Take that, Hill!
From The Advocate:
Vitter criticizes Clinton for attack
By GERARD SHIELDS
Advocate Washington bureau
Published: May 22, 2007 - Page: 8A
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., is engaged in a war of words with the top Democratic presidential contender.
Vitter took exception to remarks made Friday by U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y, during her visit to New Orleans. Clinton questioned Vitter’s support for Louisiana on hurricane recovery issues.
Clinton alleged that Vitter hasn’t been working hard enough with his Louisiana colleague in the Senate, Democrat Mary Landrieu.
“She has been waging a lonely battle,” Clinton said during a tour of the city. “She hasn’t had much support from her counterpart; let me just lay it on the table here.”
Vitter accused Clinton of playing politics.
“Throughout this difficult recovery work, I’ve always strived to focus on helping people and solving problems, not playing politics,” Vitter says in a statement. “I, for one, sure hope we keep doing that and leave the divisive partisanship and political games to Hillary and others.”
Vitter sits on the Environment and Public Works Committee, which recently crafted the Water Resources Development Act. Among other things, the legislation authorizes $3.6 billion to $6 billion for Louisiana coastal restoration, navigation, flood control and hurricane protection projects.
U.S. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., ranking member of the committee, criticized Clinton for her remarks. Inhofe noted that the bill contained seven Vitter amendments on key aspects of Louisiana water resources.
“Sen. Clinton’s comments about Sen. Vitter are particularly off base, coming the very week we passed the WRDA bill,” Inhofe says in a statement.
Vitter was in a position to do more for Louisiana than any other senator, Inhofe said.
“Sen. Clinton would have known all this if she had been involved in that important work for Louisiana,” Inhofe says.
Landrieu filed four amendments identical to ones previously filed by Vitter. Landrieu said she wanted to put as many amendments on the Senate floor as possible to ensure passage.
“We were working together to try to get as many adopted as we could,” Landrieu said.
G. Pearson Cross, a University of Louisiana at Lafayette political scientist, viewed the Clinton comment as the starter pistol for Landrieu’s 2008 re-election bid.
“I don’t think there is any doubt that it’s politically motivated,” Cross said. “Everyone is looking beyond this year to 2008.”
One measure both Landrieu and Vitter have agreed to push is the call to create an 8/29 Commission to investigate levee failures.
The commission, named for the date that Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in 2005, is being called for by the New Orleans citizens group, Levees.Org.