Senator Mary Landrieu wants critics of her Louisiana Purchase to “keep their mouths shut.” Why? Landrieu explains that because she and some of her delegation sent a letter demanding more money from Congress to defray Medicaid costs back in May, and then claimed that the decision to cut a $300 million subsidy later in the process had no bearing on her final vote. ABC News reports and clips her floor speech:
The Democratic Senator from Louisiana has had about enough of people criticizing the clause she helped put into the Senate version of health care reform and she took to the Senate floor today, giving a fiery defense of special funding for Louisiana that Republicans have derisively nicknamed “the Louisiana Purchase” – implying the language was put in to buy Landrieu’s vote.
Today on the Senate floor, Landrieu her naysayers to “keep their mouth shut.”
She pointed out that Republicans in Louisiana, including Governor Bobby Jindal and a good number of Republican Congressmen, have all asked publicly for Louisiana to be given the extra money to meet its Medicaid commitments.
Landrieu gives a meandering tirade about how she won’t throw her constituents under the bus regardless of criticisms from her Louisiana colleague David Vitter or John McCain, but Daniel Foster retorts that Landrieu obviously has some comprehension issues:
McCain and others have derided the deal precisely because it benefits the people of Louisiana (and several other states whose Democratic Senators secured similar deals) at the expense of the republic at-large.
Landrieu may wave her letter all she wants, but she refused to publicly commit to supporting the ObamaCare bill until just before the key cloture votes in late December. By some strange coincidence, that’s exactly when Harry Reid inserted the Louisiana Purchase, which had not appeared in previous versions of the bill. Landrieu may argue that the two are not connected, but her constituents and the public at large aren’t so obtuse as to miss a pork payoff when they see it.
Maybe Landrieu should take her own advice and keep quiet. Until now, Nelson’s Cornhusker Kickback has gotten most of the bad press, but it costs only a third of what Landrieu won with her payoff.