Media

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, will meet with Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh Tuesday, July 24, at 2:30 p.m. EST in Sen. Kennedy’s office.  Credentialed members of the media will be invited in for a brief photo spray at the top of the meeting and should arrive by 2:15 p.m. EST.  No audio or questions will be permitted.  Media must RSVP in advance.

 

WHO:

U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.)

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh

WHAT:

Photo spray only

WHERE:

374 Russell Senate Office Building

WHEN:

2:30 p.m. EST

TOMORROW, Tuesday, July 24

 

To RSVP please email Michelle_Millhollon@kennedy.senate.gov or Meredith_Jones@kennedy.senate.gov.

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) sent a letter to Elaine Chao, secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, this week in support of $25 million in federal funding for the widening and rehabilitation of Interstate 12 in St. Tammany Parish. 
 

Traffic congestion on that stretch of Interstate 12 triggered accidents that killed four people over Memorial Day weekend.  According to news reports, there were 222 accidents in 2016 on this problematic portion of interstate.  Just four years ealier, in 2012, there were 135 wrecks.  

“St. Tammany Parish has agreed to put up $7.2 million if the federal government can kick in $25 million to speed up this project.  Tragedies like the Memorial Day weekend fatalities underscore the urgency of reducing traffic congestion on this stretch of roadway,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “This project is critical to the safety of St. Tammany Parish residents.”

 

July 18, 2018

The Honorable Elaine Chao

Secretary

United States Department of Transportation

1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE

Washington, D.C. 20590

Re: FY 2018 BUILD Grant Application, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana: Interstate 12 Widening and Rehabilitation Project

Dear Secretary Chao,

I am writing to you today to express my strong support for the FY 2018 Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) discretionary grant application submitted to the United States Department of Transportation by St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana for funding to widen and rehabilitate 3.8 miles along Interstate 12 (I-12). St. Tammany is requesting $25 million and will match BUILD funds with $11 million in non-federal sponsor funds for the engineering, design, and construction costs related to the project that is well positioned to begin construction by mid-2020 and be completed by the end of 2021.

Freight trucking is predicated to move over $700 billion in goods and products by 2038 in the state. I-12 is and will be a significant corridor to generating exceptional economic and social benefits for the nation. Furthermore, funding of this project will not only improve connectivity between ports and railroads within the Lake Pontchartrain and Pearl River Basins, but also ensure a safe and efficient evacuation route for coastal residents in Louisiana and Mississippi.

I-12 is part of the National Highway Freight Network and Louisiana’s Tier 1 Freight Network. However, the segment between Louisiana State Highway 21 and U.S. 190 has been given a “Near Capacity” Level of Service grade. Currently, even non-fatal accidents can block traffic in this corridor for hours with traffic forecasts predicting that congestion will only continue to grow substantially. It’s tragedies like the Memorial Day weekend accident that claimed four lives near Covington that underscore the need for this funding to alleviate these dangerous levels of congestion.

This project is critically important to the safety of our citizens and the continued success of our regional and national economy. I respectfully ask that you give your careful attention and support for St. Tammany Parish’s proposal.

Sincerely,

John Kennedy

United State Senator

 

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced today that the Lafayette Regional Airport will receive $11.8 million from the Federal Aviation Administration to help with the construction of a new 100,000 square foot terminal building.  This federal funding is a significant investment in Louisiana’s air transportation industry and in Lafayette’s regional economy.

“This federal grant is a great win for Lafayette and its residents,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “This expansion project will create jobs and promote more air travel in the region. Air travel is a vital component to growing businesses and tourism.  This grant will greatly benefit the Acadiana economy.”

 

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today criticized Senate Democrats for blocking his resolution that honors the daily, life-saving contributions of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  Senate Democrats prevented the passage of Sen. Kennedy’s resolution and instead pushed a bill by U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) that would weaken border security. 

Sen. Kennedy introduced his resolution in response to Democrats’ recent calls for the abolishment of ICE.  The movement to abolish ICE has been led by Sen. Harris and several of her fellow Democratic Senators.

S.Res.572 simply states that Sen. Kennedy and other Republicans “support the officers and personnel who carry out the important mission of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”  Democrats, in a willful disregard of the work ICE does in protecting American families from cartel violence, human traffickers and drug addiction, blocked the resolution from receiving Senate passage.

“Although much of their work is thankless and goes sight unseen, I am grateful to the thousands of ICE agents who work around the clock to keep our streets and our families safe,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “ICE last year intercepted a million pounds of narcotics, removed nearly 5,000 violent gang members from the streets and rescued 1,422 human trafficking victims.  ICE agents deserve our thanks.  Instead, they are being exploited by Democrats for political gain.  The losers are American families.”

The U.S. House of Representatives voted today 244-35 in favor of Congressman Clay Higgins’ (R-La.) resolution supporting ICE.  Congressman Higgins’ bill is a companion version of Sen. Kennedy’s Senate bill.

Thirty-six Republicans have now joined Sen. Kennedy’s resolution as cosponsors, including Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), John Boozman (R-Ark.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Dan Sullivan (R-Ark.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), John Thune (S.D.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Pat Roberts (Kan.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Todd Young (R-Ind.).  

Vice President Mike Pence tweeted his support of the resolutions today. 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – With the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) set to expire in less than two weeks, U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) introduced an emergency six-month reauthorization in the U.S. Senate this week. 

Earlier this summer, the U.S. Senate passed a Farm Bill that contains Sen. Kennedy’s amendment to prevent the NFIP from expiring on July 31.  However, the House and Senate must work out differences on a final version of the Farm Bill, putting the NFIP in real danger of expiring in the middle of hurricane season.  Sen. Kennedy’s emergency reauthorization eliminates that concern.

“I’m going to be blunt.  Allowing the National Flood Insurance Program to expire in the middle of hurricane season would create absolute chaos for Louisiana families.  A lapse would paralyze the real estate market, prevent homeowners from renewing their policies and break promises to hard-working families who faithfully pay their premiums every year,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “My reauthorization is a short-term solution that will give us time to work on reforms.  This is so important that I included the reauthorization in the Farm Bill and filed a standalone bill to get this done before July 31 arrives.  We need to step on the gas.”

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today announced that the U.S. Department of Labor is awarding $515,000 to help homeless veterans return to the workforce.  The money will be awarded to the Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana and will be used primarily to help veterans in the New Orleans and Houma areas.

Through federal funding, Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana helped 168 veterans in the past year find jobs by assisting them with transportation, job training and other resources.

“Veterans who served our country deserve every bit of help we can give them.  We’ve made tremendous progress in ensuring they’re not sleeping on the streets.  The next step is to help them regain their self-sufficiency,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “This funding will help veterans in Southeast Louisiana rejoin the workforce by training them for careers and guiding them through the job hunt.  A good job ensures a good life.”

“It’s a true honor and blessing to be able to help veterans get back on their feet,” said Gerald Rooks, veteran services program director for Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) introduced a resolution today denouncing the radical calls for the abolishment of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  Congressman Clay Higgins (R-La.), a member of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border & Maritime Security, filed a companion resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“I am deeply troubled by the Democrats’ reckless calls to abolish ICE.  Eliminating ICE shows a blatant disregard for the welfare of the American people and our nation’s immigration laws,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “With the ever present threat of MS-13 and international terrorism, along with an opioid crisis being fought at our border, abolishing ICE is unthinkable.  ICE officers are in the trenches fighting those threats and protecting American families from the cross-border crime and illegal immigration that endanger our families.  ICE deserves our gratitude and respect, not scorn and ridicule.”

“Some Democrats have launched an assault against ICE and other law enforcement agents who secure our borders. Their calls to abolish ICE are reckless and put our national security interests at risk,” said Congressman Higgins. “Americans support law and order and sovereign borders. ICE plays a crucial role for our nation’s security and their service should be respected. Hopefully, this resolution will remind some of my colleagues across the aisle that we have been elected to serve American citizens, not foreign citizens, and certainly not illegal immigrants.”

 

View Sen. Kennedy’s resolution here.

View Congressman Higgins’ resolution here.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) introduced a resolution today denouncing the radical calls for the dissolution of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  Sen. Kennedy was joined by Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), John Boozman (R-Ark.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Dan Sullivan (R-Ark.) and Todd Young (R-Ind). 

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement performs vital functions that protect American families.  Last year, agents worked tirelessly around the clock to rescue 1,422 victims of human trafficking.  More than 900 of those victims were children.  ICE agents also removed a million pounds of narcotics and more than 4,800 gang members from the streets of this country.  Those numbers are just a small fraction of the nearly 127,000 arrests made by ICE agents last year against people who came here and committed violent crimes against law-abiding Americans.  Those criminals were responsible for more than 50,000 assaults, 2,000 kidnappings and 1,800 homicides.

“I am deeply troubled by the Democrats’ reckless calls to abolish ICE.  Eliminating ICE shows a blatant disregard for the welfare of the American people and our nation’s immigration laws,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “With the ever present threat of MS-13 and international terrorism, along with an opioid crisis being fought at our border, abolishing ICE is unthinkable.  ICE officers are in the trenches fighting those threats and protecting American families from the cross-border crime and illegal immigration that endanger our families.  ICE deserves our gratitude and respect, not scorn and ridicule.”

“ICE agents are the front line when it comes to enforcing our immigration laws. They risk their lives on a daily basis to protect American citizens and immigrants from violent criminals, drug cartels, and human traffickers. Calls to abolish ICE not only disregard our immigration laws and give implicit license to those who want to enter our country illegally, they also smear the heroic sacrifices of ICE agents and put people at risk, especially in border states like Texas. I will continue to support the brave men and women who serve as ICE agents, and urge my colleagues to stand by ICE and honor the key role it plays in keeping our country safe,” said Sen. Cruz.

“ICE plays a critical role in ensuring our nation has a lawful immigration system. Calls to abolish ICE are misguided and dangerous. They ignore the valuable role ICE officers play in keeping Americans safe. Every day, ICE officers remove dangerous criminals who threaten our communities, including sex offenders, murderers and gang members. This country was founded on the principles of the rule of law and equal justice. Their public service deserves our thanks,” Sen. Grassley said.

“Every United States Senator should support this effort to recognize the brave women and men who wear the ICE uniform,” said Sen. Perdue. “ICE is a critical component of our country’s national security strategy created after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Since then, our ICE law enforcement officers have dedicated their lives to arresting human traffickers, protecting communities from gangs, combating terrorism, and keeping drugs off the street. We don’t say it enough - thank you to all of our ICE officers.”

“The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency is an essential federal law enforcement agency,” Sen. Lee said. “Without internal federal immigration law enforcement, illegal immigrants would be free to stay in our country forever once they snuck in the border or illegally overstayed their legally issued visa. We would no longer be a sovereign if we stopped governing who could and could not be in our country."

“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents play a vital role in the defense of our country,” said Sen. Rounds. “Not only do they work to safeguard our borders, they keep our communities safe and help rescue vulnerable children and human trafficking victims. Without the brave men and women of ICE, our borders would be essentially wide open for terrorists and other criminals who are intent on doing harm to Americans. Last year alone, ICE agents made approximately 5,000 gang arrests, seized nearly a million pounds of narcotics and rescued over 1,000 human trafficking victims and children subject to exploitation. I support our law enforcement officers at ICE who put themselves in danger every day to defend our borders and keep our communities safe.”

“Washington Democrats wanting to abolish ICE, our country's immigration law enforcement agency, are essentially demanding open borders,” said Sen. Cassidy, M.D. “Assaults on ICE officers nearly tripled in 2017, so instead of attacking them, we should support them as they work to secure our borders, stop the flow of deadly drugs, break up violent gangs like MS-13, rescue human trafficking victims, and keep our communities safe.”

“The hardworking men and women of Immigration and Customs Enforcement risk their lives each day to protect our borders and enforce our laws,” Sen. Inhofe said. “I often visit with ICE agents and Border Patrol officers at the Port of Brownsville, Texas. They work diligently, and in difficult conditions, to manage deportations of dangerous criminals and to investigate cybercrime, human trafficking and illicit narcotics trade. Calls to abolish this critical agency are shortsighted and would lead to a proliferation of crime in our communities. I’m proud to support ICE and their important role in our nation’s law enforcement.”   

“ICE agents put their lives on the line to protect our communities,” said Sen. Blunt. “Every day, they work to take violent criminals off the street, seize deadly narcotics, rescue human trafficking victims, and prevent terrorists from carrying out attacks on our shores. They are a vital part of our nation’s law enforcement efforts and we are a safer country because of their service.” 

“ICE agents keep our borders secure and I want to thank them for the important work they are doing. Far too many people are coming into our country illegally and putting the safety and security of American citizens at risk. In Montana, the effects of unsecured borders are personal. All across our state, communities are torn apart by the meth and opioids that are trafficked through the southern border. I am committed to fighting to protect ICE and all the Americans its agents protect,” said Sen. Daines.

“Abolishing ICE means abandoning our borders and leaving them open to anyone. That’s just irresponsible and certainly not in the best interest of the American people and their security.  We are a nation of laws and we must enforce our immigration laws,” said Sen. Hyde-Smith.

“The men and women of ICE go out every day and risk their own lives by confronting dangerous gang members and criminals and stopping the flow of illegal drugs," said Sen. Tillis. "The current narrative to abolish ICE is irresponsible, and I urge my colleagues on both sides of aisle to call out these unreasonable demands and the instead show appreciation to ICE agents for the job they do to keep our country safe.”

“The men and women of Immigration and Customs Enforcement who put their lives on the line every day deserve our support, not our scorn. It’s not their fault our immigration system is horribly broken. Angry rhetoric and reckless proposals directed at ICE will not solve the problems of our unsecured border or legal loopholes that encourage illegal immigration,” said Sen. Johnson.

“As we seek a long-term solution to our border crisis, we need to continue to support the men and women who are risking their lives on the border every day, implementing our immigration laws and supporting national security efforts,” said Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA).

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement on President Donald J. Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to be the next Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court:

“Judge Kavanaugh is obviously well-educated and has an impressive resume, but I look forward to getting to know him better throughout the confirmation process.  I want someone who’s smart, intellectually curious and willing to test their assumptions against the arguments of those who disagree with them. 

“During the Senate Judiciary hearings, I plan to delve into how he interprets a statute and how he would interpret the Constitution when it’s not clear.  I want to understand how he thinks the judiciary fits in the Madisonian balance of separation of powers.  I want to know if he respects the Bill of Rights and understands why we have a Bill of Rights.  You really can’t tell whether that standard can be reached until you have a confirmation hearing.  That’s why I look forward to a full and fair vetting process.”

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today that the Livingston Parish School Board will receive $7.4 million in FEMA funds to help recover from the devastating floods of 2016.

“This funding will help replace the contents at 17 schools in Livingston Parish.  Livingston Parish was one of the hardest hit by the unexpected 2016 flooding.  This money will go a long way toward helping Livingston Parish’s schools recover and put this devastating event in the rearview mirror,” said Sen. Kennedy.

“Livingston Parish Public Schools appreciates the efforts of our congressional delegation in their work with FEMA to quickly reimburse monies spent by our school system to recover from the Great Flood of 2016,” said Livingston Parish Public Schools Superintendent Rick Wentzel. 

 

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