It's no secret that I hate Tea Party Senator Pat Toomey (R. PA) a lot. he is the Senator of my home state:A Pennsylvania Republican on Tuesday blocked a Senate vote on an amendment to delay new federal flood insurance rules that are likely to result in substantial premium increases. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., backed by Sen. David Vitter, R-La., and the four senators from New York and New Jersey, had proposed delaying the rules for five years so that Congress can take steps to avoid substantial hikes in premiums.
But under Senate rules, "unanimous consent" is required to vote on an amendment, and Sen. Pat Toomey R-Pa., objected to a vote on the Landrieu amendment. Landrieu responded that she would seek to move her amendment as a separate bill.
Toomey said he didn't want to undo the reforms Congress adopted in 2012 to make the flood insurance program fiscally sound. "Under the current flood insurance law that we passed just 10 months ago, we put in place a mechanism to diminish the subsidization that occurs now where homeowners in low-risk areas are made to subsidize in high-risk areas by the way of the nature that premiums are set," Toomey said. "The existing law is designed to diminish significantly that unfair subsidy that occurs, and I think that's why the chairman and the ranking members of the Banking Committee, and many others of our colleagues, oppose this amendment."Landrieu said Toomey should have voted no if he objected to her amendment, but not to block the Senate from even considering her proposal. "He most certainly is entitled to vote no on our amendment. Other senators may vote no, but I wanted the record to show that he's just saying, 'No, we can't even have a vote,'" Landrieu said.
Landrieu called the 2012 flood insurance reform bill a "cure that is going to kill us." She it was wrapped into an omnibus bill and never really securitized.
For some homeowners, she said, the choice is to elevate homes 18 feet, "which probably roughly would cost $50,000," money "they don't have, or their flood insurance would go up something like $15,000 or $20,000 a year, which they can't pay. So you say, 'Well, that's too bad. Let them sell the house.' Their house has no value. Now this is a dilemma not just for people for Louisiana (but) for people of Mississippi, Alabama, California and New York."
The solution, she said, is to give Congress a way to make the program more fiscally sound without pricing people out of the flood insurance program.
The 2012 flood insurance reauthorization bill phases out some subsidized flood insurance rates and allows rate increases, depending on the property, of either 20 percent or 25 percent a year until properties reach actuarial status. The legislation was intended to make the debt-ridden flood insurance program fiscally sound. - The Times-Picayune, 5/14/13
So I thank Landrieu for making a fool of ol' Tea Party Toomey. Hopefully Joe Sestak (D. PA) will take him out in 2016 (diary on that to come).
In other Landrieu-related news, a new gun rights advocate group is trying to make it look like Landrieu's vote for background checks is going to hurt her in next year's election:
And another Republican officially jumped into the 2014 Louisiana Senate race yesterday:Louisianans are less likely to vote for U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu after her support of federal gun control legislation, according to a poll released Tuesday by Defend Louisiana, the pro-gun rights group headed by a state lawmaker from Bossier City. The poll contradicts the results of a different survey released earlier this month.
"We expect our elected officials to represent us and to stand for those things which are important to us," state Rep. Jeff Thompson, R-Bossier City, said in response to the poll results. Thompson is spearheading the Defend Louisiana initiative.
"Sportsmen, hunters and law-abiding gun owners demand our elected officials defend our right to protect our families and to stop the constant, incremental erosion of our rights as confirmed by the Second Amendment."
The Defend Louisiana poll showed 45 percent of the likely voters surveyed do not favor re-electing Landrieu, a Democrat and Louisiana's senior senator, when her term is up in 2014. The poll also showed 48 percent are less likely to vote for her re-election due to her support of federal background check legislation offered by U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa.
Landrieu's office responded Tuesday afternoon, saying the Defend Louisiana poll was "a partisan push-poll that willfully avoids using the words background checks and asked respondents misleading questions."
"Sen. Landrieu is confident that the vast majority of Louisianians -- of both parties-- understand the wisdom of not allowing people with criminal records, domestic violence offenses and mental illness to exploit loopholes in current law to purchase firearms from unlicensed sellers or at gun shows," Landrieu Communications Director Matthew Lehner said Tuesday.
Earlier this month, two other polls showed more than 70 percent of Louisianians supported background check measures like those spelled out in the White House-backed legislation. One poll, from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns, showed 85 percent of Louisianians were in favor of universal background checks for gun buyers.
The Public Policy Polling numbers also showed widespread support for Landrieu's support of the Manchin-Toomey bill. In direct opposition to the Defend Louisiana poll, the May 2 PPP poll showed 45 percent of Louisianians were more likely to vote for Landrieu after she backed the federal gun control legislation.
Public Policy Polling, which carries out private polls for Democratic campaigns and progressive organizations, was named one of the most accurate polling firms of the 2012 presidential election. - The Times-Picayune, 5/14/13
Maness will be going up against Rep. Bill Cassidy (R. LA-6) in the GOP primary. If you would like to donate to or get involved with the Landrieu campaign, you can do so here:U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., drew a new challenger Monday when Rob Maness, a retired Air Force colonel who lives in Madisonville, announced he will run for the seat "to restore America to the rock-solid foundation of the Constitution and the conservative values that made it so great." The 51-year-old Republican said his Air Force service included work in the field as a combat commander and as an operations officer in the Pentagon.
He is Entergy Services Inc.'s director of safety and training and owns a third-generation family farm with his wife, Candy, according to his Facebook page. He is a founding board member at NOLA Patriots, Inc., a military veterans advocacy group "committed to preventing veteran suicides and ensuring military families have equal access to benefits.
"When I was 17, I enlisted in the United States Air Force and swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic," Maness said. "Although it's been more than 35 years, that oath is as sacred to me as the day that I swore it.
"Since my retirement from the Air Force in 2011, I've seen first-hand how the Obama administration -- along with our current Senator Mary Landrieu -- are hurting our economy and our freedom with unconstitutional big-government schemes like Obamacare.
"Our state deserves a senator (who) will side with the interests of Louisianans, not collude with the Washington politicians to give them more control over our lives. = The Times-Picayune, 5/13/13