WASHINGTON DC (BRPROUD) – Congress is gearing up for its first ballot of the new year with sweeping legislation on the table. The Louisiana delegation is part of ongoing talks for bills making national headlines, but many have their own personal priorities.
With the Build Back Better bill set aside for the time being as changes are crafted, the Voting Rights Bill takes center stage. Rep. Troy Carter said this is a major goal for the start of the year. He said protecting citizens’ freedom to vote is crucial.
âBut it gives us this opportunity and all the people this opportunity to vote. Make sure that we have preclearance again, that the federal government has the ability to step in when states do something that could be deemed unconstitutional, âsaid Representative Carter.
The Freedom to Vote Act and John Lewis’ Voting Rights Act would make Election Day a national holiday, make postal ballots more available, and prevent any state from restricting voting.
Across the aisle, Senator Bill Cassidy said there are some good aspects to the bill, but overall he sees it as a way to federalize the election.
One of his goals for the year is to tackle the growing problem of social security.
âSocial security is in danger. It becomes insolvent in about 11 years, which will come fairly quickly, âsaid Senator Cassidy. “And when I say insolvent, that means the amount someone is paid under the current law will go down by about 25%.”
The first round of bipartisan infrastructure bill funds will be rolled out to states this year, but infrastructure remains a priority for Congressman Garret Graves. The rest of the delegation is with him in the fight for more aid for natural disasters in Louisiana.
âWhether it’s our flood protection infrastructure, our coastal infrastructure or, of course, our transportation with things like roads and bridges, we are nowhere near the place. where we need to be, âsaid Representative Graves.
Graves also spoke about dealing with the high number of people leaving their jobs and the hiring shortage. He said there were talks around more targeted emergency aid for some industries that are really struggling to bounce back.
Also while focusing on the capital, this year Senator John Kennedy will be running for re-election for his Senate seat. Former Navy pilot Luke Mixon has already announced his campaign against Kennedy.
The first votes on the legislation are scheduled for early next week.