Cassidy: Proposed infrastructure bill would be ‘historic investment’ for La.

Published 12:29 am Friday, July 16, 2021

Marlisa Harding

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana, announced an upcoming bi-partisan infrastructure proposal that would dramatically improve Louisiana’s roads and bridges. Cassidy called the bill a “historic investment” that could fund the Interstate 10-Calcasieu River bridge, Mississippi River Bridge and several six-lane expansion projects across the state.  

“The state will establish the priorities. The federal government provides the money. Since I know these issues are priorities in our state, that’s why I list them; because I think there will be adequate funding for them.” 

The infrastructure bill and an additional $47 billion coastal resiliency proposal are expected to be voted on in the next few weeks, he said. 

He reminded the public of the importance of vaccinating, especially as the Delta variant grows. “If you’re in a high-risk population, 65 and above, nursing home, diabetic, high blood pressure, obese, get vaccinated because you are at higher risk of death should you be infected, even if you’re a younger person.” 

He also reminded that the CDC has recommended that children return to school this fall. As a physician, Cassidy said he does hold some “concerns” regarding the public health of children, however the benefits of children attending school in person outweigh the risk of infection.  

“Kids should be in school. Period. End of story,” he said. “If they don’t have underlying health problems, they’re extremely unlikely to have complications. But we do know that if a child misses a year of school that is a year of her life that she does not grow intellectually. A year of her life that her brain, which is just expanding, does not have the opportunity to absorb those things that will make her more productive, more successful in her future.” 

Regarding children, Cassidy also expressed concern about recently released Enhanced Child Credits. The credits are due in part to the rising cost of child care amidst the pandemic, he said.  

Supplemental unemployment checks have kept some daycare workers at home and driven the cost of available centers upwards. Issuing the credit to parents to make up the difference is “really chasing your tail economically,” he said.  

“What we really should do is create the incentive for people to work. It’s better for anybody to work and study after study shows that.” 

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Bill Cassidy speaks at LyondellBasell in Sulphur, La., Friday, Oct.4, 2019. (Rick Hickman/Lake Charles American Press)

Rick Hickman