Congress Passes Billions In Katrina Relief For Gulf Coast - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Congress Passes Billions In Katrina Relief For Gulf Coast

"A big victory for hurricane Katrina disaster victims."

Those are the words of Senator Thad Cochran Sunday after congress passed a multi billion dollar hurricane Katrina disaster aid bill.

The numbers tell why Cochran, who is chairman of the senate appropriations committee, calls it a big victory.

The administration had proposed 17 billion in disaster relief.

However, this deal provides for 29 billion, a substantial increase.

Here's a breakdown of where some of that money will go.

If you are one of the many who lost your home to Katrina, this is a number of vital importance to you.

11 and a half billion, the bill says it's "Community Development Block grant money" but much of that money will be used by the Governor to provide assistance to homeowners whose lost their homes in the storm surge.

There is more money going towards that than any other program contained in the bill.

There is also funding to repair our bridges and roads, 740-million in all.

One point six billion goes to help rebuild or repair schools, 95-million will be targeted for higher education.

The list goes on.

Veteran's affairs gets 685 and a half million.

Of that, 45 million is for advanced planning and design for the armed forces home in Gulfport.

292 and a half million is for expansion and repair of the VA hospital in Biloxi.

Two point eighty nine billion goes to the Army Corps of Engineers for levee restoration.

135 million of that amount, is for Mississippi specific hurricane reconstruction.

Nearly two billion dollars is to help restore naval shipbuilding activities on the Gulf Coast. Mississippi also receives 950-million for military construction and family housing.

Nearly 350-million dollars goes to NASA to repair The Stennis Space Center and other facilities.

The Small Business Administration disaster loan program will receive 441-million dollars.

Governor Haley Barbour calls it a "good agreement."

Officials on capitol hill stressed the additional funds will not add to the federal deficit.

That's because the money will be offset by a one percent cut in a number of federal programs.

By: Jeff Lawson

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