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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today a commitment from the U.S. Department of Treasury to help Americans redeem  $26 billion in unredeemed savings bonds.

Treasury will create an online tool that will allow individuals to verify against Treasury records if they have any unredeemed savings bonds dated after 1974.  Treasury will also provide shareable links to states so the tool can be promoted through Unclaimed Property Program websites.  The records for the newer bonds are in the best physical condition.  For the records on the older bonds dating back to World War II, Treasury will gather expert opinions and states’ input on how to digitize them. 

“This money belongs in the hands of the American people.  It shouldn’t be under lock and key at Treasury.  Grandmothers purchased these bonds for grandchildren.  Great aunts and great uncles bought bonds to support the war effort,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “I want to thank President Trump, Secretary Mnuchin and Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby for working with me to do right by the American people.”

Sen. Kennedy provided $25 million for digitizing the bond records in the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act of 2020.  The bill is pending Senate action. Sen. Kennedy also filed the Unclaimed Savings Bond Act (USB Act) earlier this year to allow states to put the names and addresses for the bonds in their Unclaimed Property databases.

Some states estimate that their residents have more than $1 billion in matured, unclaimed savings bonds.  Louisiana estimates that the amount owed to Louisiana residents tops $300 million.

Through legislation and meetings with senior Treasury officials, including a phone call with Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin last week, Sen. Kennedy has been working on a solution that will reunite American citizens with the proceeds of their savings bonds.  Many people probably are unaware the bonds even exist because they were misplaced over the years. 

For a state-by-state estimate of what’s owed to people, click HERE.

Click on the photo below to listen to Sen. Kennedy’s floor speech on the issue.

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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 he has joined the bipartisan Senate India Caucus, which fosters a good working relationship between the U.S. and India.

“I joined the Senate India Caucus because the U.S. and India are important energy partners.  The caucus brings together a diverse group of people to focus on a number of issues, including economic development,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “Through a partnership with Petronet LNG, Louisiana workers will supply low-cost energy to India for years to come.  There are more partnerships to be made. ”

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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. – 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.) 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. – 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.) 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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