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“Everyone has a right to petition the government, but the American people deserve to know whether a lobbyist has a history of corruption. The JACK Act is shedding light on swamp creatures who broke our laws.”

WASHINGTON — Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today announced that individuals with criminal histories have, over the past year, disclosed making at least $3.1 million lobbying in our nation’s capital. President Trump signed Kennedy’s Justice Against Corruption on K Street (JACK) Act into law in January 2019. The JACK Act requires lobbyists to disclose any convictions they have related to corruption.

“Everyone has a right to petition the government, but the American people deserve to know whether a lobbyist has a history of corruption. The JACK Act is shedding light on swamp creatures who broke our laws,” said Kennedy.

The bipartisan legislation amends the Lobbying Disclosure Act, which establishes requirements for lobbyists to disclose how much money they make representing issues to lawmakers as well as who pays them.

The JACK Act has made it possible for any American to find information about how much money is flowing to lobbyists convicted of crimes like bribery, extortion, embezzlement, illegal kickbacks, tax evasion and money laundering.

“Millions of travelers fly to and from Louisiana airports each year. This funding will promote safety, reduce delays and make air travel more efficient.”

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $10.9 million in federal grants from the Department of Transportation to improve airports across Louisiana.

“Millions of travelers fly to and from Louisiana airports each year. This funding will promote safety, reduce delays and make air travel more efficient,” said Kennedy.

Louisiana airports receiving grants include:

  • $2.6 million will help build 8,000 feet of taxiway pavement at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.
  • $2 million will help build two new passenger loading bridges in the terminal building of Lake Charles Regional Airport.
  • $2 million will help repair runway pavement and lighting for the Minden airport.
  • $700,000 will help the Slidell airport repair 28,000 square yards of apron pavement.
  • $552,819 will help build a 550-foot taxiway at the Kelly-Dumas Airport in Oak Grove.
  • $500,400 will help remove obstructions at the Morehouse Memorial Airport in Bastrop.
  • $454,021 will help improve drainage at the Le Gros Memorial Airport in Crowley.
  • $398,000 will help the Leesville airport repair 4,000 feet of existing runway.
  • $356,700 will help the Jennings airport repair 6,000 feet of existing runway.
  • $315,000 will help the Houma-Terrebonne airport repair 2,260 feet of taxiway pavement.
  • $247,500 will help repair 12,000 square yards of apron pavement at the Hart Airport in Many.
  • $165,000 will help the Natchitoches Regional Airport repave runways and taxiways.
  • $150,000 will help remove obstructions at the South Lafourche Leonard Miller Jr Airport in Galliano.
  • $135,000 will help repair runways at the John H. Hooks Memorial Airport in Rayville.
  • $135,000 will help remove obstructions at the Union Parish Airport in Farmerville.
  • $103,500 will help remove obstructions at the Jena airport.
  • $72,000 will help improve the taxiway lighting system at the Chennault International Airport in Lake Charles.

“Now [the FCC] may have the votes to do this, Mr. President, but I'm not giving up. I've got a bill along with Senator Schumer—yes, Chuck and I are working on a bill together, Senator Cantwell, Senator Schatz—and we're going to have some others on the bill that says, ‘Look, this is Congress's decision, not FCC's decision. And it would allocate a much more modest sum to these foreign satellite companies, and I'd like the FCC, if it would, to step back, continue on with its auction planning and give us a chance to negotiate on behalf of the American taxpayer."

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today delivered remarks on the FCC’s C-band proposal on the Senate floor.

Kennedy’s full remarks can be viewed here and by clicking on the image below.

Select remarks include:

“I want to go on record as saying 5G is going to be extraordinary. But it’s not going to happen overnight, and the emergency that some of our telecommunications companies are trying to create is not an emergency that really exists, because they have something they want to sell you.”

“Right now, using this C-band spectrum are a number of satellite companies, most of which are foreign-owned. The major satellite companies that are using it right now happen to be domiciled in Luxembourg, a wonderful country, wonderful people. You know what they paid to use that spectrum, to the American people? Nothing. Zero. Nada.”

“The satellite companies said to the FCC, we’re using the C-band right now, and, even though we didn’t pay a single solitary dime for it, we know the telecommunications companies want it to implement 5G, so here’s what we’ll do: You, FCC, give us the C-band. Give it to us, and we’ll turn around and make sure that the telecommunications companies get to use it. We’ll lease it to them, and the amount of money that the foreign satellite companies would have made was about $70 billion. I call it the Bank Job robbery.”

“If the FCC would do it right, we would take in $70 billion for the American taxpayer, and we could use that money to implement rural broadband, and then everybody is happy.”

“The chairman says we’re going to bid it out, but we’re going to take $15 billion of the money that comes in and we’re going to give it to the foreign satellite companies. For what? They don’t own it. They don’t have a license. They just have a privilege. He’s going to give $5 billion to them to relocate to different spectrum, and then he’s going to give them $10 billion—that’s nine zeros—in walking-around money just to go away. That’s why I call it the Baby Driver heist.”

“I don’t agree with [Chairman Pai] that he made a good deal to give $10 billion away to these foreign satellite companies—$10 billion of American taxpayer money. And the chairman is going to present that to vote on it on February 28, and he says he’s got the votes to pass it. I can tell you this is not going to be unanimous. And it’s not going to be non-controversial to give away $15 billion to somebody who doesn’t have a property interest. He says we’ve got to do it because we’re in a . . . race with China. Okay, I agree with that. And your point is? He says, ‘Well, if we don’t do it, the satellite companies are going to sue us.’ That’s another straw man.”

“There’s absolutely not a single solitary reason why the chairman of the FCC has to put a vote in front of the FCC to give away $15 billion of taxpayer money. We can negotiate a better deal, Mr. Chairman. We can negotiate a better deal. The chairman of the FCC does not need to become known as the $15 billion man. He needs to hold up, and let’s talk to the satellite companies and negotiate a better deal. Now, if he's not willing to do that, he needs to at least tell President Trump, because you know who's going to get blamed for this? The president. It won't be his fault, but he's going to get blamed for it because it happened on his watch.”

“Now [the FCC] may have the votes to do this, Mr. President, but I'm not giving up. I've got a bill along with Senator Schumer—yes, Chuck and I are working on a bill together, Senator Cantwell, Senator Schatz—and we're going to have some others on the bill that says, ‘Look, this is Congress's decision, not FCC's decision. And it would allocate a much more modest sum to these foreign satellite companies, and I'd like the FCC, if it would, to step back, continue on with its auction planning and give us a chance to negotiate on behalf of the American taxpayer.”

“When we invest money in our waterways and in building up our flood-control infrastructure, we’re investing in stronger futures for every family in our region.”

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, today announced specific projects supported by funding for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civil works programs that benefit Louisiana.

“These projects will support communities all over Louisiana. When we invest money in our waterways and in building up our flood-control infrastructure, we’re investing in stronger futures for every family in our region,” said Kennedy.

Projects benefitting Louisiana include:

  • $2.5 million will go to navigation dredging in Devil Swamp and navigation studies of Baton Rouge Harbor.
  • $48,000 will go to collect, manage, analyze, store and disseminate data from water level gages to reduce flood heights and improve drainage in Bayou Cocodrie. These funds will also be used to conduct routine maintenance for flood-management activities.
  • $6.1 million will go to compliance inspections, supervision of law enforcement contracts and operation of water control data systems to ensure sufficient flood risk management in Bonnet Carre. Funds will also go to maintain natural resources within the project area and conduct maintenance for the Kenner and Kugler cemeteries.
  • $1.4 million will fund periodic assessments and inspections for seven levees around the state.
  • $486,000 will focus on management support for 59 miles of levees and 54 relief wells along the Mississippi River.
  • $2.4 million will go to maintaining the Caernarvon and Davis Pond freshwater diversion structures in the Mississippi Delta region.
  • $28.2 million will go to maintaining flood-risk features of the Old River control structure, including periodic inspections and management of fee-owned lands along the Mississippi River and repairs on the Old River crane rail girders. This funding will also go to gather instrumentation data to evaluate the performance of structures and bridges in the project area.
  • $4.4 million will focus on gage maintenance and installation, data collection, rating curve maintenance and pumping costs at Tensas-Cocodrie, Ha-Ha and Fool River pump plants. The funds will also support operations activities along 221 miles of levee and associated flood-risk management facilities.
  • $85,000 will help operate visitor centers at the J. Bennett Johnston Waterway.
  • $30,000 will fund general operations and maintenance work in the Lake Providence Harbor.
  • $11.4 million will focus on navigation dredging in the Mermentau River.
  • $1.3 million will support general operations and maintenance work, including dredging of Mississippi River outlets in Venice.
  • $254 million will support operations and maintenance work and dredging the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge and around the Gulf of Mexico.
  • $25,000 will go to performing hydrographic and topographic project condition surveys and respond to unanticipated concerns of U.S. Coast Guard, local harbor masters or other agencies in need as a result of severe storms.
  • $200,000 will support the removal of aquatic growth and support maintenance around Louisiana.
  • $30,000 will support operations and maintenance work around the waterway from the empire to the Gulf of Mexico and from the Intracoastal Waterway to Bayou Dulac.
  • $267,000 will fund common operations and maintenance work and periodic inspections of Wallace Lake.
  • $18.4 million will focus on dredging the Atchafalaya River and Bayous Chene, Boeuf and Black as a result of the 2018 flood.
  • $1.2 million will pay for periodic inspections, design of dewatering wells, collector ditches and drilling plan development for the Bayou Bodcau reservoir.
  • $850,000 will go to dredging and conducting general operations and maintenance work on Bayou Lafourche and Lafourche Jump Waterway.
  • $33,000 will focus on efforts to contain the growth of dense vegetation in Bayou Pierre, allowing water to flow properly though the channel.
  • $100,000 will support operations and maintenance work around the Bayou Teche River.
  • $218,000 will fund common operations and maintenance work and water control manual updates for Caddo Lake.
  • $28.5 million will support operations and maintenance work in addition to dredging the Calcasieu River and Pass.
  • $20,000 will support operations and maintenance work around Chefuncte River and Bogue Phalia.
  • $1.8 million will support operations and maintenance work around Freshwater Bayou.
  • $16.1 million will support operations and maintenance work and dredging around the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway.
  • $5 million will support operations and maintenance work and dredging around the Houma navigational canal.
  • $1.3 million will go to inspecting flood-management projects in Louisiana.
  • $11.7 million will support operations and maintenance around the J. Bennett Johnston Waterway.
  • $18 million will support the construction of containment dikes at the Calcasieu River and Pass.
  • $500,000 will help complete wastewater improvements in Iberia Parish.
  • $40.5 million will support mitigation and recreation work around the J. Bennett Johnston Waterway.
  • $2 million will support improvements to a pump station in Livingston Parish.
  • $85.3 million will support channel deepening and dredging the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and the Gulf of Mexico.
  • $25 million will support sub-basin projects in southeast Louisiana.
  • $16 million will support Mississippi River dike construction projects in Louisiana and other states.
  • $42.1 million will support channel improvements and operations in Louisiana and other states.
  • $35 million will help strengthen and maintain levees along the Mississippi River in Louisiana and other states.
  • $5 million will help monitor the Buffalo Cove Water Management Unit pilot project in the Atchafalaya Basin.
  • $20.5 million will support engineering improvements in the Atchafalaya Basin.
  • $5.5 million will support stone repairs to existing dikes and other navigation structures along the Mississippi River in Louisiana and other states.
  • $10.9 million will be invested in data analysis and dredging the Mississippi River in Louisiana and other states.
  • $56.6 million will support channel improvements and repairs in Louisiana and other states.
  • $22.1 million will support data collection and analysis related to levee safety along the Mississippi River in Louisiana and other states.
  • $550,000 will support the management of mitigation lands in Louisiana and other states.
  • $185,000 will help maintain and operate levees in Louisiana and Arkansas.
  • $2 million will support projects around the Tensas Basin in Louisiana and Arkansas.
  • $5.6 million will go to operating and managing recreation areas and flood-risk management of the Atchafalaya Basin.
  • $33 million will fund inspections for flood-damage reduction and dredging of the Atchafalaya Basin.

“The Army of Corp of Engineers does vital work to keep Louisiana residents and their property safe. I’m excited to see this money invested in our flood-control infrastructure because that’s our last line of defense.”

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $612 million in fiscal year 2020 funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to benefit Louisiana projects.

“The Army of Corp of Engineers does vital work to keep Louisiana residents and their property safe. I’m excited to see this money invested in our flood-control infrastructure because that’s our last line of defense,” said Kennedy.

This week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released its budget for the Army Civil Works Program. The budget provides funding for a number of projects, including navigation dredging, levee inspections and gravity sewer construction.

“The Port of South Louisiana helps drive the state and national economies in a big way. I’m excited to see this grant create and protect jobs in LaPlace and around the region.”

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced a $13.4 million grant from the Department of Transportation to fund the Port of South Louisiana’s (POSL) Globalplex Multi-Modal Connections Project in LaPlace, Louisiana.

“The Port of South Louisiana helps drive the state and national economies in a big way. I’m excited to see this grant create and protect jobs in LaPlace and around the region,” said Kennedy.

Kennedy in September sent a letter to Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao asking the department to consider the port’s grant application.

“Our ports are an integral component of our Nation’s economic success. As the Administration continues to invest in America’s infrastructure, this program will further modernize and improve the efficiency of our waterways,” said Secretary Chao.

“The Port of South Louisiana is pleased to acknowledge being the recipient of a $13.4 million dollar multi-modal grant. These grant funds will go a long way to assist the Port with many very important multi-modal projects. We want to thank Senator Cassidy, Senator Kennedy and Congressmen Scalise, Graves and Richmond for their support and assistance. The Port also appreciates the confidence Secretary Elaine Chao has in the Port in awarding us this multi-modal grant,” said Paul Aucoin, Executive Director of the Port of South Louisiana.

As the largest tonnage port in North America, the POSL serves as a significant economic producer for the region and the nation. The project will construct a new heavy capacity dock access bridge, an access road, a rail spur and a dry storage area with conveyors to move bulk material.

“Chemical abortions already put women at astonishing risk, and mail-order abortions put up even more barriers between women and critical medical care. If we really want to protect vulnerable women and children, we have to stop the dangerous trend of mail-order abortions.”

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) joined Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) in introducing legislation to protect the sanctity of human life by prohibiting chemical abortions from being performed without the supervision of a health care provider.

Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Kevin Cramer (S-N.D.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) are also original cosponsors of the Teleabortion Prevention Act.

“Chemical abortions already put women at astonishing risk, and mail-order abortions put up even more barriers between women and critical medical care. If we really want to protect vulnerable women and children, we have to stop the dangerous trend of mail-order abortions,” said Kennedy.

“Louisiana requires a physician performing an abortion to have admitting rights at a local hospital. This is for the safety of the mother. Teleabortion clearly does not comply,” said Cassidy.

The Teleabortion Prevention Act would make it a federal offense for health care providers to perform chemical abortions without first physically examining patients, being present during every procedure and scheduling follow-up visits for patients.

WASHINGTON — Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) released the following statement after Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai announced plans outlining the public auction of the C-Band spectrum.

“My duty, and the FCC’s duty, is to the American taxpayers. The C-Band spectrum belongs to them, and the 5G opportunities it represents are also theirs. Unfortunately, the sum Chairman Pai suggested giving to foreign satellite companies is much too high, and it’s highly unfair to those taxpayers. We shouldn’t be in the business of spearheading Luxembourg bailouts when there are towns in Louisiana and across the country without access to broadband service.  

“My colleagues and I have put a bipartisan bill on the table that would pay down our national debt, modernize public safety and finally free rural communities from dial-up prison. Our priorities are in the right place, and I encourage the FCC to consider its proposal in light of those American priorities.”

Kennedy has been a proponent for a public auction of the C-Band spectrum and introduced the bipartisan Spectrum Management and Reallocation for Taxpayers Act with Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) last month.

This legislation would ensure billions of dollars in proceeds from the public auction of C-Band spectrum go to the taxpayers who own the spectrum. The SMART Act would give the FCC authority to conduct a public auction of C-Band spectrum and uses nearly all proceeds from the auction to bridge the digital divide, enable next generation public safety services and cut the national deficit.

“I believe Speaker Pelosi’s attempt to normalize impeachment and to turn it into a routine political weapon was a mistake. In fact, it was reckless. A country as great as ours deserves better, and so do her people.”

WASHINGTON — Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) released the following statement after the Senate rejected both articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

“The vote today was nothing more than a proxy vote on President Trump. It was a partisan impeachment in both houses. Our founders did not intend impeachment to be used this way. I believe Speaker Pelosi’s attempt to normalize impeachment and to turn it into a routine political weapon was a mistake. In fact, it was reckless. A country as great as ours deserves better, and so do her people.”

“It’s time for SocGen to take responsibility for their role and repay the thousands of victims who lost their life savings in the Stanford Ponzi scheme. We will not stop hunting down these assets, which rightfully belong to many seniors and hard-working people in Louisiana.”

WASHINGTON — Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) sent a letter to Societe General Private Banking (“SocGen”) regarding its participation in the Stanford Ponzi scheme.

“It’s time for SocGen to take responsibility for their role and repay the thousands of victims who lost their life savings in the Stanford Ponzi scheme. We will not stop hunting down these assets, which rightfully belong to many seniors and hard-working people in Louisiana,” said Kennedy.

“Thousands of people lost everything in this scheme. SocGen’s failure to provide oversight of the Stanford accounts contributed to the victims’ losses. SocGen must make things right for the victims,” said Cassidy.

The letter criticizes SocGen’s failure to properly monitor Stanford-affiliated bank accounts, which were used to manage the personal assets of the Stanford group’s clientele. Although SocGen’s counsel stated there was no evidence that it knew about or participated in the Ponzi scheme, a Swiss court concluded that SocGen didn’t act in good faith when it worked with the Stanford International Bank. The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority determined that, in the case of Stanford, SocGen violated its anti-money laundering responsibilities.

Kennedy and Cassidy’s offices conducted a meeting with SocGen’s legal counsel in April to discuss the litigation filed against them, yet no members of the board or management team attended.

“[B]e assured that the absence of SocGen leadership, along with the unsatisfactory and disingenuous responses we received during the course of this meeting, will only encourage our offices to continue its zealous investigation of SocGen and other financial institutions that enabled Allen Stanford and his entities to defraud investors of nearly $7 billion,” wrote Kennedy and Cassidy.

Since the meeting, the Louisiana senators have continued investigating SocGen and other financial institutions that assisted Allen Stanford and his entities in defrauding investors.

“The inescapable conclusion is there was a complete failure of due diligence and monitoring of Stanford-affiliated accounts that SocGen was obligated to conduct. Your counsel stated there was no evidence that it knew about or participated in the Ponzi scheme. Not only does that appear to be a dubious proposition, but, more importantly, the determination of the Swiss court suggests that there are systemic problems with SocGen’s anti-money laundering practices that warrant scrutiny by our offices and applicable regulatory authorities that we will be contacting,” said the senators.

Read the full letter here.