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.)
Pop-up dinner of chef Justin Girouard’s creations reflect farming traditions
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday, April 16, 2014:
newsy bits for the fam
Festival International de Louisiane is right around the corner — April 23-27 — and IND Monthly’s second annual Fest fIND contest is along for the ride.
Acadian rep notifies would-be supporters that an April 25 fundraiser for the embattled U.S. rep won’t go on as planned.
Georgia-based fried chicken chain would go up against Raising Cane’s, Chick-fil-A and others (like the Popeyes near its proposed location).
While it isn’t all too unusual for public bodies to have hired security present during meetings, the LPSB’s push to do so is arguably a response to the antics of one board member.
“I’m running. Why would I be raising all this money? Just to have to return it to people?”
With incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu watching from afar, and with a united Democratic Party in her corner, the fight to get the GOP officially behind Congressman Bill Cassidy is gaining just as much momentum as it is hushed controversy.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
15th Judicial District Judge Durwood Conque has announced that he will not seek re-election after 27 years on the bench.
The perfect color for Easter Sunday
The controversial standardized tests are set to be used in third-grade through eighth-grade public school classrooms next year.
The Louisiana Senate has agreed to prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying over chemical plants, water treatment systems, telecommunications networks and other items considered "critical infrastructure" in Louisiana.
A Scott businessman has pleaded guilty to failing to report a conspiracy to award Opelousas Housing Authority construction bids to his company.
It didn’t take long for KATC TV 3 to jump all over the news of a dead body found in Girard Park, but in its rush to produce headlines, the local TV station got sloppy.
Egg-citing ideas for sharing at family gatherings
An unholy trinity of civil-society upheavalers whose first names are not Conner, Tanner or Logan are facing charges in Eunice.
Now that lawmakers have shot down efforts to cap annual interest rates for payday loans, supporters for stricter regulations of the storefront lenders are rallying behind another strategy.
The Appropriations Committee held public testimony day, letting people talk about what they like or don't like about Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget recommendations for the 2014-15 fiscal year that begins July 1.
Court-appointed examiner says Lafayette businessman was “effectively on both sides” of transactions, opens door for legal action against him.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Lafayette-based insurance broker/risk management group bought by Florida firm for undisclosed sum; principals Landry and Harris continue to run local operations.
Lafayette police are investigating the death of a 21-year-old woman whose body was found early Sunday in a drainage ditch in Girard Park.
Former Grant parish District Attorney Ed Tarpley says he's running for the U.S. House seat currently held by Republican Vance McAllister of Swartz.
Louisiana-Lafayette got strong starting pitching and timely hitting to hold off Arkansas-Little Rock 6-3 in Sun Belt Conference baseball in Lafayette, La.
The life and legacy of Dave Perkins will be commemorated with a special INDesign Lifetime Achievement Award as part of the 2014 event on April 24.