Bush on not mentioning the Gulf Coast in the State of the Union speech:
Well, I gave a speech that I thought was necessary to give. On the other hand, I had been talking a lot about Katrina and about the fact that I worked with the Congress to get about $110 billion sent down to both Mississippi and Louisiana to help them on their reconstruction efforts.Did he say Congress sent $110 billion dollars to the Gulf Coast for reconstruction?
Government Accountability Office, is that right (pdf)?
About $88 billion has been appropriated to 23 different federal agencies through four emergency supplemental appropriations acts.The GAO even includes a graphic showing which agencies the $88 billion, not $110 billion, has gone to.
Of course, we here at Da Po’ Institute of First Grade Math have also been counting how much federal money has been coming to the Gulf Coast. Our report concludes similar findings to the GAO’s:
* September 2, 2005 – $10.5 billion in a disaster relief billDPIFGM’s total: About $87.1 billion has been appropriated by Congress for hurricane response and recovery.
* 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
In the past, the President has counted the borrowing limit of the National Flood Insurance Program, which is currently $20.8 billion. DPIFGM doesn’t count that for previously stated reasons, previously stated thusly:
I didn’t know that paying out flood insurance claims was optional.Even if we did count flood insurance payments, we still would not count the entire $20.8 billion. That’s just the limit. Around $16 billion has actually been “sent down to both Mississippi and Louisiana” in flood insurance payments for Katrina and Rita.
But, as I said, DPIFGM doesn’t count flood insurance payments as reconstruction money.