Boustany given seat on House Ways and Means Committee

U.S. Representative (R-Lafayette) has been appointed to one of the most powerful Congressional panels - the House Ways and Means Committee.

Boustany’s appointment means that Louisiana will retain a representative on the committee after the retirement of U.S. Representative Jim McCrery of Shreveport, who had been the top Republican on the panel.

“This will allow me to effectively represent my district and Louisiana,” said Boustany.

The Ways and Means Committee has jurisdiction over trade and tax policy. It also has authority over Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare and will be the main committee to review President-elect Barack Obama’s plans to reform health care.

Especially important, said Boustany, will be the panel’s jurisdiction over tariffs and trade which is important to Louisiana whose economy benefits from international business.

He also said he will use his position to fashion tax policy to help small businesses and promote manufacturing and other industry in the state.

However, as a former surgeon, Boustany is likely to be most active in the panel’s work on health care debate.

House Republican Leader John Boehner upon making the announcement of Boustany’s appointment, said “His experience as a physician has made him one of the Houses’s most important voices on health-care issues that impact every American.”

“As middle-class families across America struggle to keep their health care insurance and taxpayers face ever-increasing costs for programs like Medicare and Medicade, the Ways and Means Committee will find itself at the center of this important debate,” Boehner added. “I am pleased Rep. Boustany will have a seat at the table.

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