BATON ROUGE – Another Louisiana lawmaker in Washington has gone on record to express doubt that construction of a border wall will interfere with funding for the Comite River Diversion Canal.
In a report from The Associate Press, Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana, said funding for the CRDC and other Louisiana flood control projects – including the West Shore Lake Pontchartrain Hurricane Projection Project – will not be affected if President Donald Trump pulled funds from the $13.9 billion disaster fund Congress created last year.
The federal government has already obligated funding for those projects, which would eliminate the threat of a loss in revenue with those items already on the drawing board.
Funding for the wall at the U.S./Mexican border could affect projects in California, Florida, Puerto Rico, Texas and other areas which endured floods, hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disaster. The federal government has not yet allocated for those disasters, a spokesman for Sen. Cassidy told the Associated Press.
The statement from Sen. Cassidy’s office follows suit with a message from Congressman Garret Graves, who said Friday he and other lawmakers have stayed in close contact with the White House, Army Corps of Engineers and budget office.
“We fought for well over a year to get these projects funded,” Graves said in a message on Facebook. “Ultimately, we announced an unprecedented $3 billion in funding to fully construct these projects and many others to help protect our homes, businesses and families.
“There are rumors that these projects are on the chopping block so the funds can be diverted to build a border wall,” he said. “We will continue to fight any effort to divert these important project funds.
“Right now, these projects and their funding are protected,” Graves said. “With all of the efforts we made to secure these funds and the importance of the projects on the line, we will not stop fighting to project built.”
The federal government has other options available to fund border security.
“In the meantime, we are continuing to work to improve border security and restore government functions,” Graves said.
The funding issue arose as the nation remains in a partial government shutdown which began Dec. 22, largely due to the disagreement over funding for the border wall.
The shutdown is now the longest in the nation's history, outlasting the 1995-96 lockout during the Bill Clinton Administration.
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