WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) released the statement below following a meeting with Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Joe Biden’s nominee to replace Judge Stephen Breyer as an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to meet with Judge Jackson today, and I look forward to hearing more from her in the upcoming Judiciary Committee hearing,” said Kennedy.


WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) joined Senate Banking Committee Republicans in calling on Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to halt the Treasury Department and all Biden administration efforts to develop regulations that could limit American energy producers’ access to credit and capital.

“We write to express concern about the potential damaging effects to national security from the unprecedented efforts of federal financial agencies to develop regulations that some intend to use for limiting U.S. energy producers’ access to credit and capital. Such actions would begin to curtail the supply of domestic energy, leading to higher costs for American households and making our country and allies more vulnerable to the consequences of Russian aggression. The economic toll, as well as the destruction, casualties, and instability from Russia’s energy-based warfare are so significant that we urge you to immediately pause the development of all climate- and energy-related regulations within the Treasury Department and to urge all other federal financial regulators to follow suit,” the senators wrote.

The senators pointed out that, in the last several decades, the U.S. has gone from an importer to an exporter of energy while under one of the strictest environmental regulatory regimes in the world. Despite this success, senior officials from numerous federal financial regulators have indicated that they are working to implement policies that could curtail energy production.

“Most importantly, these efforts by financial regulators, coupled with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, jeopardize the need for energy security, both domestically and for our allies and trading partners. Accordingly, we call on you and President Biden to instruct the federal financial regulatory agencies, including the Financial Stability Oversight Council, to delay any regulatory initiatives on climate change and sustainability until the development of a detailed, comprehensive plan by the administration on energy security that takes into account the threat to global energy supplies from Russia and similar repressive regimes,” concluded the senators.

The senators also directed the letter to National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, the National Economic Council Director, the Federal Reserve Chair, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Acting Chair, the Securities and Exchange Commission Chair, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chair, the National Credit Union Administration Chairman and the Acting Comptroller of the Currency.

The letter is available here.

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) released the following statement following a phone call this morning with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

“I just got off a conference call with President Zelenskyy. He has pilots, but he needs planes. His pilots aren’t trained to fly American planes, but European countries have planes that Ukrainian pilots can fly.

“President Zelenskyy said these European countries are waiting on the okay from the United States to loan him the planes. I made sure that President Zelenskyy knew he had my support, but I think they are all waiting to hear from the Biden administration. We need to help Ukraine now with the planes it needs, for God’s sake. This will not involve U.S. planes, pilots or troops.”

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $7,501,483 in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants for southeast Louisiana in drainage and infrastructure improvements.

“These improvements to roads and drainage will help protect homes, businesses and school buildings in southeast Louisiana,” said Kennedy.

The FEMA aid will fund the following:

  • $3,331,783 for infrastructure improvements to combat erosion around Southern University.
  • $3,033,100 for drainage improvements around West Colyell Creek and Buddy Ellis Road in Livingston Parish.
  • $1,136,600 for storm system improvements around Groom Road in Baker, La.

Watch Kennedy’s comments here.

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) explained the need to target Russia’s oil and gas industry following the Russian president’s invasion of Ukraine and condemned President Biden’s attack on America’s oil and gas industry.

Below are key excerpts from Kennedy’s remarks.

“There’s one thing I don’t get. We’re all in agreement that we need to kick Putin and Russia out of the international community, and the West is in agreement that we need to kick Putin and Russia out of the international marketplace. How do you do that without attacking his oil? How do you do that without attacking his natural gas?

“As I read the president’s sanctions, he hasn’t sanctioned all Russian banks, and he hasn’t thrown all Russian banks out of SWIFT. And why has he not done that? Because he wants to continue to allow Putin to sell his oil and natural gas.”

. . .

“I think that both Putin and Xi are taking advantage of the West’s—including but not limited to the United States’—frontal assault on oil and gas. If Europe stops purchasing oil and gas from Russia tomorrow—which is the only way you’re going to cut off his cash flow—then there’s going to be a deficit, and America’s got to fill it.

“And we can’t do that as long as the Biden administration is shutting down drilling in the Gulf, shutting down drilling in ANWAR, refusing to open the Keystone Pipeline, instructs FERC to hang all over the backs of every pipeline company in America, and I could go on and on and on.

“So, we can’t have it both ways, and that’s the issue that the president needs to address straight up with the American people. How are we going to win this struggle with Russia without attacking their oil and gas?

“Final point: I know Americans are really tired of foreign entanglement, but we’ve got to respond to this threat. Because, if we don’t, we’re going to wake up, and we’re going to see Russia dominant in central and eastern Europe, we’re going to see Iran dominant in the Middle East, and we’re going to see China dominant in East Asia, and it’s not going to be a safe place for America.”

. . .

“Name two countries who don’t give a damn about reducing CO2 emissions: Russia and China. Name other people in parts of the world that do care about reducing CO2 emissions: The West, Europe, the United States of America, John Kennedy—I care.

“The reduction of CO2 emissions is an important policy. So is national security. And what Russia and China have done here—they have taken advantage of the effort to reduce CO2 emissions, which, to the Biden administration, means a frontal assault on oil and gas.”

. . .

“I need you to ask my friend Secretary Yellen a question. We just gave Putin $18 billion in special drawing rights. Secretary Yellen said, ‘Oh, we’ve got to issue these special drawing rights—make the IMF do it—these gift cards.’ . . . She didn’t bother to explain that most of these gift cards, these special drawing rights, are going to the wealthiest countries. The small countries get the little end of nothing, and she just handed Vladimir Putin $18 billion, and we didn’t hear a word from her. And we didn’t hear a word from the IMF. You couldn’t have found them with a search party. You couldn’t have found them with Google. They just turned the money over. I’d be a little curious about that.”

Video of Kennedy’s comments is available here.


Kennedy implored the Biden administration and Treasury Secretary Yellen not to approve tens of billions of U.S. dollars to fund dictators, including Putin and Xi Jinping, last year. Nevertheless, the Biden administration approved a $650 billion IMF allocation without Congressional approval.

Kennedy’s bill, the No Dollars for Dictators Act, would have prevented that $18 billion from flowing to Putin.

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today joined Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) in writing to Senate leaders Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to oppose more supplemental COVID relief funding. The senators pointed out that unused funds still exist from previous funding packages and that continuing to overspend will contribute to rising inflation.

Kennedy has also made it clear to Senate leadership that Congress has no business directing additional money to COVID spending when Washington Democrats refuse to pass disaster aid that states like Louisiana desperately need.

“Since the start of the pandemic, Congress has spent almost $6 trillion over two years through the enactment of six supplemental spending packages. While there was a need for an initial COVID response, billions in current unobligated COVID funds, 40-year high inflation, and the downward trends in COVID’s impact on our nation’s health and economic stability, make it clear that additional spending at this time is not warranted or appropriate,” the senators wrote.

“According to the latest information provided by the Congressional Budget Office, as of the end of January of this year, over $811 billion in COVID relief funds remain either unobligated or unspent. Given these balances, it is clear that additional funding is not needed at this time. For example, the Biden Administration has plans in place to send out one billion COVID tests and 400 million N95 masks, neither of which have any way to track their use. The Biden Administration acts as if they want new ways to spend money, not as if they are strapped for cash, as their recent $30 billion request may appear,” continued the senators.

“Dumping trillions of dollars into an American economy that was already on the rise has had crippling effects on this nation. Compared to January of 2021, food and grocery costs are up 7 percent, home heating costs are up over 46 percent, and used car prices are up over 40 percent. The federal government cannot continue to spend without regard to the impact on prices, the economy, and our constituents at home. It is clear that throwing even more money at COVID is unsustainable and irresponsible,” the senators concluded.

Sens. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) also signed the letter.

The letter is available here.

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) joined Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and other members of the Senate Banking Committee in writing to President Biden to express concern over his nomination of Sarah Raskin as Vice-Chair of Supervision on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

“As you are aware, members of the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs (Banking) were compelled to deny a quorum for the markup scheduled for February 15, 2022, due to the simple fact that Ms. Raskin has continually failed to produce forthright answers to questions posed by committee members,” wrote the senators.

“. . . our actions to deny a quorum were not the result of Ms. Raskin’s radical public comments and beliefs about using federal financial supervisory powers to advance climate change policy. Rather, it was the continual evasion and lack of candor about her time on the board of Reserve Trust, a fintech trust company, where Ms. Raskin was a director from 2017 to 2019,” the senators continued. 

“. . . Ms. Raskin has continually provided vague or nonresponsive answers to committee questions regarding her past use of the ‘revolving door.’ Her lack of candor raises the question of whether Ms. Raskin leveraged her past experience and relationships within the Federal Reserve System to obtain preferential treatment for Reserve Trust. Specifically, Reserve Trust had its first application for a Federal Reserve Master Account denied, but subsequently approved following a phone call from Ms. Raskin to the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City,” continued the senators.

The senators listed several of Raskin’s obfuscations, including her failure to list her time and compensation at Reserve Trust on her committee questionnaire and her failure to answer repeated questions in her nomination hearing and in questions for the record about potential activities she undertook while at Reserve Trust to help the company obtain a Federal Reserve Master Account.

The senators asked Biden to direct Raskin to provide proper answers to certain questions about her past and to provide additional information on the process the Biden administration used to investigate Raskin’s background when nominating her.

“We share the same goal of honesty and transparency in government, especially among those nominated to the highest positions of your administration. However, without greater insight into Ms. Raskin’s past activities, we cannot, in good faith, support the advancement of her nomination process,” the senators concluded.

The letter is available here.

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today introduced the Hospital Transparency Compliance Enforcement Act to increase penalties on hospitals that hide the true costs of their items and services from patients.

“Patients need to know the true cost of hospital items and services. This bill would protect patients by clarifying how much a hospital visit might really cost so that they can make informed choices about their care,” said Kennedy.

The Hospital Price Transparency Rule requires hospitals to establish and make public a list of the prices that hospitals charge for items and services. Hospitals must also display charges in a consumer-friendly manner. As of July 2021, however, less than six percent of hospitals comply with this transparency rule, according to some estimates.

This January, the government implemented higher penalties on hospitals that don’t comply with the transparency rule. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires non-compliant hospitals with 30 or fewer beds to pay a penalty of $300 per day, those with 31 to 550 beds to pay between $310 and $5,500 per day and those with more than 550 beds to pay $5,500 per day.

The Hospital Transparency Compliance Enforcement Act would:

  • Double the current government penalties on non-compliant hospitals. Penalties would increase to $600 per day for hospitals with 30 or fewer beds, $620 to $11,000 per day for hospitals with 31 to 550 beds and $11,000 per day for hospitals with more than 550 beds.

  • Require all hospitals to comply with the higher penalties within 100 days after the end of the public health emergency.

  • Prohibit hospitals from shielding information on their websites using webpage coding.

  • Give non-compliant hospitals 60 days after notice of non-compliance to pay their monetary penalty.

  • Require the CMS to publish the names of hospitals that have not complied.

Text of the Hospital Transparency Compliance Enforcement Act is available here.

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today urged Attorney General Merrick Garland to identify and bring to justice criminals guilty of targeting Catholic churches and worshipers. 

“In August 2020, I wrote a letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ) expressing alarm over the violence in the United States aimed at Catholics and their institutions and property. In that correspondence, I highlighted examples of the senseless acts of destruction that had taken place: For example, rioters attacked a bookstore run by nuns, vandals demolished reverent statues, and arsonists set churches on fire. In one case, criminals targeted a church while worshipers were still inside. I concluded by asking that the department, which you now head, act swiftly and carefully to bring an end to these heinous crimes,” Kennedy wrote.

Kennedy pointed out that the DOJ never responded to that letter and that violence against Catholicism has continued largely unchecked.

“Data compiled by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops shows that almost 80 additional attacks have occurred in America since August 2020. While arson still seems to be a popular offense, graffiti and the beheading of holy statues have also become crimes of choice. . . . In my state of Louisiana, a delinquent broke the heads off statues of Jesus and the Virgin Mary and threw planters and statues at the church’s stained-glass windows,” continued Kennedy.

“The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. Yet during the COVID-19 pandemic, people of faith experienced significant interference with the practice of their religion. If the government continues to let these crimes go unpunished, it will further inhibit the people’s practice and enjoyment of their fundamental, constitutional right. Thus, I again ask that the DOJ increase efforts to identify and prosecute criminals targeting Catholic people and property so that the tens of millions of Catholics in our country can continue to practice their faith safely,” Kennedy concluded.

Kennedy’s August 2020 letter is available here.

The letter is available here.

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today introduced the Require Employees To Uniformly Return Now (RETURN) Act to require teleworking Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees to return to in-office work in order to resolve a massive IRS tax return backlog.

“The IRS’s employees are working from home while it faces a mountainous tax return backlog. The RETURN Act would bring these employees back into the office so the IRS can eliminate the backlog and get hardworking Americans their tax refunds,” said Kennedy.

The IRS is facing a backlog of nearly 24 million tax returns from 2020. The IRS claims one factor causing the backlog was the pandemic, which forced IRS employees to work from home. As of January 2022, almost 70 percent of IRS employees were still teleworking full-time despite the federal workforce having a 98 percent vaccine mandate compliance.

The RETURN Act would require all IRS employees teleworking due to pandemic precautions to return to full-time, in-office work until the IRS Commissioner determines the backlog is resolved.

The bill would maintain telework options that existed for select circumstances prior to the pandemic and allow a five-day grace period after enactment to allow employees to transition back to the office.

Text of the RETURN Act is available here.