We recently wrote about how National Guard troops needed for disaster relief in New Orleans have been diverted to the Iraq war. Now it turns out that Federal money earmarked to repair the levee system has been diverted to Iraq as well.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requested $27 million to pay for hurricane protection projects around Lake Pontchartrain. The Bush administration offered them less than $4 million, and Congress eventually gave them $5.7 million. The corps requested $18 million specifically to repair and strengthen New Orleans levees. Instead, their annual budget was reduced 20% because the money was needed for the war in Iraq.