Two weeks ago Facing South reported on a measure moving through Congress that would have taken $400 million from Louisiana's Road Home program to fund a spending that included $304 million for BP disaster response.

The proposal was swiftly met with howls of outrage from Gulf residents, who argued that taking money away from the key program for rebuilding homes in the wake of Katrina would not only make a bad economic situation worse, but raised the specter of taxpayers footing the bill for BP disaster expenses.

Among those leading the opposition was Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), who helped successfully mobilize the Senate to kill the Road Home cuts. As she declared in a statement:
The House's ill-advised cuts to these important programs would have negatively affected Gulf Coast residents who are still struggling to rebuild and recover from four hurricanes in the last five years. With oil washing onto our beaches and into our marshes, the timing could not have been worse for the House to make these rescissions. Defeating that effort was a victory for thousands of families and hundreds of communities from Texas to Alabama.
Congress' rejection of raiding Road Home funds was part of an overall slimming-down of the budget package: The money allocated for BP disaster costs -- mostly unemployment insurance for displaced Gulf workers -- dropped from over $300 million to $162 million.

But the fundamental issue raised by the controversy remains: Despite BP's assurances that it will cover the costs of the Deepwater Horizon spill, taxpayers will inevitably end up footing the bill for some of the economic damage inflicted by the disaster.