Scalise praises RESTORE Act at Chamber dinnerAug 24th, 2012 | By Jessica Gonzalez | Category: Community
The Chamber Board members marked the occasion with a photo. Seen from left are Board Member Chris San Marco; Chamber CEO Stephen Reuther; Board Members Fred Sigur Jr. and Eric Schmidt; Chairman Jodie Lohfink; Board Member Ewell “Corky” Potts III; Congressman Steve Scalise; Charlene Walsh; Claudette Reuther and Mike Fradella.
From the national deficit to the 2012 Saints season, Congressman Steve Scalise entertained a wide
range of audience questions at the August 15 St. Bernard Chamber of Commerce Dinner.
One of Congress’ few bipartisan accomplishments this legislative session was the RESTORE Act, which divides up the total of BP’s Clean Water Act violation fines and sends them to the five affected Gulf Coast states.
“Under the law, the Clean Water Act, says if you spill oil, you have to pay fines based on how much was spilled and how sever the penalty was,” Scalise explained. “On the highest end many have estimated that $20 billion could be charged to BP, and they could either come to an agreement to the Justice Department’s ruling (on the amount of fines) or they could take it to court.”
Scalise feels the most important aspect of the law was that a formula was set up to ensure that the money is doled by how severely each of the five states were affected, and because Louisiana was hit hard, we should be seeing a large portion of funding.
“Once the states get the money, then we have a lot of flexibility on how we spend it,” Scalise affirmed.
“Which means we could have real money coming in to put a down payment on our 50 year State Master Plan to restore the coast.”
Saints without Peyton
Politics aside, the congressman also dished on the Saints the bounty scandal that is surely to echo into the upcoming season.
“When you look at the team right now, especially with Drew signed, they have a chip on their
shoulder,” Scalise said.
Scalise believes that the NFL was trying to make an example out of the Saints, and he does not believe they were the only team rewarding players for hard hits.
“If we’re the only team that broke the rules, and you’re going to try to convince me of that— I don’t
believe it,” said Scalise. “They just wanted to make an example of us because there’s a lawsuit against the NFL over the head injuries and it’s a real concern to them, and that’s not right.”
Debt and the election
Scalise stated that he believes the economy cannot gain momentum until Government can scale back and learn to live within its means.
“40 cents of every dollar we’re spending is borrowed money, we have a trillion dollar deficit this
year, and it’s hurting the economy,” Scalise said.
Scalise believes that recently-tapped Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan is a great
fiscal thinker and has a lot to bring to the table in terms of alleviating the nation’s budget crisis.
“There’s a lot that we need to resolve with the budget problem and there’s no smarter person to try to solve that than Paul Ryan, he’s got real plans he’s put on the table,” stated Scalise.
The Affordable Care Act was also a point of contention for the Congressman, as he feels, like his
Republican counterparts, that the ACA is hurting Seniors.
Scalise said that although Ryan’s plan to save Medicare has been criticized in the media and by the
Obama administration, he believes it is on solid footing.
“For people 55 and over it will give the option to choose healthcare like we do as members of Congress,” said Scalise.
Ryan’s plan includes giving Seniors 55 or over a choice of privatized plans that would compete
alongside traditional fee-for-service healthcare plans in a Medicare Exchange
“If we do nothing, if we change no laws, Medicare goes bankrupt in 12 years,” Scalise stated. “The law of the land right now is Obamacare which actually takes 700 billion way from Medicare— the President criticizes our plan to save Medicare when his makes it go bankrupt.”