A late-night negotiating session has U.S. lawmakers optimistic they can close a deal Wednesday to fund the Iraq war and hurricane relief efforts along the Gulf Coast.
However, the provision calling for money to purchase the CSX rail line on the coast was dropped from the $94 billion measure. Here is breakdown of the allocation:
- $972 million for Gulf Coast farmers to rebuild from Katrina
- $5.2 billion for Community Development Block Grants
- $176 million to rebuild the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Gulfport
- $400 million for FEMA to upgrade temporary housing
- $14 million to rebuild the Gulfport Job Corps Center
Money for Katrina repairs at Northrop Grumman shipyards are part of the spending bill. Senator Thad Cochran's office confirmed to WLOX News Wednesday morning there is $140 million in the bill to pay for hurricane repairs at all Gulf Coast shipyards that sustained damage from Katrina.
Critics complained about government money going directly to help private companies like Northrop Grumman rebound from storm damage. The congressional compromise is to give the money to the U.S. Navy to disperse to shipyards that have current Navy contracts.
Senator Cochran's office says that money is important to revitalize the Navy's industrial base, stabilize the shipyard workforce and make sure Navy contracts are fulfilled.