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February 7, 2016

Landrieu: Flood Insurance Decided Florida’s Special Election

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., said Wednesday that she believes flood insurance legislation was the deciding factor in Tuesday’s special election in Florida, not health care.

Landrieu has championed the legislation in the Senate and, as CQ Roll Call reported previously, has her own political motivations for doing so, given her own tough re-election bid in 2014. But the Louisiana Democrat said Wednesday that House GOP leaders saw the importance of the issue in the Florida gulf district and pushed through a bill, which the Senate could take up as soon as this week, to its own political benefit.

“The Florida special election was more about flood insurance than it was about health insurance and I’m proud to have raised that issue because that district cares a lot about flood insurance,” Landrieu said. “That’s one of the reasons that the leadership in the House moved quickly on a flood insurance bill, because they knew that it could be very difficult for their Republican candidate to try to get here without having addressed the No. 1 concern of the people of that district, which is flood insurance.”

Both Republican winner David Jolly and defeated Democrat Alex Sink were forced to discuss their own flood insurance plans on the trail, as one of the counties in their district contains the nation’s highest number of homes facing flood insurance premium increases in the event Congress does not pass a legislative fix.

As pundits attempt to sort out the causes and ramifications of Tuesday’s special-election win for Republicans, perhaps one takeaway is that local and regional issues still matter and can be the focus of campaigns, even for incumbents in a post-earmark era. One of the key’s to Landrieu’s re-election narrative, for instance, is her influence in Washington and how it can be used to advocate for issues important to constituents at home. Pushing through a flood insurance bill was one example of how to demonstrate such a power (although her GOP opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy, was very much involved in the House’s effort).

Last month, Landrieu also became chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which puts her in a prime position to advocate for more drilling and domestic energy production when most other Democrats would not. Earlier this week, she was one of several moderate, in-cycle Democrats missing from a 31-member all-night talkathon on climate change.

“The issues for Louisiana remain pretty consistent in and out of election cycles and in and out of who is the president. They are jobs, good jobs; energy, expanding energy opportunities for drilling and energy infrastructure; flood insurance; rebuilding after disasters; and good, quality education,” Landrieu said. “Those issues remain constant. They don’t change very much … period.”

Landrieu is set to release a “more detailed agenda” for the Energy Committee early next week, which could reveal a whole host of parochial energy issues affecting the gulf region.

  • mabramso

    I sincerely hope that all Democrats believe, hook, line, and sinker, what Landrieu is saying — that healthcare was not the issue here.

  • BlueJoubert

    I sincerely hope the Democrats will start running ON the ACA, instead of away from it. If they, and the media, will start shouting the facts from every rooftop, the progressive agenda will sweep the 2014 election cycle.

    Facts matter, and I have no doubt you want to keep them under wraps.

  • Mickey Kovars

    I live in the area but not in the 13th district, and I agree that flood insurance was an important issue. But both candidates favored relief. The ACA, and Obama’s conduct generally, were also issues in a fairly close race, and there Jolly was the clear winner.

  • mabramso

    You can believe that if it makes you feel better, but a progressive sweep in 2014 is delusional. And the mainstream media is an extension of the Democrat Party already. Your “facts” can’t erase the millions who are worse off now than they were before Obamacare.

  • Don

    I’m a conservative and a registered Republican and I too hope that Democrats run on Obamacare! We share something in common!

    As regards the “facts” to which you refer, Democrats can’t successfully pull off their usual distortions, misrepresentations and outright lies with Obamacare. Why not? Because there is no propaganda which can counter a voter receiving a bill in the mail for an increased insurance premium! There is no propaganda which can counter a notice of increased deductibles and copays! There is no propaganda which can counter being informed that you can no longer see the same doctor who has been treating you because, under Obamacare, that doctor is now “out of network”. Oh, you can see that doctor, you just have to pay his full fee out of pocket! Even U. S. Senator Tom Coburn got burned:

    “Obamacare: Tom Coburn loses cancer doctor”

    “The Oklahoma Republican’s spokesman confirmed to POLITICO that since the senator enrolled in his health insurance plan under Obamacare, his coverage has been reduced and he lost coverage for his cancer specialist. Coburn will continue to pay out of pocket and see his oncologist, his office said.”

  • papal

    Landrieu is hoping that is the issue. Maybe she should have Obama campaign for her and he could give speeches on flood insurance. He can call it the “The moment the waters began to recede” campaign. On a serious note, all the delays and modifications to Obamacare by the Whitehouse is not helping dems. It is justing admitting with actions that the law is a big problem.

  • Palindrome

    she is deflecting… you have to love their logic.

  • pneville

    Landrieu as head of the energy committee could still not stop Obama’s war on carbon based energy. A Republican controlled Senate could.

  • Stink Eye

    keep saying that, mary. we’re sort of counting on it

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