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Vitter Lifts Objections to FEMA Nominee

By Ed O'Keefe

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) has lifted his hold on the nomination of Craig Fugate to serve as the next FEMA director, ending a holdup criticized by the White House, Senate Democrats and some of Vitter's Republican colleagues as an unnecessary delay fueled by campaign politics.

David Vitter
Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) (Photo by Getty)

Vitter held up a full Senate vote on Fugate amid a dispute with FEMA about its rejection of three construction projects on flood-prone Grande Isle, La. The senator first sought information on the agency's rejections of the project more than two months ago and said he had not yet received sufficient answers. Under Senate rules, any senator can hold up a nomination for whatever reason and can choose to do so anonymously.

"Louisianans have gotten way too many easy spoken assurances from FEMA over the last four years that didn't mean anything," Vitter said in a statement this morning. "Now that I've secured a specific written commitment from them on the V-Zone issue, we can move forward." He said he is "very confident" the issue will be resolved soon.

Last week the White House and Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) called on Vitter to lift his objections to Fugate -- especially since the 2009 hurricane season begins June 1 -- suggesting his delay tactics were inspired more by politics than home state concerns. The criticism grew last week when the senator sent an e-mail to supporters explaining that his continued opposition "isn't about politics." Opponents noted however that a link in the e-mail led to a financial donation page on Vitter's 2010 reelection campaign Web site. In response, Senate Democrats yesterday released a Web-only video slamming Vitter's continued opposition.

Vitter faces a potentially challenging reelection campaign next year, but has avoided a serious primary challenge so far. To date, only adult film star Stormy Daniels has said she's seriously considering a run against Louisiana's first-term junior senator.

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 12, 2009; 11:40 AM ET
Categories:  Confirmation Hearings, Congress  
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"Louisianans have gotten way too many easy spoken assurances from FEMA over the last four years that didn't mean anything,".

That's because everything the Bush Administration said was a lie. And yet, Vitter was so busy paying for 'it' that he didn't even notice his state was getting the shaft and threw his total support behind the pro-torture Republicans.

I guess his wife's spoken assurances of a Bobbit response didn't mean anything either.

Posted by: thebobbob | May 12, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

So this adulterous hypocrite has absolutely NO shame.

Too bad Louisiana voters aren't ... aw, forget it.

Posted by: phoenixresearch | May 12, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

-----agency is like the FDA

something must be done.

ED---what's wrong with THE FIX?????

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | May 12, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

With Vitter's "positions", much *Depends* on what comes out in the end.

Time for LA voters to elect Stormy the porn star.

Posted by: Hawaiiexpat | May 12, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Ed, the actual title for the position he was confirmed into is ADMINISTRATOR, not Director. Get with the times.

Posted by: wiggidywack | May 13, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Louisiana has got a lot more from the federal government than a lot of other states who suffered similar disasters. It's time for the whining to stop and for Louisiana to move on. They can't expect the feds to support them indefinitely.

Posted by: bigtom6156 | May 13, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

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