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Landrieu Wants $1 Billion Before Bailout

As lawmakers close in on a $700 billion Wall Street bailout, they still have to deal with colleagues who want parochial concerns addressed before signing on.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) told Roll Call that she wants $1 billion for agriculture disaster relief for Gulf Coast farmers affected by recent hurricanes, including $700 million for Louisiana, before supporting the plan.

Landrieu said that existing farm programs are inadequate and the administration has yet to declare the area an agricultural disaster area. Even if one is declared, no money would be available until next year — too late, she said, for farmers in dire straits.

“I’m not very open to bailing out Wall Street without bailing out some of our agricultural communities as well,” she said.

Landrieu has proved adept in recent years — particularly since Hurricane Katrina — in shaking the money tree right before Congressional recesses and getting a billion or so dollars thrown in so Senators can get out of town.

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