As Louisiana votes, two districts are going on two and a half months without representation

Published: Mar. 20, 2021 at 1:15 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - As the special elections unfold in Louisiana, the 117th U.S. Congress has been in session for roughly two and a half months. That means Louisiana’s second and fifth Congressional districts have not had direct advocates during a consequential time on Capitol Hill. Some big pieces of legislation have moved through Congress and the newly elected members will be playing catch up when they are sworn in.

A massive $1.9 trillion COVID relief package recently became law, a historic second impeachment vote took place, voting rights are being discussed, and infrastructure talks are beginning without direct input from these districts.

Robert Hogan, a political expert at LSU says this type of situation without representation is not a new phenomenon on Capitol Hill, but he argues can lead to districts missing out on resources. Hogan says whoever comes out on top in these races will have to hit the ground running and get their offices up to speed immediately.

“Hopefully the elected representatives will take their seats and by the time the major budgetary season rolls around they will have representation that can bring to those districts what they feel they’re entitled to receive,” said Hogan.

If candidates get more than a 50 percent share of Saturday’s vote they will join the ranks relatively quickly on Capitol Hill. If no one gets that majority the top two candidates in each race will go to a runoff in a few weeks which further prolongs this period without representation.

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