Rep. Jeff Landry shows off a chain saw for budget cutting in the lobby of his office in the Cannon House Office Building on Tuesday. The chain saw was signed by constituents at a town hall meeting and given to Landry.
Not every office on Capitol Hill greets visitors with a chain saw. Or an alligator head.
But Rep. Jeff Landry’s workspace has a special Louisiana flair.
Reminders of New Orleans are spread throughout the Republican’s D.C. digs in the Cannon House Office Building, which he scored by getting the third pick in the office lottery earlier this year.
With posters of the New Orleans Saints decorating the walls, bottles of Tabasco sauce lining shelves and Community Coffee Co.’s brew ready for guests, taking a quick trip to the Big Easy is as simple as stepping inside Landry’s office.
But back to that chain saw.
The impressive office centerpiece hadn’t always been part of his decorating plan, Landry said. Even getting it had been a complete surprise, the Congressman added — his constituents in Houma gifted the chain saw to him after a town hall meeting.
“It was kind of weird because when I got there, they were signing it, and I said, ‘Oh, maybe they’re raffling this chain saw off for some, you know, charitable event,’” he said. “And when the meeting was over, they presented it to me and said, ‘Listen, this is what we want you to go back to Washington and use on the budget and the deficit,’ so we thought we’d put it right here in the office. It certainly is an eye-catching piece of the office.”
But it might not always stay safely in the confines of his Cannon office. Landry said he has some big plans for the chain saw — and his fellow Members might want to watch out, he joked.
“I may bring it to the floor one day if they let me,” Landry said. “I haven’t had the right time yet. But I certainly will have no problem bringing it down to the floor of the House of Representatives.”
Like the chain saw, many of the items in Landry’s office that made the trip from Louisiana’s 3rd district to Capitol Hill offer the first-term Congressman a reminder of his campaign. Above the Bible that his mother gave him after his election hangs a large photograph of former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards with Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford at Louisiana State University. He calls it his “bipartisan picture.”
“I bought this picture back in, oh, 1995, ’96, and I’ve always had it at home, and I thought, ‘Oh, this is a good one, my bipartisan picture, I’ve got two Democrats and two Republicans in it, so no one can fuss at me and say my office is not bipartisan,’” he said.
Rep. Bill Cassidy has his blood drawn by Alesha Barbour during a free hepatitis screening in the Rayburn House Office Building hosted by the Congressional Viral Hepatitis Caucus to recognize "National Viral Hepatitis Testing Day."
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