Post-Election: U.S. Senator David Vitter Discusses His Plans Going Forward
He's shared his thoughts on President Obama's re-election and changes in the U.S. Senate -- now, he focuses on plans going forward. Louisiana U.S. Senator David Vitter was a guest on KEEL Morning News today. He told us "something needs to be done" about Bush-era tax cuts, which are set to expire in January.
"We need to avoid tax increases that would really hurt the economy. I think [House] Speaker [John]Boehner laid out a very persuasive path that can lead to reasonable compromise and a solution to this," Vitter said. "And that is to focus on tax reform...the sort of tax reform the President's own Deficit Reduction Commission talked about, many other individuals and groups on both sides of the aisle have talked about."
So what happens if the president doesn't act? Vitter says it'll mean "tax increases across the board, in every income category." That's why he believes bringing down rates, expanding the base, getting rid of special interest provisions and loopholes, credits and deductions would be the right formula.
And what about so-called "Obamacare"? Vitter says he believes it will move forward and be implemented, which he calls another weight on the economy as costs go up. It was initially believed to bring costs down so more people could be covered. "Independent studies have shown since Obamacare passed, that we're moving in the opposite direction...that Obamacare is pushing costs up even further than they were already going up, which is saying a lot," Vitter says.
Energy is another factor...Vitter tells us one key issue he thinks is going to come to a head is hydraulic fracturing, the process that's central to getting gas and shale oil to market, including here in our area with the Haynesville Shale. He says he's afraid there will be a big push in a second Obama administration to bring a lot more federal over-regulation to that process. "I'm really scared to death what that's gonna do to what has been a goose that's laid the golden egg economically. It's been enormously positive for our economy," he says.
With the new Congress, Vitter becomes the ranking Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee. And he says it's a big job he's taking very seriously. The committee handles Environmental Protection Agency policy, which impacts a lot of important job-creators in Louisiana, like the chemical and paper industries. It also oversees all U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issues and projects, federal highway and transportation programs, and several maritime issues -- like dredging. He says that's crucial to Louisiana's maritime economy.