U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, who voted against the $700 billion rescue bill Monday, is now on the fence about the revised Senate legislation that overwhelming passed in the upper chamber Wednesday, no thanks to U.S. Sens. Mary Landrieu and David Vitter. Both of Louisiana's senators voted down the legislation, a perplexing decision in light of its tax breaks for hurricane victims and the extension of tax incentives for businesses opening or relocating in Go Zone areas.
In explaining his opposition on KPEL Tuesday morning, Boustany noted that the House version did not have enough oversight for how the money would be spent. He told The Advocate yesterday that he has now moved from the “no” column to being undecided, in large part due to the oversight the Senate wrote into the legislation.
The Senate bill creates an oversight board made up of federal banking regulators and a special inspector general who will watch over the program with a budget of $50 million. If after five years the government has lost money on the program, the president would be required to submit a proposal for recouping the shortfall from firms that benefited from the legislation.
Boustany told The Advocate he is carefully reading through the bill, which also raises the cap on FDIC insured accounts from $100,000 to $250,000 and has more than $100 billion in tax breaks for businesses and individuals.
Though unpopular among many Americans, the measure has been widely embraced by financial experts. They say while the legislation is far from perfect, it is the best way to clear troubled assets from the books of financial institutions reeling from home foreclosures. It would begin the process of busting up our nation's huge frozen credit markets to stem the tidal wave of a deepening recession.
Here's your chance, Chuck. Do the right thing.
(Update: Congressman Boustany today voted for the legislation, known as the Emergency Economic Stabilization package, which passed the House 263-171. "The economic downturn America is beginning to realize is a result of greed and irresponsibility, and now, small businesses, responsible homeowners and Southwest Louisiana families suffer because of reckless decisions by Wall Street," Boustany said in a statement explaining his position.
"After reading this legislation and talking with experts and people across my district, I am convinced inaction at this time would hurt middle-class families. An increase in guaranteed limits for the [FDIC] will help restore public confidence in the safety of their bank deposits, and it is one important change from previous versions of this bill," he continued. "People are anxious about banks being able to honor their commitments, and I acted to provide confidence. Strong oversight of Treasury and sound safeguards will help taxpayers recoup this loan over time; this is a necessary start. While not perfect, this is a better bill that will help Southwest Louisiana keep jobs."
Boustany joined Louisiana Reps. Rodney Alexander, Jim McCrery and Charlie Melancon in supporting the rescue plan; Reps. Don Cazayoux, William Jefferson and Steve Scalise voted against it. Alexander also switched his position.)
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Prepare yourselves for sun
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
Due to the chaos of Mardi Gras and the weather, the entry deadline for this year's INDesign Awards has been extended by one week.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
Queen Evangline and King Gabriel ruled Tuesday night
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
IND Style does Gabriel
Newsy bits for the fam
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.