“We are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws. The laws surrounding immigration need to look like someone designed them on purpose.” – Sen. Kennedy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) introduced a bill in the U.S. Senate that would end the diversity visa lottery program. The diversity visa lottery program currently gives out 50,000 visas every year. Unlike other visas, these are not given out based on employment, or family, or need, but instead, are given out through a randomly selected lottery program.

Click here to watch Sen. Kennedy’s full statement:

Common-Sense Issue: “If you tried to design a more irrational immigration program than the diversity visa lottery program, you couldn’t do it. It’s stupid. It’s nonsense on a stick. We are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws. The laws surrounding immigration need
to look like someone designed them on purpose. The diversity visa lottery program is not one of
those laws.”

Merit-Based System: “We need to have an immigration program that is at the very least merit-based
in part. We should be asking immigrants: ‘Why do you want to come to the United
States?’ ‘How likely are you to assimilate?’ ‘What are your job skills?’ ‘What are your
educational attainments?’ and ‘How are you going to help move this economy forward?’”

National Security Issue: “The diversity visa lottery system is how the monster from Uzbekistan
made it into the United States. The terrorist who drove a rented pickup truck down a bike path in
New York City and killed eight people. You shouldn’t be picked to come to the United States
based on the merit of luck.”


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced Wednesday that the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana will receive an additional $9.6 million to protect 21,000 acres of wetlands in Calcasieu Parish.  The additional funding brings the total project award to $25.6 million.

“We are on track to lose our wetlands within 200 years.  That’s two lifetimes,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “This vital project targets the erosion that is occurring in the Calcasieu Ship Channel because of saltwater intrusion from the Gulf of Mexico.  By building barriers, we will preserve habitats for fish and wildlife.”

The money will go toward the Calcasieu River Salinity Control construction project.  The funding comes from fines related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today that he and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu will meet with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions Thursday, Nov. 16, to determine how New Orleans can become compliant with federal law.

“I appreciate the Mayor’s willingness to come to Washington, D.C., in order to resolve this issue,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “I was happy to facilitate this meeting, and I am confident that we can reach a solution that allows New Orleans to continue to receive vital law enforcement funding while honoring the rule of law.”

“With potentially trillions held overseas, we have one shot to spend it wisely when those dollars come home as a result of tax reform.” – Sen. Kennedy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate this morning and called for the Trump Administration to make an enormous, one-time investment into America’s neglected infrastructure.  Repatriation would encourage companies to bring their dollars back to the U.S., where they would be subject to a new tax rate as a result of long overdue tax reform.  Sen. Kennedy is calling for those dollars, as nonrecurring revenue, to be spent on important, nonrecurring infrastructure upgrades.

Click here or the image below to hear the floor speech:

Repatriation Floor Speech.png

First Step For Moving Our Economy:  “As the Senate irons out the details of the comprehensive tax reform plan, I want to draw attention to one of the greatest obstacles in our path as we pursue greater than 3% annual growth: our aging national infrastructure.”

Simple Solution:  “I have a simple solution that can help get us back on track.  According to the Congressional Research Service, $2.6 trillion in corporate profits are parked overseas, and some outside estimates are up around $4 or $5 trillion.  Instead of blowing these repatriated dollars on the already bloated federal bureaucracy, we should invest in desperately needed infrastructure upgrades.”

Investing In America’s Future:  “Federal investment in our roads, bridges, railways, and waterways would be a shot in the arm for the American economy that would pay dividends for decades.  Companies need good roads, bridges, and shipping channels to transport their products and to ensure they aren’t sitting in traffic for hours, which eats away at profits and raises costs for consumers.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today that the largest oil and gas lease sale in U.S. history is scheduled to be livestreamed from New Orleans in March.  Proposed Lease Sale 250 encompasses 76,967,935 acres of waters, including blocks off Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

“This is exactly the type of job-creating activity that the oil and gas industry needs,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “This lease sale is an economic bonanza for Louisiana and makes us less dependent on foreign oil.  The last lease sale generated $121 million in high bids.  That translates into countless jobs, especially for Acadiana.  Our oil and gas families want to work.  They just need the jobs.”

“The budget is the first step towards delivering real tax relief for our middle-class families.” -Sen. Kennedy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) issued the following statement after the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget passed the Senate:

“The budget is the first step towards delivering real tax relief for middle-class families in Louisiana and across our country,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “I look forward to moving ahead and having a constructive dialogue with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle about how we can achieve meaningful tax reform.”

“There are no excuses.  It is time to get to work on the agenda promised to the American people.” -Sen. Kennedy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) joined Senators David Perdue (R-GA), Steve Daines (R-MT), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Dean Heller (R-NV), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Luther Strange (R-AL), and Roger Wicker (R-MS) in sending a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pledging full support to work 24/7 for the remainder of the year to allow time to pass positive, meaningful reforms for the American people.

“We have to do tax reform now, not just for our party but also for the American people.  The people of Louisiana and our country don’t understand why we have a Republican majority in Congress and we can’t deliver on the promises that were made to them.  There is no excuse,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “We need to work nights, we need to work weekends, and we need to get tax reform done by Thanksgiving.”

View the full text of the letter sent to the Majority Leader below.

Dear Leader McConnell:

The 115th Congress is being disrupted by sustained, partisan obstruction. We believe our conference must be willing to change how the Senate operates both by tradition and by rule.

We appreciate your acknowledging our concerns and applaud your plan to work nights and weekends when necessary to overcome this gridlock. You have our full support to turn the Senate on full time, 24/7, to advance the president’s agenda, including a meaningful health care solution, bold changes to our tax code, and funding the government by year’s end.

As you know, one glaring example of this unprecedented obstruction is the minority party’s perversion of Senate rules to undercut the confirmation process of the administration’s nominees and judicial appointments. When new presidents are elected, they have always been given an opportunity to put their team in place in short order. Historically, this is not just a common courtesy, it is an expectation of Americans to have a seamless transition of power resulting in a functioning federal government.

It is abundantly clear that the tactics employed by the minority are designed to imperil the new administration and its agenda. Overcoming this obstruction will require a real commitment on our part. An aggressive work calendar, as you have proposed, which should include nights and weekends, will enable administration and judicial nominees to be confirmed more quickly.

You have our pledge to be available for voting day and night and we offer our time to preside over the Senate when necessary to keep us on track. Given the unprecedented obstruction by our colleagues across the aisle, we hope you will also take a renewed look at the rules governing executive branch nominations.

Our conference should always remember that we are fighting for hardworking Americans. In their daily lives, when there is work to be done – whether on assembly lines, in the fields of family farms, fishing in our bountiful waters, or standing in harm’s way – everyday Americans do what it takes to get the job done. We owe them the same unrelenting effort in the job they gave us to do.

“We are a nation of immigrants.  But we are also a nation of laws.”- Sen. Kennedy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) questioned Attorney General Jeff Sessions today in the Senate Judiciary Committee about the city of New Orleans’ noncompliance with federal immigration laws and status as a “sanctuary city.”  The Attorney General agreed to Sen. Kennedy’s request to meet with the Mayor of New Orleans and other city officials to ensure that New Orleans complies with federal laws and keeps important crime-fighting funding. 

“I’d like to thank the Attorney General for agreeing to meet with me and New Orleans Mayor Landrieu as soon as possible to ensure a swift resolution between the city and the Department of Justice,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “It’s clear to me that the mayor of New Orleans doesn’t agree with America’s immigration laws.  This is America.  You can believe what you want, but you have to follow the law.  I don’t like traffic cameras.  In fact, I hate them.  But that doesn’t mean I can break the speed limit and run red lights to get to a Saints game.”

Click here or on the image below to watch the full exchange between Sen. Kennedy and the Attorney General.

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Sen. Kennedy sent a letter last weekend to Mayor Landrieu reiterating his offer to arrange a meeting between the Mayor and the Attorney General.  Below is a copy of the letter.


October 14, 2017


The Honorable Mitchell J. Landrieu

Mayor of New Orleans

1300 Perdido Street

New Orleans, Louisiana 70112


Dear Mayor Landrieu:


As you know, Byrne JAG grant awards for the City of New Orleans, which are desperately needed to fight violent crime, are contingent on the City’s compliance with 8 USC §1373.  I was concerned to discover that on October 11, the Department of Justice (DOJ) made a preliminary determination that the City is not compliant and is still enforcing ‘Sanctuary Cities’ policies.  Your administration has responded to that determination saying that the City is, in fact, in compliance.  However, the fact remains that the DOJ continues to find issues with the City’s efforts, and a solution is needed.

Earlier this year, I asked you to meet with Attorney General Sessions and myself in hopes of finding a solution, but you declined.  That offer still stands, and I hope that you will now consider it.  Furthermore, I will be asking the Attorney General about the City’s compliance issues next week when he appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee.  I am confident that he, too, remains willing to meet and help the City forge a path to 8 USC§1373 compliance.

The Attorney General has made clear that any jurisdiction’s willingness to prioritize the protection of criminal aliens over the rule of law will not be tolerated.  I fully support that view and believe it is incumbent upon your administration to demonstrate that same commitment.  As the City of New Orleans continues to have serious issues with violent crime and gang activity, jeopardizing Byrne JAG funding simply cannot be an option.

I ask you for your full cooperation with the Attorney General and the Department of Justice to secure a swift resolution to this issue and to ensure future Byrne JAG funding.  I look forward to your response.




John Kennedy

             United States Senator


cc: The Honorable Jeff Sessions, Attorney General of the United States     

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today that FEMA is granting $10.4 million in Public Assistance Funds to school districts in Livingston Parish, East Baton Rouge Parish and the city of Baker.

The East Baton Rouge School Board will receive $8.3 million.  The Livingston Parish School Board will receive $1.1 million.  Baker Schools System will receive $1 million.

“The 2016 flooding didn’t just impact homes and businesses.  It also devastated many schools,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “Every bit of funding counts when you’re rebuilding.  I’m thankful for this funding and will continue to work with our school districts until they are whole again.”

“As the East Baton Rouge Parish School District continues recovery in the aftermath of the 2016 floods, we appreciate the work of Senator John Kennedy in securing FEMA funding in the amount of $8 million,” said East Baton Rouge Parish school system Supt. Warren Drake.  “Senator Kennedy’s efforts are valuable in restoring school transportation services which directly benefit the students and families in our community.”

“The staff, parents and students will definitely benefit from this temporary measure,” said City of Baker School System Supt. Herman Brister.  “We are still working very closely with FEMA and GOHSEP regarding permanent work on Baker High School and project worksheets.”

“I appreciate FEMA reimbursements that continue to allow Livingston Parish Public Schools to recover from the August 2016 flooding,” said Livingston Parish School Supt. Rick Wentzel.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) released the following statement today after President Trump issued a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of Louisiana triggering the Public Assistance funds to help impacted communities recover from Tropical Storm Harvey.

“I would like to thank President Trump for directing Public Assistance funds to impacted Parishes in south Louisiana,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “However, I continue to encourage the President to designate Individual Assistance funds for citizens in Calcasieu Parish.  This storm devastated many homes and local businesses, and it’s only right that they have direct access to the tools necessary for rebuilding.”