Most members of Congress agree that their colleagues should make it their business to vote. It’s what they were elected to do. And it’s why U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany may get the support he needs for his “No Show, No Pay Act.” The Lafayette Republican wants to dock members for missing votes, unless they have a good reason to do so.
Squarely in Boustany’s sights is fellow Rep. Jeff Landry of New Iberia, who has missed more than 10 percent of all roll-call House votes and another four votes Monday and Tuesday — in part because Landry has been out raising money and campaigning against Boustany. The two face off in the newly drawn 3rd Congressional District in November.
“Serving as a member of Congress is not a part-time job,” Boustany said in a statement. “The primary duty of a member of Congress is to advocate on behalf of its constituency by casting important votes. Some of my colleagues take their office for granted and refuse to accept this responsibility. They habitually miss important votes on key policy initiatives and legislation by leaving early or arriving late in order to attend fundraising and campaign events.
“This bill discourages these offenders from dodging their Constitutional duty by holding them accountable to their constituency."
If Boustany's bill passes, a member who misses a single vote would not receive pay for that entire day. He says the legislation will improve transparency and accountability by requiring the House to provide an online list of members who are absent each month. Cumulative deductions for absences of each member will be posted online.
Landry was quick to fire off a response:
“In what could only be a political ploy, Boustany is now claiming — after nearly a decade in Congress — he wants to do something about Congressional pay, tying it to votes in Congress.
I wish Charles had been absent the times he voted to raise the debt ceiling, bail out banks, and allow his salary to increase.
I declined special Congressional healthcare and retirement benefits, while Charles sits back and takes them. I am cosponsoring legislation to permanently strip Congressmen of their pensions. I have cosponsored legislation to deny pay for Members of Congress until we pass a budget. I have never, and will never, vote to increase my pay — even with a procedural vote.
Charles may attempt to distract from the fact he voted to allow his pay to increase and he is accepting special Congressional healthcare and retirement benefits however, when it comes to reform, the voters know who they can trust… me.”
Business organizations opposed the proposal, saying it would lead to job losses and higher prices for goods and services.
An attempt to repeal a six-year-old law that permits public school science teachers to use material outside a classroom's adopted textbook has been rejected by the Senate Education Committee.
New York Times poll shows Obama, Jindal have identical approval and disapproval ratings in the state.
OK, so they’re bentgrass, the type used on golf course greens. But grass is grass.
The Senate Finance Committee approved the bill Wednesday, despite opponents who argued it would shut down the storefront lenders.
A measure to allow the state to implement its own, less stringent plan for limiting carbon dioxide emissions unanimously passed the Senate.
FDA to regulate e-cigarettes, Jodie Foster gets married, Vermont to require labels on genetically-modified food, and more news for today, April 24, 2014.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
A push to expand Louisiana's Medicaid program as allowed under the federal health care has been overwhelmingly rejected by the Senate health committee.
Louisiana welfare recipients would be prohibited in state law from spending the federal assistance at lingerie shops, tattoo parlors, nail salons and jewelry stores, under a bill that received the support Wednesday of a House committee.
Senators will consider whether to prohibit private businesses in Louisiana from paying unequal wages to employees of different genders for the same job.
Rep. Joel Robideaux has delayed bill hearings and said unless a compromise can be reached, he won't bring up the legislation this session.
Once again, Lafayette Parish School Board President Hunter Beasley is focused on an issue that has nothing to do with the educational well-being of our public school children.
After exhausting his appeals all the way to the state Supreme Court, the owner of the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete has no legal remedy left save one: do an end run around the high court via a bill that would grandfather his “right” to keep a 550-pound tiger enclosed in a pin at his roadside business.
Louisiana poet Darrell Bourque has won the 2014 Louisiana Writer Award, given annually to recognize outstanding contributions to Louisiana's literary and intellectual life.
Drivers would have to secure dogs riding in truck beds while on interstate highways, if the Senate agrees to a bill backed by the House.
An effort to prohibit employers from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity was shelved Tuesday for the legislative session.
Louisiana won't lessen its penalties for marijuana possession, keeping laws on the books that allow people to be jailed up to 20 years for repeat offenses of having the drug in hand.
“This is one of the oldest divides that exists, and that divide is about the haves and the have-nots.”
It took a few weeks for the pitfalls to emerge in the governor’s $25 billion budget, but the time of judgment has finally arrived.
With pressure continuing to build for him to resign, Congressman Vance McAllister announced plans recently to remain secluded during the Easter break, but the Swartz Republican has said he’ll be back on the Hill casting votes and attending committee meetings when the congressional recess ends April 28.
A bid to limit the use of unmanned aircraft on private property in Louisiana stalled Monday in the Louisiana Senate.
A Shreveport lawmaker said Monday he's scrapping his proposal to name the Bible as Louisiana's official state book.
Attorney hopes fellow lawyers will join him in urging the D.A. to step aside and allow a competent, ethical challenger to take over the scandal-ridden office.
An official with the Louisiana Department of Education was arrested on a range of charges Friday after allegedly breaking into a home and brandishing a knife.