Rep. Troy Carter thrown into legislative fire as he joins 117th Congress

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 4:09 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Louisiana has a new member of Congress. Rep. Troy Carter (D-LA) took his seat on Capitol Hill Tuesday after winning a special election late last month. Carter fills this void during a busy time in our nation’s capital.

Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District went four months without representation after Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) left office to join the Biden administration.

“Amazing, you know, it’s surreal,” said Carter.

Family, friends, and colleagues surrounded Carter on this momentous day, including Governor John Bel Edwards (D-LA) and Richmond. Carter acknowledges his district missed out on having that direct voice in Congress over the last few months, but Carter says he is prepared to get up to speed quickly.

“In this business it’s baptism by fire, you know, one of the advantages I talked about during the campaign is not having a learning curve, being able to start on day one,” said Carter.

Carter says he can rely on his experience during his time in the Louisiana legislature. His new committee assignments will be announced Wednesday morning, but Carter says during the campaign he went on listening tours to prepare him to jump right into whatever work that might bring.

“I come to the Capitol armed with those comments, those concerns, those needs, to now be what I always promised to be and that’s the voice of the people,” said Carter.

Faced immediately with big ticket legislation like a police reform package and a massive national infrastructure overhaul, Carter says he does not feel like he will be scrambling to play catchup as Congress tries to pass these generational bills.

“I’ve been up to my ears and doing a whole bunch of reading as you might imagine so I am very ready to hit the floor,” said Carter.

The current number of sitting members in the House now sits at 431. That number is below the usual 435 members because four vacancies remain, all expected to be filled in the coming weeks and months.

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