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Mailbag: Seniority in the Senate

The Senate election is just days away. Readers, Warren and Mary Perrin write to NOLA Defender to weigh in on the race. In their opinion, the decision comes to down to empowering Louisiana in the chamber.


Dear Editor:


The U.S. Senate is different from the U.S. House in two ways – members have more individual power, and the minority has a louder voice.


This is quite relevant in Louisiana’s Senate race because it means that a senior member in the minority party is more powerful than a junior member in the majority party.


This is especially true for Mary Landrieu because she has always been a moderate member, consistently working across the aisle with Republican colleagues to pass important legislation for Louisiana, like the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act and the RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act. She has delivered time and time again for all of Louisiana regardless of who controls Congress, who’s in the White House, and whether or not she’s in an election cycle.


Senator Landrieu has already strongly opposed EPA regulations that would be harmful to Louisiana. Not only will she continue to stand with Republicans on this important Louisiana issue and others critical to our industries, but as a moderate, she will be a go-to member when the Republicans need to negotiate on energy and environment issues.  


Even though the Republicans are in the majority, they still have to play ball with the minority, and Mary Landrieu has a proven record of using situations like this to Louisiana’s advantage. Mitch McConnell is talking big talk about putting Cassidy on the Energy Committee, but once assigned there, Cassidy will be nothing more than a junior rank and file Republican, which would hurt Louisiana.


Mary Landrieu has a long-standing successful relationship with Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), the incoming Chair of the Energy Committee, and they are the two strongest leaders in the Senate on revenue sharing. Mary Landrieu established revenue sharing for Louisiana, and is still perfectly poised to accelerate and expand it NOW with bipartisan support, likely coupled with expanded energy production. On the other hand, Congressman Cassidy’s position is to wait another 10 years to expand revenue sharing, as we continue to lose 25 square miles of wetlands per year.


Coastal communities cannot afford to wait this long, and our natural resource dependent industries, including energy, fisheries, navigation and tourism will suffer without immediate large-scale coastal restoration. Since we know our industries will be well protected, supporting Mary Landrieu so that she can continue saving our coast and our industries is a no-brainer.



Warren & Mary Perrin

Lafayette, LA 70503


The text above is a letter to the editor and expresses only the opinion of the author, not NOLA Defender or NOLA Defender's Editorial Board.

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