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Strain and Landrieu optimistic for disaster relief

September 19, 2008

Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., and LieutenantGovernor Mitch Landrieu said they are hopeful the United States Congress will authorize hurricane disaster relief funding for Louisiana by the end of next week.
“Congress is scheduled to vote next week on a continuing resolution to keep the government running through either November or January,” Strain said. “We think we can get them to include Louisiana’s request for disaster relief. Our job is to make sure we can get an accurate and precise dollar amount for them to consider.”
Strain said he was scheduled to meet with the Louisiana congressional delegation on agricultural issues as soon as the danger of Gustav and Ike had passed, but Governor Bobby Jindal intervened and tasked both Strain and Landrieu to lobby Congress on behalf of the entire state.
Strain and Landrieu flew to Washington on Tuesday and returned Wednesday night, September 17, after two days of meetings with federal leaders, including United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer.
Landrieu was optimistic Louisiana’s request will be favorably received by Congress.
“We met with the entire Louisiana delegation, along with Congressional leaders and staffers,” Landrieu said. “This is one team, and with one voice we will work to keep Louisiana’s recovery at the forefront of the national agenda.”
Strain said other states affected by the storms, like Texas and Mississippi, will also help bring attention to the disaster relief effort.
“We’ve had tremendous and unprecedented agricultural losses as well as losses to businesses and state infrastructure,” Strain said. “The LieutenantGovernor and I are going back to Washington next week and we will speak for all of Louisiana and tell Congress what we need to recover.”