‘Excellent chance’ for duplication of benefits lawsuit, Rep. Garret Graves says

Rep. Graves plans to sue federal agencies delaying duplication of benefits fix

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - There’s an “excellent chance" local attorneys and U.S. Representative Garret Graves will file a lawsuit in the coming weeks against the federal agencies blocking distribution of around $230 million in 2016 flood aid, Graves told WAFB Thursday.

Congress passed a legal fix to the duplication of benefits problem last year, but the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and other agencies wanted to write their own guidelines for the distribution of the money before cutting checks.

“Under the law, the checks should have been written in November," Graves said. “Now that those federal agencies are operating outside the confines of the law, to try and put your finger on a calendar date [for payment] would just be a guess.”

Graves also says some bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. are suffering from hurt pride because the Louisiana delegation “rolled them” by sneaking the legal fix into an unrelated bill.

“Every single one of them that I’ve met with is incredibly uninformed and does not understand what has happened to our flood victims,” Graves said. He would not identify which lawyers he is working with, but noted they’ve all been working together throughout the process.

Unless the federal agencies have a dramatic change of heart, that money will continue to sit in a bank account until it’s distributed. Graves says he believes a lawsuit would speed the process along.

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