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“Qassem Soleimani set fires of hatred across the Middle East, and Ahmad Hamzeh ran to take up Soleimani’s mantle. America should answer his threats against our president, service members and embassies with quick, clear consequences. Americans aren’t buying the poison Hamzeh’s selling, and it’s time for the Treasury to tell him so.”

WASHINGTON — Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin requesting the secretary place an Iranian lawmaker on the Treasury’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons list for threatening President Donald Trump and encouraging attacks on U.S. embassies and military bases.

“Qassem Soleimani set fires of hatred across the Middle East, and Ahmad Hamzeh ran to take up Soleimani’s mantle. America should answer his threats against our president, service members and embassies with quick, clear consequences. Americans aren’t buying the poison Hamzeh’s selling, and it’s time for the Treasury to tell him so,” said Kennedy.

Ahmad Hamzeh represents Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani’s hometown and recently offered a bounty of three million dollars for the assassination of President Trump. Hamzeh made the statement after a U.S. airstrike killed Soleimani earlier this month. Soleimani was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American military personnel and was considered the second most powerful person in Iran. Hamzeh has also urged Iran to continue its nuclear weapons program.

Read the full letter here.

“The 2016 floods devastated communities in Livingston Parish. I’m glad to see this funding support a flood-control project needed to help protect southeast Louisiana residents from future disasters.”

 WASHINGTON — Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced a $1 million FEMA grant to fund the construction of a flood diversion canal in Livingston Parish.

 “The 2016 floods devastated communities in Livingston Parish. I’m glad to see this funding support a flood-control project needed to help protect southeast Louisiana residents from future disasters,” said Kennedy.

 The grant will help build a canal to divert runoff throughout the upper reaches of Beaver Creek in Livingston parish. Expected to be completed by November 2022, the canal would divert roughly one third of the natural Beaver Creek flow into the Amite River during a 100-year flood event.

“I am glad to see the Treasury focus on helping Americans obtain their hard-earned money so they can invest it in their future and their families. There’s more work to do, but the Treasury is making great progress.”

 WASHINGTON — Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today provided an update on efforts made by the Treasury Department to help Americans redeem $26 billion in unclaimed savings bonds.

“I am glad to see the Treasury focus on helping Americans obtain their hard-earned money so they can invest it in their future and their families. There’s more work to do, but the Treasury is making great progress,” said Kennedy.

The Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service in December conducted market research on how to improve methods and technologies that help digitize matured, unredeemed savings bonds. This research focused on how to make old bonds searchable for 21st-century users. The Fiscal Service also hosted a Retail Securities Services Industry Day to explore technologies that digitize these bonds. 

This December, the Fiscal Service relaunched Treasury Hunt, an online search tool that allows bond owners to find information such as whether bonds are no longer earning interest or are owned by deceased family members. According to Fiscal Service, Treasury Hunt has been searched more than 31,000 times.

As chairman of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee, Kennedy last year secured $25 million through appropriations for digitizing bond records. Kennedy also introduced the Unclaimed Savings Bond Act (USB Act) to allow states to add names and addresses for the bonds to their unclaimed property databases.

Sen. Kennedy introduces pro-life legislation to protect mothers and unborn children

WASHINGTON — Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) introduced the Pregnant Women Health and Safety Act of 2020 to protect the health of women and children. 

“It’s hard to imagine someone more in need of access to quality medical care than an expectant mother and her unborn child. The abortion industry cuts corners at the expense of vulnerable people, and the Pregnant Women Health and Safety Act would ensure that women have easy access to vital protective care.

“I’m thankful to partner with my friend Andy Biggs in this effort to save and improve lives and encourage my colleagues in both chambers of Congress to support this legislation,” said Kennedy.

To ensure women have access to immediate medical care, the Pregnant Women Health and Safety Act would require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital located within 15 miles of the medical office where the abortion occurs. The legislation would also require abortion providers to inform patients of where they can receive follow-up care for any complications arising from abortion procedures.

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

“Abortion providers refuse to accept the reality that an abortion is a serious medical procedure that should be treated with the same care and caution as any other surgery or medical treatment. Women deserve to have doctors and medical professionals who can provide quality care and quickly address any complications that may arise. Requiring doctors and abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges and to maintain safe and clean clinics should be common sense measures that face little opposition,” said Biggs.

“I am grateful to Senator Kennedy for his partnership in introducing this important legislation.”

March for Life and the Family Research Council support the Pregnant Women Health and Safety Act.

“The March for Life applauds Representative Biggs and Senator Kennedy for standing up for both women and children. Abortion facilities harm women and are always dangerous and medically substandard. Abortionists are more concerned with their profits than with women’s health and safety—we thank the elected officials who are willing to hold these abortionists responsible,” said Tom McClusky, President of March for Life Action.

“Excluding abortion facilities from following standard health procedures is no way to promote women’s health care. We’re grateful to Senator Kennedy for introducing legislation to ensure that our laws protect the health and safety of both the mother and her child,” said Travis Weber, Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs at Family Research Council.

In addition to authoring the Pregnant Women Health and Safety Act, Kennedy introduced the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2019 (PRENDA) earlier this Congress. At present, only nine states have outlawed abortion based on an unborn person’s sex. PRENDA would protect unborn children in the 41 remaining states from being aborted because of their gender or sex.

Support for PRENDA includes the Invisible Girl Project, All Girls Allowed, National Right to Life, Concerned Women for America, March for Life Action, Susan B. Anthony List, Eagle Forum, Americans United for Life, Family Research Council, Alliance for Life, Students for Life and Live Action

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WASHINGTON — Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today attended the Congressional Gold Medal ceremony for former New Orleans Saints star Steve Gleason. 

 

“I am so honored to see Steve Gleason receive the Congressional Gold Medal for his tireless work advocating for ALS patients. He holds a special place in the heart of every Louisianians, not only for his on-field heroics, but for his work raising support and assistance for those battling ALS. Steve is an inspiration to millions of Americans, and I can’t think of anyone who deserves this honor more.” said Kennedy.

 

After being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 2011, Gleason became a prominent advocate for people living with ALS and helped raise almost $10 million to provide assistance for ALS patients. In addition, Gleason helped gather support for the Steve Gleason Act of 2015 and the Steve Gleason Enduring Voices Act of 2017, which are now helping equip ALS patients with speech-generating devices.

 

The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian honor bestowed by Congress. It requires the approval of two-thirds of both the House and Senate and the signature of the President. To date, only 163 institutions, people, or events have been awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.

 

Alongside Sens. Cassidy, Cantwell, and Murray, Sen. Kennedy was an original cosponsor of the Stephen Michael Gleason Congressional Gold Medal Act last Congress. The bill was officially signed into law by President Trump on January 3, 2019.

WASHINGTON — Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) introduced the Bear Protection Act to protect bears from poaching and torture. 

 

“For years, legal loopholes have allowed the abuse and trade of wild bears to continue. I’m proud to partner with my friend Senator Booker to help prevent the slaughter and sale of innocent creatures through a commonsense solution,” said Kennedy.

 

“North American black bears are under threat from poachers and smugglers who supply the global trade in bear parts and products,” Senator Booker said. “This bipartisan legislation will help to conserve bears, deter bear poaching, and facilitate prosecution of illegal bear traders.”

 

Bears are often targeted for their bile and gallbladders, which some believe have medicinal value. The bill would impose criminal penalties on anyone who imports or exports bear viscera or products said to contain bear viscera. The legislation would not otherwise affect the state regulation of bear populations or the lawful hunting of bears under state law.

 

The bill would also direct the Secretary of Commerce and the U.S. Trade Representative to continue discussions with certain countries in order to protect bears. These countries include those that are party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora as well as other countries that are leading importers, exporters or consumers of bear viscera.

 

“We shouldn’t be killing rhinos for their horns, elephants for their tusks, or bears for their bladders,” said Wayne Pacelle, founder of Animal Wellness Action. “Wildlife trafficking is one of the greatest threats to rare species throughout the world, and the Bear Protection Act is a lever to protect several species of bears from reckless and unwarranted commerce in their parts. We are immensely grateful to Senators Kennedy and Booker for leading this legislative initiative.”

WASHINGTON — Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) has sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai requesting that the chairman update him on any progress made on FCC auction plans and compensation proposals for satellite companies operating within the C-Band.

 

“As the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) works to clear C-Band Spectrum through a public auction, I write to request that you keep me apprised of any and all developments in respect to the FCC’s auction plans and subsequent auction schedule. Additionally, I also ask that I be given notice of any proposal the FCC considers in regards to compensation for the satellite companies currently operating within the C-Band,” said Kennedy.

 

At present, foreign satellite companies are operating within the C-Band, a part of the spectrum that the FCC is attempting to set aside for future 5G wireless use. Spectrum refers to electromagnetic waves that wireless devices use to deliver voice, text, video and other wireless communications. C-Band represents a portion of the spectrum that cable operators and broadcasters use for satellite reception of network programming. C-Band, however, is necessary for building a robust 5G network.

 

The FCC recently considered allowing foreign satellite companies to sell the spectrum within the C-Band. Those private sales could have deprived the American taxpayers of information and revenue from such sales.

 

Read the full letter here.

Sen. John Kennedy Chairs Senate Judiciary Committee

WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) chaired this year’s first meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee to hear from nominees for the federal bench. The nominees included U.S. Attorney David Joseph, who is nominated to be an Alexandria-based judge for the U.S. District Court for the Western District in Louisiana.

Mr. Joseph has done a wonderful job as U.S. Attorney. He’s worked for big and small law firms. He’s clerked for a member of the Louisiana Supreme Court. He’s served our country and served it well,” said Sen. Kennedy. During his tenure as U.S. attorney, Mr. Joseph has proven himself to be serious and mature. He’s demonstrated that he can strike abalance between applying the rule of the law and realizing that people are human. I have every confidence that he’ll do the same if confirmed as a federal judge.

                                      

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WASHINGTON, D.C. In a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) asked the State Department to maintain maximum economic and diplomatic pressure until six CITGO employees detained in Venezuela are allowed to return home. The employees, two of whom have connections to Lake Charles, recently were released from prison but still aren’t allowed to leave Venezuela.

U.S. Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) joined Sen. Kennedy in sending a letter to Pompeo. The text is below.

“What these men have endured is horrific. They are political pawns in a high-stakes, international game,” said Sen. Kennedy. “They’ve missed enough holidays and birthdays with their families in the U.S. It’s time to bring them home.”

The Honorable Michael R. Pompeo Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20320 Dear Secretary Pompeo,

We write to express our support for ongoing efforts to secure the release of Americans held hostage or unlawfully detained in many rogue nations such as Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Syria and others. As the administration continues to successfully craft policy and solutions, we write to express our steadfast commitment to securing the release of Gustavo Cardenas, Jose Angel Pereira, Jorge Toledo, Tomeu Vadell, Alirio Zambrano, and Jose Luis Zambrano, otherwise known as the CITGO 6, from their unjust detainment in Venezuela.

As you know, the CITGO 6 have suffered from over two years of inhumane detainment conditions and lack of due process. They have experienced significant health hardships as a direct result of their treatment by the oppressive Maduro regime and others who support them. Imprisoned in an overcrowded basement for two years with limited access to sufficient nutrition, exercise, or medical treatment, the men are reported to have suffered severe weight loss and significant physical pain. Although their recent transfer to house arrest is a promising development, we believe it is crucial

the Administration maintain maximum economic and diplomatic pressure in order to secure their full release and return.

We realize there are competing equities at play in Venezuela and we strongly support the Administration’s commitment to securing free and fair elections in Venezuela; however, it must be made clear to all stakeholders that American citizens must be released and not made political pawns by anyone or any group. Therefore, we urge the Administration to use every tool at its disposal to help these Americans. American national interests and citizens must come first. We will continue to support efforts to maintain diplomatic and economic pressure on the illegitimate Maduro regime in Venezuela and secure the release of the CITGO 6.

Sincerely, /s/

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WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) joined the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019 to reauthorize a program that has provided billions of dollars to help domestic violence and sexual assault victims. 

The Violence Against Women Act expired in February.  U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) introduced legislation to reauthorize it and ensure the continuation of programs that prevent and respond to domestic violence, sexual assault and other crimes.  

“Some of my colleagues in the Senate are trying to inject the issue of gun control into this bill.  We shouldn’t turn this into a political statement,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “We need to do everything we can to help domestic violence victims.  We shouldn’t make them pawns in partisan, political games.  We need to reauthorize this program to protect women.”

Click here to watch Sen. Kennedy’s full statement.

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