This is what the President was saying when he visited the area August 29:
I've come back to New Orleans to tell you the words that I spoke on Jackson Square are just as true today as they were then.In a report released yesterday, the Government Accountability Office, the agency that “studies how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars,” gave a different number (page 72 of the PDF):
Since I spoke those words, members of the United States Congress from both political parties came together and committed more than $110 billion to help the Gulf Coast recover. I felt it was important that our government be generous to the people who suffered. I felt that step one of a process of recovery and renewal is money.
To date, Congress has appropriated approximately $88 billion of federal support through emergency supplemental appropriations to federal agencies for hurricane disaster relief and recovery efforts related to the 2005 hurricanes.The GAO report seems to agree with my breakdown:
* September 2, 2005 – $10.5 billion in a disaster relief billOkay, maybe I am obsessed.
* September 8, 2005 – $51.8 billion in a disaster relief bill
* December 31, 2005 – $5 billion in a spending bill (along with $24 billion diverted from already authorized funds, but not new money)
*June 15, 2006 - $19.8 billion in a spending bill