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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) issued the following statement today:  

“Last month, three of my Senate colleagues, two of my House colleagues, and I met in Beijing with Premier Li Keqiang, the second ranking Chinese government official, and others to discuss several issues.  The State Department asked us in particular to lobby China to stop Chinese citizens from exporting synthetic fentanyl and the ingredients to make it to Mexico, from which fentanyl enters the United States.  We hammered hard.  This weekend, President Xi Jinping, meeting with President Trump, announced that China would designate fentanyl a “controlled substance” subject to the maximum penalty under Chinese law.  Fentanyl killed more Americans last year than we lost during the entirety of the Vietnam War.  Much of it came to the United States from China.  The credit for this breakthrough goes to Presidents Trump and Xi, but it sure made me feel like our trip to Beijing was worthwhile.  

I love being in the United States Senate.  I will not be a candidate for Governor in 2019.  I will, however, continue to work hard every day in D.C. and Louisiana for jobs, economic growth, cheaper health insurance, a stronger military, and an end to government waste.  I am fortunate to sit on powerful Senate committees that provide a venue to do that.  It is such an honor to represent the people of Louisiana in the United States Senate.  Right now, that’s where I think I can do the most good.  

I hope someone runs for Governor who understands that Louisiana state government does not have to be a big, slow, dumb, wasteful, sometimes corrupt, spend-money-like-it-was-ditchwater, anti-taxpayer, top down institution.  I love Louisiana as much as I love my country, and the people of my state deserve a state government as good as they are.  

Thank you to the many people who offered me advice about my decision.  I listened carefully.  You taught me a lot.

Finally, I want to thank the many constituents who encouraged me to run.  Your support humbles me.  It is my honor to serve you in the United States Senate.  You, and your families, are the reason I get up to do this job each and every day.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today that the Office of Gulf Restoration in the Department of the Treasury awarded a $400,000 grant to Livingston Parish for a shoreline restoration project.

The Amite River Costal Wetlands Restoration Project will help rebuild 10 acres of forested coastal wetlands and shoreline habitats that have been lost due to erosion at the meeting point of the Amite Rive and Lake Maurepas in Livingston Parish.

“Funds from this grant will begin the planning stages—surveying, permitting, designing and engineering—of the Amite River Costal Wetlands Restoration Project,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “Repairing the shoreline after years of erosion will help preserve Louisiana’s natural wildlife and resources as well as the beauty of the Amite River.” 

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) issued the following statement today on the death of former President George H. W. Bush:  

“America, and the world, weep at the passing of President Bush,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “He devoted his life to serving his country with quiet capability.  Louisiana will never forget the time he spent raising money to help us recover from Hurricane Katrina.  God bless, President George H. W. Bush, and his family.”

 

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Donald Trump today signed into law U.S. Sen. John Kennedy’s (R-La.) bipartisan legislation that will help disaster victims rebuild and recover.

Sen. Kennedy was the lead sponsor of the disaster recovery bill, S.3554.  The legislation will allow the SBA to get more dollars in the hands of disaster survivors by preventing loan limits from dropping from $25,000 to $14,000.  Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) were cosponsors.

“Louisiana families want to start rebuilding as soon as the storm passes.  We want to rip out the sheetrock and replace the roof as soon as the evacuation order is lifted.  This legislation keeps an important recovery tool in place,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “Families need as many options as possible when faced with a storm’s devastation.  We don’t want to slow down their recovery.”

“More than six years after Superstorm Sandy ravaged New Jersey and much of the East Coast, families and communities are still going through the difficult rebuilding process,” said Sen. Booker.  “This bipartisan bill is an important step towards helping victims of natural disasters find meaningful assistance.” 

“As Florida’s Panhandle continues to recover from Hurricane Michael, it is imperative that businesses and homeowners affected by the storm have the ability to apply for Small Business Disaster loans as a means to rebuild the local economy and ensure housing remains available and affordable for workers,” said Sen. Rubio. “If this bill is not signed into law, each future Small Business Disaster loan’s value will be effectively cut in half, harming the businesses and homeowners who they are intended to help following future natural disasters.”

 

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – With hours remaining before the program’s lapse, the U.S. Senate today passed U.S. Sen. John Kennedy’s (R-La.) six-month reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).   

The House and the Senate also approved a seven-day extension that prevents the program from lapsing Friday.  Sen. Kennedy now will focus on House passage of his longer-term extension.

“For the past week, I’ve been working hard to convince my colleagues in the Senate that a lapse in the NFIP would be a disservice to families across this country, not just in the coastal states.  I’m glad my colleagues came around.  More than five million Americans rely on this program to protect their homes, families and businesses.  I don’t have to drive home the importance of this program to anyone in Louisiana, where it is as essential as air,” said Sen. Kennedy. “I am frustrated with the inefficiency in Washington that is causing us to extend the program again without long-term reforms, but families deserve to be protected.”

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.) today announced that $161.4 million from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill settlement will be used to restore barrier islands in lower Terrebonne Parish. 

The project will focus on West Belle Headland, Timbalier Island and Trinity Island.  All of the islands are located within the Terrebonne Basin barrier shoreline system.

“These are critical projects that are needed to protect our wetlands and wildlife habitats,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “Anyone who lives in Louisiana knows we are in a David versus Goliath fight to save our coastline.  Our barrier islands are an important line of defense against hurricanes.  Every penny spent preserving them is a penny well spent.”

“Protecting Louisiana’s unique geography and ecosystems is a massive endeavor we must continue to fund and support,” said Sen. Cassidy. “These resources will shore up the barrier islands, preserve our coastlines, and protect the people of Terrebonne Parish from damaging storms.”

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass Sen. John Kennedy’s (R-La.) Small Business Administration Disaster Loans bill, S.3554, this week.  This is Sen. Kennedy’s third bill to pass in the Senate this year.  This legislation promotes a more efficient recovery process by quickly providing monetary relief to people after a disaster. 

This legislation will ensure that people have the financial resources they need to recover quickly after a disaster by preventing SBA loan limits from dropping from $25,000 to $14,000.  It extends a provision of the Recovery Improvements for Small Entities After Disaster Act of 2015(RISE Act) that temporarily increased loan limits for physical damage loans under an SBA disaster declaration. 

“After disasters like Hurricane Katrina and the severe flooding in 2016, Louisiana families needed to begin the recovery process as soon as the storms rolled out,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “This legislation gets money back into the pockets of Americans who have to rebuild their businesses or fix up their homes after a natural disaster.  These SBA disaster loans are a direct investment back into the communities that need relief the most after a devastating natural disaster.”

 

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NEW ORLEANS, LA. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) chaired a small business field hearing at the Port of New Orleans today to get feedback on how rail shipping regulations are impacting businesses.

The hearing tackled safety and cost issues facing railroads, shippers and manufacturers.  Hearing participants included officials with New Orleans Public Belt Railroad and the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.

“The rail system is important to Louisiana and to Louisiana jobs.  Regulations have to be fair and cost efficient.  At the same time, they have to keep the public safe.  We need to work together to promote competition and grow our economy.  This isn’t an issue that’s going to make headlines, but it’s hugely important,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “The biggest issue is public safety.  After that comes cost and efficiency.  I’ll take back what I heard today to the rest of the committee.”

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) introduced legislation today that will reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program, also known as the NFIP, for six months.  Without action, funding for the NFIP will expire on Nov. 30.

“I am increasingly frustrated that we haven’t made long-term fixes to the NFIP.  However, this program is absolutely necessary to more than five million American homes and businesses,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “We must ensure that Louisiana families as well as families across the United States remain protected past this expiration. My bill will prevent the program from expiring while we work on much-needed reforms.”

“The National Flood Insurance Program needs to be comprehensively reformed to make the program more fair, affordable, efficient and solvent, which is what my SAFE NFIP would do,” said Sen. Bob Menendez.  “But with the NFIP set to expire in about two weeks and no movement on the horizon, it’s critical that we prevent a lapse that would disrupt the real estate market and leave thousands of families uninsured and vulnerable.  This six month extension will give Congress time to pass a long-term reauthorization with real, meaningful reforms in line with my SAFE NFIP Act, which is the most bipartisan flood insurance bill in the Senate.”

“The National Flood Insurance Program is critically important to my home state of Florida,” said Sen. Rubio. “It is extremely unfortunate that another extension is needed, but it is imperative that Congress does not allow the program to lapse. Floridians cannot afford that kind of uncertainty. I urge leadership to bring this up for a vote as soon as possible, and look forward to continued work with my colleagues on bipartisan reforms to ensure the program is affordable and sustainable.”

“While it’s frustrating another short-term extension is required, this gives us a good opportunity in the new Congress to buckle down and hammer out a long-term agreement that is good for Louisiana and good for taxpayers,” said Dr. Cassidy.

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) issued the following statement today in support of Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin’s diligence in trying to determine how convicted felon Robert Myer was able to vote in the midterm elections:

“Secretary of State Ardoin is Louisiana’s chief elections officer.  It’s his job to preserve the integrity of our elections, and he does his job well.  When a complaint was filed about a convicted felon voting after betraying the public’s trust, Secretary of State Ardoin was correct to raise questions,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “Voting is a privilege.  The voting process shouldn’t be politicized because of anger over election results or a pro-Second Amendment vote at the State Bond Commission.  Criminals shouldn’t have more rights than victims.  As a Louisiana citizen, I’m thankful to Secretary of State Ardoin for protecting the sanctity of voting in our state.”

 

 

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