The newspapers are full of complaints about gridlock, and the academics vie to publish articles on how the 113th Congress was one of the most unproductive of modern times.
But if all of that is true, there are at least several significant ways that Congress has been quite productive for Louisiana.
Louisiana’s list of wins in the Congress is somewhat parochial, but in several cases our victories have reflected an eventual compromise to get legislation of national importance passed through the two recalcitrant chambers, and signed into law by the president.
One of the big scores was a revision of the 2012 law governing the National Flood Insurance Program. The impact of the new law was being felt in real estate markets in several coastal states, but it was particularly punishing in Louisiana. A mitigation of rate increases, despite the reluctance to change such a new law, was a substantial accomplishment for the Louisiana delegation in Congress.
Another water issue of enormous significance was the passage of a bill that authorizes work on waterways and ports, one of Louisiana’s significant economic drivers. Some other provisions related to dredging and maintenance of ports and harbors include technical and rather obscure regulations about what the U.S. government will pay for. That legislative fine print doesn’t draw much attention, but it strongly benefits Louisiana.
Major bills for agriculture and for transportation were passed, although the arguments over funding between the two parties, and between the two chambers, resulted in more short-term enactments than we would have liked to see.
The list of things that Congress did not do would be much longer. But it was not all bad, and the good points should be remembered as members and their opponents bash each other on the campaign trail.