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.)
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Shop Lafayette goes strong
The fight to clean up Lafayette Parish could get some added ammunition with two ordinances up for votes Tuesday by the City-Parish Council targeting litter-bugs.
A divided 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal reversed a Lafayette district judge’s ruling absolving the co-owner of a New Iberia accounting firm of liability in an embezzlement case.
Our View: It’s reasonable, temporary and invests in Lafayette’s future.
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By striking a deal to lessen the blow of health insurance changes on state workers, school employees and retirees, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration lowered the volume of criticism but gave itself and local school boards a new budget headache.
With the airport tax coming up for a parishwide vote in about a week, the Broussard City Council and its mayor have come out in support of the proposal.
Protesters rallied peacefully in several Louisiana cities in the wake of the Missouri grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the fatal shooting of Michal Brown.
Three bedroom in Port Barre or two bedroom in Opelousas
US cities bidding on Olympics; Guard prevents more Ferguson riots; storm threatens travel and more national and international news for Wednesday, November 26, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
The U.S. rep billed LSU for work allegedly performed on the same days Congress voted on major legislation and held important committee hearings on energy and the ACA.
“I am only getting a little nervous about two projects — the proposed Sasol GTL facility [not the new ethylene plant] and the proposed G2X facility — both in Lake Charles. They need a hefty difference between oil and natural gas prices to make sense.”
Abysmally low participation by the public has prompted the council to scuttle the 2014 survey with plans to simplify it and try again next year.
The village now says the ordinance will likely be overturned and authorities will more vigorously enforce existing leash laws.
Lower oil prices also might slow the growth of oil production in parts of the U.S., Canada and elsewhere because it will no longer be so profitable.
Bill Cassidy cast an early ballot Tuesday, seeking to draw renewed attention to a race that has fallen off newspaper front pages and away from people's minds as they plan holiday meals and shopping schedules.
A Lafayette woman faces up to 20 years in prison for running up more than $1 million in unauthorized charges to her company credit card.
Signs that our state’s banking industry is undergoing a downsizing in 2014 were further confirmed today with the FDIC’s latest figures showing a third straight quarter in which Louisiana lost more banks and earned less money.
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State police say a 47-year-old Lafayette man, who collected more than $83,000 in disability benefits, is accused of operating two businesses out of his home at a time when he claimed he had no income.
Battered all night by Baltimore's relentless pass rush, Drew Brees could feel his protection collapsing and Terrell Suggs getting ahold of him as he urgently unloaded a pass to the right flat toward tight end Jimmy Graham.
After a convincing defeat at the polls on Nov. 4, Earl “Nickey” Picard has decided to let bygones be bygones with his former right-hand man Brian Pope, announcing his support for his former employee’s runoff bid to become Lafayette’s next city marshal.
Saturday the athletic department did everything possible to ensure the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun seniors remembered fondly their last home game. Rain and lightning never arrived but turbulence did in the form of the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Even stranger than the Republican Party’s decision to hold a “unity rally” earlier this month for Congressman Bill Cassidy in a Baton Rouge bar, Huey’s Bar, was the fact that the establishment was named after Louisiana’s most famous Democrat.
Bar Code is not a gay bar.
After failing to pass a medical marijuana bill last year, state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, is telling supporters he will return in 2015 with legislation that focuses on different applications like oils and pills.
Voters, obviously, are not yet tuned into the 2015 ballot, despite the intriguing races it will host.
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