The Louisiana Democratic Party today issued a statement in support of Gov. John Bel Edwards’ call for legislative cooperation and honest leadership as the state begins to grapple with the budgetary crisis left in Bobby Jindal’s wake. In his first days in office, our new Democratic governor has addressed the fiscal crisis with seriousness of purpose, and addressed the people of Louisiana with honesty and respect. Our state’s political leaders are being called to a reckoning with the catastrophic results of eight years of financial recklessness and mismanagement. To meet the challenge, Edwards is offering a sobering array of options and ideas. Republican leaders in the legislature, by contrast, have yet to offer anything whatsoever.
With no proposals on the table and no ideas for moving our state forward, Rep. Cameron Henry and the Republicans in the legislature who answer to him are failing the test of leadership. The new Speaker of the House they installed, Rep. Taylor Barras, has yet to offer anything of substance. Thanks largely to their years of failure and cowardice in the face of Bobby Jindal’s ambition, the state of Louisiana faces an unprecedented crisis. The only ghost of an idea Louisiana Republicans have floated to date is a threat to abandon their responsibilities altogether and walk away from the special session.
“If Speaker Barras refuses to lead and If Cameron Henry and the Republican legislators who do his bidding can’t be bothered to show up for work, maybe it’s time for them to resign,” said Stephen Handwerk, executive director of the Louisiana Democratic Party. “Louisiana is in a desperate situation, one that calls for leadership and responsibility. Republican leaders owe it to the taxpayers that pay them and elected them to show up, to put some real ideas on the table, and to work with Governor Edwards to move our state forward.”