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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.

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.

Sen. John Kennedy speaking on the Senate floor

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.

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today announced $2,270,808 in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding for four elevation projects in Mandeville, La.

“With the amount of flooding Louisianians experience, it’s great to see this investment in reducing the cost of flood insurance and the impact of future floods on the Mandeville community,” said Kennedy.

FEMA is fully funding these elevations because they qualify as severe repetitive loss sites.

The elevation project focuses on four sites. It includes “preparation for the elevation, contract review, design, permitting, elevation of the structures, post-elevation inspections and cleanup, project closeout, and grant closeout.” 

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), joined Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and 24 of his colleagues to write to President Joe Biden protesting his recent actions targeting energy industry jobs in Louisiana and nationwide. 

Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) also voiced concerns about the new administration’s recent executive orders and regulatory actions and requested a meeting with the president.

“As Senators from states where the energy and resource development sectors have provided good-paying jobs for generations . . . we have been surprised by your immediate actions upon taking office that have targeted hundreds of thousands of these jobs in our states and which run counter to your stated goal of creating good-paying jobs and helping struggling American families,” the senators wrote.

“From revoking the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, to halting leasing and permitting on federal lands and waters, including ANWR, and freezing continued energy development programs throughout our states, you’ve threatened middle-class jobs in the midst of an economy challenged by the pandemic, with no hope in the near future for these workers and their families,” the senators continued. 

“Your actions will have grave consequences for our constituents, and taking these actions on your very first week as President, with no input from those of us who represent these hard working Americans is counter to the desires of the American people who want practical, bipartisan solutions to our nation’s challenges, and who want policies that support working families.”

“We stand ready to work with you and your nominees to meet the challenges our country faces, including working for a cleaner future, and protecting our hard working men and women. We hope that you will meet with us soon and commit to working together to address these important issues in a way that is best for all Americans,” the senators concluded.

The full letter is available here.

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today introduced the Pregnant Women Health and Safety Act and the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, which protect vulnerable women and children in the womb. 

“Since Roe v. Wade, over 60 million babies have been killed in the womb. That’s about the same death toll as World War II. Female babies are especially at risk, as only 11 states have made it illegal to abort a child based on his or her sex. Throughout the nation, the abortion industry also takes advantage of women by cutting medical corners at their expense. We must act today to ensure that vulnerable women have easy access to vital protective care and that no child dies because of her sex,” said Kennedy. 

The Pregnant Women Health and Safety Act requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at hospitals located within 15 miles of the medical office where the abortion occurs. It would also require abortion clinics to inform patients of a hospital where they can receive follow-up care. Any abortion doctor who violates these requirements would face fines and up to two years in jail. 

Cosponsors of the Pregnant Women Health and Safety Act include Sens. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.).

The Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act would make sex-selective abortions illegal. The bill imposes fines of up to five years in jail on anyone who aborts a baby because of the child’s sex or gender, who coerces a woman into performing a sex-selective abortion, who asks for or accepts money for having a sex-selective abortion or who transports someone into the U.S. or across state lines in order to receive a sex-selective abortion.  

Cosponsors of the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act include Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) and John Thune (R-N.D.).

Kennedy has also cosponsored the following pro-life bills in the 117th Congress: 

1. Support and Value Expectant (SAVE) Moms and Babies Act, which limits the production and spread of chemical abortion drugs. 
2. Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which requires lifesaving medical care for any baby who survives an abortion.  
3. No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which prevents taxpayer dollars from ever funding abortions. 
4. Abortion is not Healthcare Act, which stops abortions from being tax deductible. 
5. Protecting Life in Foreign Assistance Act, which codifies into law the Mexico City Policy, preventing American dollars from funding abortions and abortion advocacy in foreign countries. 
6. Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, which stops abortions for out-of-state minors who do not have their parents’ approval.
7. Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which criminalizes abortions of unborn babies 20 weeks or more into the pregnancy. 
8. Life at Conception Act, which defines a “person” to include people at all stages of life, including from the moment of fertilization, which will guarantee the constitutional right to life to the unborn.
9. Defund Planned Parenthood Act, which would prohibit federal tax dollars from going to Planned Parenthood or any other organization that performs abortions.

Text of the Pregnant Women Health and Safety Act is available here.

Text of the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act is available here.