NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Next week, the U.S. House of Representatives is set to take up the trillion-dollar infrastructure deal approved by the Senate last week.
“$17 billion, as an example, going to Army Corps of Engineers,” explained Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy. “And in that pot of money, $4.5 billion goes to restore coastlines in states that have been hit by natural disasters in the last 6 years. Whoa! that’s us! By the way, there’s a reason that it’s us.”
Cassidy is breaking down some of the benefits our state will get from the trillion-dollar infrastructure deal. He was among 17 Republicans in the room to help seal the deal that included more for our region.
“Resiliency, which includes $50 million for restoring Lake Pontchartrain’s ecosystem. Normally, Lake Pontchartrain gets $1-$3 million, but this is $50 million over 5 years.”
Support for the senate passing was bipartisan but did not include our other Louisiana senator, John Kennedy.
“Louisiana’s losing money on this deal. That’s why I voted against it,” said Kennedy.
The cost of the legislation is also why House Minority Whip Steve Scalice opposes the bill.
“That’s literally like sending a mortgage to every single child in America without a house,” Scalise added. “They’re going have to pay for this.”
Cassidy, on the other hand, has no regrets for supporting the massive historic legislation.
“Now we have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to rebuild our state, to decrease your risk of flooding if you’re at risk of flooding,” Cassidy continued. “And, to restore our coastline because we know we’re all at risk because of that — Lake Pontchartrain, Southeast Louisiana, and the parishes in which Steve (Scalise) and John (Kennedy) live in. $50 million dollars to restore the ecosystem. Why wouldn’t you be for it?”
Also included in the package is a significant number of jobs headed to the state as a result. Cassidy says it will be hundreds, if not thousands, of new jobs for Louisiana.
Finally, there are also billions of dollars dedicated to expanding broadband across the state.