HUD de­lays $16 bil­lion for storm pro­tec­tion

Belleville News-Democrat (Sunday) - - News - BY STU­ART LEAV­EN­WORTH Stu­art Leav­en­worth: 202-383- 6070, @sleav­en­worth

to please ap­prove these rules for pub­li­ca­tion as soon as pos­si­ble so we can get started on con­struc­tion of vi­tal in­fra­struc­ture projects to pro­tect Tex­ans from the type of dam­age caused by Hur­ri­cane Har­vey,” said Bush, the son of for­mer Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, in a let­ter Wed­nes­day to Trump’s bud­get di­rec­tor and act­ing chief of staff, Mick Mul­vaney.

Nei­ther HUD nor staff at the Of­fice of Man­age­ment and Bud­get re­sponded to in­quiries about Bush’s let­ter, which was pre­vi­ously re­ported by Bloomberg. HUD says on its web­site that the en­tire depart­ment is closed,

“due to the lapse in Con­gres­sional Ap­pro­pri­a­tions for Fis­cal Year 2019.” lion of the money, fol­lowed by Texas ($4 bil­lion), Louisiana ($1.2 bil­lion), the U.S. Vir­gin Is­lands ($ 774 mil­lion) and Florida ($550 mil­lion).

But ac­cord­ing to state of­fi­cials, the Depart­ment of Hous­ing and Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment has yet to is­sue reg­u­la­tions on how states and U.S. ter­ri­to­ries can ap­ply for the money. While the on­go­ing gov­ern­ment shut­down is ad­ding to the de­lays, the prob­lems pre­ceded the cur­rent stale­mate, ac­cord­ing to the of­fice of Texas Land Com­mis­sioner George P. Bush, who this week sent the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion a let­ter com­plain­ing about the sit­u­a­tion.

“I am writ­ing to ask you

sleav­en­[email protected]­clatchydc.com

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion has de­layed the re­lease of $16 bil­lion in storm pro­tec­tion funds, prompt­ing com­plaints from of­fi­cials in Puerto Rico and Texas, who say the money is vi­tally needed to pro­tect coastal com­mu­ni­ties be­fore the next hur­ri­cane sea­son.

Congress last Fe­bru­ary au­tho­rized the $16 bil­lion in dis­as­ter mit­i­ga­tion funds, to be used for projects to bet­ter safe­guard com­mu­ni­ties dam­aged by floods and hur­ri­canes in 2017. Puerto Rico was slated to re­ceive $8.3 bil-

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