Strong words exchanged: Garret Graves, John Bel Edwards sniping about flood recovery, again

An ugly feud between two of Louisiana’s most prominent elected leaders tasked with the state’s flood recovery reached a fever pitch Thursday, with both camps expressing utter exasperation and accusing each other of hurting the victims of 2016’s historic floods.

U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, a Republican representing the heart of the disaster area, called Gov. John Bel Edwards a “liar” whose bumbling leadership has slowed the process of getting federal assistance to needy flood victims. Top Edwards officials responded that Graves’ fixation with trashing the governor, a Democrat, may jeopardize the state’s ability to receive a desperately needed additional $2 billion from Congress. They also touted a letter from President Donald Trump’s administration that lauded the state’s “historically fast” pace in navigating the federal grant process.

“The governor needs to stop lying and he needs to get personally involved and understand what’s going on and show some urgency,” Graves said, his frustration palpable, in an hour-long meeting with The Advocate’s editorial board. “Give us a trajectory of when you’re going to start cutting checks. That’s all I’m asking for. Look at this through the eyes of a flood victim and do what’s in their best interest”…


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