Tagged: Mary Landrieu

Nolatarian Goes to Washington 12/12/11 – 12/20/11

“Nolatarian Goes to Washington” is a weekly column on the activities of Louisiana Senators David Vitter and Mary Landrieu and Congressmen Steve Scalise and Cedric Richmond.

Senate

The last week of floor votes for 2011. Mary Landrieu and David Vitter had one more chance to vote against the National Defense Authorization Act with the Conference Report that accompanied the House version of the bill in it’s passing on to the president, but of course they didn’t. So, the government marches on to ignoring the 5th Amendment. They both also voted for the ever so critical Reid-McConnell Amendment 1465 to the Middle Class Relief and Job Creation Act that extends the payroll tax cut for all of 2 months. At least the act includes a provision that will force a decision by the president on the Keystone XL pipeline within 2 months.

In other Senatorial news this week, Vitter proudly announced that the US Mint was discontinuing production of the $1 presidential coin. Big whoop. If he really wants to get serious about eliminating “mindless government waste” he would propose a bill that scraps production of the penny which actually costs more to make than it’s worth, unlike the $1 coin. So, Senator Vitter, please take on the zinc lobby and introduce a bill that gets rid of pennies and then come talk to us. Thanks.

House of Representatives

Final week of the year for voting in the House as well. Steve Scalise voted for and Cedric Richmond against the payroll tax cut bill. However, Scalise gave a speech complaining about the stop gap measure in favor of a more long term solution of a whole year.

Scalise contributed some good news on 12/16/11 however, with the introduction of HR 3675 in tandem with S 2008 sponsored by Sen DeMint. The bills make up the Next Generation Television Marketplace Act which would deregulate aspects of the television industry. Some highlights from the press release:

“The government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers, and the Next Generation Television Marketplace Act ensures that by removing the heavy-hand of government, the market is free to operate in a way that continues to benefit consumers and encourage innovation.”

“The bill removes government interference from what should be free market business relationships between and among content creators, network programmers, television broadcast stations, and multichannel video programming distributors. The bill maintains intellectual property rights for copyright holders and privacy protections for customers of cable and satellite companies.”

And thus ends at the very least an interesting year in Congress in 2011. 2012 is an election year for Steve Scalise and Cedric Richmond and I will be eagerly looking at and for their competition. Everything our representatives did this year wasn’t horrible, but certainly left a lot to be desired. So onward we go.

 

Nolatarian Goes to Washington 12/5/11 – 12/9/11

“Nolatarian Goes to Washington” is a weekly column on the activities of Louisiana Senators David Vitter and Mary Landrieu and Congressmen Steve Scalise and Cedric Richmond.

Senate

After a busy week of violating the Constitution last time we checked in, the Senate didn’t have much activity on the floor this week other than the rejection of two dueling payroll tax cut bills.

House of Representatives

More drug war hysteria on the way with passage on Thursday, 12/8/11, of HR 1254 , otherwise known as the Synthetic Drug Control Act. The bill adds synthetic drugs to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. Scalise voted for and Richmond against. The bill now heads to the Senate. We all know how effective the original bill has been on preventing use and abuse of the already “banned” substances.

Some better news from 12/8; the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011 (HR 1633) passed the House with support from Scalise and opposition from Richmond. The bill temporarily prevents the EPA from placing burdensome regulations on farmers to essentially prevent them from kicking up dust in the course of their work.

Nolatarian Goes to Washington 11/21/11 – 12/2/11

“Nolatarian Goes to Washington” is a weekly column on the activities of Louisiana Senators David Vitter and Mary Landrieu and Congressmen Steve Scalise and Cedric Richmond.

Apologies for getting a little behind with this column. Will cover 2 weeks with this post.

Senate

The biggest action in the Senate was the debate over S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012. Aside from setting the “Defense” budget for next year, a provision was added primarily by John McCain (R-AZ) and Carl Levin (D-MI) that would allow the U.S. military to detain American citizens indefinitely for suspected terrorist activities, even if caught on U.S. soil. This measure directly violates Constitutionally protected Due Process for U.S. citizens. So, how did Sens David Vitter and Mary Landrieu vote? Lets start with 3 amendments offered to the bill; the Udall (CO) Amendment 1107, Paul Amendment 1064, and Feinstein Amendment 1126 all sought to limit the bill’s provisions against holding U.S. citizens without trial. Vitter and Landrieu both voted against ALL 3. Naturally, they joined 91 other senators in passing the whole bill on Dec. 1, 2011. I emailed both Senator’s offices about this and only Vitter’s staff responded with a reply completely ignoring the question about U.S. citizens. Major fail for the Constitution on this bill unless Pres. Obama vetoes as he’s threatened to do. I wrote more about this here last week.

One redeeming action by Vitter is the co-introduction of S. 1932. The bill would require the Obama administration to issue a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline within 60 days, as opposed to Obama’s stated wish to postpone a decision until after the 2012 election.

Randomly, Landrieu apparently feels she knows more about running an airline than the airlines do. Air Mary?

House of Representatives

Remember that box on your federal tax return that asks if you want to donate to federal campaigns? Well, this bill that passed with support from Steve Scalise and opposition from Cedric Richmond would discontinue taxpayer funded presidential election campaigns and party conventions and apply any leftover funds directly to the federal budget deficit. Also, it eliminates the Election Assistance Commission, consolidating its duties into the Federal Election Commission. Here’s hoping for a passage through the Senate.

Also taking expected positions, Scalise votes for, and Richmond against, successful bill HR 527 which analyses the impact of regulations on small businesses and forces alternatives to be studied. Keeping the theme with their votes, HR 3010 passed which would reform the process of analysing and creating new regulations and guidelines.

Nolatarian Goes to Washington 11/14 – 11/18/11

“Nolatarian Goes to Washington” is a weekly column on the activities of Louisiana Senators David Vitter and Mary Landrieu and Congressmen Steve Scalise and Cedric Richmond.

Senate

There was only one major vote this week. HR 2112 passed in the Senate, with Vitter dissenting, that authorized appropriations for the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and related programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2012, and for “other purposes.” For more on these other purposes. I almost thought I was reading a parody on big government big spending and then I remembered it was a Landrieu press release. Until Congress is able to perform the most basic required function of passing an actual budget, these acts will continually need to be created.

In other events, Landrieu was successful in acquiring an additional $390 million for Louisiana for 2005 storm related hazard mitigation. This is interesting considering the issues with the current program, because why would you have contractor fraud when there’s a pile of over $1 billion for elevation contractors to go after. I guess we can expect to continue hearing stories like this.

After all this redistributing of citizens hard earned income, I’m sure the Senate needs a break.

House of Representatives

Scalise joined on Wednesday in voting for HR 822 that would allow for a national standard of reciprocity for concealed carry firearm permits. The bill passed the House and moves onto the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Hopefully this can continue on to become law. Thursday brought us a little bi-partisan big spending when Scalise joined in the Landrieu appropriations fun in voting for the above mentioned HR 2112; Richmond did not vote. On Friday, a vote to add a Constitutional balanced budget amendment fell 28 votes short. Scalise voted for, Richmond against.

That more or less wraps up the week. Until next time…

Nolatarian Goes to Washington 11/7/11 – 11/11/11

Senate

Mary Landrieu made a lot of disgruntled noise about the Commerce Department revoking an $80 million grant to Louisiana to provide broadband service to rural areas. Because obviously, according to Landrieu the government needs to be in the business of providing high speed internet when the companies who’s business it is to actually do the work don’t see it as a positive cost-benefit situation. Sure, people in those areas would benefit from access to high speed internet, but is that really a basic infrastructure need that the government should be subsidizing in direct competition with existing private companies? I say no.

David Vitter expressed his displeasure with Obama delaying a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline until after the 2012 election. There weren’t any other really noteworthy events or votes this week in the Senate.

House of Representatives

The House was not in session this week for votes. Steve Scalise and Cedric Richmond had a quiet week in their respective committees. One thing of note was Scalise going off on the Christmas Tree tax, which I discussed here.