Story by Tom Pace, Special to the Press-Tribune
A nearly full auditorium at Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC) welcomed Sen. David Vitter with open arms and signs opposing the EPA’s proposed “open-tray burn” of some 16 million pounds of M6 propellant currently stored in underground bunkers at Camp Minden in Webster Parish.
New chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Sen. Vitter held a first-ever field hearing at BPCC entitled “The Effects of the Affordable Care Act on Small Businesses and How Congress is Exempt From the Law.”
Before the January 15 field hearing, also in the BPCC auditorium, some 150 residents and constituents attended a town hall meeting held by Sen. Vitter to discuss Obamacare with residents of Northwest Louisiana.
However, the topic de jour of that meeting was the controversial EPA ruling allowing the “open-tray burn” of the M6 propellants at Camp Minden. Vitter assured those present that he, along with Cong. Fleming and others, were communicating with the top level EPA brass to stop the burn.
Afterwards, invited witnesses to the field hearing included: Katherine Archuleta (declined), Director of the Office of Personnel Management; Mark Mazur (declined), Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy in the Department of the Treasury; Hedy Hebert, Partner of Benefits Consulting; David Scruggs, COO of Piggly Wiggly and Save-A-Lot Grocery Stores; Debbie Martin, Immediate Past President of the North Shreveport Business Association; and Brenda Little, Healthcare Administrator at Jean Simpson Personnel Services, Inc.
That hearing examined the real life consequences of how small businesses are navigating Obamacare implementation.
Chairman Vitter also explained how members of Congress have been exempted from Obamacare by allowing themselves to maintain a taxpayer subsidy unavailable to any other American. Vitter has championed legislation to eliminate the Washington Exemption from Obamacare.