Congress Infrastructure

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, and other Senate Republicans negotiated a $1 trillion infrastructure bill with Democrats.

What happens when a bill gets so wound up in national politics that a majority of your delegation in Congress votes against a measure good for your state?

We want to hear the bottom line: U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, calls the bill he helped negotiate through the U.S. Senate as “tremendous for Louisiana.”

He’s alone among his Republican colleagues in our state’s delegation, which is officially for the rebuilding our state desperately needs, but nitpicks any efforts to achieve big things.

Will other states benefit from the Senate-passed measure? Sure. We’re not the most populous state, and a huge part of dispensing federal money in almost every context is population. That’s no reason for voting no on a national infrastructure bill.

In a virtual town hall hosted by The Times-Picayune and The Advocate, Cassidy pointed out the ways that Louisiana will disproportionately benefit from a national rebuilding initiative.

Flood control and resiliency projects, for example: “It doesn’t mention Louisiana by name, but it says that the bill shall prioritize states hit by natural disasters in the last six years,” Cassidy said. “Hello, that’s us."

We think he is right that on many provisions of the new measure, Louisiana is apt to be a winner of funding: “You’re not going to give it to Minnesota, you’re not going to give it Wyoming, and you’re probably not going to give it to Delaware. You’re going to give it to us, at least a sizable chunk of it.”

An analysis for CNBC agreed with Cassidy that Louisiana is going to win per person in the new bill that occasioned so much legislative angst. The doctor and medical school professor is relatively new to politics, but he understands lawmaking better than some of his colleagues on efforts to rebuild America.

Hurricane relief package should clear U.S. Senate soon, Bill Cassidy says; watch town hall video