The federal government may move slow, but is it any excuse to hold back something for flood survivors?
We’re seeing that situation in Washington, D.C., where more than four months have elapsed since the U.S. House and Senate approved the measure that struck down the Duplication of Benefits provision.
The move opened the gates for flood survivors in Louisiana and other states to receive the Restore Louisiana awards, even if they had been previously denied. The rejection came when the federal government ruled that a Small Business Administration grant and a Restore Louisiana Award were duplicative.
It seemed asinine two years ago, and it sounds every bit the same now.
The House and Senate seemed to concur on that notion when both voted overwhelmingly to strike down the DOB issue, which was included in the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill in September.
President Donald Trump signed the bill into law days after its passage, and lawmakers believed it would be only a matter of time for qualified applicants to receive their grants for flood-related repairs.
They’re still waiting.
Congressman Garret Graves and a bipartisan group of House and Senate representatives have sharply criticized the delay. Graves has called it a “bureaucratic morass” and has now threatened to take legal action against the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development to disburse the checks.
He has said he hopes the lawsuit figures as a last resort, but who knows how long the agencies will refuse to budge?
It may take legal action, and it may turn out ugly. But if that’s what it takes, so be it.
The survivors have suffered long enough. It’s past time for the federal government to keep its promise.