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.
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APR 22 If you're a Walking Dead fan, you might want to check out this story on DIG Baton Rouge about the program's tour, headed for Baton Rouge and NOLA next month. You can be a spectator, a survivor or a walker -- and the walkers get professional make-up. The course is about a mile long and takes about 45 minutes to complete. And if you're wondering (or worrying or maybe hoping, ick) biting is not allowed.
APR 22 The Audubon Nature Institute poured $271K into a failed tax election, and then failed to report any spending until a month after the election, the Picayune reports here. Not only that, but they filed late Thursday -- the day before a holiday weekend -- ostensibly hoping that the news wouldn't get reported or noticed. Nice.
APR 22 The Baptist Standard takes a look back at Joe Aguillard's tumultuous tenure at Louisiana College in this post. Even his hiring was controversial, and his leave-taking -- albeit just to a classroom there -- has been surrounded by argument. In any event, the board of the private Baptist college will now seek a new leader, the story tells us.
APR 22 The NOLA Defender takes a look at our coast four years later in this post. Oil from the BP spill still is washing up on Louisiana's coastline, and this story outlines the Coast Guard's continued involvement.
APR 22 Republicans - and in particular Republicans who might be running for something in a couple years - are flocking to the Common Core issue, the New York Times reports here. But they're not supporting the federal educational curriculum; they're flocking because they feel it will be a good issue to run on, the story tells us. Don't worry, they mentioned Bobby.
APR 22 Here's a story from the Reuters wire about the anniversary of the BP Oil spill. They've got some bitter comments from people who are still waiting to be "fixed," as well as a picture of a Grand Isle beach covered with oil.
APR 22 The Baton Rouge Business Report's Stephanie Riegel writes about a recent study that determined Baton Rouge had the worst sprawl of any American city. Anybody who has spent any time sitting on the Interstate in that city can attest to it, and the reasons are pretty easy to diagnose, so why isn't anybody doing anything about it?
APR 21 Blogger Bob Mann has been keeping track of all the yellow-bellied sapsuckers in the state capitol, and he's got a cringe-worthy list of examples of our leaders demonstrating a lack of intestinal fortitude. They seem to be willing to stand up to no one on our behalf, he says, on subjects including the budget, Big Oil and education.
APR 21 Now that some of the dust has settled on the McAllister affair, columnist Jim Beam takes a look at where we are. There seem to be three groups: those who think he should resign, those who think he should be forgiven, and those who have reserved judgment. The last group is probably the brightest, Beam writes. The first group, which includes the GOP establishment, has a credibility problem, he says.
APR 21 Blogger Lamar White Jr. writes about the state Democratic Party in this post, and offers some advice. People (mostly Republican people) like to say that Louisiana is a Red State, Lamar says, but every major city, except for Lafayette, is led by a Democratic Mayor. So what's going on? Lamar has an interesting theory.
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