If you have never heard of Republican Rep. Clay Higgins from Louisiana’s third district chances are you might just love this guy after you read this.
When I first heard of him I thought the first-term congressman sounded like a cloned combination of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, John Wayne and Ronald Reagan. In fact, he is nicknamed the “John Wayne” of Cajun country, as reported by CBS News in 2015 for his tough stance on crime as captain of the Port Barre, Louisiana, Police Department.
Higgins shoots from the hip and says things that might be considered outrageous by swamp creatures inside the Beltway. But what he’s saying and doing now could have some of those swamp creatures squirming.
On Wednesday, Higgins introduced House Congressional Resolution 135, a resolution that would require each member of the House and Senate be randomly drug tested once per term. What a great idea.
Just what inspired this bold move from Higgins? As he told The News Star of northern Louisiana, “I have observed some behavior that would cause one to wonder.”
Yes, no kidding. It’s possible many of us have been wondering that for a long time.
Higgins said this in a news release issued on Thursday: “Elected officials in Washington D.C. should be subject to the same kind of random drug screenings that blue-collar, working-class Americans have to endure. Congress shouldn’t get to live by a different set of rules. This effort is about maintaining accountability and ensuring sober service to We, the People.”
The release also stated: “Members of Congress would reimburse American taxpayers for all costs of the program. If a member tests positive for illegal drug use, they would be reported to the Committee on Ethics, where the appropriate and subsequent action would be taken.”
Also, the Committee on Ethics of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Ethics of the Senate, the investigative authorities under the resolution, would be required to publicly release the identity of any members testing positive or any members who refuse to participate in the program.
Not a bad start, but it could be tougher. There is no specific penalty for testing positive under the current resolution guidelines. It only states that member be submitted for review “under the Rules of the House of Representatives or under the Standing Rules of the Senate.”
After all, do private citizens get such breaks under drug testing programs by their employers?
CBS News reported on Friday that there is some pushback from at least one Democratic member of congress: “The bill has no cosponsors, and Louisiana Democratic Party Executive Director Stephen Handwerk dismissed it as ‘gimmicks and bravado’ from a first-term congressman.” And Handwerk used the opportunity to promote Higgins’ Democratic opponent in the upcoming November election.
?When you haven’t delivered at all for your district I guess all you have is gimmicks and bravado. Let’s send @VoteMimi to congress to get results and no more gimmicks #LA03 @LaDemos https://t.co/qxWP4zr1wR
— Stephen Handwerk (@StephenHandwerk) September 13, 2018
Higgins, however, denies his resolution is a stunt.
In a Facebook video posted several months ago, he said he’s seen the need for it with his own eyes.
“Based upon some of the behavior I’ve seen, I’d be very interested to know what kind of illegal drugs are flowing through the veins of our elected officials in Washington, D.C.,” he said.
I hope this gets more traction. Something like this might be helpful to President Donald Trump in cleaning out the swamp.
And I hope to hear more from Clay Higgins in the future, if only to make swamp creatures uncomfortable and restless.
Just this idea of his has Democrats squirming.
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