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Alaska keeps $452 million to spend as wishes

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) is getting to keep the $452 million. And, there are now no restrictions on how the money has to be spent: they could build the controversial bridges, or they could spend it on other things.
Oddly enough:

Stevens said he has no choice but to live with his colleagues' decision.
"We're getting attacked from too many sides, and I think (the compromise) is just a necessary thing," he told Alaska reporters a few hours before a House-Senate panel he is on approved the bridge rescission. "I don't like it, but you should hear some of the alternatives that were brought to us."

Sen. Ted Stevens builds bridge to New Orleans' heart

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) visited New Orleans on Sunday and toured the area together with Sens. David Vitter (R-LA) and Craig Thomas (R-WY), stopping in at a Lakeview home where he got into a candid chat with the homeowners:

"He said, 'Why would we want to rebuild these homes in an area below sea level?' and said that in Alaska, when a disaster of this magnitude occurs, they relocate the town," Stafford said.
"But people have their businesses here," [one of the homeowners] said. "People have their lives here."


Norma Jane Sabiston, chief of staff to Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., who arrived at the Stafford house about 5 minutes after the committee bus left, said both Vitter and Landrieu are attempting to bring as many members of Congress as possible to the New Orleans area to see the damage, in hopes of winning support for more aid for the city and support for the Category 5 hurricane protection proposal and for coastal restoration efforts.
She said the difficulty facing the state's congressional delegation is convincing senators like Stephens that there is a reason to rebuild in New Orleans.

"Hurricane Katrina funding...for Alaska"

Townhall has the scoop:

Capitol Report has learned about a provision tucked away in the Senate Budget Reconciliation Bill that would direct Medicaid money intended for Katrina affected states (Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana) to Alaska.
The Budget Reconciliation package (PDF) contains $71.4 billion in new savings but it also spends $32.4 billion. Portions of that new spending were intended to be Katrina relief funds, but it seems Alaskan interests have once again succeeded in redirecting funds (PDF) to the state which has become famous for its "Bridge to Nowhere."
...the provision will provide an additional $130 million in federal Medicaid funding for Alaska...

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