Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Bush's "Big Deal" for New Orleans

Today, George W. Bush is lauding his recovery plan for New Orleans residence. So, what is the jist of this $4.2 billion plan? Each resident that lost a house due to hurricane Katrina "up to $150,000. "

George Bush With His Blue Sleeves Rolled Up

March 8, 2006

Bush touts $4.2 billion plan for Louisiana homeowners

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- During a tour of the hurricane-damaged Gulf Coast, President Bush on Wednesday pressed Congress to pass a proposal that would reimburse up to $150,000 to each Louisiana homeowner who lost a residence to Katrina.

Big freaking deal.

What happened to the $10.5 billion that Bush spoke of in his famous "and, Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job" speech? He even mentioned needing more money than that.

George Bush With His Blue Shirt Slevees Rolled Up Six Months Ago

White House
Mobile Regional Airport Mobile, Alabama
September 2, 2005

President Arrives in Alabama, Briefed on Hurricane Katrina

We have a responsibility to help clean up this mess, and I want to thank the Congress for acting as quickly as you did. Step one is to appropriate $10.5 billion. But I've got to warn everybody, that's just the beginning. That's a small down payment for the cost of this effort. But to help the good folks here, we need to do it.

It is interesting that FEMA Director Michael Brown was not the only person that Bush said was "doing a heck of a job." He wasn't even the first. The governors of the Gulf Coast States were. From the same speech as above, directly after Thanking the Coast Guard and the Commander and Troops in Iraq.

"I want to congratulate the governors for being leaders. You didn't ask for this, when you swore in, but you're doing a heck of a job."

Bush also said something else important in this speech. It has to do with "federal responsibility." He states the following:

"And the federal government's job is big, and it's massive, and we're going to do it. Where it's not working right, we're going to make it right. Where it is working right, we're going to duplicate it elsewhere. We have a responsibility,
at the federal level
, to help save life, and that's the primary focus right now. every life is precious, and so we're going to spend a lot of time saving lives, whether it be in New Orleans or on the coast of Mississippi."

Bush went on national TV in a highly televised to give a speech to let us know that not only did the Congress approve the $10. 5 billion on he asked for on September 2, they gave him even more.

George Bush With His Blue Slevees Rolled Up
And His Buttons Crooked 5 3/4 Months Ago

White House
Jackson Square New Orleans, Louisiana
September 15, 2006

President Discusses Hurricane Relief in Address to the Nation

To carry out the first stages of the relief effort and begin rebuilding at once, I have asked for, and the Congress has provided, more than $60 billion. This is an unprecedented response to an unprecedented crisis, which demonstrates the compassion and resolve of our nation.

Wow, $60 billion, that would be up to $2,250,000 for each resident who lost a home due to Katrina. I'll bet that amount of money would get some people up and on their feet. That is easily enough money to get your lot comepletely cleared and have a new house put back there.

When Bush mentioned the "more than $60 billion," he was adding together the $10.5 billion requested by Bush and approved by Congress on September 2 (Public Law 109-61) and the $51.8 billion requested in a letter September 7 and approved by Congress on September 8 (Public Law 109-62).

The Democrats saw the abuses starting right away and presented the following document the day after Bush's Jackson Square speech on September 15.

Senate Democratic Policy Committee Hearing
September 16, 2005

An Oversight Hearing on Whether the Army Corps of Engineers Retaliated Against Whistleblowers Who Objected to Iraq Contracting Abuses

Ironically, the problems that are emerging in post-Katrina contracting in many ways echo the problems that emerged in Iraqi reconstruction contracting, and which Ms. Bunnatine Greenhouse has had to address.

On September 8, 2005, the President signed the second supplemental emergency appropriation of $52 billion for Hurricane Katrina relief. That legislation included major changes to procurement law, including a provision that exempted Katrina-related procurement, up to $250,000 per contract, from all normal federal procurement requirements.

This new exception means that Katrina relief procurements up to $250,000 can be made without competition, and out of the public view. This new exception therefore raises serious concerns that the same problems that dogged U.S. contracting in Iraq – failures in competition, failures in transparency, and failures in integrity – will arise again in the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.

So, the Democrats saw the problems, that are now being reported, two weeks after the hurricane hit. But, as usual, nobody paid attention.

So, I figured I would get the total amount of money spent on hurricane Katrina relief right form the horses mouth: The Department of Homeland Security, who oversees FEMA, who is in charge of hurricane Katrina relief. I found a page that list everything. It is very long and drawn out I am gonna have to do some math or find a web site. Here is the updated (?) report.

Department of Homeland Security
Emergencies & Diasters
Hurricane Katrina: What Government Is Doing

Here is the latest tally of all of the money that had been appropriated by the Senate for hurricane relief. This includes both Katrina and Rita.

Senate Budget Committee
February 28, 2006
Senate Budget Committee Releases Current Tally of Hurricane-Related Spending

The Senate Budget Committee today released a current tally of congressional legislation related to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Enacted hurricane-related relief is now more than $100 billion.

Now as of February 28, 2006 $100 billion dollars would be

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