U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-Quitman, released the following remarks following the House passage of the 90-day highway extension, which includes a measure to direct vital resources to areas harmed by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill:
"On the cusp of the second anniversary of the tragic oil spill that devastated the Gulf Coast on April 20, 2010, Congress made some promising progress giving back momentum to a commonsense, long-overdue proposal to help affected areas.
"Like many of you, I was left utterly shell shocked when this environmental and economic tragedy detonated off our coast, and alas my frustration continues to grow.
"From day one, response to the oil spill has been met with hesitation and bureaucratic red tape, greatly impeding our state's recovery efforts that instead should have been alleviated by federal help and urgency.
"This was federal oil, invading federal waters; however, it was and remains Louisiana's ecosystems, environment and economy that are in a state of peril.
"Today, the House passed an extension of transportation programs and with it included fellow-Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise's critically-needed bill, the RESTORE Act, to assist the Gulf Coast's ongoing recovery.
"This legislation designates 80 percent of Clean Water Act fines from the oil spill to the Gulf Coast. Like putting a Band-Aid on top of the actual wound, not on another limb, the same valid logic applies here--it directs the bulk of the fines to areas that are trying to heal from the spill.
"The House made the right move this afternoon, albeit two years after the disaster began. I commend Senator Mary Landrieu for leading the charge on the Senate side. Let's hope it makes it all the way to president's desk to give those still hurting the help they so greatly deserve.
"I continue to offer my prayers and support to those families who lost loved ones on this tragic day."