Troy Carter is the lowest ranking member of the U.S. House – he’s No. 433 out of 435 with two vacancies – but he was feeling on top of the world after being sworn-in to his new position on Tuesday.
On hand were his wife, siblings and two sons. Also there were U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, who introduced him, Gov. John Bel Edwards, and Cedric Richmond, who held the seat for a decade before resigning in January to take a senior position in the White House. Richmond endorsed Carter during the election campaign.
As U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi administered the oath, Carter said he thought about how far he had come from a neighborhood at the far reaches of lower Algiers known as Cut Off.
“From the Cut Off to Congress,” Carter said on Friday. “God be the glory.”
John Breaux, who spent three terms in the U.S. Senate before becoming a lobbyist, hosted a reception for Carter attended by other members of Congress, including Rep. Steny Hoyer, of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat.
Rep. Joyce Beatty, of Ohio, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, swore Carter in to that group on the Speaker’s balcony, which faces the Mall and the Washington Monument.
Carter was thrilled with his two committee assignments.
He is now serving on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure where he can push connecting Baton Rouge and New Orleans via rail, taking down Interstate 10 above North Claiborne Avenue and upgrading the Sewerage & Water Board’s aging water plant on South Claiborne Avenue, which was the focus of President Joe Biden’s visit to New Orleans on May 6.
Carter is also serving on the Small Business Committee.
He said he has already met with Jennifer Granholm, the secretary of energy, to discuss pollution in so-called Cancer Alley in the River Parishes and will meet next week with officials from the Environmental Protection Agency. He said he wants to find a better approach to reducing pollution from the petrochemical industry there while not sacrificing jobs.
“This is a humbling opportunity,” Carter said about his new job. “This is a big deal to serve the people of Louisiana.”