WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Appropriations Committee, announced that FEMA awarded a $15,694,059 grant to the Livingston Parish School Board to fund repairs to nine academic buildings and facilities at Southside Junior High School.

“The 2016 flooding is still impacting the daily lives of so many people in south Louisiana,” said Sen. Kennedy. “Grants like this from FEMA will help us rebuild, and it will allow students to get back into permanent classrooms and brand new school facilities.”


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Louisiana artists Trace Adkins, Jordan Davis and Kenny Wayne Shepherd applauded the passage of U.S. Sen. John Kennedy’s (R-La.) legislation that fixes a loophole in federal copyright laws for sound recordings made before Feb. 15, 1972.

The Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, and Important Contributions to Society Act, also known as the CLASSICS Act, will help close a flawed loophole that leaves some of our most cherished artists out of the federal copyright system.

Currently, federal copyright law does not adequately protect all sound recordings.  This has resulted in confusion, litigation and an unfair playing field for iconic artists in Louisiana and across the U.S.  The CLASSICS Act would acknowledge these artists’ contributions by compensating them when digital radio services use their recordings.  The act would bring federal law up to speed with the modern age of music platforms.

“Artists who made music, and performed, before February 15, 1972, continue to play a significant role in our country’s culture,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “My generation grew up listening to these artists’ work, and generations of musicians have been inspired by their talent.  I am proud that the CLASSICS Act passed with broad bipartisan support.  These talented musicians deserve recognition and compensation for their immeasurable contributions.”

“This is a momentous day for recording artists and songwriters and makes the laws much fairer for all of us, including the classic artists who have influenced those of us working today, as well as new songwriters and artists who deserve a future.  We appreciate the work of the Senators who helped get this bill passed unanimously in the Senate,” said Sarepta native Trace Adkins.

“Passage of this legislation will make a real difference in the lives of songwriters and recording artists,” said Shreveport native Jordan Davis.  “It creates a more fair environment for music creators who have been struggling under outdated laws for the digital era. We are thankful to all of the Senators and members of Congress who have listened to our struggles over the past few years and championed our cause.  The unanimous passage of this bill in the Senate shows what the unifying power of music can do!” 

“As a recording artist for the last 25 years, I feel strongly that all Artists should be fairly compensated regardless of the year of their copyrights.  Revenue from all digital audio transmissions should be paid to artists and not exclude those who wrote the music before 1972 that built the foundation of rock and roll,” said Shreveport native Kenny Wayne Shepherd.


WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer, Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) and several of his Senate colleagues warned that a proposed tariff on Chinese barite would devastate Louisiana’s energy production industry and threaten jobs.  Sens. Kennedy, Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.) Shelley Moore Capito (R-W. Va.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Doug Jones (D-Ala.) asked Ambassador Lighthizer to leave barite off any tariff list. 

Barite is a mineral that is used by the oil and gas industry to reduce the likelihood of blowouts during the drilling of wells in the Gulf of Mexico.   The U.S. imports 69% of the barite it uses from China. 

“Under President Trump’s leadership, we have seen a massive boom in our energy production in the United States,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “However, a tariff on barite could inadvertently cripple our oil and gas industry.  Less exploration and production in the Gulf of Mexico would mean fewer jobs.  That wouldn’t be good for anyone, especially Louisiana.”


September 17, 2018


Ambassador Robert E. Lighthizer

U.S. Trade Representative

Office of the United States Trade Representative

600 17th Street, NW

Washington, DC 20006


Dear Ambassador Lighthizer:


It has been brought to our attention by American energy producers that your office is considering placing tariffs on several vital safety components to American energy production currently imported from China: unground barite, ground barite, and barium sulfate.  We write to urge you to remove barite from the list of proposed tariffs because it is critical to our nation’s energy security.

Barite is a naturally occurring, heavy mineral that is used in drilling fluids to counteract the extreme pressures of oil and gas formations below the earth.  Drilling fluids are vital to the safe drilling of oil and gas wells because they reduce the likelihood of well “blowouts”.  There is no economical existing alternative or substitute for barite in the drilling process and it is designated a “critical mineral” by the Secretary of the Interior.

The U.S. produces nearly 330,000 tons of barite annually yet consumes nearly 2.4 million tons.  U.S. barite mines are substantially depleted and inadequate to support American energy production.  U.S. oil and gas service companies have undertaken extensive exploration efforts to locate new reserves in the U.S. over the years with little success.  Our country imports 2 million tons of barite annually and of that, approximately half comes from China.

A barite tariff will not help to change China’s unfair trade practices. In fact, it will effectively shift the balance of trade even more in China’s favor because American energy producers will have no choice but to continue importing Chinese barite due to the lack of alternate quality sources domestically or internationally. 

This will raise the cost of domestic energy production.  Such increased costs will be passed to the U.S. consumer and make our energy exports less price competitive in energy export markets.  In addition, because domestic barite mining is limited to mines in Nevada, oil and gas exploration companies in the Gulf of Mexico, Appalachia, and other areas outside the American West will disproportionately bear the cost of a barite tariff.

We are grateful for your consideration.  Thank you for your service to America.






John Kennedy

United States Senator



Bill Cassidy, M.D.

United States Senator



Shelley Moore Capito

United States Senator



Joe Manchin III

United States Senator



Doug Jones

United States Senator


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Dick Durbin’s (D-Ill.) bill, the Opioid Quota Reform Act of 2018, passed the U.S. Senate today as a part of the Senate Amendment to H.R. 6,  The Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018, a package of opioid related bills. The package represents the work of over 70 senators and proposals from five committees including Judiciary, Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), Finance, Commerce and Banking.   Sens. Kennedy and Durbin introduced the Opioid Quota Reform Act of 2018 in March of this year. 

This bipartisan legislation will enhance the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) existing opioid quota-setting authority by improving transparency and enabling the DEA to adjust quotas to prevent opioid diversion and abuse.  The bill is a balance between ensuring that patients who legitimately need pain management drugs can get them while sharpening the DEA’s ability to fight opioid abuse.  The rate of opioid-related overdose deaths is increasing in Louisiana.

“Our nation’s opioid crisis has reached an unprecedented level,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “Addiction reaches every household regardless of age, race or socio-economic background.  While I am proud that my bill has passed the Senate, I am more proud that the Senate was able to come together in an overwhelmingly bipartisan manner to pass this important legislation.  Our legislative package fights the opioid epidemic by helping to reduce the use and supply of opioids, encouraging recovery, supporting caregivers and families and finding long term solutions to the opioid epidemic.”

Highlights from the bill package include:

  • Including the STOP Act to make it more difficult to mail illegal opioids into the U.S. from other countries through the U.S. Postal Service.
  • Ensuring that states share data from the Prescription Drug Monitoring programs.
  • Giving addicts the help they need to recover through opioid recovery centers, medication-assisted treatment and housing services.
  • Helping families through treatment that focuses on the family as a whole instead of just on the individual.
  • Developing new non-addictive painkillers.




WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced today that the Federal Aviation Administration awarded a $9.1 million grant to the Shreveport Regional Airport Authority to fund a runway extension project.

“This grant will positively impact Shreveport and Caddo Parish by reinforcing the regional economy and air travel infrastructure,” said Sen. Kennedy. “The grant will fund a runway construction project at the Shreveport Regional Airport, which will improve its future operations.”



Finish line is in sight for Barksdale’s new gate


WASHINGTON, D.C. –  U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today that the Senate sent President Trump a package of appropriations bills that finally puts Louisiana in line to finish the entrance road and gate complex at Barksdale Air Force Base and construct a new alert facility at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Belle Chasse.

“The finish line is in sight for adding a new gate at Barksdale.  At times, it’s seemed like a 500-mile race to get it done.  Not only do military families need a new gate for convenience, but the importance of the missions at Barksdale make it necessary,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “From Bossier City to Belle Chasse, Louisiana’s military bases are critical to the defense of our entire nation, and we’re investing in them.”


The Fiscal Year 2019 funding bills for energy and water, military construction and the VA and the legislative branch include $147 billion for construction projects on military bases, the improvement of veterans’ health care and the reduction of flood damage, among other critical priorities. 

Other notable inclusions that Sen. Kennedy helped secure are:

  • An increased focus on reducing wait times at veterans’ clinics and facilities.  In Louisiana, wait times at VA clinics are as high as 45 days.
  • $4 million to continue the U.S.-Israel Center of Excellence in Engineering and Water Technology.



WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced today that Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport will receive $20.3 million from the Federal Aviation Administration to fund a project to expand the terminal tarmac. The tarmac expansion project aims to accommodate an increase in commercial service operations due to the completed construction of the new terminal.

“The Louis Armstrong International Airport is a major hub and important asset to Louisiana,” said Sen. Kennedy. “This expansion will help accommodate New Orleans’ growing tourism industry, and it will improve overall air transportation for the region.”


WASHINGTON, D.C. –  U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) called today for Gov. John Bel Edwards to drop his petty vendetta against Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator and appoint Prator’s wife to the Red River Waterway Commission.

A Democratic state senator told the news media that Edwards blocked Carolyn Prator’s nomination because her husband criticized the governor’s criminal justice reform efforts.  Carolyn Prator was the unanimous choice for the appointment and offers impeccable credentials. 

“In politics, you can’t make it personal, especially when it comes to someone’s spouse and kids.  You always need to put the people’s interests first,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “Criminal justice reform has been a disaster, but the governor shouldn’t take it out on a respected professional who has a wealth of experience in flood control funding decisions.  That is simply reprehensible.  The Red River Waterway Commission works with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to sustain the Red River as an economic engine in seven parishes.  I don’t want the commission mixed up in Huey Long-style politics because the governor is mad.  He needs to appoint Mrs. Prator and allow her to work for the people of this state.”



WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Members of U.S. Sen. John Kennedy’s (R-La.) staff will host an informational meeting Saturday in Baton Rouge for prospective applicants to the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy or the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

The event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Capitol Park Museum, 660 N. Fourth St., in downtown Baton Rouge.  Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.

It is absolutely free to attend Academy Day.  Family members can accompany prospective applicants to the event.

“I’m honored that so many people want to serve our great country.  They make Louisiana proud,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “Academy Day is an opportunity to find out more about attending the finest academies in the U.S.  You can ask 150 questions if you want.”



WASHINGTON, D.C. –  U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Appropriations Committee, announced $2.27 million in grants today for community health centers in the cities of Shreveport, New Iberia, Alexandria, Opelousas, Luling, Lake Charles and Franklin.  The grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will help fund community health centers affected by natural disasters.

“Louisiana frequently copes with the aftermath of hurricanes and natural disasters. These grants will help many Louisiana communities recover and be better prepared to respond to future disasters,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “Community health centers provide essential primary health care services, and this funding will help keep these in operation.”


The grants, including amounts:

  • Shreveport received $337,400 for CASSE Dental Health Institute
  • New Iberia received $337,400 for Iberia Comprehensive Community Health Center
  • Alexandria received $337, 400 for Rapides Primary Health Care Center
  • Opelousas received $249,098 for the Southwest Louisiana Primary Health Care Center
  • Luling received $337,400 for St. Charles Community Health Center
  • Lake Charles received $337,400 for SWLA Center for Health Services
  • Franklin received $337,400 for The Teche Action Board