La. senators say border wall debacle won't divert Comite canal funding
BATON ROUGE- Amid rumors that a border emergency might put the Comite Diversion Canal on hold, Louisiana senators say federal funding for the canal is safe.
"Money for Comite, West Shore and other Louisiana projects has already been set aside. What is being reported based on anonymous sources indicates unobligated Army Corps funds would be used so no projects in Louisiana would be affected”, Sen. Bill Cassidy's press secretary Ty Bofferding tells WBRZ.
Senator John Kennedy issued a statement to WBRZ Thursday evening.
"I have received no indication from the White House that the Comite River Diversion Canal or any other Louisiana project is in danger of losing funding," Sen. John Kennedy said. "What I do know is that it is impossible to secure a 1,900 mile border without using a barrier. The reason that part of the federal government is shut down is because Speaker Pelosi hates President Trump more than she wants border security."
Garret Graves responded to questions about the fund stating funds will not come from Louisiana.
"The funds currently under consideration to be re-purposed toward a border wall are not funds from Louisiana Graves said. We are doing everything we can to work with the White House, Corps and others to temper the impact and urging them should they move ahead with an emergency declaration to only utilize funds that are not otherwise going to be spent in 2019 in order to create time to come back and replenish those dollars."
State DOTD officials said they are evaluating the claims.
In the latest reports of President Donald Trump possibly declaring an emergency to fund the US-Mexico border wall, some have suggested that such a declaration could pull from the Corps of Engineers' $13.9 billion post-storm fund.
Of that, $1.4 billion is earmarked for Louisiana projects, including the Comite Diversion Canal. That funding was announced in July after decades of the flood-prevention project being at a standstill.