Congressmen lambast Obama administration

MORGAN CITY — U.S. Congressmen Charles Boustany Jr. and Jeff Landry updated the St. Mary Industrial Group Monday about current happenings in Congress.

Landry’s and Boustany’s districts were combined during the recent remapping of the state’s congressional districts, meaning if they both run for office again, the pair will face each other.

Boustany, R-Lafayette, represents Louisiana’s Seventh Congressional District, which covers Acadiana and southwest Louisiana.

Landry, R-New Iberia, serves the state’s Third Congressional District, which includes 13 parishes from Iberia eastward, including St. Mary, St. Martin and Assumption.

Boustany, a cardiovascular surgeon with more than 20 years experience, was first elected to Congress in December 2004. He now is serving his fourth term in office.

He is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and serves as chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight. Additionally, he sits on the Ways and Means subcommittees for Human Resources and Select Revenue Measures.

Landry was elected to Congress in November 2010.

Prior to taking office, Landry was a small business owner supporting the oil and gas industry and was a business attorney.

Landry is a veteran of Desert Storm and left the military with the rank of sergeant.

Among Landry’s committee seats are Natural Resources (Energy and Mineral Resources; Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs); Small Business (Agriculture, Energy and Trade; Contracting and Workforce; Investigations, Oversight and Regulations); Transportation and Infrastructure (Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation; Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials; Water Resources and Environment). Choices he made, he said, because they are of the greatest impact to south Louisiana.

Boustany said to repair the “massive erosion of American competitiveness,” Congress should approach the problem with a two-fold solution: fiscal discipline and fostering economic growth.

Fiscal discipline comes by reining in spending. The entire debt incurred by the United States between 1789 and 1982 equals a single year’s debt today, Boustany said.

The only way to combat such overspending is through approving an approaching balanced budget amendment, he said.

To grow the economy, the country must end the political prohibition on energy.

Until the moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana wasn’t feeling the recession as keenly as the rest of the country, Boustany noted. After that, it “hit us like a ton of bricks.”

However, we need an energy policy that makes sense, he said, adding that the U.S. also needs to reform its tax code as the American business tax rate is the highest in the world.

On the health care front, Boustany, a physician by trade, said America needs transparency “so you know what you are buying.” Also, he said, Congress needs to repeal the medical reform program Republicans have labeled “Obamacare.”

Landry said three acts are necessary to get the Gulf working again: reopening the Gulf to drilling both inshore and in deep water, new lease sales and safety requirements. He said constituents need to get mad at the U.S. Senate because they are the hold up in passing these items.

The Senate, he said, will not debate these three things. To remedy the situation, call any senators who might be sympathetic and tell them it’s time to get American energy production moving in the Gulf of Mexico.

In other matters, during the debt ceiling debate in July, Landry said he and other Congressmen refused to vote for the bill that would have “destroyed the credit worthiness of the U.S.” because there was no balanced budget amendment with it.

“It might have been great by Washington standards, but by American standards, it’s terrible. By Louisiana standards, it doesn’t hold water,” he said.

Next up, Landry said, is a 12-member committee looking into taking away tax credits for oil and gas industries. No one from Louisiana sits on that committee.

A report will be issued around Thanksgiving. Landry predicted it will say that either we lose those tax credits or lose Medicare funding because if there is no solution to the financial crisis, language is in play to require that cuts automatically come from defense and Medicare to create a balanced budget.

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