Sunday, September 04, 2005

Army Forced to Hide Corps of Engineer's Budgets

     I'm finding some aggregate numbers without citation...

     Editor & Publisher: 430 million federal + 50 local over ten years until 2003. "Yet after 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA dropped to a trickle." and

The 2004 hurricane season was the worst in decades. In spite of that, the federal government came back this spring with the steepest reduction in hurricane and flood-control funding for New Orleans in history.  Because of the proposed cuts, the Corps office there imposed a hiring freeze.  Officials said that money targeted for the SELA project -- $10.4 million, down from $36.5 million -- was not enough to start any new jobs.

     SELA apparently stands for South East LouisianA, and refers to the Flood Control Project. GovExe has this weird story...

Parker -- who, along with members of his family, was forced to evacuate his Mississippi farm on Sunday night -- drew media attention (and the White House's ire) in 2002 by telling the Senate Budget Committee that a White House proposal to cut just over $2 billion from the Corps' $6 billion budget request would have a "negative impact" on the national interest. Parker also noted that cuts would mean the end of scores of contracts and the loss of tens of thousands of jobs.

After Parker's Capitol Hill appearance, [OMB Director, now Indiana Governor] Daniels wrote an angry memo to President Bush, writing that Parker's testimony "reads badly... on the printed page," and that "Parker. . . [was] distancing [himself] actively from the administration." Parker, a former Republican congressman from Mississippi, was forced to resign shortly thereafter.
Here is Mississippi's Clarion-Ledger covering the resignation.

     It turns out the Army Corps of Engineers are not releasing their budget numbers. Here is the Chicago Tribune version of the AP story...

Funding for a drainage project in New Orleans went from $69 million in 2001 to $36.5 million in the current fiscal year[2005], while funding for such hurricane-protection projects as levees around Lake Pontchartrain declined from $10 million in 2001 to $5.7 million this year[2005], according to figures provided by the office of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.).

Funding for these projects has generally trended downward since at least the last years of the Clinton administration. Congressional records show that the levee work on Lake Pontchartrain received $23 million in 1998 and $16 million in 1999. It was not clear how much the drainage project received in 1998, but records show it received $75 million in 1999. Neither the White House nor the Corps of Engineers would confirm the numbers, nor would they provide funding levels dating to previous administrations.

     The Hiding Inconvenient Reality Award goes to GW Bush!  What a maroon.

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