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.”
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DEC 11 It's the holiday season, and that means you can count on seeing some pretty crazy stuff going down at the Wal-Mart, but this story out of Marshall, Texas takes the cake. A man went in and attacked a couple of people with a hatchet. Who stopped him? A customer who started launching soup cans at him -- and connected with his noggin. The story tells us that while some folk were injured, everyone's been released from the hospital.
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DEC 11 Here's a post on NOLA Defender from the chef de cuisine at Delmonico's about gumbo. Chef Anthony Scanio shares childhood food memories that aren't quite a warm and fuzzy cliche -- but they certainly sound authentic. His personal story isn't just about food, it's a true New Orleans boy's upbringing. It's a cool story, and it ends with recipes for seafood gumbo and red beans.
DEC 11 Blogger Lou Gehrig Burnett writes here on Bayou Buzz about GOP efforts to mount a candidate against Sen. Mary Landrieu -- "a" being the operative word. So far, Bill Cassidy and Rob Maness are both in the race, and as long as the ultra-conservative Maness remains he poses a threat to the Republicans' hopes to unseat Mary. There's also a bit on what's up in Texas -- where Gov. Rick Perry's rejection of Medicaid money is causing other lawmakers some trouble.
DEC 11 Qualifying for New Orleans municipal races opens today, and Gambit's Clancy DuBos is most interested in people running against Sheriff Marlin Gusman, a frequent topic of Clancy's posts -- and a lot of other media posts as well. So far, the most interesting candidate expected to qualify is former sheriff Charles Foti. But Gusman's biggest enemy may be himself, given his 33 percent approval rating.
DEC 11 It may be the season of brotherly love, but John Maginnis is not falling for David Vitter's Christmas story. In this post, he poo-poos the very idea that Vitter and his family will spend the holidays in prayerful reflection so that they can decide if the Senator will run for governor. He also gives some predictions on what could happen if Vitter did get elected, throwing in a cautionary reference to the big ole egg laid by the GOP up in North Louisiana's recent Congressional race.
DEC 11 Well, knock us over with a rainbow-colored feather. The Shreveport City Council passed an ordinance granting equal protection to LGBT folks, this KSLA story reports. It basically forbids discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation. According to the story, city workers already have had that protection, since 2009.
DEC 11 That nice lady over in Denham Springs must still be mad at her neighbors for stealing her dog, because she's back up on her roof, making a big ole "one finger salute" in Christmas lights. This story in the Advocate even gives us a picture of the process underway, in case you are experiencing a similar situation and would like some finger-display-creation tips.
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