Thursday, January 29, 2009

What Is Bill Cassidy Saying?

The House version of the stimulus bill passed yesterday and included something in the order of $5 billion for the state of Louisiana. Big chunks of that are going to go toward state highway projects and existing Army Corps projects.

I'm also happy to report that Louisiana schools will see a big infusion of funding.

There will be some help for our public transit system, but nothing in the order of what the RPC and the City proposed. This is regrettable given the needs here but considering how little advance planning officials did in anticipation of this stimulus money, Louisiana came away with a respectable haul with perhaps the least amount of Congressional support out of any state in the country. Besides Charlie Melancon and Mary Landrieu, the Louisiana Congressional delegation has tried to obstruct the flow of money to our state. Not one Louisiana House Republican crossed over to support the bill and Vitter has positioned himself as the most belligerent and reactionary member of the Senate.

Congressman Bill Cassidy of the 6th Congressional District had an interesting rationale for his nay vote yesterday. Try to wrap your mind around this.

Cassidy voted against a massive stimulus bill that would send checks to working families, build infrastructure, and cut business taxes because...

A better bill, Cassidy said, "would focus on providing tax relief for working families and small businesses and strengthening our infrastructure."

Wow, what a stickler for progressive principles! I agree, this bill should have had more infrastructure spending and more tax relief for working class families. Who said Don Cazayoux would have been a better Congressman?


jeffrey said...

This morning on WWL radio, Joe Cao claimed one of the reasons he voted against the bill was because it spent federal money on contraceptives. Of course that provision had already been stripped from the bill at the time Cao voted on it.

Melancon was on at the same time and corrected him. Joseph Cao is a liar who prefers to spread GOP talking points to funding Louisiana schools and infrastructure.

Ricardo said...

We need to start barraging our reps with e-mails about any and all obstructionist measures that they support. If enough of us do it often enough they may start to think that their actions will have consequences.

E said...

Nice, Cao.

Jeffrey said...

The honeymoon for Cao is over.

E, what components of the city's infrastructure request is actually going to be funded? $5B seems awfully low considering it includes flood protection? And I can't believe that we are going to have investment in highways rather than public transit.

E said...

It's all a little up in the air because of what people are looking for from the Senate. I'd expect their version to include more infrastructure funding. I spoke to Paul Vallas today about what the RSD did to advocate for money and what they expect to get out of the stimulus. I'll write about that tomorrow. As far as transit, I have some more research to do to figure out who gets what.