Senator holds town hall in Luling

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 22, 2014

By Monique Roth

LULING – It was standing room only when U. S. Sen. David Vitter held a town hall meeting in St. Charles Parish earlier this week.

Residents packed into the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement Complex in Luling to hear Vitter speak on pertinent issues that Louisiana is currently facing.

Vitter started the question-and-answer style meeting with a brief talk highlighting three areas of concern for Louisiana, and especially for St. Charles Parish.

Vitter’s talk, along with a flyer handed out at the beginning of the meeting, emphasized three items he is currently working on for Louisiana’s interest: getting flood insurance right, fighting to end Washington’s exemption from Affordable Health Care Act standard premiums and fighting to provide adequate flood protection for southern Louisiana.

Vitter said “pricing people out of insurance…out of their homes” is not the way flood insurance rates were designed to work, and for that reason he co-authored legislation to temporarily freeze dramatic premium increases associated with Biggert-Waters. That legislation recently passed 67 to 34 in the Senate and is scheduled to be considered by the House of Representatives the week of Feb. 24.

Vitter said he will continue to push for greater flood protection and levee funding for the people of St. Charles Parish.

On government health care insurance, Vitter said he has introduced legislation to prohibit Washington elite from receiving taxpayer-funded subsidies greater than what is available to private citizens.

Vitter said his ultimate goal concerning the Affordable Health Care Act would be an all-out repeal.

After his brief talk, Vitter fielded questions from audience members.

The audience’s questions covered a gamut of topics including flood protection, flood insurance rates, political corruption, Common Core education, the legalization of marijuana, food stamp benefits, genetically modified food and the Affordable Health Care Act.

President Barack Obama was a frequent target of criticism from both the audience and Vitter.

When one resident asked Vitter what could be done to stop Obama from taking too much executive control in passing legislation, Vitter said “every president has an inflated view of their power, but this president is on a different planet.”

The numerous questions caused the meeting to go over the one-hour time frame advertised, and Vitter mingled with the crowd and answered additional questions before leaving.