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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.

“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.