Media

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today that Scott Patrick Illing has been confirmed to serve as the U.S. marshal for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

“I would like to congratulate Mr. Illing on his confirmation to serve as the U.S. marshal for the Eastern District of Louisiana,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “Mr. Illing will oversee one of the most important areas in our state for drug and crime prevention.  As a lifelong resident of St. Tammany Parish, a former Louisiana state trooper and a retired investigator for the U.S. Customs Service in New Orleans, he is more than qualified and ready to serve.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R. La) announced $3.8 million in FEMA Public Assistance Grants today to help recover from the devastating flooding in 2016.  Ascension Parish School Board will receive $1.2 million in grants to repair 12 buildings and facilities at Galvez Middle School.  Livingston Parish School Board will receive $2.6 million in grants to fund emergency protective measures and provide temporary HVAC services to five schools located in Denham Springs.

 “I am happy to announce that $3.8 million in funds has been awarded to the Ascension and Livingston Parish School Boards to help rebuild after the flood,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “It is important that we work together to ensure that the schools in Louisiana have the means necessary to continue to educate our youth.  These funds will go a long way to help our schools recover after the devastating flooding.”

“On behalf of the Ascension Parish School Board, and our community, we are excited to see the restorative project at Galvez Middle School become one step closer to being obligated.  Our team has been working with FEMA since the disaster, and we were able to recapture most of our expenses before the mandatory NFIP insurance reductions and our 10% required share.  The project is almost complete, and we anticipate the students and faculty will begin the 2018-19 school year in their newly restored campus,” said Ascension Parish Public Schools Superintendent David Alexander. “We are grateful for the support of our congressional and Senate leaders as they continue to fight to reduce the burden of the NFIP reductions, which will reallocate funds back to the classroom, where they belong.”

“This FEMA funding assistance will replace monies previously expended in the recovery of the Livingston Parish School System” said Livingston Parish Public Schools Superintendent Rick Wentzel.  “We are appreciative of all of our state congressional delegates with assisting Livingston Parish Public Schools in flood recovery.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today that, S.2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, has been signed into law by President Donald Trump.  Sen. Kennedy is an original co-sponsor of the legislation.  This bill gives desperately needed relief to community banks and credit unions that have been suffering under the burdensome regulations of Dodd-Frank.  

President Trump thanked Sen. Kennedy for his efforts on the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act in the Roosevelt Room at the bill signing ceremony. 

Sen. Kennedy with President Trump at the bill signing ceremony. 

“For almost a decade, community banks and credit unions have been shackled by the tremendous regulatory burden of Dodd-Frank.  That’s why bipartisan lawmakers from the House and Senate came together to craft legislation that protects consumers while helping small businesses and rural communities rebuild and grow,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “I am proud to be a part of this historic moment, and I am grateful that President Trump has signed our bill into law.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R.-La) today issued the following statement on the now yearlong investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into the possibility of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

“Thursday (May 17) marked a year since Mr. Mueller began investigating possible interference by Russia in the American political system.  It’s time to wrap things up.  The investigation is important, but so are many other issues, from which the investigation distracts in time, energy and taxpayer money.  We need to stop Iran from exporting terrorism to Iraq, Syria and Yemen.  We need to convince North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons.  We need to fight Russian President Vladimir Putin’s campaign to destabilize Western democracy.  We need to repeal Obamacare and lower the cost of health insurance.  We need to help the people of Venezuela regain economic stability and freedom.  We need to reform and extend the National Flood Insurance Program for the homeowners and businesses along the Gulf Coast.  We need to negotiate better trade deals with China.  We need to stop China from stealing American technology.  We need to lower the cost of prescription drugs and resolve the opioid addiction crisis.  Instead, on many days, we are suspended in an atmosphere of rumors, speculation and innuendo that works against Congress and the American people.  Respectfully, Mr. Mueller needs to start winding things down and report his findings to the American people.  I trust them to draw their own conclusions about Mr. Mueller’s report.”

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, secured key Louisiana provisions in the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2019, this week.

“Louisiana is a driving force for our nation’s economy, providing seafood, oil and agricultural products to millions around the country and world.  Without investments in our infrastructure, Louisiana’s vital industries will not be able to grow and thrive,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “I will continue to work with the Army Corps of Engineers and my colleagues in the Senate to make sure that Louisiana’s priorities are fulfilled.”

Bill Highlights:

Army Corps of Engineers - Provides more than $6.9 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers.  This is a 45% increase over the President’s budget request of $4.8 billion in funding for the Corps of Engineers.  Included in the funding is the following:

  • Guidance from the Subcommittee to the Corps to prioritize funding for projects providing, among other benefits, flood and storm damage reduction.  This guidance is intended to benefit projects such as the Southeast Louisiana Flood Control project that is commonly known as SELA in the Orleans, Jefferson and St. Tammany parishes region.
  • $350 million for the Mississippi River and Tributaries (MR&T) Program.  This program provides vital flood risk management and efficient navigation within the Mississippi River system.
  • $1.53 billion from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund. In 1986, Congress enacted the Harbor Maintenance Tax to recover operation and maintenance (O&M) costs at U.S. coastal and Great Lakes harbors from maritime shippers. O&M is mostly the dredging of harbor channels to their authorized depths and widths.

Delta Regional Authority- Provides $25 million for the Delta Regional Authority (DRA). The DRA invests in programs that promote the growth of a skilled workforce, support job creation and invest in local and regional infrastructure in the Delta region.

Department of Energy- This bill also provides stable funding for the Department of Energy.

  • Includes $4 million to support the U.S.-Israel Center of Excellence.  The United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014 authorized establishment of a joint U.S.-Israel Energy Center to utilize and exchange the experience, knowledge and expertise of universities and businesses to enrich offshore energy development.  Louisiana’s offshore energy expertise should provide it the leadership role for the center.

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today that the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works included provisions important to Louisiana families and businesses in the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018.  This legislation authorizes three feasibility studies for Louisiana projects that would focus on coastal preservation and restoration, improving maritime navigation and reducing hurricane and storm damage risk.  Additionally, this bill calls for expediting seven other projects.

In February, Sen. Kennedy sent a letter to EPW Committee Chairman U.S. Sen. John Barrasso and ranking member U.S. Sen. Thomas Carper emphasizing the importance of Louisiana’s water resource authorizations.  The full text of the letter is attached.

“I would like to thank the Senate EPW Committee for including these key Louisiana projects in this legislation.  The health and maintenance of Louisiana’s coast and canals are vital to not only our coastal economy but also to the everyday lives of the folks who live near the water,” said Sen. Kennedy.   “These projects will help protect Louisianans from future storms and hurricanes.”

Bill Highlights:

  • Authorizes the following feasibility studies
    • Lower Mississippi River, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, and Tennessee
    • Ouachita-Black Rivers Navigation Project
    • Northshore Flood Risk Reduction, Louisiana
  • Baptiste Collette Bayou Study - This section states that the Secretary shall expedite the review for the navigation channel deepening study for Baptiste Collette Bayou.
  • Morganza to the Gulf - This section states that the Secretary shall expedite completion of the project for hurricane and storm damage risk reduction for Morganza to the Gulf.
  •  Louisiana Coastal Area - This section states that the Secretary shall expedite

completion of the project for environmental restoration for Louisiana’s coastal areas.

  • Louisiana Coastal Area-Barataria Basin Barrier - This section states that the Secretary shall expedite completion of the project for environmental restoration for the Louisiana coastal area Barataria Basin Barrier.
  • West Shore Lake Pontchartrain - This section states that the Secretary shall expedite completion of the project for hurricane and storm damage risk reduction for West Shore Lake Pontchartrain.
  • Southwest Coastal Louisiana - This section states that the Secretary shall expedite completion of the project for hurricane and storm damage risk reduction and ecosystem restoration for southwest coastal Louisiana.

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today introduced the Justice Against Corruption on K Street Act, also known as the JACK ActThe JACK Act would require lobbyists to disclose if they have ever been convicted of bribery, extortion, embezzlement, illegal kickbacks, tax evasion or money laundering in their lobbying disclosure and registration forms. 

The bill’s title refers to Jack Abramoff, who didn’t have to mention his prison sentence for public bribery and other crimes when he re-registered as a lobbyist last year.  The JACK Act will ensure that members of the public know who is representing them in Washington.

“This idea is simple: If you have been convicted of a felony like bribery, extortion, embezzlement or tax evasion, you should have to disclose that when registering to become a lobbyist.  Corrupt lobbyists need to be brought into the sunlight, even if they’re wearing $6,000 suits,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “Political leaders and businesses need to know the backgrounds of those who are trying to influence public policy.  These corrupt lobbyists are the worst kind of swamp creatures and they need a one-way ticket out of Washington.”

“I think many people would be surprised to learn that lobbyists don’t need to disclose if they have been convicted of bribery, extortion, embezzlement, illegal kickbacks, tax evasion, or money laundering when they register to become a lobbyist, or to the businesses they could be representing and the Congressional offices they could be meeting with.  In any other profession, job interview or job application, you have to disclose that info and it’s just commonsense that those same rules should be applied to lobbyists.  That’s why I’m glad to join my friend Sen. Kennedy in introducing the JACK Act. This bipartisan bill will increase transparency and allow businesses to know who is representing them,” Sen. Manchin said.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) voted this afternoon in favor of reversing the repeal of net neutrality. 

“There are certain values that need to be preserved with respect to the internet.  They include no illegal censorship, no throttling and no discrimination.  Nearly 20% of all Americans and 22% of all Louisianans have one choice for an internet service provider who can deliver adequate upload and download speeds.  Basically, they don’t have a choice,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “The vote came down to one thing and one thing only: How much do you trust your cable company?  I want to be able to trust everyone, but I believe verification is necessary for a free and open internet.  I also believe in love, but I still own a handgun.”

 

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“You can’t be a civilized society if you don’t appreciate and protect art and artists.” 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R. La.) today met with Smokey Robinson, Mary Wilson of The Supremes, Dionne Warwick, Darlene Love and the late Otis Redding’s daughter Karla on Capitol Hill to discuss legislation that protects the contributions of legendary artists.

The artists were in D.C. to support Sen. Kennedy’s bill, the Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, and Important Contributions to Society Act, also known as the CLASSICS Act.  Sen. Kennedy introduced the bill with Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) in early February.  Their bill will help close a loophole that leaves some of our most cherished artists out of the federal copyright system and denies them fair compensation for their work.

Click here or the image below to watch Sen. Kennedy’s comments.

Sens. Graham, Hatch and Kennedy pictured with Smokey Robinson. 

Sens. Grassley and Kennedy pictured with Mary Wilson of The Supremes, Dionne Warwick, Darlene Love and Karla Redding, the daughter of the late Otis Redding. 

Click here or the image below to watch Smokey Robinson’s opening statement. 

Currently, federal copyright law does not protect sound recordings made before Feb. 15, 1972.  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.

The legislation was discussed today at the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“Art makes us more humane.  It helps us find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “This bill helps all artists.  It helps singers, songwriters, engineers, producers.  It helps the digital music industry because our world has changed and the world of music that we love so much has changed as well.”

“I’m very happy to come and represent this proposal,” said Smokey Robinson.  “My message is simple: Musicians who recorded before Feb. 15, 1972, deserve to be compensated the same way as those who recorded after that date.  I know a lot of musicians and producers and writers who have fallen on hard times and could really use that money.”

The CLASSICS Act is supported by the American Association of Independent Music, the Recording Industry Association of America, Pandora, musicFIRST, the Internet Association, the Recording Academy, SoundExchange, Screen Actors Guild?American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, American Federation of Musicians, the Content Creators Coalition, the Future of Music Coalition, the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, and the Living Legends Foundation. 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. John Kennedy (R.-La) and Bill Cassidy M.D. (R-La.) announced $9.3 million in RESTORE Funds for the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority’s Lowermost Mississippi River Management Program.  These funds will be used to build a management plan for the Mississippi River to help improve navigation and reduce flood risk.

“This money will go a long way towards rebuilding and protecting our coast,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “Louisiana plays an enormous role in our nation’s economy by providing oil, natural gas and seafood to the rest of the country.  We need to work together to ensure that the Mississippi River is being managed properly so that our state, and country, can thrive.”

“The Mississippi River is key to Louisiana’s economy.  These funds play a crucial role in streamlining navigation and protecting homeowners from flooding,” said Dr. Cassidy.  “This is a piece in the puzzle of restoring our coast and creating jobs.”

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