The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 20, 2008

Fact Sheet: Rebuilding the Gulf Coast
President Bush And His Administration Are Supporting The Rebuilding Of A Better And Stronger Gulf Coast Region In The Aftermath Of Hurricanes Katrina And Rita

     Fact sheet President Bush Discusses Gulf Coast Recovery
     Fact sheet In Focus: Gulf Coast

Today, President Bush visited New Orleans, Louisiana, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast to discuss the major improvements taking place in the Gulf Coast region over the past three years. August 29, 2008 marks the three-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's landfall along the Gulf Coast of the United States. President and Mrs. Bush continue to provide substantial support to the local citizens and leaders who are rebuilding their homes, lives, and communities in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Significant progress has been made in the region, and the Federal government has pledged to remain a steadfast, supportive partner for the local leaders who must continue to drive this rebuilding effort.

New Orleans has grown substantially over the past three years:

The Federal Government Has Committed More Than $126 Billion To The Gulf Coast Region In The Aftermath Of Hurricanes Katrina And Rita

The Federal government has provided more than $126 billion – $140 billion including tax relief – to the Gulf Coast Region. This funding is helping fulfill vital needs, including housing reconstruction, rental assistance, infrastructure repair, flood insurance payments, education, health care, criminal justice, and debris removal.

Under the President's leadership, Congress has provided more than $20 billion in Federal funds through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Community Development Block Grant program (including $13.4 billion for Louisiana and $5.5 billion for Mississippi) to rebuild damaged housing and other infrastructure. These funds are helping more than 115,000 homeowners in disaster-affected areas repair and rebuild their homes, while also providing for vital economic and community development projects and the building of affordable rental and mixed-income housing. This is the largest housing recovery program in U.S. history.

The Administration Has Aided Efforts To Improve And Repair Levees And Infrastructure In The Gulf Coast Region

With the President's leadership, the Federal government has appropriated a total of $12.85 billion since 2005 to repair and strengthen the levees. On June 30, 2008, President Bush signed the 2008 Supplemental Appropriations Act, which allocated an additional $5.8 billion for completing levee improvements in metro New Orleans. Prior supplemental appropriations for New Orleans hurricane protection totaled $7.04 billion. On August 7, 2008, President Bush allowed Louisiana to pay its share of the levee reconstruction over 30 years – ensuring that the State will not have to choose between rebuilding floodwalls and its other vital recovery projects.

Administration funding has played a major role in the repairing and strengthening of infrastructure throughout Louisiana and Mississippi:

President Bush And His Administration Have Contributed Economic Assistance To Help Lay The Foundation For A Better And Stronger Gulf Coast

The Administration's sustained support has promoted economic development in the Gulf Coast region:

The President And His Administration Have Restored And Advanced Strong Education And Health Infrastructure While Supporting Vital Reforms Throughout The Region

The U.S. Department of Education has provided almost $2 billion in grant assistance to reopen schools in the Gulf Coast region and to help educate students displaced by the storms. Affected colleges and universities received more than $300 million, and another $30 million has been used to help recruit and retain educators along the Gulf Coast. The Department also directed almost $400 million in loans to historically black colleges and universities affected by the storms.

FEMA provided more than $2.3 billion to Louisiana and more than $347 million to Mississippi to restore school buildings. Today, there are 85 public schools open in New Orleans to serve a projected 33,000 students, more than enough seats for all children.

Since Hurricane Katrina, Mrs. Bush has visited numerous schools and saluted community leaders in more than 20 trips to the Gulf Coast region. Through its Gulf Coast School Library Recovery Initiative, the Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries has awarded competitive grants to 78 elementary and high schools to buy books for hurricane-affected school libraries in the Gulf Coast region, totaling more than $3.7 million.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has promoted a more efficient, effective and compassionate health care system. It provided approximately $2.7 billion for health care and social services. This includes approximately $1.3 billion in Louisiana alone to provide health care services for low-income and uninsured mental health services, social services, support for primary care clinics and private hospitals, and recruitment and retention incentives for doctors, nurses, and other health professionals in New Orleans. HHS is also working closely with the state of Louisiana to implement comprehensive reforms that will improve health care quality and increase citizens' access to high-quality health care, regardless of income.

The U.S. Department of Justice Has Played A Vital Role In Keeping New Orleans Safe

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) provided more than $86 million to the state of Louisiana to restore criminal justice infrastructure and better equip local law enforcement agencies. These funds have provided local police and sheriffs with vital equipment; helped re-establish local court operations; helped pay the salaries of prosecutors and investigators; and supported programs that help prevent youth violence and other risky behavior.

To Enhance These Rebuilding Efforts, President Bush And His Administration Have Harnessed The Tremendous Power Of Faith-Based And Community Organizations And America's Armies Of Compassion

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