Thompson: Aid welcome news for Coast cities

WASHINGTON — A proposal by Homeland Security’s new leader that millions in hurricane disaster loans be forgiven is welcome news for Democratic 2nd District Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi.

“This is a great opportunity for the Gulf region to direct their resources to other recovery projects rather than worrying about how they are going to pay back the federal government,” said Thompson, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee. “This was the most catastrophic disaster to ever hit the U.S.”

Mississippi and Louisiana communities hard hit by hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 could see hundreds of millions in government disaster loans forgiven under a regulation change proposed by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

The regulation change would allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency to forgive all or some of the $1.27 billion in loans approved by Congress since 2005 for 152 communities in the two states.

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