Congressman Cedric Richmond (LA-02) released the following statement today after House adoption of the Conference Report on H.R. 4348, the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012. Passage of this bill means $679 million in construction funding for roads in bridges in Louisiana, extending the National Federal Flood Insurance Program for another five years, keeping student loan interests rates low for another year, and bringing back 80 percent of the Deepwater Horizon fines to the states hit hardest by the oil spill. Unfortunately, the bill also includes steep cuts to Louisiana's Medicaid Program.
"It is sinful that Speaker Boehner and House Republican leadership can be so careless with the lives of Louisiana's elderly and disabled," said Congressman Cedric Richmond. "I am absolutely livid that House Republican leadership decided to pillage Louisiana's Medicaid budget by exacting $670 million in cuts. It's unacceptable, and a complete slap in the face to Louisiana's children and disabled."
"I commend Senator Landrieu for her tireless efforts to gain passage of the RESTORE Act and protect Louisiana's Medicaid program. It is unfortunate that although we have a Governor who works tirelessly to establish a national profile and a Republican Senator who sat on the conference committee, House Republican leadership still pursued this course of action. Maybe the Governor didn't have enough influence, or he decided not to use his influence. Whatever the case, Republican leadership decided to shortchange Louisiana's most vulnerable citizens. For too long, Republican leadership at the state and federal levels has senselessly prioritized the wealthiest among us by giving tax breaks that have left our students, elderly, and disabled to pay the price for their neglect.
"The good news is that the RESTORE Act will bring billions of dollars to Louisiana for coastal restoration. As with the RESTORE Act, I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure the needs of ALL Louisianans are prioritized."