Entries in David Vitter (4)


Republican Senator Calls Majority Leader an 'Idiot'

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is having a hard time lately smoothing out the partisan divide on Capitol Hill.

During the height of the "fiscal cliff" negotiations at the end of December, House Speaker John Boehner hurled a nasty invective at the Nevada Democrat for suggesting Boehner was more interested in keeping his job than doing what was right for the nation.

Now, Reid has raised the ire of Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter for suggesting that the devastation wrought by 2005's Hurricane Katrina was not as serious as what residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut experienced from last October's Hurricane Sandy.

The majority leader's comments from the Senate floor late last week about the foot-dragging for relief to Sandy victims infuriated Vitter, who called Reid "an idiot" for "gravely insulting Gulf Coast residents."

Reid's office then released a statement on Monday, saying that he "misspoke" and that what he was referring to was the "economic impact in a more dense metropolitan area."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Two GOP Senators Slated to Skip President Obama’s Speech

Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Two Republican senators plan to sit out President Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress Thursday: Sens. David Vitter of Louisiana and Jim DeMint of South Carolina.

Instead, Vitter will be throwing a football party in Louisiana. “I will listen to the President’s speech tomorrow carefully...from my priority area for job creation, Who Dat Nation,” Vitter wrote on his Facebook page Wednesday afternoon. “Family and friends are coming over for big game. On to recovery -- and the Super Bowl!”

The New Orleans Saints take on the Green Bay Packers in the NFL season opener that evening.

DeMint told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl Sunday that he would probably skip the president’s speech.

“If he sent a written proposal over first, I would go hear him explain it, but frankly, right now, I’m so frustrated I don’t think I’m going to go,” DeMint told Karl.

DeMint’s office confirmed Wednesday that the senator will definitely not attend the speech. Instead, he’ll be in Charleston, S.C., Thursday night to meet with officials from the Boeing Co., tour the new Dreamliner aircraft facility and meet with Boeing employees.

“I’m excited to meet with folks in South Carolina who are creating jobs and moving our economy forward, not just talking about it,” DeMint said in a statement Wednesday. "I also look forward to speaking with state leaders who are concerned that the federal government’s overreach is making job creation more difficult. Unfortunately, the president’s policies of spending, debt and over-regulation have been making matters worse, not better. America’s economy can’t be micromanaged from Washington.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Tea Party Senators Target Birthright Citizenship for Immigrant Children

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- A posse of Tea Party Republicans in the U.S. Senate this week opened a new front in the crusade against birthright citizenship with draft legislation that would bar children of illegal immigrants from becoming citizens.

Senators David Vitter of Louisiana, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas say their bill requires the federal government to limit automatic citizenship to children born to at least one parent who is a citizen, legal resident, or member of the military.

The senators say a misinterpretation of the Constitution, which grants birthright citizenship under the 14th Amendment, has led to tens of thousands of "anchor babies" -- children of illegal immigrants or foreign tourists, born in the U.S., who can in turn sponsor legal residency for their parents and extended families.

"It's astounding that the U.S. government allows individuals to exploit the loopholes of our immigration system in this manner," said Vitter during debate on the Senate floor.  "It's obvious that Congress has the authority and the obligation to put an end to it."

The Pew Hispanic Center estimates 340,000, or eight percent, of the 4.3 million newborns in U.S. hospitals in 2008 belonged to illegal immigrant parents.  In total, four million U.S.-born, citizen children of illegal immigrants currently live in the country, according to the study released last year.

Republicans say a change to the law would also effectively end "birth tourism," or the practice of foreign women traveling to the U.S. with the express purpose of giving birth here so that their children would automatically have American citizenship.  A nascent industry of travel agencies and hotel chains has emerged, seeking to profit from the business.

But immigration advocates say the assault on birthright citizenship discriminates against children, who have no say in the matter, and is nothing more than a political ploy to rally the conservative base.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Watchdog Asks Senate To Investigate LA Senator

Image Courtesy: ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A watchdog group has asked Congress to investigate whether Louisiana Sen. David Vitter violated senate rules by using government funds to pay for a troubled aide to travel to Louisiana for court appearances and to perform court-ordered community service.

In a complaint lodged with the Senate Ethics Committee Tuesday, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) also asked the committee to investigate whether Vitter broke rules by paying aide Brent Furer's salary while Furer was on leave pending prosecution for an alleged knife-point attack on his ex-girlfriend.

"American taxpayers have a right to expect that their hard-earned dollars are spent on the people's business and not assisting a staff member facing criminal charges for drunk driving and domestic violence," said CREW executive director Melanie Sloan in the complaint. "Senator Vitter's continued protection of Mr. Furer - a clearly troubled and dangerous person - does not reflect creditably upon the Senate and merits the Committee's inquiry."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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