Vitter Holds Town Hall In New Iberia; Another Scheduled For Crowley
U.S. Sen. David Vitter held a town meeting in New Iberia Feb. 17, and more than 80 people showed up to voice their concerns.
Dissatisfaction with the Obama administration rang clearly as the dominant theme at the Acadiana Regional Airport Monday, with topics ranging from overspending "on countries that hate us" to federally regulated — and widely criticized — programs like the Affordable Care Act and common core.
The gubernatorial candidate touched most extensively on the following topics during the hour-long event:
Flood insurance. Vitter opened the meeting to make clear affordable flood insurance is a top priority: "The good news is we've come together in the Senate, and I think the House is in the process of doing the same thing: to call a timeout and make sure we do get it right, make FEMA get it right, make FEMA do the mapping right, and not have completely unaffordable rate increases."
We're doing little to nothing on the other side to really get folks to invest and stir up job creation. I think we can see that in a lot of areas with over-regulations, tax increases, et cetera.
Agriculture. Vitter supported the farm bill, which became law last month. "It wasn't a perfect bill, in my opinion," he said. "But I think it moved us in the right direction of sustainable programs and will also help stabilize the ag industry in this state."
Obamacare. The senator remains a staunch opponent of the Affordable Care Act: "I continue to oppose Obamacare, and I think we need an all-out repeal; and that's my ultimate goal, is all-out repeal. Because I think that program is flawed at its core." Vitter said he continues to work toward ending the Washington exemption from Obamacare: "Rule one should be that Washington is created like the rest of America," he said, provoking a round of applause.
Common core. Federalized standards "certainly haven't led to improved scores," Vitter said. "I'm for rigorous standards. I think we all are. But I think we can do that and control that at the state level and still not have federalization."
Jobs. "I think the fundamental problem under this administration is we're multiplying costs and burdens and all sorts of things which inhibit job creation," Vitter said. "We're doing little to nothing on the other side to really get folks to invest and stir up job creation. I think we can see that in a lot of areas with over-regulations, tax increases, et cetera."
Nobody in politics is irreplaceable, so I'll take term limits on everybody in a heartbeat.
Unemployment benefits. Why did Vitter vote to halt extended unemployment benefits? "It wasn't really paid for," he alleged. "The paid-for was a joke. It was more voodoo budgeting from Washington." Vitter said unemployment benefits need an overhaul: "I want to see a truly responsible proposal that will not increase the deficit. Secondly, I want to see things that won't just extend benefits forever, but will create jobs."
Fall elections. "This fall, in terms of the congressional election, we are very much a battleground state," Vitter said. "And we are one state that will determine how the U.S. Senate, in particular, goes, because we have a very competitive battleground race between Mary Landrieu and Bill Cassidy. So we are very relevant in that fight."
Term limits. Vitter said he authored Louisiana's legislation that imposed term limits, but he has a hard time finding support for a similar bill in Congress. "Nobody in politics is irreplaceable," Vitter said, "so I'll take term limits on everybody in a heartbeat."
Vitter will hold another town meeting in Acadiana on Feb. 18 at the LSU Ag Center in Crowley.