Gov. Edwards grades FEMA, meets with congressional leaders

Gov. Edwards grades FEMA, meets with congressional leaders

WASHINGTON D.C. (WAFB) - Gov. John Bel Edwards touched on quite a few topics between meetings on the first of a three-day trip lobbying for more money to fund Louisiana's recovery after the floods.

The governor graded FEMA's response, saying it started off great but has since stumbled a bit. He said there have been a few hiccups with manufactured housing units, in particular.

"I still think they've been too slow to move those housing units into Louisiana in significant enough numbers and get them placed where we have families that can actually start to reside in those manufactured homes," Edwards said.

On Wednesday, the governor met with congressional leaders from both chambers, including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, to discuss the $800 million he has requested for infrastructure projects. This comes on top of the $2.6 billion in recovery money he has already requested.

Congress is currently considering that request but the governor said he is very confident in the push he and other leaders are making. He even said he believes Congress is grasping the scope of the flooding, something he credits mostly to the hard work of Louisiana's delegation in Washington.

"I've talked to leadership in both the House and the Senate, Republican and Democratic side as well as rank and file members and they know principally because our delegation really is working very hard in a coordinated, united fashion and a bipartisan fashion and working with me to make sure that we're all successful just as soon as we can, because we owe it to the people of Louisiana to bring them every bit of relief that we can as fast as we can," Edwards said.

U.S. Congressman Garret Graves, R-Louisiana, brought down several House members to tour flood-damaged areas over the weekend.

The governor said he should have a better idea of whether all of his requests will be honored by Friday, the same day he will attend a meeting at the White House.

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