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David Vitter Agrees to Stop Endangering His Constituents

6 years ago
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When the obituary of Senator David Vitter (R-LA) is written, the first sentence will inevitably include the words "a right-wing moralizer who shamelessly cheated on his wife with prostitutes in Washington and New Orleans."

But if you read a little further, you may also find out that in 2009, Vitter single-handedly endangered the lives of his constituents for months.

See, Vitter has been using an arcane Senate rule to hold up the appointment of the director of the Federal Emergency Management Administration, despite the fact that the nominee, Craig Fugate, is eminently qualified and popular with both Democrats and Republicans. But Vitter didn't want to miss a chance for some political grandstanding, even if it meant hindering the federal agency responsible for protecting Louisianans in the event of a hurricane ... which, needless to say, is a fairly common event.

Fortunately, however, Vitter backed down this week, presumably to free up his schedule so he could spend more time with his prostitutes.

A Louisiana Republican agreed Tuesday to stop blocking the White House's pick to lead FEMA amid bipartisan criticism that he was leaving the agency vulnerable just a few weeks away from hurricane season.

[W]ith hurricane season starting June 1, Vitter was drawing growing criticism from groups such as International Association of Emergency Managers and the American Red Cross, as well as Republican lawmakers and the White House. The tactic also had become an issue in Vitter's 2010 re-election bid, with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee using it to attack him as reckless.

After meeting with FEMA officials last week, Vitter agreed to relent if he got written confirmation that the agency is working in good faith to resolve his concerns, and that FEMA would keep him updated at least every two weeks until the issues are resolved.

Good luck getting reelected, Senator.

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