White House Asks Congress For $2.6 B To Help LA

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration asked Congress on Tuesday for $2.6 billion to help Louisiana rebuild from disastrous floods that have ravaged the state.

         The White House request is for rebuilding damaged homes and infrastructure, helping small businesses and funding community development projects. It comes as Gov. John Bel Edwards returns to Washington to press the case for money to help Louisiana.

         Tuesday evening's letter from White House budget chief Shaun Donovan asked Congress to "provide additional funding to address Louisiana's unmet housing and infrastructure needs as soon as possible."

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         On Monday, Edwards upped his aid request to $2.8 billion. He has the backing of Louisiana's GOP-dominated congressional delegation.

         It is likely too late for the administration request to be included in a stopgap spending measure under development that's required to prevent a government shutdown at month's end. But additional spending legislation that is expected to advance in December is more likely to include the money.

         Last month's floods have displaced tens thousands of people from their homes. More than 140,000 individuals have registered for government help. Donovan said 73,000 families are receiving temporary housing assistance at a cost of more than $600 million, paid for from existing Federal Emergency Management Agency funds.

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         Edwards is expected to meet with House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., during his Washington visit.


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