers to take emergency steps to implement the commitment on a fast-tracked basis.
"Members of the Louisiana Congressional Delegation from both parties have asked your administration for such a national commitment for a long time, Sen. Landrieu wrote, adding that the commitment should include support for a federal revenue-sharing that would provide a long-term revenue stream to fund coastal protection and wetlands restoration projects and maintenance for years to come.
"Money spent on levees and flood control today will save the federal government billions in the future," she added.