Emergency Bill Provides Money for Post-Katrina Recovery -- But Far Greater Sums for the Military

In mid-June, President Bush signed H.R. 4939. Called the "Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Hurricane Recovery, 2006," the bill provides about $95 billion in funding.

The bill authorizes some $19.8 billion for post-Katrina rebuilding and relief. It allocates $3.6 billion for levee and other flood control improvements, but an extremely meager $71 million for wetlands restoration and $263 million for environmental remediation and restoration.

The bulk of the money under the legislation--$70.4 billion—goes to military priorities: $43.5 billion directly to run the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with most of the reminder to support these wars, including replacements for lost or worn military equipment.

The bill is an apt reflection of the militarized approach to security—investing hundreds of billions of dollars in weapons and an unprovoked war, yet shortchanging the country’s environmental defenses. The legislation continues a decades-long neglect of wetlands protection and restoration, even though such measures would have helped to absorb some of the storm surge caused by Hurricane Katrina.

White House, “Fact Sheet: President Signs Emergency Funding Bill,” 15 June 2006.
Link: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/06/20060615-15.html.