Rep. Julia Letlow addresses regional chamber of commerce on heels of appropriations committee selection
ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Congresswoman Julia Letlow (R-District 5) joined the Central Louisiana Regional Chamber of Commerce on Monday, May 23 for a congressional update luncheon.
The visit comes on the heels of Letlow’s May 11 selection to the House Committee on Appropriations, which oversees federal government spending.
Just after filling the seat, Letlow has already had several opportunities to address big issues nationwide, many of which she detailed at the chamber luncheon.
At the end of last week, within her new committee position, Letlow had the opportunity to question the Federal Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf on the ongoing baby formula shortage and when the agency expects formula to return to shelves.
Califf said that the combination of increased manufacturing, the reopening of Abbott’s Stergus, Michigan plant and imported formula means “it should gradually get better,” but it will be a few weeks until things return to normal. Califf agreed with Letlow that the shortage is hitting rural areas, like much of the 5th Congressional District, the hardest.
On gas prices, Letlow spoke about how consumers, farmers and truck drivers are suffering from rising costs, which is creating even more hardships for her district since it is both rural and relies heavily on fuel for business and industry. Letlow emphasized the U.S. should prioritize returning fuel production back to Louisiana.
”What’s most infuriating about the gas prices is we have the solution right here in Louisiana,” said Letlow. “Unleash domestic energy right here. We can fix this. We’ve done this before in Louisiana. We can do it again as Americans, and be completely energy-independent. We just need to go for that. We need the administration to go for that.”
A concern of many in Central Louisiana in recent months has been the recommended closure of the Alexandria Veteran’s Affairs Hospital location in Pineville. The report noting the recommendation has received widespread backlash on every level. The state legislature has passed a resolution in opposition to the recommendation, which received unanimous bipartisan support and the Speaker of the House Clay Schexnayder’s signature. Plus, many federal officials, like Letlow, Rep. Mike Johnson, Sen. John Kennedy and Sen. Bill Cassidy, have all objected to the closure.
Letlow has been able to speak with VA Secretary Denis McDonough, saying he heard many of her concerns. She said she is also closely with Kennedy on the issue.
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