Louisiana Gov. Blanco to Lobby Congress for Hurricane Recovery Needs

Gov. Kathleen Blanco is headed to Washington this week to lobby for Louisiana's hurricane recovery needs, planning to meet with congressional representatives, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The governor's trip also includes campaign fundraising and the Washington Mardi Gras celebration, which is a series of parties and lobbying events focused on Louisiana.

At the top of Blanco's agenda are getting Congress to agree to cover the 10 percent match that local governments must pay toward rebuilding projects reimbursed by FEMA and to make changes in the Stafford Act that controls FEMA programs, the governor's spokeswoman said.

Blanco leaves Louisiana for Washington on Monday. Among Blanco's scheduled events, according to her press secretary and campaign staff: a meeting with the Democratic caucuses in the House and Senate on Tuesday, a sit-down with Pelosi on Thursday, and a fundraiser hosted by former U.S. Sen. John Breaux and former U.S. Rep. Chris John.

At the fundraiser, sponsors are being asked to contribute $5,000 for an evening of cocktails with the governor. Guests get in for $1,000, said Cynthia Dupree, fundraiser for the Blanco campaign.