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Stephanie Grace: Louisiana Republicans are all over the place on latest spending bill

February 16, 2019
In The News

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, of Jefferson Parish, applauded President Donald Trump for signing the new funding bill that averts a second government shutdown in as many months.

Which is kind of funny, given that none of his fellow GOP House members from Louisiana saw fit to vote for the conference committee agreement that grants Trump a relatively scant $1.375 billion to build 55 miles of some sort of barrier along the 2,000-mile U.S./Mexico border.

All four of them voted “no.” Mike Johnson, R-Benton, and Clay Higgins, R-Port Barre, complained that the measure failed to provide enough resources for border protection. Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge, criticized a provision that bars the allocated money from being used to go after sponsors of unaccompanied children. And both Higgins and Ralph Abraham, R-Alto, cheered the president’s decision to declare a national emergency even as he signed the bill.

And by signaling support for the emergency declaration, Abraham, Higgins and Cassidy all said that they’re willing to cede Congress’s authority to the president — and also that they’re OK with Trump’s order serving as precedent for future White Houses, both Republican and Democrat. Same with Scalise, who on Saturday sent out a fundraising plea claiming that "Speaker Pelosi and the Democrat Majority left (Trump) with no other choice" but to issue the order.

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