VP Pence to visit BR Wednesday to meet with local businesses

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Baton Rouge Wednesday for a "listening session" with business leaders and to make remarks, according to a White House press release.

"I think it sends a message that the President is serious about this plan. He's sending a guy who's pretty high up on the totem pole. The Vice President of the United States is coming to make the case and business people should give a listen," said political analyst, Jim Engster.

The release states that Vice President Pence will be meeting with "small businesses and job creators in the community." One location included in the release is Cajun Industries in Port Allen. Engster sees the Vice President's stop in Baton Rouge as a chance to build support for the administration's policies, especially as the Republican plan to replace Obamacare heads to the U.S. Senate.

"In order for that to happen, he's got to have support from his base, which would mean the two Republican U.S. senators in Louisiana in John Kennedy and Bill Cassidy. We'll see if this visit makes an impression," said Engster.

The Vice President, joined by CMS Administrator Seema Verma, Senator John Kennedy, and Congressman Garret Graves, will participate in a listening session with local business leaders to hear their first-hand stories about health care, job creation, and the economy. The Vice President will conclude his visit to Louisiana with formal remarks to the Baton Rouge community, the release continued.

Vice President Pence is set to arrive at the Baton Rouge Airport Wednesday shortly before noon.

Governor John Bel Edwards will meet the Vice President after he lands in Baton Rouge. The governor says this is a chance to voice his concerns about Washington's plans for changing healthcare. "The Medicaid expansion is working exactly the way it's supposed to work. It's doing great things in Louisiana. What I know is if that bill that was pass by the House of Representatives becomes law, several hundred thousand people will lose insurance," said Edwards.

The National Federation of Independent Business released a statement in response to Pence's upcoming visit.

"We have worked with the White House on these 'Listening Sessions and engagement events' in other states and were pleased they decided to come to Louisiana. NFIB enjoys a good working relationship with the White House as we have provided feedback on a number of issues over the first 100 days. The White House is engaged in getting real time, on the ground feedback on policy issues and know small business is the backbone of the economy and job creators. We have engaged members who are eager to share their stories so this is a great opportunity to connect them directly to the source," said Dawn Starns, director of NFIB.

Copyright 2017 WAFB. All rights reserved.