GAMARD’S BELTWAY BEAT

— U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy has been making rounds to talk about his opioid abuse legislation in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Covington. His Eliminating Government-funded Oil-painting (EGO) Act is now law. He tweeted yesterday, “We're working with the Trump administration to streamline approvals of crucial projects to restore and preserve Louisiana's coasts.” Here’s the senator expressing his woes on Capitol Hill about President Donald Trump’s proposed steel tariffs.

— U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, since penning Facebook about its relationship with other entities, has been making the rounds on cable TV to talk Cambridge Analytica and the social media force’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg. Here’s one of the junior senator’s most recent takes on Fox News: “It is a fair bargain for me to give up all my personal data to Facebook and apparently everybody else in the Milky Way in exchange for me being able to see what some of my high school buddies had for dinner?” When asked this week about having yet to get a roll call vote on any one of his legislative amendments since he became a senator, Kennedy told POLITICO, “I think it sucks.”

— Congressman Steve Scalise hosted the Offshore Energy & Maritime Industry Leaders Roundtable and Offshore Energy Tour, where he and fellow congressmen visited the Olympus TLP, an offshore drilling platform off Louisiana’s coast. He also met with the state’s restaurant industry and was awarded Archbishop Rummel High School’s Alumnus of the Year while at home. Here’s some more pictures. He tweeted, “I applaud President Trump for standing up for the 2nd Amendment against attempts by liberals like former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens who want to take away those cherished rights.” Here’s his case for how Louisiana “wins” thanks to federal tax changes, and a video wishing everyone a happy Easter.

— Congressman Cedric Richmond released this statement after Attorney General Jeff Landry announced no charges would be filed from the Alton Sterling shooting: “As with many cases before Alton, the system has prioritized absolving the perpetrators instead of vigorously seeking fairness for the deceased, their family, and the larger communities in which they live...Alton’s name will be added to a growing list of young black men and women killed at the hands of law enforcement who were never charged and never had to face a jury of their peers…Until our justice system fully recognizes this, the legitimate fears of our young people will continue to stymie true safety and harmony in our communities.”

— Congressman Clay Higgins went on air to talk about his bills that set federal standards for school officer training and call for federal data on school officers: “We don’t want our kids going to schools that look like prisons.” He also visited some of his district schools while at home. LaPOLITICS reported for Weekly subscribers two weeks ago that the District 3 delegate is transitioning to campaign mode, and eyeing his potential opponents.

— Congressman Mike Johnson commended the passage of the Right to Try bill on its second attempt: “In Louisiana and 37 other states, terminally ill patients are already able to access these critical drug treatments, and if passed on the federal level, this bill would create nationwide access to experimental drugs for patients with a terminal illness. Ultimately, the decision to try a potentially lifesaving treatment should rest with patients and their doctors — not bureaucrats in Washington.” His staff recently honored Navy SEAL Robert J. Reeves, who was killed in action in 2011 in Afghanistan, with the Louisiana Veterans Honor Medal.

— Congressman Ralph Abraham this week showed support to include a citizenship question on the 2020 Census (“American citizens deserve to know how much of their resources are being used by people who are here illegally and unlawfully benefiting from our social programs”) and gave his take on former United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin’s ambiguous exit from the White House. Earlier in the week, Abraham said, “I commend Attorney General Jeff Landry and his office for their due diligence in officially closing the book on the Alton Sterling case and upholding the rule of law.” He also visited photographer legend Lee Estes at the Veterans Home in Monroe, spoke at The Gold Star Louisiana Honor Medal Presentation and spent Good Friday with LSU Football Coach Ed Orgeron at the Pentecostals of Alexandria production of "Above All.”

— Congressman Garret Graves’ office tells us that the delegate held a bipartisan, bicameral luncheon for state legislators last Monday to talk “legislative priorities and cooperation.” Since then, Graves has been on the road. He talked coastal issues at the Joint Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Gray, partisanship at the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge, and his unhappiness with the Restore Louisiana program and the spending bill at the Kiwanis Club in Denham Springs. Here he is wishing Big Mike's Sports Bar and Grill’s eponymous owner a happy birthday en route. He also spoke with new Nicholls State University President Dr. Jay Clune about higher education prospects, and was beside Gov. John Bel Edwards when he signed Rep. Ted James’ federal tax relief bill for 2016 flood victims, and appeared on the Delta Dispatches Radio Show to talk about the coast.

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