Sunday, March 3, 2013

Senators Landrieu and Vitter Differ On Sequestration Bills

Senate Democrats and Republicans each put forth bills to avoid sequestration. Both efforts failed.

The Democratic plan called for replacing the $85 Billion in budget cuts with some targeted cuts and more taxes. It failed by a 51-49 vote (60 votes were needed for passage).
Louisiana Senators Mary Landrieu (D-New Orleans) and David Vitter (R-Metairie) both voted against the Democratic plan. Landrieu objected to $27.5 Billion in farm subsidies that would be cut over 10 years because it would hurt the state’s rice farmers.

"Louisiana farmers and rural communities are a very important component of our economy at home and I do not think it is fair to single them out in this way,” Landrieu said in a written statement. “ I remain committed to a 10-year balanced approach to fix our problems, but neither plan presented today would have done so."
The Republican plan would have given President Obama the flexibility to find the $85 Billion in cuts but not increased revenue. It too failed by a 38-52 vote.

Senator Landrieu voted against the Republican plan while Senator Vitter supported it.
"I am strongly in favor of a balanced approach to fix our debt and deficit problems in a way that has the least negative effect on the promising economic recovery underway across the country," Landrieu said. "However, I could not vote for either proposal today - one of which refused to raise any additional revenue and the other that would disproportionally take the cut out of agriculture."