Even after the state finally gains access to federal flood recovery dollars, the feud continues between Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards and Republican Congressman Garret Graves. Graves said recently that he would resign if the federal government was the hold up in dispersing the funds.
But Edwards says the state didn’t have access to the money until last week.
“Not only was it not true, it just wasn’t helpful either because he’s adding to the frustration and anxiety of homeowners needlessly and making it harder to go to Congress and get the additional assistance that we need,” Edwards said.
Edwards says he doesn’t want anyone to resign over the issue. He says he’s tried to make amends with the Baton Rouge Congressman, but a meeting between the two hasn’t happened yet.
“I offered to Garret in Washington a couple of weeks ago to sit down with him and show him everything that we’ve had and give him the timeline. It’s not something he was interested in doing,” Edwards said.
But during an appearance on Talk Louisiana Graves told Jim Engster it’s the governor’s fault the two haven’t sat down for a discussion.
“The thing that really got me frustrated is when the governor made comments saying that I refused to meet with him. When the reality is, if you look at the emails, we offered times to meet with him in the window that they offered up, and the governor rejected it,” Graves said.
The federal government opened a line of credit for the state on April 10, giving state officials access to the money. Graves is frustrated the state is still not ready to dispense the funds. But he says he’s willing to patch things up with Edwards, if the governor stops feeding lies to the public.
“I don’t have a desire to have a bad relationship with the governor or anyone else, but you certainly have to start telling the truth at some point if you’re going to have a decent relationship with anyone,” Graves said.