Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Better know a politician: Charles Boustany

Name: Charles Boustany

Position: Member of Congress

District: Louisiana's 3rd Congressional District (LA-3)

Political Party: Republican (R)

Tenure: 2003-present

Previous positions: Retired cardiovascular surgeon

Future position: Boustany has not been thrown out there as a potential Senate candidate or for the position of Governor.  Boustany's district that he currently represents is a very Republican district.  It is a safe district for Boustany.  He could win the district for a long period of time, as it is a safe district for him.  The real challenge for Boustany would be from the inside either in an actual primary or the blanket primary for Congress.

Next election: November 2014, House of Representatives.

Leadership: House Committee on Ways and Means (one of the most powerful committees in the House of Representatives)

Fundraising (2014 cycle): Raised: $488,026
Spent: $347,129
Cash on hand: $331,264
Source: OpenSecrets

Top contributors: 1. Schilling Distributing: $10,400
2. American Bankers Association: $5,000
3. American Senior Housing Association: $5,000
Source: OpenSecrets

Recent elections:
2004: Charles Boustany (R): 55% Willie Mount (D): 45%
2006: Charles Boustany (R): 71%  Mike Stagg (D): 29%
2008: Charles Boustany (R): 62% Don Cravins (D): 34%
2010: Charles Boustany ran unopposed
2012: Charles Boustany (R): 61% Jeff Landry (R): 39%

Notable endorsements:
Dick Cheney (2004), Michael G. Strain (Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry) (2012)

Positions

Abortion. Boustany sees himself as pro-life.  He has received a 100% rating from the NRLC and a 0% from the NRLA.  Both of these indicate that he has a pro-life stance.  He voted for the abortion pain bill and has voted to prohibit federal funding for Planned Parenthood.  He has also voted to prohibit federally funding abortions.

Animal Rights/Welfare.  The Humane Society gave Boustany a 0% rating for his voting record.  This indicates a anti-animal welfare voting record.

Budget/Economy.  Boustany signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge that has been circulated by Grover Norquist.  He has opposed the raising of taxes on any tax bracket. His votes have been inconsistent on whether or not he would support defense spending cuts in order to balance the budget.  He voted against all of the bailouts.  He has also supported the Balanced Budget Amendment.  He also voted to ban the roadway signs that stated that the construction was being paid for by funds authorized by the bailout funds.  He has consistently voted against raising/increasing the debt limit.  Furthermore, he has voted yes on the Paul Ryan Budget, the cornerstone of the Republican budget plan.

Civil Rights.  He has voted against prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation.  He is not a supporter of the Employee Non-discrimination Act of 2013 that was proposed by Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado.  He has voted to make a Constitutional amendment to the United States defining marriage as one man and one woman.  He is a co-sponsor of the newest resolution proposed that would define marriage as one man-one woman.  He has also voted against enforcing anti-gay hate crimes.  Because of these stances, he has received a 0% rating from the Human Rights Campaign. This indicates an anti-gay rights stance.

He did vote to re-authorize the Violence Against Women Act.  During the 111th Congress, he voted against H.R. 11, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.  The Act clarified that each time someone was paid a wrong compensation because of discrimination, is a violation of the law.

Rep. Boustany is not well-regarded by the NAACP, he received a 33% rating indicating that he has an anti-affirmative action stance.

He voted to make it a constitutional amendment to prohibit flag burning.

He also voted to make the PATRIOT Act permanent and has voted to extend the PATRIOT Act.  He voted to allow electronic surveillance without a wiretap and for removing the need for FISA warrants for wiretapping.

Corporations

He voted against allowing shareholders a vote to determine executive compensation.  He has actually voted against this type of legislation twice, in 2007 and 2009.  He is rated by 14%, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, indicating that he has a pro-management voting record.

Drugs

NORML has given a -10 score, which indicates that he has a hard-on-drugs stance and voting record.

Education

Boustany has been supportive of charter schools and their goals.  He believes that part of education reform is to give more choices to parents and children to make sure they choose the right to school.

Energy/Environment

Boustany has been an advocate for offshore drilling and ending the moratorium on offshore drilling.  He has voted for opening the Outer Continental Shelf for offshore drilling.  He has voted against removing oil and gas subsidies.  He has also boted for constructing new oil refineries and authorizing new oil refineries.  He has also voted for the Offshore Leasing Act.

He has consistently voted against clean energy production.  He has voted against investing biofuels.  He has also voted against tax incentives for clean energy.  He has also voted against tax incentives for energy production and conservation.

He has been a vocal critic of the EPA trying to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.  He voted against the House's bill H.R. 2454, which proposed a cap and trade system.

Foreign Policy

He has a strong commitment to making an unbreakable bond between the United States and Israel.  He has voted to restructure the United Nations by reducing funding to the United Nations from the United States.  He has a -1 rating from the American Arab Institute which indicates he has a mixed Palestine/Arab record.

He has worked to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons instead of containing the nuclear weapons.  He has voted to have no contact with Iran until the nuclear threat is gone.

He voted for declaring Iraq as part of the War on Terror with no exit date.  He voted against the timetable for troops being brought out of Afghanistan.  He did vote against investigating George W. Bush.  He did vote to bar armed forces in Libya without Congressional approval.

Free Trade

He voted against the Central American Free Trade Agreement.  He also voted no on assisting workers who lost jobs due to globalization.

Gun Control

He voted to allow concealed-carry permits issued in other states to other states where legal.  He voted to ban gun registration and trigger lock laws in Washington, D.C.  He would like to loosen restrictions on interstate gun purchases.

Health Care

He voted against the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.  He has also voted consistently to repeal Obamacare.  He has voted against expanding Children's Health Insurance Program, multiple times.  While there is a Children's Health Insurance Program, there have been multiple votes to extend the coverage of the program to millions of children, he has not voted for expanding the program.

Immigration

He has voted for building the fence along the Mexican border.  He has also stated support for declaring English as the national language.  Because of these stances, he has received a 92% grade from the U.S. Border Control which indicates that he has a sealed border stance.  He also voted against the DREAM Act ad seems to indicate that he would not support the Senate's immigration bill.

Labor

He voted against restricting employer interference in union organizing.  He has also voted against raising the minimum wage to $7.25.  But he did vote to allow a air traffic controller's union.

Technology

He did vote against the federal funding for National Public Radio.  He has supported a permanent ban on state and local taxation of internet access.

Welfare

He has voted to maintaining the work requirement for welfare recipients.  He has claimed that he is committed to the preservation of Medicare and Social Security but did vote for the Paul Ryan budget.





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