Edwards, other officials meet in D.C. to talk flood aid
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and other high-ranking state elected leaders traveled to Washington, D.C., Thursday to lobby for additional flood relief.
The group is scheduled to be in D.C. Thursday and Friday. Traveling with Edwards will be Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain and Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser.
Thursday morning, Edwards met with United States Senate Committee on Appropriations Chairman Senator Thad Chochran and Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy.
The governor hopes Congress will approve a $2 billion federal aid package for Louisiana. The assistance would help cover housing, economic development and infrastructure. In weekend reporting by the Associated Press, the governor said it's a "very reasonable request," and would be in addition to on-going aid programs in Louisiana post flood.
Edwards wrote to the president last week, outlining his request for additional help from federal authorities.
The trip is the first of many, the governor's office said, to discuss flood relief with Congress and the White House. This week, the governor is expected to meet with meet with House and Senate leaders, particularly Cochran; Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D), Vice-Chair of Senate Appropriations, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D); Rep. Steny Hoyer, Democratic Whip, Rep. Maxine Waters (D), a ranking member of House Financial Services to discuss flood insurance; and Rep. Nita Lowey (D), ranking member of House Appropriations.
Edwards and the group are also scheduled to meet with HUD Secretary Julian Castro and the president's chief budget strategist, Shaun Donovan.
On Friday, everyone is set to appear at the Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Transportation and Public Assets to discuss FEMA's response to the flood and future plans for rebuilding. The mayors of Denham Springs, Walker and Central along with State Sen. Bodi White are scheduled to attend the FEMA hearing Friday, too.