It’s time to ‘Give Thanks’

In this time of giving thanks, the Louisiana Recovery Authority suggests we express gratitude to members of Congress, President Bush and the American people for their backing of the state’s efforts to recover from hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Under the auspices of “Louisiana Gives Thanks,” residents can show appreciation to politicians who have worked to rebuild Louisiana by visiting the Louisiana Speaks Web site at

This brings up an immediate red flag. Partisan politics aside, why should Louisiana thank President Bush when he vetoed the Water Resources Development Act? With Christmas weeks away, Bush pulled off a “Bad Santa” impersonation when he attempted to kill the WRDA bill, which provides $7 billion for levee construction and coastal restoration.

It is important to remember that the WRDA money has only been authorized and is yet to be appropriated. Meanwhile, Louisiana’s coastline continues to erode at a startling rate.

More promising, however, was the $3 billion sent to Louisiana to fund the Road Home program as part of the Defense Appropriations Bill. We can thank Governor-elect Bobby Jindal – still a member of Congress – for saying coastal restoration is the prime issue facing Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes. Jindal was one of the main sponsors of a provision giving 37.5 percent of the royalties collected from oil and gas production on federal leases off the state’s coastline.

It’s not to late to say thanks. The deadline for submitting signatures is today (Wednesday).