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Louisiana Frets About Its Seniority

Amid growing concerns that the Bayou State is losing its seniority and clout on Capitol Hill, Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.) invited 30 of the most powerful Louisianans living in Washington, D.C., to his home Wednesday night to discuss the state and its priorities.

Boustany is a second-term Member who will soon be the third most senior Republican in the Louisiana delegation after the resignation of 11-term Rep. Richard Baker (R) and pending retirement of 11-term Rep. Jim McCrery (R).

Together, Baker and McCrery count more than 40 years of Congressional experience, and their departures set off wide concern in state newspapers and in Louisiana political circles that the state is going through a seniority drain.

Last year, Boustany’s fellow second-term Rep. Bobby Jindal (R) was elected governor, leaving third-term Rep. Rodney Alexander and Sen. David Vitter as the only Republicans who will outrank Boustany in the delegation at the start of the next Congress.

The bipartisan guest list for Wednesday night’s event included high-profile lobbyists like Tommy Boggs and well-known Congressional power brokers such as former Reps. Bob Livingston (R) and Billy Tauzin (R) and former Sen. John Breaux (D), who also have become major players in the lobbying community in their years since leaving office. Shane Doucet, who was an aide to then-Rep. Chris John (D), and one-time Tauzin Chief of Staff Mimi Simoneaux are other K Street players on the guest list.

“A critical component for a Member of Congress to gain experience and knowledge is to work with others who have been in Washington for many years,” Boustany said on Wednesday. “In our situation, this relationship provides ideas, insights and information to benefit the people of Louisiana.”

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