Sen. Cassidy talks immigration, healthcare and more
BATON ROUGE - It's been whirlwind few months for new U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy. At the end of 2014, the then-representative defeated incumbent Democrat Mary Landrieu to earn a spot in the Senate. Now that he's been sworn in, he's in the think of debates over immigration, healthcare and energy.
President Obama's immigration reforms were supposed to take effect Wednesday, but were blocked by a federal judge in Texas. Louisiana is one of more than two dozen suing over the executive order. Once enacted, the reforms would give an estimated 5 million unauthorized immigrants legal status. According to the Pew Research center, there were an estimated 11.2 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. in 2012.
Sen. Cassidy believes the judge was right to block the plan from taking effect.
"The judge has decided that what the President has done has exceeded his limits as a President," he told News 2's John Pastorek this morning on 2une In. "He can allow people to come in, but he can't give them benefits. He's set it up so they can receive social security, potentially, Medicare, Medicaid, you name it."
Catholic Charities says that of the estimated 10,000 unauthorized immigrants in the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Area, about 5,000 would have been eligible for the President's reforms.
Sen. Cassidy was passionate about reforming the Affordable Care Act during the campaign. The issue is still on his "To Do List" now that he's taken office.
"The Supreme Court will take up a bill in March that challenges the way Obamacare was implemented," Sen. Cassidy said. "If the Supreme Court rules against the administration, in 36 states, including Louisiana, for the private health insurance market including the penalties, the mandates, the subsides go away."
He suggests repealing the ACA and replacing it with something that will allow continuous treatment of patients, while eliminating the mandates the current law requires.
Also in health care, Sen. Cassidy introduced a bill this week that would expedite the process for veterans with military emergency medical technician to pursue a career as an EMT. They currently are required to repeat their training. This bill would change that.
Another hot button issues in the nation's capital is the Keystone XL Pipeline. He claims President Obama is ignoring facts.
"The State Department has said that it will save lives, decrease oil spills, lower carbon output, (and) create 40,000 jobs," He explains.
The Keystone XL Pipeline recently passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Even before their approval, President Obama threatened to veto any pipeline legislation that made its way to his desk. The White House argues the State Department's review is ongoing and believes signing the bill into law would undermine that process.
Sen. Cassidy also discussed several other issues with News 2. Watch his interview on 2une In for more information.