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Remarks by the President Before Lunch with Louisiana Elected Officials and Community Leaders

Contact: White House, Office of the Press Secretary, 202-456-2580


NEW ORLEANS, Mar. 1 /Standard Newswire/ -- The following text is of remarks by President Bush before lunch with Louisiana elected officials and community leaders:


Lil Dizzy's Café

2:22 P.M. CST

THE PRESIDENT:  It is my pleasure to be back in New Orleans.  I want to thank the Lieutenant Governor, the Mayor, the head of the City Council, the parish presidents for joining me.

I committed to stay involved in the rebuilding of -- gosh, a United States Senator, excuse me, Senator -- and the Congressman, I beg your pardon.  I committed to the people of this part of the world and the Gulf Coast that the federal government would fund recovery and stay committed to the recovery.  And one of the reasons I have come down is to hear from you.  I fully understand that there are frustrations and I want to know the frustrations.  And to the extent we can help, we'll help.  I told the people that I would work with the Congress to write a $110 billion check -- the people of Louisiana and Mississippi, and that check has been written.  And now it's incumbent upon us to get the money into people's hands.

Sometimes it's hard to see progress when you're living close to the scene.  I guess the New Orleans Saints football team represents to me what's happening in this part of the state -- a resurgence, there's a renewal.  Even though there's a lot of work to do, the spirit of the people down here is strong.

And so I want to thank these leaders for joining me.  It means a lot to me.  It's good to be with you.  It's also good to be in a place where you can buy some pretty good food.  (Laughter.)  I'm looking forward to it.

END                      2:24 P.M. CST