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To create thousands of jobs, save billions of dollars and safeguard the environment, we must invest in alternatives to HFCs. I’m thankful that Chairman Barrasso and Sen. Carper are championing this plan to bring American manufacturing into the future—a plan that both business and environmental groups support.”

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today joined Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Tom Carper (D-Del.), the committee’s ranking member, in announcing a bipartisan agreement on changes to a hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) amendment to the American Energy Innovation Act.

“American jobs are on the line, and we can protect them by keeping the United States competitive in global industry. To create thousands of jobs, save billions of dollars and safeguard the environment, we must invest in alternatives to HFCs. I’m thankful that Chairman Barrasso and Sen. Carper are championing this plan to bring American manufacturing into the future—a plan that both business and environmental groups support,” said Kennedy.

“This agreement protects both American consumers and American businesses. We can have clean air without damaging our economy. These chemicals are in every home—from our refrigerators, to our cars, to our air conditioners. I insisted on changing this legislation so costs don’t skyrocket for American families. This agreement safeguards the critical uses of these chemicals when substitute chemicals do not work—including in bear spray that protects hikers and fire suppression systems on planes that protect travelers. Now, this legislation will help protect our air while keeping costs down for the American people. I want to thank Senators Kennedy and Carper for working with me and I look forward advancing the legislation in the Senate,” said Barrasso.

“With this agreement, we now have a clear path in Congress to enact and implement a nationwide phasedown of hydrofluorocarbons, known as HFCs. HFCs are the coolants and refrigerants that keep our homes cool and our groceries cold in the fridge. They can be found in almost every household in America—but they have a global warming effect thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide. Fortunately, with the ingenuity and innovation of American industry, the next generation of climate-friendly HFC replacements are already being made in this country and sold throughout the world. It’s time we build on those investments and phase down these potent greenhouse gases out of our economy. With this bipartisan agreement, we can and we will. This amendment would spur billions of dollars of economic growth in domestic manufacturing and create tens of thousands of new jobs, all while helping our planet avoid half a degree Celsius in global warming. At a time when we could all use some good news, this is great news for our economy and our planet. Let’s get it done,” said Carper.

Kennedy and Carper offered the original HFCs amendment in March of this year. The amendment parallels the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act, a bipartisan effort that brings together the manufacturing industry and environmental groups to preserve jobs in Louisiana and the rest of the nation.

The HFC industry employs 593,000 workers in the U.S. and generates annual sales of $206 billion. Globally, countries are moving away from using HFCs. The amendment will ensure that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the authority to ensure a smooth phasedown of the manufacturing of HFCs in the U.S. in order to support the next generation of technologies.

The evolution of technology impacts the Honeywell plant in Geismar, La. and Mexichem Fluor Inc. in St. Gabriel, La. This amendment will help preserve jobs at these plants.

The revised amendment will authorize a 15-year phasedown of HFCs at a national level for the first time, administered by the EPA. The amendment requires the EPA to implement an 85 percent phase down of the production and consumption of HFCs, so they reach approximately 15 percent of their 2011-2013 average annual levels by 2036. Under the agreement, the revised amendment will also:

  • Protect essential uses of HFCs, including ensuring there are sufficient supplies of HFCs for congressionally-designated essential uses of HFCs that currently have no substitute chemicals, including defense sprays, medical inhalers, semiconductor manufacturing, and mission-critical military uses;
  • Preempt state and local governments from regulating HFCs for the congressionally-designated essential uses for at least five years (which can be extended to 10 if there remains no substitute chemical for a particular use); and
  • Provide protection for consumers from cost increases by ensuring the EPA cannot accelerate the 15-year regulatory timeline faster than the HFC-consumption levels that the market is already achieving.

 

“To help people rebuild their homes and businesses, I’ve introduced a bill to make sure FEMA’s disaster funding doesn’t run dry. Louisianians have worked hard for our state and our country, and they’re not going to walk through recovery alone.”

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today introduced the Hurricane Laura Recovery Funding Act to provide $10 billion to the Disaster Relief Fund, which funds FEMA’s recovery efforts.

“Hurricane Rita did massive damage to our state, and it looks like Hurricane Laura may eclipse that devastation. To help people rebuild their homes and businesses, I’ve introduced a bill to make sure FEMA’s disaster funding doesn’t run dry. Louisianians have worked hard for our state and our country, and they’re not going to walk through recovery alone,” said Kennedy.

The Disaster Relief Fund has $58 billion, though the account is currently providing resources for a number of emergencies, including the coronavirus pandemic. Federal unemployment costs due to COVID-19 alone account for approximately $44 billion in emergency funding.

Kennedy is the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, and the text of this bill is available here.

“As Louisiana begins to recover from Hurricane Laura, we must ensure residents have access to quality health care. This funding from HHS will support critical equipment and construction projects to help our health centers respond to and prepare for disasters.”

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $2,700,000 in funding to provide financial assistance to Louisiana health centers to ensure health care services for residents affected by Hurricane Laura. The Health Resources and Services Administration, part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), provides this Capital Assistance for Disaster Response and Recovery Efforts funding.

“As Louisiana begins to recover from Hurricane Laura, we must ensure residents have access to quality health care. This funding from HHS will support critical equipment and construction projects to help our health centers respond to and prepare for disasters,” said Kennedy.

Projects supported by this funding include:

  • $1,000,000 to support major construction at Morehouse Community Medical Centers, Inc. in Bastrop.

  • $1,000,000 to support major construction at Access Health Louisiana in Luling.

  • $250,000 to support construction at Southwest Louisiana Primary Health Care Center Inc. in Opelousas.

  • $250,000 to support construction at Catahoula Parish Hospital District #2 in Sicily Island.

  • $100,000 to provide new equipment to Rapides Primary Health Care Center, Inc. in Alexandria.

  • $100,000 to provide new equipment to Primary Health Services Center in Monroe.

I look forward to working with you in my capacity as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government to identify the appropriate resource needs for a new courthouse in Lake Charles and secure the necessary funding for this courthouse and other Federal facilities damaged by Hurricane Laura.”

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, wrote to General Services Administration (GSA) Administrator Emily Murphy to secure resources needed to build a new federal courthouse in Lake Charles. The Edwin F. Hunter, Jr. U.S. Courthouses suffered extensive damage when Hurricane Laura struck the coastal city.

“Following numerous conversations with court personnel and other Federal employees who work in the building, it has become abundantly clear to me that the devastating impacts of this storm warrant a new Federal courthouse in Lake Charles,” wrote Kennedy.

U.S. District Court operations for the Western District of Louisiana and other federal operations will not have suitable courtroom and office space for the foreseeable future.

“I look forward to working with you in my capacity as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government to identify the appropriate resource needs for a new courthouse in Lake Charles and secure the necessary funding for this courthouse and other Federal facilities damaged by Hurricane Laura,” Kennedy told Murphy.

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government has jurisdiction over GSA and the federal judiciary.

The letter is available here.

 

“Families and businesses affected by the hurricane must now contend with the difficulty of rebuilding their lives during a global pandemic. They warrant the Senate’s immediate attention and support during this critical time.”

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today wrote to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to request that the Senate consider emergency supplemental aid to help Louisiana and Texas residents recover from Hurricane Laura.

“In light of the destruction from Hurricane Laura, we write today to request the Senate consider emergency supplemental appropriations to ensure efficient and robust recovery operations in Louisiana and Texas,” wrote the senators.

With winds higher than 170 miles per hour, Hurricane Laura made landfall on August 27, 2020 as a category four storm.

“As it currently stands, without additional funding for these accounts, there may be insufficient funds to fully recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Laura. . . . Families and businesses affected by the hurricane must now contend with the difficulty of rebuilding their lives during a global pandemic. They warrant the Senate’s immediate attention and support during this critical time,” the senators continued.

The letter is available here.

“Even as we begin to rebuild communities devastated by Hurricane Laura, we can’t take our eyes off the opioid epidemic. Fighting opioid addiction remains a priority for Louisiana, and these HHS grants will help prevent, treat and promote recovery from substance abuse in our communities.”

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $17,637,461 in grant funding from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support health projects around Louisiana, particularly to combat the opioid epidemic.

“Even as we begin to rebuild communities devastated by Hurricane Laura, we can’t take our eyes off the opioid epidemic. Fighting opioid addiction remains a priority for Louisiana, and these HHS grants will help prevent, treat and promote recovery from substance abuse in our communities,” said Kennedy.

Projects supported by this funding include:

  • $17,262,461 to support the Louisiana State Opioid Response Program through the Louisiana State Office of Behavioral Health.

  • $125,000 to support the Union Parish for Community Transformation program through Children’s Coalition for Northeast Louisiana, Inc.

  • $125,000 to support the Bienville Community Coalition through Community Support Program of Louisiana, Inc.

  • $125,000 to support youth substance abuse prevention in Latino communities through Metro Centers for Community Advocacy.

“Hurricane Laura severely damaged highways and roads throughout Louisiana. This DOT funding will help restore infrastructure we need to start reconnecting and rebuilding our state.”

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced a $5 million grant from the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Highway Administration to repair highways and roads damaged by Hurricane Laura.

Hurricane Laura severely damaged highways and roads throughout Louisiana. This DOT funding will help restore infrastructure we need to start reconnecting and rebuilding our state,” said Kennedy.

This funding is authorized by the major disaster declaration President Donald Trump issued for Louisiana in response to Hurricane Laura.

“Louisiana is committed to promoting the health of families and children, and I’m grateful for HHS’s support for the well-being of our communities. Louisianians across the state are recovering from Hurricane Laura, and every piece of help for these areas counts.”

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $2,689,026 in grant funding from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support health projects around Louisiana.

“Louisiana is committed to promoting the health of families and children, and I’m grateful for HHS’s support for the well-being of our communities. Louisianians across the state are recovering from Hurricane Laura, and every piece of help for these areas counts,” said Kennedy.

Projects supported by this funding include:

  • $2,239,026 to support the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education Payment Program.

  • $450,000 to support food safety and standards through the Louisiana Department of Agriculture.

“Administrator Gaynor heard me out today. More importantly, he listened to the plight of our people around Alexandria, and I’m thankful FEMA added Rapides Parish to the disaster declaration this evening.”

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) released the following statement after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today added Rapides Parish to the major disaster declaration issued for Louisiana. The addition makes Rapides residents eligible for individual assistance.

“Hurricane Laura hit south Louisiana hard, but it didn’t stop there. The destruction in south, central and north Louisiana is unlike any I’ve seen before. The only reasonable response from Washington is to expand the original disaster declaration to include other devastated parishes.

“Administrator Gaynor heard me out today. More importantly, he listened to the plight of our people around Alexandria, and I’m thankful FEMA added Rapides Parish to the disaster declaration this evening.

“There are still parishes that are struggling alone and need help from their fellow Americans, but there’s no end to how hard I’ll fight to get them the aid they deserve,” said Kennedy.

Grant, Jackson, Lincoln, Natchitoches, Sabine and Winn Parishes were also granted individual assistance through the disaster declaration.

On August 28, Kennedy led the Louisiana delegation in asking the president for a disaster declaration. The declaration releases funds for individual assistance, in order to help people and communities recover from damage that occurred during Hurricane Laura, from August 22 to August 27, 2020. 

FEMA added Vernon Parish to the declaration on August 30, followed by Acadia, Ouachita and Vermilion Parishes. FEMA continues to assess the damage Hurricane Laura did to other parishes in order to make those communities eligible for more aid.