The Beltway Beat

— Here we go again. U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy is backing the new U.S. Senate healthcare bill. So is Gov. John Bel Edwards.

— Cassidy has a new bill with Sen. Marco Rubio to speed up natural gas exports.

— Cassidy honors late Metairie native Lt. Patrick Ruth, who died on a training mission this month. WATCH

— Cassidy on the budget: “Pleased the Senate took this key step in moving tax reform forward. Next step will be working with colleagues on the Finance Committee to produce a bill that gives tax relief to working families and helps accelerate our country's economic growth.”

— U.S. Sen. John Kennedy’s take: “The budget is the first step towards delivering real tax relief for middle-class families in Louisiana and across our country. I look forward to moving ahead and having a constructive dialogue with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle about how we can achieve meaningful tax reform.”

— Kennedy wants the upper chamber to work longer hours: “We have to do tax reform now, not just for our party but also for the American people.  The people of Louisiana and our country don’t understand why we have a Republican majority in Congress and we can’t deliver on the promises that were made to them.  There is no excuse. We need to work nights, we need to work weekends, and we need to get tax reform done by Thanksgiving.”

— Congressman Garret Graves wants to designate Cajuns as an endangered species under federal law. GRAVES: “I don’t understand why animals get better treatment than our actual people.”

— The Coastal Protection and Restoration Coastal Authority now expects to get half the federal royalties than originally thought.

— Majority Whip Steve Scalise talks tax cuts on Fox. WATCH

— Scalise stopped by the St. Catherine of Siena Parish fair in Metairie. WATCH

— Congressman Ralph Abraham has joined 18 other members of Congress in calling on the House and Senate Judiciary Committees hold hearings to examine Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team’s potential conflicts of interest and political bias.

— The Advocate: Could Kennedy or Scalise be the next governor? READ

— Congressman Mike Johnson’s staff will be at the Sabine Parish Police Jury at 9 a.m. tomorrow to hear from constituents.

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