Feb 12 2021
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) has been selected to represent Louisiana on five key committees in the 117th Congress. He will also lead the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development as the subcommittee’s top Republican.
This subcommittee funds the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Energy, two agencies vital to Louisiana workers and families. Kennedy remains the only member of the Louisiana delegation serving on an appropriations committee in Congress.
Kennedy will serve on the following committees:
- Committee on Appropriations, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
- Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
- Committee on the Budget
- Committee on the Judiciary
- Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
“In only a few weeks, President Biden has managed to make a mockery of the thousands of hardworking Louisianans in the energy industry by enforcing an energy ban that will cost many thousands of Louisianian jobs by next year. The people of Louisiana want to keep working hard and caring for their families. They want to use their talents and liberties to strengthen our economy through energy independence.
“Leading the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development means that Louisiana will have a front seat in shaping energy policies that are critical to every corner of our state and country. I intend to use my position on this subcommittee to stop President Biden’s war on energy jobs and keep America energy independent. As part of committees that defend America’s economic and religious freedoms, I’ll continue to represent Louisianians and their values,” said Kennedy.
The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development has jurisdiction over an array of issues, including those related to:
- The Department of Energy and its Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Strategic Petroleum Reserve,
- the Nuclear Regulatory Commission,
- the Corps of Engineers,
- the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army, which has authority over civil works, and
- the Delta Regional Authority.
FY 2021 funding for the Army Corps of Engineers, passed in December, provided $7.8 billion, an increase of $145 million above the FY 2020 level and $1.8 billion more than the budget request.
FY 2021 funding for the Department of Energy provided $39.6 billion for the department, an increase of $1 billion above the FY 2020 level and $4.5 billion above the budget request.
Last Congress, Kennedy chaired the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government in addition to serving on the Banking, Budget, Judiciary and Small Business Committees.
In addition to being ranking member on the Energy and Water Development subcommittee, Kennedy will also serve as a member of the following Senate Appropriations subcommittees:
- Financial Services and General Government
- Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies
- Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies
- Homeland Security
- Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, joined Ranking Member Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Republican committee members in urging the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to reject a proposed NASDAQ rule that would force publicly traded companies to adopt new racial and gender diversity standards for their boards of directors.
“While we think America’s corporations benefit from boards that avoid groupthink and offer a diversity of perspectives and commend firms that look to increase diversity among their boards, we do not think NASDAQ should be using its quasi-regulatory authority to impose social policies,” the senators wrote.
The proposed NASDAQ rule would require corporations to appoint some board directors on the basis of their self-identified race, gender and sexual orientation, or explain why the company has not done so. If the company does not provide a public explanation, it is subject to delisting.
The senators point out that requiring corporations to appoint board directors on the basis of diversity instead of merit would hurt their operational efficiency and cause economic damage.
“It interferes with a board’s duty to follow its legal obligations to govern in the best interest of the corporation and its shareholders. It violates central principles of materiality that govern securities disclosures, and finally, it harms economic growth by imposing costs on public corporations and discouraging private corporations from going public,” explained the senators.
Requiring disclosures on diversity information would also controvert the principle of materiality, which only requires public disclosures when they directly affect potential investment decisions in a corporation.
The letter is available here.
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $2,161,776 in grant funding from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support the Rapides Primary Health Care Center in Alexandria, La.
“Rapides Parish health care providers continue to work tirelessly on the frontline of the pandemic. I’m thankful for this HHS grant that helps bring quality health care to central Louisiana,” said Kennedy.
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $19,687,594 in federal funding for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to administer the coronavirus vaccine.
“Vaccinating Louisianians against the coronavirus is key to keeping communities safe and rebuilding our economy, and nearly $20 million is a meaningful step toward accomplishing these goals,” said Kennedy.
One hundred percent of this project funding comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) authored this op-ed, originally published in the “10/12 Industry Report” on February 9, 2021.
Below are key excerpts from the article, which focuses on legislation Kennedy introduced to protect Louisiana jobs and defend the environment.
“Bipartisanship, like common sense, is rare in Washington, D.C. But every now and then, the stars align and both sides find common ground. At the end of last year, the president signed into law landmark legislation that lowers greenhouse emissions and defends American jobs all at once—and the solution came from Louisiana.
“Our state is home to tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs. It is also ground zero for the hostile storms and coastal erosion that some link to a changing climate. Our jobs and our coasts took particularly hard licks in 2020, so it’s no surprise that Louisiana drew on our unique experience to give Washington a gift that protects both: the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act.”
“The AIM Act will not just reduce the impact of greenhouse gases, however. As a lifelong Louisianian, I introduced this legislation to protect Louisiana jobs.”
“The markets that adapt to producing refrigerants with smaller environmental footprints will not only survive once HFCs are obsolete, but they’ll also have a global competitive advantage. So will the markets that make the appliances that use these new coolants.
“That’s a big deal for Louisiana, which currently has several plants that produce HFCs. Because of the AIM Act, plants in Geismar, Baton Rouge, and St. Gabriel have the chance to save hundreds of jobs and add new ones by transitioning to safer coolants over time.”
“Thanks to the AIM Act, Louisiana companies that produce, service, or sell HVACR equipment will not shut their doors. They now have the time and space to innovate in an emerging market, and that will enable America to export these new coolants and the products that depend on them. That’s why the AIM Act is expected to create 150,000 American jobs.
“Now more than ever, America must lead the global economy. In recent years, China has been accused of violating U.S. trade laws to flood our homes with HFCs that are older and more harmful than American-made chemicals. Communist China’s leadership is happy to profit by hurting American consumers and workers, but Louisiana is helping pave the way forward for our country even though 2020 was not easy on our state.”
The full op-ed is available here.
Feb 09 2021
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $6,689,566 in grants from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support diabetes research and health centers in Kenner and New Orleans, La.
“I’m thankful that this HHS funding will support more research into a disease that affects many Louisianians and support health centers that deliver important medical care to their communities,” said Kennedy.
HHS has awarded the following grants:
- $259,000 to the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La. to focus on diabetes, endocrinology and metabolic research
- $4,685,960 to St. Charles Community Health Center, Inc. in Kenner, La.
- $1,744,606 to St. Thomas Community Health Center, Inc. in New Orleans, La.
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $4,152,160 in grant funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to support Louisiana Children’s Medical Center (LCMC) as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic has impacted Louisianians tremendously, and getting people vaccinated should be a top priority. I’m glad to see FEMA award this funding to LCMC to support vaccination efforts in our state,” said Kennedy.
The FEMA funding covers 100 percent of this project’s costs.
WASHINGTON – The Senate voted today on Sen. John Kennedy’s (R-La.) amendment to ensure that Small Business Administration (SBA) assistance cannot go to individuals found guilty of felony or misdemeanor rioting. Every Senate Democrat voted against the measure, blocking it by a vote of 49-51.
“We guarantee freedom of speech in America. Unlike other countries, we also guarantee freedom after speech. One form of freedom of speech is the right to peacefully protest. That doesn’t mean that violence as a part of protest is or should be legal in our country—in fact, it’s not. Without order, there can be no justice,” said Kennedy.
“This is the most expensive period of riots in our history. My amendment would prohibit the SBA from providing assistance, such as the Paycheck Protection Program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loans, 7(a) loans, and other small business assistance to anyone who has been convicted during the past year of a felony or a misdemeanor during and in connection with a riot,”Kennedy concluded.
By mid-April of 2020, lockdowns and capacity restrictions had either temporarily or permanently reduced the number of small businesses in operation by 44 percent.
Violent protests and riots then further damaged small businesses already struggling under the pandemic. One in 20 U.S. protests between May 26 and Sept. 5 involved rioting, looting and similar violence, resulting in 47 fatalities. During the summer of 2020, riots caused over $1 billion in damage to cities across the country, making that time the most expensive period of riots in America’s history.
Kennedy’s amendment would prohibit the SBA from providing assistance such as the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loans and other small business assistance to anyone who has been “convicted, during the past year, of a felony or misdemeanor during and in connection with a riot or civil disorder or other declared disaster.”
Video of the senator’s full floor remarks is available here.
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Pro-life Caucus, today joined Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and colleagues in a letter to Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) in a rebuke of Senate Democrats’ pro-abortion agenda.
“Abortion is not health care; rather, it is a brutal procedure that destroys the life of an innocent unborn child. The Hyde Amendment reflects a consensus that millions of pro-life Americans who are profoundly opposed to abortion should not be coerced into paying for it or incentivizing it with their taxpayer dollars,” the senators wrote.
“We are united in our resolve to guard against any changes to Federal law that would unsettle nearly half a century of bipartisan consensus against taxpayer funding for abortion on demand, or otherwise threaten the lives of unborn children. Accordingly, we are committed to vote against the advancement of any legislation that would eliminate or weaken the Hyde Amendment or any other current-law pro-life protections, or otherwise undermine existing Federal pro-life policy,” explained the senators.
The Susan B. Anthony List, Family Research Council, March for Life, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, National Right to Life, Heritage Action, Concerned Women for America, Americans United for Life, Live Action, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, the Center for Family and Human Rights, Eagle Forum and Students for Life of America have endorsed the letter.
In addition to Kennedy and Daines, Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), James Risch (R-Idaho), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Michael Rounds (R-S.D.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), John Thune (R-S.D.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) signed the letter.
The letter is available here.
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today delivered a speech on the Senate floor honoring Pat Shingleton, who announced his retirement after reporting the weather for more than 40 years for WBRZ, Channel 2.
Shingleton’s experience includes hosting We Play Baton Rouge, a local game show, The Fifth Quarter, a sports show, and Hotline After Dark, a local talk show. He is a longtime contributor to the community, serving as chairman of WBRZ’s program, Pat’s Coats for Kids, which delivers winter coats for needy children. Shingleton also started the Fill a Prescription for the Needy Project, as well as Baton Rouge’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Wearin’ of the Green.
“Now, when asked about his retirement, Pat said—and I’m going to quote—‘I think we’re all given a whole bunch of heartbeats’—we’re all given a whole bunch of heartbeats, Pat said—‘and God gives us these heartbeats to do something good.’ What an elegant way of putting it.
“Pat’s used his heartbeats pretty well, in my judgment—he’s got a lot more to go. But he’s done it for the good of our state, for the good of the Baton Rouge metropolitan community, and he’s done it in the newsroom, and he’s done it outside the newsroom,” said Kennedy.
“Pat, thank you—thank you for your hard work for the people of Baton Rouge. Thank you for your giving so much to the people of Louisiana for all of these 45 years. You’re a good person, and you’re a fine American. God bless you and your family,” Kennedy concluded.
Video of the speech is available here.