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“Louisiana is still grappling with the damage from Hurricane Laura. This funding will promote safety and efficiency in Louisiana airports, which contributes to our local economies.”

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $13,374,120 in grant funding from the Department of Transportation to improve airports in Lafayette, Shreveport and Monroe. 

“Louisiana is still grappling with the damage from Hurricane Laura. This funding will promote safety and efficiency in Louisiana airports, which contributes to our local economies,” said Kennedy.

Louisiana airports receiving grants include:

  • $9,421,816 to help restore the existing apron pavement at Lafayette Regional Airport.

  • $2,467,250 to support security enhancements, taxiway improvements and a noise study at Shreveport Regional Airport.

  • $1,485,054 to help improve storm water drainage at Monroe Regional Airpor

“Right now, the people of Louisiana are worried about their families, their businesses, and their homes. In that aftermath of this disaster, access to high-speed internet is hard to find. I respectfully ask that you reconsider the decision to make disaster center resources ‘virtual.’  We need boots on the ground, not bureaucrats with iPads on Zoom.”

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today wrote to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Peter Gaynor and Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Jovita Carranza, asking that they reconsider the agencies’ plan to operate “virtual disaster centers” in response to Hurricane Laura instead of in-person recovery assistance.

“I am concerned that the decision by FEMA and SBA to host virtual recovery centers in lieu of traditional ‘boots-on-the-ground’ recovery centers could unnecessarily prolong the recovery process for many individuals and small businesses in affected parishes. Right now, the situation is dire. . . . Louisianians cannot afford to wait until reliable power and internet are restored to apply for federal relief, disaster loans, and other necessary steps virtually,” wrote Kennedy.

“The people of Louisiana are worried about their families, their businesses, and their homes. In that aftermath of this disaster, access to high-speed internet is hard to find. I respectfully ask that you reconsider the decision to make disaster center resources ‘virtual.’ We need boots on the ground, not bureaucrats with iPads on Zoom,” Kennedy concluded.

Kennedy’s letter is available here.

“Since I spoke with the president on Saturday, the administration has already begun expanding the list of parishes eligible for assistance to help individual Louisianians and public facilities recover. . . . Central and north Louisiana have experienced unimaginable disaster, and we can’t afford to forget any hurting communities. I’m hopeful that more help is on the way to our parishes.”

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) has asked President Donald Trump to add Vernon, Rapides and other parishes to the major disaster declaration issued for Louisiana on August 28, 2020.

“Yesterday, President Trump took the time to see for himself what our state is up against in the wake of Hurricane Laura. I personally asked the president to add Rapides, Vernon, Grant, LaSalle, Ouachita and Lincoln Parishes—among many others—to the disaster declaration so these communities can receive the resources they need to rebuild.

“I’m grateful for the quick response from the president and his administration, who declared a major disaster for the Lake Charles area on Friday. Since I spoke with the president on Saturday, the administration has already begun expanding the list of parishes eligible for assistance to help individual Louisianians and public facilities recover.

“The storm pummeled Louisiana from north to south. Central and north Louisiana have experienced unimaginable disaster, and we can’t afford to forget any hurting communities. I’m hopeful that more help is on the way to our parishes,” said Kennedy.

On Friday, 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. 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is already assessing the damage Hurricane Laura did to other parishes in order to make those communities eligible for more aid.

FEMA added Vernon Parish to the major disaster declaration today, designating the parish for individual and public assistance.

“I’m thankful that President Trump has acted so quickly to help Louisianians recover and rebuild. The damage that Hurricane Laura has done to our state is breathtaking. . . . Even in the middle of great suffering, though, our people are tough, and our people are grateful for this aid.”

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) released the following statement in response to President Donald Trump’s granting a major disaster declaration for the state of Louisiana.

“I’m thankful that President Trump has acted so quickly to help Louisianians recover and rebuild. The damage that Hurricane Laura has done to our state is breathtaking. I was able to get a bird’s eye view of the impact on Lake Charles today, and much of the area is still under water. Even in the middle of great suffering, though, our people are tough, and our people are grateful for this aid,” said Kennedy.

Earlier today, Kennedy joined 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. 

 

“We write to you today in support of a major disaster declaration for the State of Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Laura. . . . With the issuance of a major disaster declaration, and the authorization of public and individual assistance, the full weight of the federal government can be deployed into the affected areas to assist those in need and begin rebuilding.”

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) joined Reps. Ralph Abraham (R-La.), Garret Graves (R-La.), Clay Higgins (R-La.), Mike Johnson (R-La.), Cedric Richmond (D-La.) and Steve Scalise (R-La.) today in asking President Donald Trump to issue a federal disaster declaration for the state of Louisiana. The request comes as a result of severe damage caused by Hurricane Laura.

“We write to you today in support of a major disaster declaration for the State of Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Laura. The damage caused by this storm will have long lasting effects on the people of Louisiana and its economy,” wrote the lawmakers.

On August 27, 2020, Hurricane Laura made landfall in Cameron Parish and moved through northern Louisiana with winds over 100 miles per hour.

“With the issuance of a major disaster declaration, and the authorization of public and individual assistance, the full weight of the federal government can be deployed into the affected areas to assist those in need and begin rebuilding,” they continued.

The letter is available here.

“Louisianians are some of the toughest people in the country, and this $3.5 million will support vital infrastructure improvements to help Ruston’s businesses work through severe storms. This investment and last year’s transportation award shows that our federal partners are committed to the city’s tech-based economic development.”

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced a $3,500,000 grant from the Department of Commerce to support disaster resilient infrastructure improvements needed to promote technology-based economic development in Ruston, La.

“Louisianians are some of the toughest people in the country, and this $3.5 million will support vital infrastructure improvements to help Ruston’s businesses work through severe storms. This investment and last year’s transportation award shows that our federal partners are committed to the city’s tech-based economic development. I’m grateful for the EDA’s leadership in supporting new opportunities that will benefit the people of Ruston for many years to come,” said Kennedy.

Authorized by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, this funding is projected to create 350 jobs and produce $25 million in private investment.

“I, therefore, respectfully ask you to treat people of faith by the same standards you have treated protests and 'essential businesses' and that you rescind the capacity cap on churches and other places of worship.”

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today wrote to Gov. John Bel Edwards, asking that he rescind the capacity cap currently on places of worship and extend the same phase two capacity rules guiding protesters and “essential businesses.”

“According to your guidance, 'essential businesses' do not have uniform capacity limits and instead are trusted to determine individual safety requirements in coordination with the state. Places of worship, therefore, should also be exempt from mandatory capacity limits and their pastors and leaders entrusted to choose the best course of action for their congregations. . . . I disagree with this uneven application of Phase 2 guidelines, as I find no reason to assume the best of protestors and patrons of 'essential businesses' but the worst of worshipers,” wrote Kennedy.

On June 4, 2020, Gov. Edwards signed an executive order to move Louisiana into phase two of the state’s reopening plan.

“I, therefore, respectfully ask you to treat people of faith by the same standards you have treated protests and 'essential businesses' and that you rescind the capacity cap on churches and other places of worship,” Kennedy concluded.

Kennedy’s letter is available here.

“Family life is the foundation of child development, and I’m glad to see HHS support a vital program to help our most vulnerable kids thrive.”

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced a $10,317,930 grant from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program through the Louisiana Department of Health.

“Family life is the foundation of child development, and I’m glad to see HHS support a vital program to help our most vulnerable kids thrive,” said Kennedy.

The Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program works to improve maternal and child health, prevent child abuse, encourage positive parenting and promote school readiness.

“I’m grateful that Secretary Pompeo made the commonsense move to require Confucius Institutes to register as foreign agents to Communist China, but we must do more. The House must immediately send the CONFUCIUS Act to the president’s desk so that we can guard our schools from communist propaganda.”

MADISONVILLE, La. –  Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) released the following statement on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s decision to designate Confucius Institutes as foreign missions of the Chinese Communist Party:

“The Chinese Communist Party uses Confucius Institutes to spread its propaganda and suppress free speech on campuses across the nation. I’m grateful that Secretary Pompeo made the commonsense move to require Confucius Institutes to register as foreign agents to Communist China, but we must do more. The House must immediately send the CONFUCIUS Act to the president’s desk so that we can guard our schools from communist propaganda.”

“Louisiana’s airports and natural gas pipelines help keep our state’s economy moving, and these grants will fund vital projects to promote safe transportation and infrastructure.”

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $34,741,958 in federal grants from the Department of Transportation to support airport improvements and pipeline projects around Louisiana.

“Louisiana’s airports and natural gas pipelines help keep our state’s economy moving, and these grants will fund vital projects to promote safe transportation and infrastructure,” said Kennedy.

Louisiana airport projects include:

  • $10,526,064 to extend taxiways at Lafayette Regional Airport.

  • $15,000,000 to improve runway safety at Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport.

  • $7,000,000 to extend taxiways at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.

Pipeline projects include:

  • $2,175,518 to support state pipeline safety programs through the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources.

  • $40,376 to support the inspection and enforcement of underground natural gas storage regulations through the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources.