DENHAM SPRINGS – “Contentiousness” and “partisanship” in Washington, D.C. are preventing Congress from doing its business – which is the people’s business, according to Congressman Garret Graves.
“(Partinship) has divided us,” Graves, R-Baton Rouge, told the quarterly meeting of the Livingston Economic Development Council (LEDC) on Thursday.
“It really is awful and poisonous,” he said. “Congress been in session since early January. Every week, we’re up there, having meetings, committee hearings and voting."
But little is getting done, he said.
“It makes me think about the ‘what,’ ’’ Graves said. “What are we supposed to be doing. We are supposed to be America’s board of directors, representing the people.
“We can sit up there and have big policy fights and partisan fights, but ultimately we’re not getting things done,” he said. “We’re not advancing the objectives of the public. What good is that?
“The millions of dollars it costs every day. What good is that?”
The representative from the congressional 6th District said that it is possible to disagree about the solution to a problem but agree the problem exists.
“I support quality, affordable, successful health care. But I don’t think Obamacare was right,” he said. “I can say the experiment didn’t work; let’s go back and try something else.”
The U.S. has a $21 trillion debt, he said.
“At the same time, I can say, the federal government is addressing infrastructure like traffic and protecting our freedom through our military, but this debt projection we're on …
“I think our president has been good for Louisiana, but some of these tweets make me cringe, and I want to hammer his IPhone sometimes,” Graves said.
“I can think of many examples right now. We can continue to be a nation of immigrants and celebrate the diversity they bring to our nation, but we can have a border that is secure and reform our immigration process.
“This nation allows more immigrants than any other country in the world,” he said.
“I believe we can protect, fight against and work against these disgusting senseless mass shootings we've seen, and we can respect and protect the Second Amendment for law-abiding citizens,” Graves said.
“No political party has a monopoly on solutions for Louisiana,” he said. “No one is absolute 100 percent making the best decisions for south Louisiana, that’s why we don’t have a dictatorship.
“That why we have senators and House members to represent our distinct interests.”