Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) first ran for U.S. Senate in 2014 with a light track record in the House. He successfully made a big splash in beating Democrat incumbent Mary Landrieu and helping Republicans to retake control of the Senate.
Like many conservative-talking Southern politicians, Cassidy converted from the Democrat Party at a time and place when it supported his political aspirations. Joe Cunningham wrote at RedState on August 10 that Cassidy’s federal political career has seen a shift from conservative talk to more progressive conduct.
Cassidy is seen as a secure senator embracing his true nature as an actual Democrat, a detached know-it-all, or both. Cassidy originally ran for Senate with the idea that he would only serve two terms.
Since his election last year that coincided with the installation of Joe Biden as president, he has been defending the conceptual content of the administration’s bipartisan infrastructure far and wide. Now that the bill’s content finally became public just before it passed out of the Senate with 19 Republican votes, Cassidy’s defenses of the account have been laid out in the light of day.
Cunnigham cites commentary about Cassidy showing that infrastructure bills ought to be set up to allocate block grant funds to states for capital projects. States know much better than Washington what their local infrastructure capabilities and needs are. States can be audited to ensure that they use grant money for defined projects.
The reality in Washington is that federal money all comes from the top-down, giving politicians like Cassidy wasteful pork projects they can crow about. He appears more concerned about pet projects than the actual reasons that Louisiana consistently votes 60 percent Republican. Louisiana Republicans are more interested in fiscal sanity and honest government than a Senator’s cap feathers.
Cassidy is so confident in his intellect that he ignored the actual overall effects of the bipartisan bill and instead focused myopically on smaller projects that could benefit his record.
When asked about the nationwide per-mile road user fee, a millage tax on Americans, and consumer products the bill puts forward, Cassidy said, “It’s not in there.”
When confronted with the bill’s exact language, Cassidy acknowledged the section but dismissed it as simply being a pilot provision. “I promise you there is not a user fee being assessed,” he said in trying to avoid the apparent conflict between his earlier statement and the truth. He said the federal government just wanted to “see how it works,” as if that meant it was something he could promise would never happen.
Cassidy ran as a Trump supporter when he needed to get reelected, then immediately voted to impeach President Trump after the election and the January 6 disturbances at the Capitol.
Cunningham notes that the only real surprise with Cassidy bailing on his conservative constituents is how soon into his second term it occurred.