Endorsements for Republican candidates running for president are slowly trickling out of the Louisiana Republican congressional delegation.
Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-Quitman, last week announced his support for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Alexander served as the co-chairman for Romney’s campaign in Louisiana four years ago.
Alexander is sticking with his man, he said.
“He certainly hasn’t done anything to dilute my belief that he is the best for the nation,” Alexander said. “In fact, I think we need him more today than we did four years ago.”
Alexander cited Romney’s political and business background along with his views about the global economy as key reasons for his support.
Last week, Rep. John Fleming, R-Minden, said he will back Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s candidacy. Fleming distanced himself from Perry’s support of granting college tuition to the children of illegal immigrants and his opposition to building a border fence along Texas.
But Fleming said he likes Perry’s call for more “boots on the ground” with border agents to combat illegal immigration, he said.
“We should come up with whatever works and make it practical,” Fleming said.
Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Metairie, was the first GOP delegation member to endorse several weeks ago. Scalise likes Perry, saying his conservative values make him the best candidate and likeliest to succeed in capturing the White House, he said.
Scalise, who recently sat with Perry at a fundraiser, also doesn’t support Perry’s immigration policy.
“You’re not going to agree with your candidate on every issue,” Scalise said.
POWER Act progresses
The House Natural Resources Committee last week approved legislation authored by Rep. Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia, that would extend federal protections to shipping offshore renewable energy such as wind power between two American ports.
Under the Jones Act, American ships must be used to transport energy, such as oil, between two United States ports. But Landry said a loophole in current law does not provide the same requirement for renewable energy.
The Landry legislation, known as Providing Our Workforce and Energy Resources Act, would prevent offshore renewable energy resources from being installed or serviced by foreign workers.
“The POWER Act is a common-sense solution that levels the playing field for offshore energy resources, improves regulatory certainty, boosts job opportunities and increases worker safety,” Landry said.
The measure will now go before the full House for a vote.
Landrieu backs Reid
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., last week commended U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for calling for a 5 percent tax on those making over $1 million a year to pay for President Barack Obama’s jobs bill.
Reid’s idea would remove the president’s proposal to eliminate $40 billion in tax breaks to oil and gas companies to help pay for the $447 billion proposal.
“I applaud Senator Reid’s leadership in finding a way to pay for President Obama’s jobs package that doesn’t onerously target a single sector of our economy that is critical to our economic recovery and energy security,” Landrieu said in a statement.
Reid faced opposition within his own party from oil state Democrats such as Landrieu, whose vote could be critical to the bill.
The oil and gas industry contributes billions of dollars to the national economy each year and supports more than 9 million jobs including 300,000 in Louisiana, Landrieu said.
“I am pleased that Leader Reid heard our concerns and has taken a much-improved approach to paying for this important legislation,” Landrieu said.
Compiled by Gerard Shields, chief of The Advocate’s Washington bureau. His email address is Gerard Shields@aol.com.