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Cormier Featured in Beltway Beat on “Achievable Federal Wins in Louisiana”

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TPG Senior Director of Federal Affairs Ward Cormier was recently featured in the State Affairs' weekly newsletter, Beltway Beat, discussing federal wins for municipalities in Louisiana despite heightened gridlock in Washington, D.C. 

Despite Gridlock, Louisiana Still Positioned for Federal Wins

by Ward Cormier

If you have turned on the news recently, you may have noticed that Washington, D.C. has become increasingly complicated over the last sixteen months. The infighting, partisan gridlock, and frequently shifting priorities may give you the sense that nothing is getting done at the federal level.

However, despite the real challenges in Washington, D.C. there are tangible opportunities for Louisiana to make substantial gains. Our state is positioned for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring federal dollars, and much needed policy changes, to our communities.

Our federal delegation is stronger than ever, with Speaker Mike Johnson and Majority Leader Steve Scalise holding the top two positions in the House of Representatives. The delegation’s strength is further bolstered by Representatives Garret Graves, Clay Higgins, Julia Letlow and Troy Carter holding senior positions on the House Appropriations, Energy and Commerce, Homeland Security, and Transportation and Infrastructure committees.

Additionally, Sen. Bill Cassidy is the lead Republican on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and Sen. John Kennedy is the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Energy & Water subcommittee. It is in our best interest, and it has never been more possible, for Louisianians to seize the political moment.

There are more competitive grant programs than ever before available to meet project needs across the state, as well as the congressional appropriations process in the form of community project funding and congressionally directed spending.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is current law and will fund hundreds of billions of dollars in road, bridge, broadband, rail, airport and other projects over the next three years. This law presents a unique chance for communities in Louisiana to address long-standing infrastructure challenges and propel economic growth.

Those funds will go somewhere. Why not towards the many city, parish and state projects which are in desperate need of funding?

Louisiana’s more rural parishes stand the most to gain from these opportunities, but navigating the various federal agencies and Congress takes time and patience. Priorities for members and the administration in Washington can change on a whim.

It is imperative that your projects and needs remain on the minds of officials in Washington. Without constant communication, your project can easily get lost in the deluge of tomorrow’s new priorities.

Beyond funding, there are policy and regulatory decisions being made on issues important to Louisiana such as flood insurance, FEMA reimbursement reform, agriculture regulations and access to rural healthcare. Much of this work flies below the radar due to national media outlets focusing on the drama of Capitol Hill rather than the serious discussions occurring in the open on a daily basis.

Federal resources and policy benefiting Louisiana have never been more achievable. Success will require a constant focus on the ever-changing political and policy landscape and the willingness from pro-Louisiana advocates to invest time and resources to keep the federal government informed on our needs and the impacts of decision making at the federal level.

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