La GOP joins anti-Obama fray
by jordan blum
Advocate Washington bureau
March 23, 2013
Republicans in the Louisiana congressional delegation were among the many conservatives immediately to seize on and attack President Barack Obama for his already infamous “You didn’t build that” comment about businesses.
Obama was speaking in Virginia about how people in America do not succeed entirely by themselves.
U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., used it as a fundraising tool in an email asking for donations.
“Frankly, President Obama has just revealed he has no concept about small businesses or the sweat equity they thrive on, or even the broad concept of the spirit of entrepreneurship,” Vitter wrote. “And by the way, as a taxpayer you already helped pay for the roads and bridges that transport your goods or services.”
Other members of the delegations criticized Obama’s comment and Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, said on the U.S. House floor, “That statement shows, not only the contempt, but the arrogance that this president has toward our small business owners and the people working hard out there in a tough economy …”
The official transcript of Obama’s speech states: “If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
“The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.
“There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.”
Panel to probe moratorium
House Natural Resources Committee members on Wednesday intend to grill invited current and former employees of the U.S. Interior Department regarding the now-ceased offshore drilling moratorium put in place after the 2010 BP oil disaster.
The Republican-controlled committee has for months fought back and forth with the Obama administration and the Interior Department over subpoenas to release certain correspondence regarding the decision to call the moratorium.
Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash., and Republicans in the Louisiana delegation have suggested the White House deliberately misrepresented information from engineers to justify the moratorium.
Vitter has helped lead a similar effort in the Senate. Vitter also has pushed for the Interior Department’s inspector general to be investigated for ruling there was no intentional wrongdoing.
Vitter also co-sponsored new legislation this week to transfer offshore drilling oversight responsibilities from the Interior to the U.S. Department of Energy.
No Show, No Pay
Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, continued on Friday to push his new “No Show, No Pay” legislation that would dock pay of any congressional members who miss even a single vote on any day without a viable excuse.
Joined at a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol with co-sponsors Reps. John Barrow, D-Ga., and Leonard Lance, R-N.J., Boustany said the bill is about good-government transparency and saving taxpayer dollars.
The bill comes in an election year when Boustany’s opponent, Rep. Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia, has missed about 10 percent of the roll-call votes, including the two votes on Tuesday.
Boustany said 42 members of Congress missed votes that day.
Local priest delivers invocation
Father M. Jeffery Bayhi, pastor of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, in Zachary delivered the invocation for the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday.
Bayhi was invited by Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge. Members of the House are allowed to invite only one person per congressional term to deliver the invocation.
“Father Bayhi is a spiritual leader in Zachary, Clinton, Baton Rouge and elsewhere around the capital region and has done good work across the world,” Cassidy said. “I appreciate him taking time to come to D.C. to bless the opening of today’s legislative session.”
Bayhi also is the pastor of St. John’s mission church, Our Lady of the Assumption, in Clinton.
He is the CEO of Closer Walk Ministries and has authored several books.
Compiled by Jordan Blum, chief of The Advocate Washington bureau. His email address is email@example.com.