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|Vitter addresses local, national issues|
U.S. Sen. David Vitter spoke on immigration, health care and agriculture at a Town Meeting held Thursday in Vidalia.
Vitter serves on the Committees on Commerce, Science and Transportation; Environment and Public Works; and Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
Vitter said he has been impressed with the appointments Gov. Bobby Jindal has made to his staff.
"I am very upbeat with the appointments made by the new administration and really looking forward to working with them," Vitter said.
The Metairie senator focused his main attention on jobs, infrastructure, and economic development. He's been particularly focused on lowering prescription drug prices, saving the coast, and preserving and improving Social Security for future generations.
"It is important for Congress to take steps to ensure a strong agricultural economy for years to come," Vitter said. "I am working actively on several important issues that will benefit Louisiana farmers, including renewing the Farm Bill to ensure it continues to benefit Louisiana, working to ensure that foreign products are properly labeled in order to protect Louisiana catfish, crawfish, and other products, fighting the death tax so farmers can pass their family farm down to their children and promoting fair trade and a level playing field for Louisiana's agriculture and seafood industries."
Vitter said the House and Senate are working on a compromise for two versions of the Farm Bill and he expects that to be finalized this month.
"It's way overdue," he said.
Vitter supports being able to purchase medication from Canada and other foreign countries.
"They would be a lot cheaper and that would force companies to lower prices here," he said.
Vitter was asked about why there is an 85 percent tax on Social Security.
"That is unfair, it is like double taxation," he said. "I'm pushing to get it back down to 50 percent and then get rid of it altogether."
George Ashley asked Vitter for help in raising the level of Old River to bring more people here for fishing.
Vitter said he would set up a meeting with Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland, Joe Woods, who is helping the City of Vidalia with port information and Corps of Engineer officials to discuss the matter.
Turtle farmer Eddie Jolly thanked Vitter for his support of turtle farming and asked him for help in selling turtles domestically in the United States, which was deemed unhealthy by the FDA.
"I bought about 10 turtles when I was little and I never saw a safety issue," said Vitter, who added he will talk with Sen. Mary Landrieu and others to address that issue.
Vitter touched on the death tax, which will be phased out by 2010, but can return in 2011.
"A lot of small businesses have to close down because of the one-time tax hit," he said.
Vitter said he would also like to see stronger voter registration laws in the state and mentioned possible photo IDs during elections.
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