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.”
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday, March 10, 2014:
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.
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
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.
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.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
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?
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.
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.
A federal appeals panel ruled Monday that businesses don't have to prove that they were directly harmed by BP's 2010 Gulf Of Mexico oil spill to collect settlement payments.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has closed Interstate 10 from I-49 in Lafayette to Seigen Lane in Baton Rouge.
Jim Bernhard, who engineered the sale of The Shaw Group for $3 billion, recently has told several people involved in Democratic politics that he intends to run for governor in 2015.
A New Orleans levee board wants to hold the oil and gas industry accountable for decades of damage to our state’s coastline, but the Legislature may be poised to put the kibosh on the suit.
New standards curb elective induction
CVS stops tobacco sales
If an Acadia Parish fiddler misses a note while swatting a fly, will a St. Martinville accordionist learn “Ma ‘Tite Fille”?
(It's good, it's bad and it's just crazy)