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WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) celebrates the International Trade Commission’s decision to maintain restrictions on imports of a Chinese chemical sanitizing agent that kills bacteria and keeps water clean. The decision follows Kennedy’s work in support of American and Louisianian chemical industries, which face Chinese dumping schemes that unfairly undercut American producers.

“I am glad to see the Trade Commission move to defend American-made products against illegal Chinese dumping. Louisiana’s chemical workers and job creators are already taking a beating thanks to the Biden administration’s tax on our state’s industry, and there’s no reason to make it easy for the Chinese Communist regime to rob American producers of their market share,” said Kennedy. 

Background:

  • In 2020, Hurricane Laura sparked a fire that destroyed KIK’s Bio-Lab facility in Lake Charles, La., which produces a chemical sanitizing agent known as chlorinated isocyanurates. Due to this, KIK temporarily imported the chemical from outside suppliers while it worked to restore domestic production.
  • “Louisianians, Bio-Lab’s business, other producers, and America’s water sanitizing customers cannot afford to weather a government-imposed storm caused by an incomplete decision that advantages China,” Kennedy wrote to the Commerce Department and International Trade Commission this September.
  • After rebuilding the facility, the Bio-Lab plant is now fully operational and has 30% more production capacity.
  • Kennedy joined Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) in sending this letter.

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) joined 18 of his Republican colleagues in urging Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), John Thune (R-S.D.), John Barrasso (Wyo.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) to oppose moving forward with the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act unless senators have an opportunity to vote on an amendment that ends the military’s Covid vaccine requirement and reinstates service members who have been separated from the service because of their vaccination status.  

“The effects of the mandate are antithetical to readiness of our force, and the policy must be revoked,” the senators wrote. 

“The United States simply cannot afford to discharge our brave men and women in uniform and lose the investments we have made into each and every one of them due to an inept bureaucratic policy,” they continued.

“We respectfully request that the Senate vote to remedy a policy that adversely affects our service members and our national security,” concluded the lawmakers. 

Read the full letter here.

 

 

 

 

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), ranking member of the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Economic Policy, and Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) wrote to Silvergate, the bank that reportedly facilitated the transfer of FTX customer funds to Alameda Research, seeking answers about the bank’s role in the loss of billions of customer dollars. 

“Your bank’s involvement in the transfer of FTX customer funds to Alameda reveals what appears to be an egregious failure of your bank’s responsibility to monitor for and report suspicious financial activity carried out by its clients. The public is owed a full accounting of the financial activities that may have led to the loss of billions in customer assets, and any role that Silvergate may have played in these losses,” wrote the senators. 

Silvergate caters to digital asset clients—as of September 30, 90% of its overall deposit base came from crypto firms operating in a highly volatile market. The senators note that Silvergate’s average deposits quarter-to-date are down more than $2 billion since the end of September. In the past month, two of Silvergate’s digital assets clients—FTX and its affiliates and BlockFi—have declared bankruptcy.

In September, Silvergate asserted that its “relationship with FTX [and its related entities] is limited to deposits.” While Silvergate failed to explain what it meant by “related entities,” documents from FTX’s bankruptcy case confirmed that the bank had relationships with several firms controlled by FTX’s former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, including Alameda, which is the crypto trading firm that Bankman-Fried claimed was a “wholly separate entity” from FTX. 

“Mr. Bankman-Fried has, himself, admitted that FTX customer funds were improperly transferred to Alameda’s bank accounts. When asked how FTX customer deposits ended up in Alameda’s accounts, Mr. Bankman-Fried told Vox that the company did not originally have a bank account, and so it directed customers to wire money to Alameda’s account with Silvergate in exchange for assets on FTX. According to Mr. Bankman-Fried, executives at the company ‘forgot’ about this scheme until the company imploded,” explained the senators. 

This arrangement between FTX and Alameda relied on Silvergate’s depository services, and Alameda’s depository account with Silvergate appears to be at the center of improper transfers of customer funds.

The senators note that Silvergate’s failure to take notice of and report this scheme could constitute violations of the law—including a failure to implement or maintain an effective anti-money laundering program as required under the Bank Secrecy Act and a failure to report suspicious transactions to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. 

Given these concerns about Silvergate’s failure to apply extensive review processes to FTX and Alameda, and the possible role the bank may have played in the loss of billions of dollars of customer funds, the senators are asking Silvergate to answer a set of questions by Dec. 19, 2022. The questions will help provide the public with a full accounting of Silvergate’s relationship with FTX and Alameda and information about its safety and soundness.

The full letter is available here.

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today explained how inflation is crippling American families and urged his fellow lawmakers to reduce federal spending and U.S. debt accumulation.

“The inflation we're experiencing today is the highest since 1982, and it really is ravaging the American people . . . Every time they go to the grocery store, they feel like prices have gone up eight percent,” said Kennedy.

“If we don't slow the rate of growth in our spending—if we don't slow the accumulation of debt—that is going to cause the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates even higher to slow the economy, to raise the unemployment rate, to throw people out of work,” he explained.

“Congress can help, but it's going to require help from both sides. Both Democrats and Republicans are going to have to agree to spend less money . . . We've got to reduce the rate of growth in our spending, and we have got to reduce the rate of accumulation in our debt.” 

“All you have to do is look at history, and the only way we conquered inflation the last time it was this bad, in the 1980s, was through the cooperation of the Federal Reserve doing its job on the monetary side but also this Congress doing its job on the fiscal side,” Kennedy concluded.

View Kennedy’s full remarks here.

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) joined Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and more than 40 other senators in writing to China’s ambassador to the U.S., Qin Gang. The bipartisan group warned the Chinese Communist Party not to respond to peaceful Chinese protesters with a violent retribution.

We are following the current peaceful protests in China over your government’s policies very carefully. We are also closely watching the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) reaction to them,” wrote the senators, noting that the Chinese Communist Party and People’s Liberation Army killed hundreds, if not thousands, of Chinese students who were peacefully protesting in 1989. 

“We caution the CCP in the strongest possible terms not to once again undertake a violent crackdown on peaceful Chinese protesters who simply want more freedom. If that happens, we believe there will be grave consequences for the US-China relationship, causing extraordinary damage to it,” the lawmakers said.

The full letter is available here.

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $1,322,561 in a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster relief grant for Louisiana.

“I’m thankful this $1.3 million will support the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry as it helps our state recover from Hurricane Ida,” said Kennedy.

The FEMA aid will fund the following:

  • $1,322,561 to the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry for management costs related to Hurricane Ida.

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today voted to give railroad workers and management additional time to resolve their dispute and protect Americans from an economic disaster. 

Kennedy also voted to grant workers seven additional days of paid sick leave. Both of these attempts failed to pass the Senate. Kennedy then voted to avert the strike and its economic consequences.

“I voted to give the parties more time because, with extra time, I think the workers and management could resolve their issues. I cast my second vote in support of the workers, because I think they have a valid point. My third vote supported an agreement because I think a nationwide strike would hurt shippers, consumers and workers. 

“I really regret that this problem ended up in the lap of Congress. Pres. Biden was not honest with the American people when he told them—before the midterm elections—that he had successfully mediated a resolution of the issues and that there would not be a strike,” said Kennedy. 

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $166,275,695 in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants in disaster aid for Louisiana.

“Communities and schools across southern Louisiana are still recovering from Hurricanes Laura and Ida, and this $166 million will support our state as we continue to rebuild,” said Kennedy.

The FEMA aid will fund the following:

  • $57,954,046 to the Jefferson Davis Electric Cooperative Inc. for emergency protective measures related to Hurricane Laura.
  • $31,578,251 to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development for debris removal related to Hurricane Ida.
  • $29,982,954 to Tangipahoa Parish for debris removal and monitoring related to Hurricane Ida.
  • $11,668,094 to the Calcasieu Parish School Board for repairs to the Lewis Middle School campus related to Hurricane Laura.
  • $6,087,002 to the city of Mandeville for right-of-way debris removal and monitoring related to Hurricane Ida.
  • $4,822,224 to New Orleans Sewerage and Water for emergency protective measures related to Hurricane Ida.
  • $4,538,184 to the city of New Orleans for debris removal and monitoring related to Hurricane Ida.
  • $3,641,214 to the Calcasieu Parish School Board for repairs to Watkins Elementary School related to Hurricane Laura.
  • $3,499,075 to the Ochsner Clinic Foundation for emergency protective measures related to Hurricane Ida.
  • $3,259,406 to the Lake Charles Housing Authority for emergency protective measures related to Hurricane Laura. 
  • $3,035,372 to the Lake Charles Harbor and Terminal District for infrastructure repair related to Hurricane Laura.
  • $1,510,562 to Terrebonne Parish for emergency protective measures related to Hurricane Ida.
  • $1,357,946 to the town of Grand Isle for repairs to their water control facility related to Hurricane Ida.
  • $1,151,164 to the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury for emergency protective measures related to Hurricane Laura.
  • $1,128,089 to Lafourche Parish for debris removal and monitoring related to Hurricane Ida.
  • $1,062,112 to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development for Public Assistance Alternate Procedures for debris removal and monitoring related to Hurricane Laura.

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $15,152,459 in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster aid for Louisiana.

“I’m grateful to see $15.2 million supporting recovery efforts in Jefferson Parish, Cameron Parish and other parts of Louisiana where Laura and Ida’s blows were devastating,” said Kennedy.

The FEMA aid will fund the following:

  • $5,940,177 to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development for Public Assistance Alternative Procedures for debris removal and monitoring related to Hurricane Laura.
  • $5,191,104 to the Dixie Electric Membership Corporation for emergency recovery efforts related to Hurricane Ida.
  • $2,708,866 to Cameron Parish for building repairs related to Hurricane Laura.
  • $1,312,312 to Lafitte Area Independent Levee District for right-of-way debris removal and monitoring related to Hurricane Ida.

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $1,277,484 in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants for Louisiana disaster aid. 

“I’m glad to see this $1.3 million supporting the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office and its efforts to recover from Hurricane Ida,” said Kennedy.

The FEMA aid will fund the following: 

  • $1,277,484 to the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office for emergency protective measures related to Hurricane Ida.