Will Congress Deliver the Funds?

June 20, 2007

Reported by: Associated Press

Governor Kathleen Blanco is encouraged after talking with top U-S House leaders in Washington about Louisiana needing billions of new hurricane recovery dollars, including aid to help cover a shortfall in the program to help Katrina and Rita victims rebuild homes or relocate.

Blanco said yesterday that she didn't ask for a specific amount of cash because applications to the Road Home housing program are still coming in. Still, she says she came away from a private meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with the impression that Congress would deliver the funds the state needs.

Pelosi said they will keep working on behalf of the survivors of the storm.

Other House leaders at the meeting were Representatives Jim Clyburn, of South Carolina, Pelosi's point person on Katrina; Barney Frank, of Massachusetts, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee; and Majority leader Steny Hoyer, of Maryland.

Blanco says she expects that the state will get money from Congress this fall, from an emergency supplemental bill.

The governor also met with Louisiana's congressional delegation, and has meetings scheduled today with Alphonso Jackson, President Bush's secretary of housing and urban development, to discuss housing in hurricane-damaged areas including New Orleans.