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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La) issued the following statement today in honor of the 45th annual March for Life:

“As you all may know, the 45th annual March for Life is taking place tomorrow here in Washington, D.C.  The right to life is our most basic right, and I firmly believe that every life is a precious gift from God, whether it is 84 years old or 84 seconds old,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “It’s not always easy or comfortable to stand up for what is right, and I want to thank everyone who marches for those who can’t stand up for themselves, just yet.”

Sen. Kennedy’s full remarks can be viewed by clicking here or the image below:

 

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today that the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board will receive $6.3 million in funding to repair school buildings and equipment damaged by the 2016 flooding.

“The floods were devastating, and the school system needs help to recover,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “The flooding was especially bad at Glen Oaks High School.  This money will help the high school repair multiple damaged buildings.”

The East Baton Rouge Parish School Board will receive:

  • $4.4 million to repair damaged buildings at Glen Oaks High School.
  • $1.9 million to replace damaged information technology equipment at 12 flood-damaged facilities.

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La) sent a letter to Gov. John Bel Edwards today requesting a meeting with him and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma to help expedite a waiver to institute work requirements for able-bodied Medicaid recipients.  

“I am encouraged that Gov. Edwards is considering work requirements for able-bodied Medicaid recipients,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “With the Legislature’s leaders taking a strong stand in support of requirements, coupled with the governor’s willingness to consider them, we are closer than ever.  But we have to work together to get it across the finish line.  I look forward to meeting with Gov. Edwards and Administrator Verma soon to help smooth and expedite the process. ”

Sen. Kennedy introduced a bill last year, the Medicaid Reform and Personal Responsibility Act, which would require adults between the ages of 18 and 55, who have no dependents and are not disabled, to spend 20 hours a week working in a job, going to school or doing community service in order to continue to receive free health care through Medicaid.

The text of Sen. Kennedy’s letter to Gov. Edwards can be found below:

 

January 16, 2018

 

The Honorable John Bel Edwards

Governor

State of Louisiana

P.O. Box 94004

Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70804

 

By email, fax, and U.S. mail

 

Dear Governor Edwards:

 

            It is my understanding that your administration is actively working to impose work requirements for able-bodied Medicaid recipients.  Louisiana needs to quickly impose this work requirement.  In fact, Louisiana needs to have a proposal on the table well before Easter. 

As you know, Kentucky recently became the first state to adopt Medicaid work requirements after its application was approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on January 12.  To date, CMS has received proposals from nine other states: Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin.  

To further your administration’s progress and to expedite the waiver approval process, I respectfully request a meeting with you, CMS Administrator Seema Verma, and myself.  The consultant the state recently hired is also welcome to join the meeting.  My hope is that, together, we can get Louisiana’s waiver approved within 60 days of our meeting.

I can work with your office to identify possible dates for a meeting in Washington, D.C.  If you are unable to meet, my hope is that you will consider putting this issue into your call for a special session.

Thank you, Governor, for your consideration of this request.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

 

John Kennedy

United States Senator

 

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La) today issued a statement in reaction to the House of Representatives passing Rep. Clay Higgins’ bill, H.R. 4564 the Post Caliphate Threat Assessment Act of 2017.  His bill requires the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of State, and the Director of National Intelligence to issue a detailed report of terrorist movements to Congress. 

“I would like to thank Rep. Higgins for his tireless work in defending our country against terrorism,” said Sen. John Kennedy.  “His legislation will put the United States one step closer towards winning the war on terrorism.”

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will invest nearly $300,000 into Louisiana’s Kisatchie National Forest.  The money will be used to restore longleaf pine and other native ecosystems and trees.

“Kisatchie is Louisiana’s only national forest, making it a true treasure.  Its longleaf pine trees are a big part of the natural serenity of that place,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “Lewis and Clark marveled at the beauty of the pines in their writings.  This is an important asset, and we need to be a diligent caretaker of it.”

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) are calling for a federal investigation into Intel Corp. CEO Brian Krzanich’s sale of $20 million in company stock shortly before the public learned of cybersecurity concerns involving the company’s computer chips.

“The security vulnerabilities in Intel’s chips give hackers another window into our homes and businesses,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “I don’t know if Mr. Krzanich did anything wrong in selling his stock, but it certainly needs to be investigated in order to remove the stench of suspicion.”

Sens. Kennedy and Reed sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission requesting an investigation.

 

Text of the letter:

 

Dear Chairman Clayton and Attorney General Sessions:

We write to request that the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice investigate the alarming reports that Intel’s Chief Executive Officer sold more than $20 million of his Intel securities on November 29, 2017.  While news reports suggest that these securities were sold pursuant to an automatic trading plan, known as a Rule 10b5-1 plan, we are disturbed by additional reports that the instructions for these securities transactions were adopted on October 30, 2017, which is before the public was made aware of serious cybersecurity flaws in Intel’s chips but months after Google informed Intel in June of these security vulnerabilities.  

These reports are troubling not only because of the risk to nearly all phones and computers, but also because these reports raise concerns of potential insider trading.  We request that you conduct a thorough examination of whether any insider trading laws were violated.  Furthermore, if you uncover such violations through your examination, we expect you to enforce our laws to the fullest extent possible.

We thank you for your consideration, and we request periodic updates on your progress.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Kennedy

U.S. Senator

 

Jack Reed

U.S. Senator

“I don’t think we need more gun control.  I think we need more idiot control.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) held a press conference today expressing his opposition to S.2135, the Fix National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Act.  Under this bill, federal agencies and states would be asked to do a better job of reporting criminal offenses and other information into the NICS database, designed to control who can purchase a gun.  The bill would threaten federal employees with loss of bonus pay for noncompliance and offer states greater access to federal grants in exchange for full compliance for following the law. 

Sen. Kennedy joined his colleagues Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rand Paul (R-KY) in sending a letter to their colleagues in the Senate urging that there be vast improvements made to fix the NICS.  The full text of the letter can be viewed below.

“I support background checks.  What I don’t support is federal bureaucrats’ inability or unwillingness to do their job,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “We don’t need a law to try to get federal workers to do their jobs.  We shouldn’t be asking government workers to ‘pretty please with sugar on top, can you do your job?’  They already get an incentive for loading records into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.  It’s called a paycheck.  If that’s not a good enough incentive, then they need to be fired.”

Sen. Kennedy spoke with Fox Business’s Stuart Varney this morning about his opposition to the Fix NICS Act.  Click here or click the photo below to watch Sen. Kennedy’s interview. 

January 09, 2017

                                   

Dear Republican Colleague:

We are writing regarding efforts to fix the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). We agree improvements need to be made to the system. Any legislative solution must ensure both completeness of records and basic due process protections. 

We agree that individuals who are convicted of violent crimes in an Article III court or under the Uniform Code of Military Justice have been afforded constitutional due process.  However, the continued use of administrative decision-making leaves non-violent individuals without the same due process protections afforded to violent criminals.  And the solution contemplated by S. 2135—to leave nonviolent citizens to work their way through a Byzantine system of administrative appeal—is really no solution at all. 

We are concerned that legislation currently under discussion in the Judiciary Committee falls short of ensuring these two necessities and may lead to the denial of constitutional rights without due process.  As written, S. 2135 would require some veterans to be automatically reported to NICS.  In addition, S. 2135 would allow the Social Security Administration (and other federal agencies) to revive Obama-era administrative regulations that required NICS reporting of seniors and other vulnerable populations dependent upon fiduciaries to manage their finances.  Lastly, S. 2135 provides quantitative incentives to state and federal agencies, which might lead to an increase in the likelihood of abuse and administrative error.  In short, we are concerned about S. 2135’s lack of robust due process protections. 

Chairman Grassley penned a March 16, 2016 letter to then-Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Robert A. McDonald.  There, Chairman Grassley forcefully stated, “…it is essential to ensure that the process by which the VA reports names to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for placement on the NICS list recognizes and protects the fundamental nature of veterans’ rights under the Second Amendment.”  Consistent with that view, we believe a more reasonable solution to the existing problems with NICS would be to ensure that due process protections are afforded to individuals prior to NICS reporting.  S. 2135 could be improved by simply including due process protections before an individual is included on NICS.

In February of this year, the House and Senate passed H.J.Res. 40. This measure overturned a rule submitted by the Social Security Administration relating to the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007.  During debate of H.J.Res. 40, supporters agreed due process must be provided before the denial of an individual’s constitutional rights, not after.  It is our view that passing S. 2135 as written would undermine this earlier vote and would encourage future administrative agencies to encroach upon constitutionally guaranteed rights without affording robust due process protections.

If Republican Leadership wishes to move forward, S. 2135 will need to be amended to include and reaffirm due process rights in an Article III Court prior to any denial of Second Amendment rights.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

_______________________________                      _______________________________

RAND PAUL, MD.                                                    MIKE LEE

UNITED STATES SENATE                                     UNITED STATES SENATE

 

 

_______________________________

JOHN KENNEDY

UNITED STATES SENATE

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La) today thanked the Small Business Administration (SBA) for declaring a major disaster declaration for residents and small businesses affected by Hurricane Harvey.  This disaster declaration from SBA makes low-interest loans available for Beauregard, Cameron, Calcasieu and Jefferson Davis parishes in Louisiana. 

 

“I would like to thank Small Business Administrator McMahon for extending the disaster declaration to the people of southwest Louisiana,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “This assistance will help give residents the tools necessary to recover and rebuild after Hurricane Harvey.”

 

According to the Small Business Administration businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets.  It is important to note that SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

 

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate.  Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.  Interest rates can be as low as 3.305% for businesses, 2.5% for private nonprofit organizations and 1.75% for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years.  Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

 

The deadline to apply for property damage is March 5, 2018.  The deadline to apply for economic injury is Oct. 2, 2018.

 

If you have any questions regarding SBA’s disaster loan program, contact the center below.

CALCASIEU PARISH
Disaster Loan Outreach Center
Allen P. August, Sr. Multi-Purpose Center
2001 Moeling Street
Lake Charles, LA  70601

Mondays - Fridays, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

 

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“Everyone on both sides of the aisle knows that we are going to renew CHIP.  We need to renew it now.  We are scaring people unnecessarily, and it’s ridiculous.”

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) offered reassurance today on CNN that the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will be reauthorized and urged people to ignore political scare tactics aimed at convincing them otherwise.

“CHIP will be reauthorized.  There’s no disagreement on that point.  This is phantom politics, and it’s disgraceful,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “We need to get this done now.  No excuses.  CHIP is an extraordinarily worthwhile program for children and mothers in Louisiana, and across the U.S.  It should be a crime to tell people it’s in danger when it’s not.  It’s like telling people that you’re going to cancel LSU football unless they pay higher taxes.”

Sen. Kennedy sent Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a letter thanking him for his ongoing work to reauthorize CHIP.  Sen. Kennedy asked that CHIP be made a legislative priority.  

According to the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), the federal government contributed $325.6 million and the state contributed $18.4 million to the CHIP program in federal fiscal year 2016.  The program currently insures at least 122,000 children across Louisiana and covers basic medical costs such as doctor visits, immunizations, and prescription medications. 

“CHIP costs the state of Louisiana very little, and thousands of children receive health insurance.  This is a well-managed program with little waste, and you can’t say that about many government programs,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “CHIP is a good deal for the taxpayer, and it’s the right thing to do for those children.  We’re going to renew it.  We need to renew it now because people are scared.”

Sen. Kennedy spoke frankly with Poppy Harlow and John Berman on CNN this morning about why it is imperative to reauthorize CHIP.  Click here to watch Sen. Kennedy’s full interview.

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“This historic opportunity could not have been possible without Bill’s leadership.”- Sen. Kennedy 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) issued a statement commending Sen. Bill Cassidy’s leadership and efforts on H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.   Sen. Cassidy is a member of the Finance Committee which crafted the Senate’s version of the tax bill.  As such, Sen. Cassidy was in a unique position to shape the bill from inception.  Out of the entire Louisiana congressional delegation, only Sen. Cassidy sits on a tax authorizing committee.  Under current estimates, Louisiana will receive an additional $100 million in revenue under the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act until 2020 and 2021.  This will allow our state to invest in priorities such as coastal restoration and hurricane protection.

“Senate Finance Committee member Dr. Bill Cassidy worked tirelessly to ensure that Louisiana priorities were secured in H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “Louisiana stands to receive millions of dollars in additional revenue for coastal restoration and hurricane protection because of Sen. Cassidy and the entire Louisiana congressional delegation.  The entire state of Louisiana owes them great gratitude.”

 

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