WASHINGTON — Call it a belated hurricane casualty.
Despite meeting with former Florida emergency management chief Craig Fugate Monday, U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., said he'll continue to block Fugate's confirmation as head of the FEMA until the Obama administration allows rebuilding projects in south Louisiana.
Vitter has been embroiled in a long-standing dispute with the Federal Emergency Management Agency over where to place emergency housing for Cameron, La., residents who were made homeless by Hurricane Ike last year, as well as over rebuilding public buildings in Grand Isle, La.
"I am maintaining my hold on the FEMA nominee until I get answers to my specific requests — requests that I have had ... for more than 60 days," Vitter said after meeting with Fugate.
It's not unusual for senators to hold presidential appointees for leverage during policy disputes. The Senate government affairs committee approved Fugate's nomination by a voice vote last week, and he has been well-received on Capitol Hill. But the full Senate can't vote until Vitter lifts his hold.
Times staff writer