Governor John Bel Edwards believes partisan politics were behind the harsh questioning during a Congressional hearing examining the response to last year’s historic flooding. Republican lawmakers questioned why the state has yet to appropriate the $1.6 billion that Congress provided for flood recovery. In an interview on the Jim Engster Show, Edwards said the holdup is on the federal level.
“The state of Louisiana was historically fast in developing and submitting a state action plan to HUD. In fact, 45 days early on the first action plan, 8 weeks early on the second action plan,” Edwards said.
Baton Rouge Republican Congressman Garret Graves blames the Edwards administration for the delay in dispensing the funds. But the governor says those kinds of false comments aren’t helping.
“It adds to the anxiety and frustration of our homeowners who are already anxious and frustrated, and understandably so, if they’re led to believe that we’re dragging our heels when that is absolutely not the case,” Edwards said.
The Democratic governor says he’s been working well with the state’s Congressional delegation throughout the recovery process, and it’s only been recently that some members have chosen to make it harder by releasing misinformation. Edwards says it’s not surprising the GOP went in for the attack.
“I can only attribute it to politics, but quite frankly I wasn’t surprised. Little bit disappointed maybe, but not surprised. If you just look at the way Congress operates, that’s sort of what they do,” Edwards said.