“This funding will help Monroe support key public transit services as it recovers from the coronavirus outbreak.”
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $4.8 million in funding from the Federal Transit Administration to fund transit operating assistance, maintenance and equipment purchased for the city of Monroe, La. during the coronavirus pandemic.
“This funding will help Monroe support key public transit services as it recovers from the coronavirus outbreak,” said Kennedy.
This funding is provided under the authority of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. The project is fully supported by federal funds with no local match required.
“Through Louisiana’s Department of Health and Tulane University, this HHS funding will help promote the good health of children and seniors in our state.”
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $5,565,847 in funding from the Department of Health and Human Services to help support multiple health care projects in Louisiana.
“Through Louisiana’s Department of Health and Tulane University, this HHS funding will help promote the good health of children and seniors in our state,” said Kennedy.
Projects supported by this funding include:
- $3,822,883 to the Louisiana Department of Health for immunization projects and vaccines for children.
- $1,363,080 to the Louisiana Department of Health for the Louisiana Tobacco Control Program.
- $379,884 to Tulane University for its predictive modeling of how the coronavirus progresses in older patients.
Kennedy to Barr: Prosecute people who appropriate the banner of peaceful protest to carry out violence
Jun 26 2020
“The rising ‘cancel culture’ movement is fundamentally coercive. . . . Given the present danger the mob poses to individual Americans, common sense, and common decency, I call upon you to vigorously prosecute all those who have appropriated the banner of peaceful protest to carry out violent illegal acts.”
WASHINGTON – Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) today sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr asking the Department of Justice to prosecute individuals who deface or dismantle public monuments or statues to the fullest extent of the law.
“The rising ‘cancel culture’ movement is fundamentally coercive. . . . Given the present danger the mob poses to individual Americans, common sense, and common decency, I call upon you to vigorously prosecute all those who have appropriated the banner of peaceful protest to carry out violent illegal acts,” wrote Kennedy.
Citing President James Madison’s warning against the destructive nature of mob rule, Kennedy continued, “That is precisely why America’s system of government is wedded to various checks and balances and a broad division of power: so the impassioned few cannot override the reasonable majority. This is also why any justice system worth its salt has consequences for criminal actions.”
“If you feel these and other laws already in existence do not provide adequate legal authority to bring justice to these criminals and their victims, I would be glad to introduce legislation to solve that problem. If we care about America’s next generation, we cannot let violent criminal actions go unpunished. What we allow today is what will continue tomorrow,” Kennedy concluded.
The text of the letter is available here.
Jun 25 2020
“Now is the time for both chambers of Congress to ensure that firms beholden to Communist China finally let U.S. regulators examine their books—to stop them from swindling American investors.”
WASHINGTON – Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) have introduced the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill passed the Senate unanimously this May.
Kennedy and Van Hollen introduced the legislation to protect American investors and their retirement savings from foreign companies that have been operating on U.S. stock exchanges while flouting Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) oversight.
“Every day that lawmakers fail to act gives fraudulent Chinese companies the chance to continue exploiting hardworking Americans. The Senate has already endorsed this bill unanimously, and it has the SEC’s support as well. Now is the time for both chambers of Congress to ensure that firms beholden to Communist China finally let U.S. regulators examine their books—to stop them from swindling American investors,” said Kennedy.
“From retirement accounts to their children’s savings plans, many Americans rely on investments to support their futures. But for too long, investors have not been provided accurate or timely information from Chinese companies registered on U.S. exchanges—costing Americans dearly. Publicly listed companies should all be held to the same standards, and our proposal would ensure that. I’m glad this provision has already passed the Senate with unanimous support, I urge my colleagues to get this done,” said Van Hollen.
Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) have cosponsored the NDAA amendment.
The Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act prohibits securities of a company from being listed on any of the U.S. securities exchanges if the company has failed to comply with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s (PCAOB) audits for three years in a row.
The bill would also require public companies to disclose whether they are owned or controlled by a foreign government, including China’s communist government.
Many Americans invest in U.S. stock exchanges as part of their retirement savings, and dishonest companies operating on the exchanges put Americans at risk. This legislation protects the interest of American investors by ensuring that foreign companies traded in America are subject to the same independent audit requirements that apply to American companies.
Congress established the PCAOB to inspect audits of public companies, ensuring the information companies provide to the public is accurate, independent and trustworthy.
Currently, China’s communist government refuses to allow the PCAOB to inspect audits of companies registered in China and Hong Kong. Such companies represent a keen risk to American investors as nearly 11 percent of all securities class action lawsuits in 2011 were brought against Chinese-owned companies accused of misrepresenting themselves in financial documents.
According to the SEC, 224 U.S.-listed companies are located in countries where there are obstacles to PCAOB inspections. These companies have a combined market capitalization of more than $1.8 trillion.
In the last 10 years, the number of Chinese companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges has increased significantly, as those firms take advantage of the capital available in America.
“This HHS funding will promote the wellbeing of Louisiana communities by supporting key health care and education programs.”
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $26,413,564 in funding from the Department of Health and Human Services to help support various health and education projects in Louisiana.
“This HHS funding will promote the wellbeing of Louisiana communities by supporting key health care and education programs,” said Kennedy.
Projects supported by this funding include:
- $10,742,088 to the Louisiana Department of Health for the Louisiana Crisis Response program.
- $7,851,684 for the St. Landry Parish School Board for the Head Start and Early Head Start programs.
- $4,274,272 to Delta Community Action Association, Inc. for the Head Start program.
- $2,345,520 to the Vernon Parish School Board for the Head Start program.
- $1,040,000 to Louisiana Primary Care Association, Inc. for Health Center Controlled Networks.
- $160,000 to the Louisiana Department of Health for the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention program.
“Opioid abuse has crippled communities in our state, and this funding will help law enforcement keep these deadly drugs off of Louisiana streets and out of Louisiana homes.”
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced a $2,998,794 award from the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services to the Louisiana State Police. The funds, which come through the Anti-Heroin Task Force Program (AHTF), will help combat the illegal production and distribution of heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil and prescription opioids in Louisiana.
“Opioid abuse has crippled communities in our state, and this funding will help law enforcement keep these deadly drugs off of Louisiana streets and out of Louisiana homes,” said Kennedy.
The AHTF delivers funding to law enforcement agencies located in states with high rates of treatment admissions for heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil and other opioids. These resources will help support criminal investigations into the distribution of such prohibited substances.
“Children are uniquely vulnerable to wicked people who hide in the internet’s shadows. Law enforcement needs modern resources to stop and punish child predators, and this bill delivers a critical tool for the good guys.”
WASHINGTON – Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.), John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) today introduced the Targeting Child Predators Act of 2020 to help stop children from being exploited online. Current law gives suspected predators opportunity to evade prosecution when Internet Service Providers alert them to potential law enforcement investigations.
“Children are uniquely vulnerable to wicked people who hide in the internet’s shadows. Law enforcement needs modern resources to stop and punish child predators, and this bill delivers a critical tool for the good guys,” said Kennedy.
“Internet Service Providers can be invaluable partners to law enforcement in tracking down child sexual predators, but ISPs often alert the predator to inquiries about their identity, making it easier for them to evade prosecution. This bill would forbid ISPs from telling these criminals that their information has been requested by law enforcement until their actions can be properly investigated,” said Cornyn.
“Child exploitation is particularly awful, and every second counts when it comes to putting these types of criminals behind bars. This bill will give law enforcement another tool to respond swiftly to these crimes, find predators, and bring them to justice,” said Cotton.
“I thank Senators Kennedy, Cornyn and Cotton for standing up for vulnerable children by introducing the Targeting Child Predators Act which I sponsored in the House of Representatives when I was a congressman. It passed in the House and the Senate should act similarly to ensure online predators are swiftly prosecuted and our children are protected,” said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
When investigating the exploitation of children online, law enforcement can typically match an IP address to a suspected predator. Officials may then use this evidence to obtain a subpoena to collect the name of the person attached to the IP address from an Internet Service Provider.
Internet Service Providers routinely comply with such subpoenas, but often immediately inform the users—in these cases, suspected child predators—of the request. Suspects who discover that law enforcement is investigating them regularly erase their internet footprints, which can make prosecuting online child predators nearly impossible.
The Targeting Child Predators Act would allow law enforcement to obtain a subpoena that forbids the Internet Service Provider from notifying the targeted user that his or her information has been requested. This prohibition would be valid for 180 days to give law enforcement sufficient time to determine whether to prosecute the individual in question.
The legislation applies only in cases of suspected child exploitation. In addition, law enforcement must certify that, if the Internet Service Provider disclosed the information request to the targeted suspect, that disclosure could enable suspects to:
- endanger the life or physical safety of an individual,
- flee from prosecution,
- destroy or tamper with evidence,
- intimidate a potential witness, or
- otherwise seriously jeopardize an investigation.
The Targeting Child Predators Act does not expand what type of evidence law enforcement can collect. The bill allows for judicial review of the subpoenas.
This bill passed the House in the 115th Congress by a voice vote, and its text is available here.
“Flooded roads can put Louisianians at risk, and this funding will help elevate LA Highway 1 to make travel in Lafourche Parish safer.”
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $135 million in federal funding from the Department of Transportation to build approximately 8.3 miles of elevated highway between Leeville Bridge and Golden Meadow as part of the LA Highway 1 Improvement Project.
“Flooded roads can put Louisianians at risk, and this funding will help elevate LA Highway 1 to make travel in Lafourche Parish safer,” said Kennedy.
“FEMA and Louisiana took unprecedented steps to respond to this pandemic, and this funding will help pay for vital resources needed to combat the virus.”
MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $15,285,718 in FEMA grants to reimburse hospitals around Louisiana for the cost of services and equipment used to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
“FEMA and Louisiana took unprecedented steps to respond to this pandemic, and this funding will help pay for vital resources needed to combat the virus,” said Kennedy.
Louisiana’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is receiving $6,126,612 for helping Baton Rouge General Hospital accommodate additional coronavirus patients and acquire equipment for its intensive care unit.
Louisiana Children’s Medical Center is receiving $9,159,106 for its emergency medical care response and distributing personal protective equipment to its staff.
This funding is authorized by the Robert T. Stafford Act.
“The Chinese Communist Party has made nests for its propaganda on college campuses all over our country. . . . It’s time to end Communist China’s deceitful attacks on democratic freedoms by giving power back to American students and educators.”
WASHINGTON – Today the Senate passed the Concerns Over Nations Funding University Campus Institutes in the United States (CONFUCIUS) Act by unanimous consent. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) introduced the legislation in March 2019 to address concerns about Confucius Institutes’ suppressing free speech on American college campuses. Sens. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) cosponsored the legislation.
“The Chinese Communist Party has made nests for its propaganda on college campuses all over our country. Confucius Institutes are threatening academic liberty and free speech without shame, and too many American schools have fallen victim to the political con. It’s time to end Communist China’s deceitful attacks on democratic freedoms by giving power back to American students and educators,” said Kennedy.
At universities across the U.S., the Chinese government is waging an influence war through its Confucius Institutes. Though ostensibly designed to promote cultural studies on college campuses, Confucius Institutes receive direct funding from the Chinese government.
The CONFUCIUS Act reduces the Chinese Communist Party’s influence on U.S. colleges and universities by granting full managerial authority of Confucius Institutes to the universities that host them.
Specifically, the CONFUCIUS Act provides that Confucius Institutes must:
- Protect academic freedom on the campus where the Confucius Institute is located,
- Prohibit the application of any foreign law on any campus of the institution, and
- Grant full control over what a Confucius Institute teaches, the activities it carries out, the research grants it gives, and the individuals it employs to the college or university on which it is located.
This bill would prohibit federal government funding to colleges and universities that host Confucius Institutes and are not in compliance with the above provisions. The funding prohibition would only apply to funding directed to the college or university and would not include funding disbursed to students, such as Pell Grants.
Video of Kennedy’s unanimous consent request is available here.
- According to the nonpartisan National Association of Scholars, there are at least 72 Confucius Institutes at colleges and universities in the U.S.
- This May, the College Republican National Committee and the College Democrats of America wrote a joint letter calling for the “immediate and permanent closure of all Confucius Institutes in the United States” due to their “concerns over the present state of academic freedom” and “the continued exploitation of liberal, democratic academic institutions by authoritarians.”
- These institutes can threaten universities by withholding funding in order to achieve their objectives, such as regulating speech the Chinese government opposes. Universities forced to choose between losing funding or upholding free speech are often tempted to yield to an institution funded by a foreign government over the interests of free speech. This allows foreign governments like China’s Communist Party to exert influence (such as prohibiting the Dalai Lama from speaking on a campus) and even apply Chinese Communist laws on U.S. soil.