Landry secures new committee assignments

by Leslie Turk

Fitting almost perfectly with his top campaign issues from the past year, U.S. Rep.-elect Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia, has been tapped to serve on both the Transportation and Natural Resources committees in 2011 and 2012. Congressman-elect Jeff Landry won't officially represent his share of Acadiana on Capitol Hill for another couple of weeks, but he already knows where he'll be spending a considerable amount of his legislative time. Fitting almost perfectly with his top campaign issues from the past year, Landry, R-New Iberia, has been tapped to serve on both the Transportation Committee and Natural Resources Committee in 2011 and 2012.

Landry will take on these responsibilities as the GOP takes control of the lower chamber. "These critical committee posts allow me the opportunity to fight Washington's job-killing agenda crippling our oil and gas industry, the economic engine of coastal Louisiana," Landry says. "These assignments are also a tremendous opportunity to push for coastal restoration and flood protection."

Drilling down his newfound strengths, the rookie lawmaker already has an ally on the House Transportation Committee in the form of Rep. Bill Shuster, a fellow Republican committee member from Pennsylvania. Landry gave Shuster a tour of sections of U.S. Hwy. 90, also known as the future I-49, earlier this year and explained to him how it could become a "great partner" for La. 1 and Port Fourchon.

The House Transportation Committee has jurisdiction over maritime and waterborne transportation, roads, bridges and the activities of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He said his assignment to the panel will "prove invaluable in advancing the interests of south Louisiana and its industries."

As for the importance of Landry's coming position on the House Natural Resources Committee, he pointed to the fact that more than 100,000 residents in the 3rd Congressional District work in either the seafood or oil and gas industries. "My assignment to the Natural Resources Committee will not only allow us to safeguard our fisheries and wildlife, but also dramatically improve our local economic climate by impacting the drilling permit process," Landry says.

With vast oversight of energy resources, water, public lands and coastal management, Landry hopes the committee will give him an opportunity to weigh in on many of President Barack Obama's energy policies. "The Obama administration fails to understand how deeply their out-of-touch policies have devastated the livelihoods of south Louisiana's working families," Landry says. "We must change the tone in Washington and restore a responsible and responsive government that will help put our people back to work."

Landry will start his assignments when he is sworn in Jan. 5 and takes the place of outgoing Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-Napoleonville, who relinquished his seat this past fall to make an unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate. Melancon has served the 3rd Congressional District since 2005.