Today, Congressman Cedric Richmond (LA-02) released the following statement in response to the inclusion of the RESTORE Act in the transportation bill which will be voted on in the House and Senate this week:
"The inclusion of the RESTORE Act in the final transportation bill marks a significant victory for recovery efforts in Louisiana," said Congressman Cedric Richmond. "The bill requires that 80 percent of the Deepwater Horizon fines be sent to the states hardest hit by the oil spill. For Louisiana, this means billions of dollars in critical funding for wetlands restoration. I commend the fierce and tireless leadership of Senator Mary Landrieu as well as the bipartisan support of my colleague Representative Steve Scalise."
Regretfully, to pay for the RESTORE Act, House leadership slashed Louisiana's Medicaid funding by $651 million over the next two years:
"While I am excited about the RESTORE Act and the benefits it will bring to our state, I am extremely disappointed by House Republican Leadership's insistence on steep cuts to Louisiana's Medicaid program. Louisiana's children and disabled should not have to bear the impact of the $651 million of cuts to Medicaid," said Congressman Cedric Richmond. It frustrates me that time and time again, House Republicans offer solutions that require an even greater sacrifice from Americans. It is entirely unacceptable to continue to play a tick for tack game that leaves our citizens hanging in the balance of bad politics."
Due to Congressman Boustany's efforts, the final transportation bill also includes a Sense of Congress that we must invest in ports and waterways to promote the economic competitiveness of the United States.
"Today also marks a second victory for the state of Louisiana. As a result of Congressman Boustany's tireless work, Congress will formally recognize that increasing investment in our ports is critical to the future competitiveness of the United States," said Rep. Richmond. "I look forward to working with Congressman Boustany to pass the RAMP Act, which will provide additional money to deepen our ports, rebuild wetlands, and make our small businesses more competitive worldwide."