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Graves Secures Additional Funding Needed to Finish Construction on Comite, West Shore Projects in FY2024 Appropriations Package

U.S. Congressman Garret Graves (South Louisiana) announced today he secured $575 million in reallocated federal spending to address the inflation-induced funding shortfalls affecting the Comite Flood Control Project and West Shore Hurricane Protection Project. Graves’ funding is included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2024 that was finalized after lengthy negotiations.

"We’ve had to bail these projects out so many times in recent years, you’d think the chaos was engineered in their plans,” said Graves. “These 1970s and 1980s protection projects should have already provided protection against countless storms and floods, yet here we are, securing funding yet again. What level of protection do these projects offer if they are partially funded and partially constructed? Since both of these projects have been funded – multiple times – we have seen the costs continue to significantly balloon. It’s not fair to burden folks at home with higher insurance premiums, taxes, and risk of flooding because the project costs have now tripled or more. This ensures the Comite Project is fully funded. We will continue to aggressively work in Congress to secure the funds needed to see the completion of West Shore Project.”

Graves engaged U.S. Senator John Kennedy (Louisiana) to ensure strong bicameral support for reallocation of funds. “I want to thank Senator Kennedy for his efforts to grease the skids in the Senate. His support was a big help to getting this across the line.”

  • Graves' provisions in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2024 reprograms resiliency funding that he previously secured for the Comite and West Shore projects in the 2022 Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (DRSSA) and redirects them to be used for project construction. Without this provision, the funds would have been unavailable until the projects were completed and construction on both projects would have stalled.
  • Graves secured the amounts that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said would be needed to fully fund both of these projects in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA18). At that time, Graves secured $760 million for West Shore, and an additional $453 million for resiliency features in 2022 after Hurricane Ida. In BBA18, Graves also secured $342 million for Comite – the linchpin flood protection project for the Capital Region – and an additional $125 million in resiliency funds in 2022. Last year, he secured the remaining nearly half a billion dollars when the Corps of Engineers announced that more funds were needed to complete the half-finished project. This announcement ensures the entire nearly one billion dollars are in place to complete the Comite Flood Control Project. 
  • The resiliency funds are already available and serve no purpose to the communities and projects they are meant for if the projects are not finished – redirecting them to continue construction is the right move. Our communities are getting slammed by natural disasters, skyrocketing flood insurance costs, and record inflation; there is no excuse to let these projects stall and leave folks in these areas vulnerable to flooding without finding common sense, cost-effective solutions.