WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today that the U.S. Department of Commerce approved a disaster declaration for fisheries in Louisiana that suffered extreme loss due to record flooding in the Gulf of Mexico and south Louisiana. The declaration makes fisheries eligible for disaster relief.
Congress has appropriated $165 million for fishery disasters, and the Department of Commerce will allocate disaster funds to eligible fisheries.
In July, Sen. Kennedy joined the Louisiana delegation in urging U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to approve a disaster declaration for Louisiana fisheries. High water levels in the Mississippi River resulted in the Bonnet Carre Spillway being opened for a record-setting 123 days. Freshwater diverted from the Mississippi River wreaked havoc on the fishing industry in Lake Pontchartrain.
“Our seafood industry creates hundreds of jobs and produces some of the finest seafood in the world,” said Sen. Kennedy. “This past year our fishermen suffered great loss due to natural disasters. This aid is important for preserving Louisiana’s seafood industry and supporting the hard-working families who rely on the seafood industry to make a living.”
Sen. Kennedy recently introduced the Commercial Fishing and Aquaculture Protection Act, which would establish a permanent disaster assistance program for commercial fishing and aquaculture operations.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today that the city of Baton Rouge will receive $29.5 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to revitalize three neighborhoods: East Fairfield, Smiley Heights and Melrose East.
The funding is through a Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant.
“I want to thank the federal government for working with Baton Rouge to transform blighted neighborhoods,” said Sen. Kennedy. “This is positive news for the families who live in East Fairfield, Smiley Heights and Melrose East. Soon they will have green spaces instead of abandoned buildings.”
Sep 26 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today that Jefferson Parish and the city of New Orleans will each receive $3.3 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help low income residents eliminate lead-based paint from their homes.
“Lead-based paint poses a great danger to young children. Unfortunately, many homes built before 1978 contain lead-based paint. We want our kids to grow up in healthy homes, and this funding will help accomplish that,” said Sen. Kennedy.
Sep 25 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) joined Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) in cosponsoring a resolution calling for Brazil to take action to combat fires in the Amazon rainforest and to stop illegal deforestation. The Amazon rainforest accounts for 25% of the carbon that global forests absorb each year.
“The Amazon rainforest has a global impact on our ecosystems,” said Sen. Kennedy. “We need to address the damage that is being done to the Amazon rainforest before the damage affects us here at home.”
“The fires in the Amazon are a global emergency. This bipartisan resolution reflects that there is no disagreement about that fact. The time for action is now,” said Sen. Schatz.
“Addressing the unfortunate situation impacting the Amazon rainforest is important,” said Sen. Shelby. “These fires and the resulting deforestation affect the whole world, and something should be done to mitigate the issue.”
A copy of the resolution is available here.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today a $4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration for water infrastructure improvements in Plaquemines Parish.
The money will be used to build a new raw water intake pump station at the Belle Chasse Water Treatment Plant. It is being funded with disaster relief assistance stemming from Hurricane Harvey.
“Projects like the new raw water intake pump station at the Belle Chasse Water Treatment Plant are an important investment in local communities,” said Sen. Kennedy. “Plaquemines Parish needs adequate public infrastructure to grow and thrive.”
“The Trump Administration is committed to helping communities impacted by natural disasters not only to build back, but also to build back stronger,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This project will promote economic resilience and long-term disaster recovery from Hurricane Harvey in Plaquemines Parish.”
Sep 23 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In another win for Louisiana’s shrimping and fishing industries, U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced today that he secured a funding increase for imported seafood inspections in the FY2020 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Related Agencies appropriations bill. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY2020 agriculture appropriations bill last week. The bill will now move to the full Senate for consideration.
The bill includes a $1 million increase in funding for foreign seafood safety inspections. According to a report by the Government Accountability Office, only 2% of imported seafood receives FDA safety inspections. In Fiscal Year 2019, Sen. Kennedy secured an additional $3.1 million for the FDA’s foreign seafood inspections. In the past two years, Sen. Kennedy has successfully secured $4.1 million in additional funds to improve and increase the frequency of the FDA’s foreign seafood inspections.
The bill also includes a $1 million funding increase for the ongoing research on an invasive species that destroys Roseau cane along the Louisiana coast. Roseau cane is a reed that preserves marshland, prevents erosion and plays an integral role in the Mississippi River Delta’s ecosystem.
“I’m happy to keep fighting for Louisiana priorities through my position on the Appropriations Committee,” said Sen. Kennedy. “Inferior, uninspected seafood shouldn’t be allowed to come into our country and undercut Louisiana’s fishing and shrimping industries. Other countries cheat because they know the U.S. only inspects a fraction of what’s coming in. It’s time for them to play by the rules.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced Friday that Louisiana will receive $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to ensure the safety of the state’s pipelines and roadways.
Nearly half of the funding focuses on protecting the public from pipeline and hazardous materials’ accidents through training, emergency plans and notification systems. Another $773,504 will go to LSU for the analysis of crash videos involving motor vehicles.
“With 50,000 miles of pipelines and hundreds of miles of roadways in Louisiana, it’s important that we focus on safety,” said Sen. Kennedy. “Accidents claim lives every day. We need to work on reducing them and protecting our Louisiana families.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) issued the following statement on the death of a Mandeville police officer today:
“It’s heartbreaking when a law enforcement officer dies in the line of duty keeping us safe. St. Tammany is my home parish, and I know the city of Mandeville is hurting today. The loss of a police officer hurts all of us. God bless our law enforcement officers. You awe us with your bravery and sacrifice every single day.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today a $7.8 million Department of Transportation grant for runway improvements at Monroe Regional Airport.
“This project will help Monroe Regional Airport meet the growing demand for air travel to and from Monroe,” said Sen. Kennedy. “Whether you are coming or going, this improvement will ensure travelers have a safe and easy trip.”
Sep 19 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today that the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration will award a $4.2 million grant to improve port infrastructure at the West Calcasieu Port in Sulphur, Louisiana.
This grant will fund the construction of a bulkhead and crane pad for loading and unloading barges at the West Calcasieu Port. The Department of Commerce estimates that this project will create 400 jobs. This improvement project will enhance the port’s resiliency to natural disasters, support private investment and drive economic development in the region.
“The West Calcasieu Port Facility plays an important role in the commercial activity along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, including barge fleeting and marine construction,” said Senator Kennedy. This EDA grant is an important investment in Louisiana’s economy that will help create more jobs in a growing industry.”
“The Trump Administration is working hard to fulfill its commitment to rebuild communities devastated by natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “These improvements will boost the Port’s capacity to serve the critical maritime transportation needs in the region and to boost job growth in the local community.”