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Katrina Costs Keep Rising

Congress has already allocated $122 billion for Katrina disaster relief and is now facing requests from affected states for billions more. Louisiana has requested $14 billion for coastal restoration and royalties from offshore drilling that could provide up to $20 billion to rebuild coastline property. The Bush administration expects requests for up to $2 billion to rebuild roads, schools, and utilities. Despite the reconstruction of levees in New Orleans, current studies indicate they may need further strengthening. In addition to direct aid, Congress has spent more than $100 million to bail out the National Flood Insurance Program.