U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, deserves an attaboy after demonstrating an increasingly rare trait on Capitol Hill late Wednesday: sanity. The retired surgeon joined 87 Republicans in the House in approving a deal to end the partial shutdown of the federal government and increase the debt limit, averting a potential economic catastrophe. Stock markets worldwide breathed a heavy sigh of relief upon news of the deal.
Boustany released the following statement after the 285-144 House vote in favor of the deal (Democrats voted unanimously for the measure):
Americans have had enough of the short-term political squabbling coming out of Washington. I refuse to jeopardize the nation’s economy over political disagreements on Capitol Hill. Some in Washington deny their responsibility to govern. Members of both parties must come together to work out their differences while achieving goals on important policy areas like tax reform, long-term government spending, and energy security.
A soft-spoken moderate now in his fourth term in the House, Boustany has joined a growing chorus of mainstream Republicans in questioning the motives of the radical right within the GOP ranks. In a Wednesday interview Boustany told a National Journal reporter, “There are members with a different agenda, and I’m not sure they’re Republicans and I’m not sure they’re conservative.” Boustany also took aim at groups like FreedomWorks, Club for Growth and Heritage Action, which pour money into the coffers of Tea Party Republicans and demand fealty to an extremist, obstructionist agenda: “There is a very large silent majority that’s getting frustrated with what’s happening because of what these outside groups have done by setting false expectations, deliberately misleading the public on some of these issues and commanding allegiance of certain members who falsely place their allegiance to these groups rather than to their constitutional responsibility to govern.”
Bravo, congressman, and speaking of which, on the Senate side the budget deal passed 81-18 with Louisiana’s delegation split: Democrat Mary Landrieu voted with the sane while Republican David Vitter sided with the ideological outliers.
Boustany's Louisiana GOP colleagues in the House — Bill Cassidy, John Fleming and Steve Scalise — also voted against the deal, with Fleming telling Roll Call, ominously, before the vote, "[T]hat will get us into Round 2. See, we’re going to start this all over again.”
Great. Just great.
To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.
DEC 19 So Bobby Jindal, who is generally unavailable to the Louisiana media on stuff like, oh, the budget, education, health care, is all up in the Phil Robertson thing. Apparently, he can comment if he thinks it will get him some national press. Here's his statement, on WAFB. If you missed it, Phil Robertson has been temporarily suspended from the Duck Dynasty program after he compared homosexuality to bestiality in a GQ interview. (He also talked about hoeing cotton with happy, singing black folks "pre-entitlement" but hey, one thing at a time.)
DEC 19 The same day a BP engineer was convicted of obstruction of justice in the first criminal trial related to the spill, here's a report from NOLA Defender about oil from the spill being found in a tar mat. So far, crews have removed 750 tons of the gunk from Fourchon Beach, the post tells us. Seems that whether it is in court or in the Gulf, this story is far from over.
DEC 19 Tyler Bridges writes in the Lens about higher education and a behind the scenes fight that is going on. It's no surprise that Louisiana's higher ed institutions should be fighting over dollars -- because they've all sustained such devastating cuts over the years of Bobby Jindal's administration. But now it turns out UL, LSU and SU are teamed up to fight a Regents' funding plan, he writes. It's very interesting -- but also embarrassing -- that universities have to do this in Louisiana.
DEC 19 Here's a post on the Education Week blog about the auditor's critical report on our voucher program. The lede is buried, as it was in most of the Louisiana media's stories: In 97 percent of the schools reviewed, the auditor could not tell how voucher funds were spent. In other words, there is no way to find out how these private entities spent our tax money. This is OK?
DEC 19 Shortly after a state audit found myriad problems in spending and oversight of the state's voucher program comes this story in the Picayune about an expansion of it. The Walton Foundation (founded by the owners of Wal-Mart to fund the progression of their idea of what America should be) made a grant to the Alliance for School Choice, and some of those millions will be coming to Louisiana, the story says.
DEC 19 Columnist James Gill writes about the (allegedly) unintended byproduct of a law passed last year, ostensibly to protect the gun-toting rights of upstanding citizens. What is also happening is, it is allowing felons to get guns as well, Gill writes. See, that's the problem with laws: They apply to everybody, not just people you like.
DEC 19 Columnist John Maginnis writes about John Kennedy, our state treasurer, and how he loves the headlines. Kennedy's treasurer gig has allowed him to set himself up as the watch dog of our state dollar, Maginnis writes, but it is clear Kennedy wants a bigger job: Governor.
DEC 19 Jim Brown blogs about the recent tax amnesty program in this week's post. If you're a Louisiana taxpayer, you'd be nuts to pay those taxes on time, he says. If you don't do that, eventually you'll be able to pay them at a deeply discounted rate, and without penalties or fees, he says. But, he points out, we're not really talking about peons like us. Roughly 80 percent of the back taxes were collected from businesses. Interesting.
Read the Flipping Paper!
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Monthly