David Vitter (born May 3, 1961) is an American politician, currently serving as the Junior Senator from Louisiana. He was formerly a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives, first elected in 1999, representing the First Congressional District of Louisiana. He was born in New Orleans, was educated at Harvard University, Oxford University (Rhodes Scholar), and Tulane University, and was a lawyer and member of the Louisiana House of Representatives before entering the House. As of January 2005, he occupies the Senate seat vacated by outgoing Senator John Breaux. While he is widely believed to be the first Republican Senator elected in Louisiana, that title goes to John S. Harris who took his office as a senator in 1868. However, Vitter is the first to be elected by the general populace of Louisiana, while Harris was chosen by the state legislature before the Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution made that procedure obsolete.
The Louisiana Jena Band of Choctaws had accused Vitter of being "in cahoots" with Jack Abramoff and his attempts to stymie the tribe's casino plans. The Senate Indian Affairs Committee, led by Republicans, found the allegations had no factual basis.
Hurricane Katrina In the wake of 2005's Hurricane Katrina, while New Orleans' flood levels were still rising in all areas, Vitter made an inaccurate statement that received notable media attention.
"In the metropolitan area in general, in the huge majority of areas, it's not rising at all. It's the same or it may be lowering slightly. In some parts of New Orleans, because of the 17th Street breach, it may be rising and that seemed to be the case in parts of downtown.
"I don't want to alarm everybody that, you know, New Orleans is filling up like a bowl. That's just not happening," said Vitter on August 30.
In later days, Vitter gave the federal government's emergency response an "F grade" during an interview on Fox News's Hannity & Colmes, but avoided criticising US President George W. Bush.
Vitter's performance during Hurricane Katrina was later documented in historian Douglas Brinkley's book, The Deluge.