Landrieu backs increased user fee
As the sponsor of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s funding legislation, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., has her name on language that would double the cost of the security passenger fees for airline flights.
The proposal would increase the maximum fee for a roundtrip flight from $5 to $10.
“Despite increased security costs, the current aviation security fee has not been adjusted since it was established in 2001 following the Sept. 11 attacks,” Landrieu said in an announcement. “This is not a new tax – it is a modest increase … to an existing user fee, dedicated to making sure that when you get on a plane, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has done its best to ensure you have a safe flight.
“Currently, taxpayers pay three quarters of the cost of aviation security, regardless of whether they fly. This responsible adjustment will ensure a greater contribution from passengers who utilize air travel and benefit from aviation security.”
Landrieu’s bill reduces Department of Homeland Security’s budget by $1 billion for what she said will be the third year in a row that the DHS budget has been reduced.
Haley backs Jindal
Although Gov. Bobby Jindal and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley are both rumored candidates for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s vice president running mate, Haley is apparently backing Jindal.
In a Facebook chat this past week, Haley wrote, “My preference would be Bobby Jindal or (former Secretary of State) Condi Rice.”
Jindal and Haley are the nation’s only Indian-American governors.
The Washington Post’s column, “The Fix,” ranks Jindal fourth nationally in its vice president predictions.
Jindal has repeatedly said he’s in the perfect job while deflecting talk of the VP bid and reiterating that President Barack Obama must be defeated.
The Post’s top three candidates are, respectively, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio; Sen. Mark Rubio, R-Fla.; and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc.
Haley is not in the top 10.
Scalise wants to streamline FCC
U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, is getting into the media industry in a roundabout kind of way.
Scalise successfully pushed legislation through the House this past week that would combine and attempt to streamline all the Federal Communications Commission reports to Congress on cable prices, satellite industry competition, video programming and much more.
“Every dollar spent on compliance with FCC reporting mandates is a dollar that could be better put to use creating jobs our building out their wireless networks,” Scalise said after the easy voice vote. “Too often, Congress puts more laws on the books which convolute and distort the rules, and I’m proud to lead this effort to actually eliminate laws and streamline the government.”
Mudbugs in D.C.
Roughly 1,500 Louisiana natives and alums of Louisiana colleges gathered in Alexandria, Va., on Saturday for what is deemed the largest crawfish boil in the Washington, D.C., area.
The annual Bayou Fête IX was organized by the Washington D.C. Metro Louisiana College Coalition that is made up by the alumni chapters of LSU, the University of Louisiana at Monroe, Northwestern State University, the University of New Orleans, Centenary College, McNeese State University, Louisiana Tech University and Tulane University.
The sold-out event featured 10,000 pounds of Louisiana crawfish, 50 kegs of beer, sausage, jambalaya, corn and potatoes and live music from the Dixie Power Trio as Louisianians took over Fort Hunt Park.
For those wondering if the party got out of hand, the event featured free shuttle service to the nearest metro train stop for anyone who may have had a little too much fun.
Compiled by Jordan Blum, chief of The Advocate Washington bureau. His email address is email@example.com.