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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today that he will file legislation after recess to ban the immediate family members of senior U.S. political officials from profiting in Ukraine.

Specifically, his bill will ban an immediate family member of a member of the Senate, the House, the president’s cabinet, the vice president and/or the president from serving as a consultant, employee, independent contractor or board member for or owning 5% or more in any entity doing business in or with Ukraine.  Immediate family members include parents, siblings and children.

The Ukraine government is historically corrupt, which is one way Russia exerts influence there,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “It is hard to know who to believe or trust, though I hope President Zelensky will chart a new, more ethical course.   Senior members of our government should not be a part of, or seen to be a part of, this conduct.  That hurts America, and it hurts the good people of Ukraine with whom the American people stand.  My bill will remove any appearance of impropriety or potential conflict of interest for any immediate family member of a senior United States official.  The best way to resist temptation is a proper upbringing, a strong set of values and tough laws.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today that the U.S. Department of Labor awarded $4.4 million to Northshore Technical Community College and Southeastern Louisiana University to help expand workforce development in rural Louisiana.

The $1.9 million grant for Northshore Technical Community College and the $2.5 million grant for Southeastern Louisiana University fund projects aimed at meeting specific skill needs for local businesses.  The grants provide training for dislocated workers, new workers and individuals who are affected by substance abuse.

“These grants address specific gaps in our workforce,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “By teaching particular skills and creating a career pathway, these grants will help train individuals in need of a job while meeting demands in the workforce. It’s a great investment into Louisiana workers and businesses.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today that the U.S. Department of Transportation will award $459,034 to the Shreveport Regional Airport.

“We’ve invested a lot of money into the Shreveport Regional Airport in the past few years for a very simple reason,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “Shreveport-Bossier is growing, and the airport needs to grow with it.  This airport is an important cargo hub as well as a passenger aircraft operation.”

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today that Jefferson Parish and the city of New Orleans will each receive $3.3 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help low income residents eliminate lead-based paint from their homes.

“Lead-based paint poses a great danger to young children.  Unfortunately, many homes built before 1978 contain lead-based paint.  We want our kids to grow up in healthy homes, and this funding will help accomplish that,” said Sen. Kennedy. 

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today that the city of Baton Rouge will receive $29.5 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to revitalize three neighborhoods: East Fairfield, Smiley Heights and Melrose East.

The funding is through a Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant.

“I want to thank the federal government for working with Baton Rouge to transform blighted neighborhoods,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “This is positive news for the families who live in East Fairfield, Smiley Heights and Melrose East.  Soon they will have green spaces instead of abandoned buildings.”

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 WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a letter today to U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and John Thune (R-S.D.), U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) explained the importance of holding a public auction for the c-band spectrum, which is needed to deploy 5G technology that will be required for everything from cars to cellphones.

Sen. Kennedy included language in the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act of 2020 urging the Federal Communication Commission to put American families ahead of foreign-owned satellite companies by conducting a public auction.

“We’re in an international race to lead 5G technology.  It’s a race that the U.S. must win without compromising on transparency and fairness for the American taxpayers,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “A spectrum sale should not enrich foreign companies and possibly deny broadband to American customers.”

A copy of the letter is below:

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today that the U.S. Department of Commerce approved a disaster declaration for fisheries in Louisiana that suffered extreme loss due to record flooding in the Gulf of Mexico and south Louisiana.  The declaration makes fisheries eligible for disaster relief.

Congress has appropriated $165 million for fishery disasters, and the Department of Commerce will allocate disaster funds to eligible fisheries. 

In July, Sen. Kennedy joined the Louisiana delegation in urging U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to approve a disaster declaration for Louisiana fisheries.  High water levels in the Mississippi River resulted in the Bonnet Carre Spillway being opened for a record-setting 123 days.  Freshwater diverted from the Mississippi River wreaked havoc on the fishing industry in Lake Pontchartrain. 

“Our seafood industry creates hundreds of jobs and produces some of the finest seafood in the world,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “This past year our fishermen suffered great loss due to natural disasters.  This aid is important for preserving Louisiana’s seafood industry and supporting the hard-working families who rely on the seafood industry to make a living.”

Sen. Kennedy recently introduced the Commercial Fishing and Aquaculture Protection Act, which would establish a permanent disaster assistance program for commercial fishing and aquaculture operations.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) joined Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) in cosponsoring a resolution calling for Brazil to take action to combat fires in the Amazon rainforest and to stop illegal deforestation.  The Amazon rainforest accounts for 25% of the carbon that global forests absorb each year.

“The Amazon rainforest has a global impact on our ecosystems,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “We need to address the damage that is being done to the Amazon rainforest before the damage affects us here at home.”

“The fires in the Amazon are a global emergency. This bipartisan resolution reflects that there is no disagreement about that fact. The time for action is now,” said Sen. Schatz.

“Addressing the unfortunate situation impacting the Amazon rainforest is important,” said Sen. Shelby. “These fires and the resulting deforestation affect the whole world, and something should be done to mitigate the issue.” 

A copy of the resolution is available here.

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today a $4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration for water infrastructure improvements in Plaquemines Parish.

The money will be used to build a new raw water intake pump station at the Belle Chasse Water Treatment Plant.  It is being funded with disaster relief assistance stemming from Hurricane Harvey.

“Projects like the new raw water intake pump station at the Belle Chasse Water Treatment Plant are an important investment in local communities,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “Plaquemines Parish needs adequate public infrastructure to grow and thrive.”   

“The Trump Administration is committed to helping communities impacted by natural disasters not only to build back, but also to build back stronger,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.  “This project will promote economic resilience and long-term disaster recovery from Hurricane Harvey in Plaquemines Parish.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – In another win for Louisiana’s shrimping and fishing industries, U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced today that he secured a funding increase for imported seafood inspections in the FY2020 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Related Agencies appropriations bill.  The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY2020 agriculture appropriations bill last week.  The bill will now move to the full Senate for consideration.

The bill includes a $1 million increase in funding for foreign seafood safety inspections.  According to a report by the Government Accountability Office, only 2% of imported seafood receives FDA safety inspections.  In Fiscal Year 2019, Sen. Kennedy secured an additional $3.1 million for the FDA’s foreign seafood inspections.  In the past two years, Sen. Kennedy has successfully secured $4.1 million in additional funds to improve and increase the frequency of the FDA’s foreign seafood inspections.

The bill also includes a $1 million funding increase for the ongoing research on an invasive species that destroys Roseau cane along the Louisiana coast.  Roseau cane is a reed that preserves marshland, prevents erosion and plays an integral role in the Mississippi River Delta’s ecosystem.

“I’m happy to keep fighting for Louisiana priorities through my position on the Appropriations Committee,” said Sen. Kennedy. “Inferior, uninspected seafood shouldn’t be allowed to come into our country and undercut Louisiana’s fishing and shrimping industries.  Other countries cheat because they know the U.S. only inspects a fraction of what’s coming in.  It’s time for them to play by the rules.”

 

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