Media

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) issued the following statement after the Senate called a vote for 12:15 p.m. EST Tuesday on a four-month reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP):

“For millions of Americans – not to mention thousands of Louisianans ? the National Flood Insurance Program is not a luxury; it’s a necessity,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “We need to reform this program, but we also need to keep it alive through the end of hurricane season.  People have been living near the water since Moby Dick was a minnow.  Few of them are living in luxury beach homes.  A reauthorization gives us time to make meaningful changes without scaring five million Americans half to death.”

To watch the vote live, visit https://www.senate.gov/ and click on “Floor Webcast.” 

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) spoke on the U.S. Senate floor yesterday in support of former U.S. Rep. John Fleming’s recent nomination.  Dr. Fleming is nominated to be the assistant secretary of commerce for economic development.

“Dr. Fleming has dedicated his life to public service, both as a military veteran and as a four-time elected member of the U.S. House of Representatives,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “He’s run his own family medicine practice for decades, created jobs for hundreds of people in Louisiana and served his country in the U.S. Navy.  He’s just a great guy.  I’m honored to support his nomination to the Department of Commerce.”

Click here or the photo below to watch Sen. Kennedy’s remarks. 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate today to urge his colleagues to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program and not abandon millions of Americans in the middle of hurricane season. 

The National Flood Insurance Program expires in less than a week on July 31.  There are more than 500,000 flood insurance policies in Louisiana.  Only Texas and Florida have more policyholders.


Click here or the photo below to watch Sen. Kennedy’s full remarks.

Highlights from the speech: 

Promises Need To Be Kept:  “Without Congressional action, ordinary Americans, the ones who get up and go to work every day, will suffer.  Our constituents work hard to earn enough to cover their mortgages, pay their insurance premiums, put food on the table and hopefully have a little extra when all is said and done.  The federal government made a promise to more than five million hardworking Americans, and half a million Louisianans, that we would have their backs.  It’s high time that Congress gets its act together.  The NFIP is just too important to be used as a political football.  For millions of folks in my state and elsewhere, this program is the only way that they can protect their most valuable assets.  At a minimum, we owe those hardworking Americans some peace of mind.”

Brink of Disaster: “The reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program has never been more urgent.  We are now fewer than five session days from the brink of disaster.  If the NFIP is allowed to expire on July 31, Congress will be sending a clear message to the five million hardworking Americans who count on the program: We don’t care.”

Poisonous Rhetoric: “Last September, when Texas and parts of Louisiana were still reeling from Hurricane Harvey, a member of Congress said, and I quote, “The federal government is encouraging and subsidizing people to live in harm’s way … at some point, God is telling you to move.”

We’ve Lived Near The Water Since Biblical Times: “Living near water is an economic necessity, and hardworking people have settled near water since the beginning of time.  It’s as true for us now as it was in biblical times that our economies and our livelihoods are tied to water.  Take the Mississippi River: Each year, it sustains 1.3 million jobs and generates more than $405 billion in revenue.  How many jobs are tied to the 12,000 miles of U.S. coastline?  What would the economic impact be if everyone who lived near one of the 3.5 million miles of rivers in this great country picked up and moved?  I hope, for the good of our economy, we never find out.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a huge win for Louisiana families who make their living shrimping and fishing, the U.S. Senate voted 87-11 today in favor of an amendment by U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) to spend an additional $3.1 million in Fiscal Year 2019 – or 26% more - on imported seafood inspections.  The amendment aims to tackle funding problems that result in only roughly 2% of seafood imports receiving FDA inspections.

The amendment, which was attached to H.R. 6147, addresses concerns that were raised by Louisiana shrimpers during a meeting with Sen. Kennedy earlier this summer in Houma.  U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.) is a co-sponsor.

“Louisiana produces the best seafood in the world.  Unfortunately our commercial fishermen have to compete with foreign fishermen who are unfairly subsidized by their governments, face virtually no environmental regulations and pump their product full of drugs.  Other countries know they can cheat because the U.S. can only inspect a fraction of what’s coming in.  That’s about to change,” said Sen. Kennedy. 

“Louisiana shrimpers are being undercut by inferior, uninspected seafood from foreign countries,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This measure increases the FDA’s ability to inspect foreign seafood coming into our country, protecting American consumers and Louisiana workers.”

Click here or the link below to watch Sen. Kennedy’s floor remarks.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, will meet with Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh Tuesday, July 24, at 2:30 p.m. EST in Sen. Kennedy’s office.  Credentialed members of the media will be invited in for a brief photo spray at the top of the meeting and should arrive by 2:15 p.m. EST.  No audio or questions will be permitted.  Media must RSVP in advance.

 

WHO:

U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.)

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh

WHAT:

Photo spray only

WHERE:

374 Russell Senate Office Building

WHEN:

2:30 p.m. EST

TOMORROW, Tuesday, July 24

 

To RSVP please email Michelle_Millhollon@kennedy.senate.gov or Meredith_Jones@kennedy.senate.gov.

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) sent a letter to Elaine Chao, secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, this week in support of $25 million in federal funding for the widening and rehabilitation of Interstate 12 in St. Tammany Parish. 
 

Traffic congestion on that stretch of Interstate 12 triggered accidents that killed four people over Memorial Day weekend.  According to news reports, there were 222 accidents in 2016 on this problematic portion of interstate.  Just four years ealier, in 2012, there were 135 wrecks.  

“St. Tammany Parish has agreed to put up $7.2 million if the federal government can kick in $25 million to speed up this project.  Tragedies like the Memorial Day weekend fatalities underscore the urgency of reducing traffic congestion on this stretch of roadway,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “This project is critical to the safety of St. Tammany Parish residents.”

 

July 18, 2018

The Honorable Elaine Chao

Secretary

United States Department of Transportation

1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE

Washington, D.C. 20590

Re: FY 2018 BUILD Grant Application, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana: Interstate 12 Widening and Rehabilitation Project

Dear Secretary Chao,

I am writing to you today to express my strong support for the FY 2018 Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) discretionary grant application submitted to the United States Department of Transportation by St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana for funding to widen and rehabilitate 3.8 miles along Interstate 12 (I-12). St. Tammany is requesting $25 million and will match BUILD funds with $11 million in non-federal sponsor funds for the engineering, design, and construction costs related to the project that is well positioned to begin construction by mid-2020 and be completed by the end of 2021.

Freight trucking is predicated to move over $700 billion in goods and products by 2038 in the state. I-12 is and will be a significant corridor to generating exceptional economic and social benefits for the nation. Furthermore, funding of this project will not only improve connectivity between ports and railroads within the Lake Pontchartrain and Pearl River Basins, but also ensure a safe and efficient evacuation route for coastal residents in Louisiana and Mississippi.

I-12 is part of the National Highway Freight Network and Louisiana’s Tier 1 Freight Network. However, the segment between Louisiana State Highway 21 and U.S. 190 has been given a “Near Capacity” Level of Service grade. Currently, even non-fatal accidents can block traffic in this corridor for hours with traffic forecasts predicting that congestion will only continue to grow substantially. It’s tragedies like the Memorial Day weekend accident that claimed four lives near Covington that underscore the need for this funding to alleviate these dangerous levels of congestion.

This project is critically important to the safety of our citizens and the continued success of our regional and national economy. I respectfully ask that you give your careful attention and support for St. Tammany Parish’s proposal.

Sincerely,

John Kennedy

United State Senator

 

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced today that the Lafayette Regional Airport will receive $11.8 million from the Federal Aviation Administration to help with the construction of a new 100,000 square foot terminal building.  This federal funding is a significant investment in Louisiana’s air transportation industry and in Lafayette’s regional economy.

“This federal grant is a great win for Lafayette and its residents,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “This expansion project will create jobs and promote more air travel in the region. Air travel is a vital component to growing businesses and tourism.  This grant will greatly benefit the Acadiana economy.”

 

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today criticized Senate Democrats for blocking his resolution that honors the daily, life-saving contributions of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  Senate Democrats prevented the passage of Sen. Kennedy’s resolution and instead pushed a bill by U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) that would weaken border security. 

Sen. Kennedy introduced his resolution in response to Democrats’ recent calls for the abolishment of ICE.  The movement to abolish ICE has been led by Sen. Harris and several of her fellow Democratic Senators.

S.Res.572 simply states that Sen. Kennedy and other Republicans “support the officers and personnel who carry out the important mission of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”  Democrats, in a willful disregard of the work ICE does in protecting American families from cartel violence, human traffickers and drug addiction, blocked the resolution from receiving Senate passage.

“Although much of their work is thankless and goes sight unseen, I am grateful to the thousands of ICE agents who work around the clock to keep our streets and our families safe,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “ICE last year intercepted a million pounds of narcotics, removed nearly 5,000 violent gang members from the streets and rescued 1,422 human trafficking victims.  ICE agents deserve our thanks.  Instead, they are being exploited by Democrats for political gain.  The losers are American families.”

The U.S. House of Representatives voted today 244-35 in favor of Congressman Clay Higgins’ (R-La.) resolution supporting ICE.  Congressman Higgins’ bill is a companion version of Sen. Kennedy’s Senate bill.

Thirty-six Republicans have now joined Sen. Kennedy’s resolution as cosponsors, including Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), John Boozman (R-Ark.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Dan Sullivan (R-Ark.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), John Thune (S.D.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Pat Roberts (Kan.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Todd Young (R-Ind.).  

Vice President Mike Pence tweeted his support of the resolutions today. 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – With the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) set to expire in less than two weeks, U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) introduced an emergency six-month reauthorization in the U.S. Senate this week. 

Earlier this summer, the U.S. Senate passed a Farm Bill that contains Sen. Kennedy’s amendment to prevent the NFIP from expiring on July 31.  However, the House and Senate must work out differences on a final version of the Farm Bill, putting the NFIP in real danger of expiring in the middle of hurricane season.  Sen. Kennedy’s emergency reauthorization eliminates that concern.

“I’m going to be blunt.  Allowing the National Flood Insurance Program to expire in the middle of hurricane season would create absolute chaos for Louisiana families.  A lapse would paralyze the real estate market, prevent homeowners from renewing their policies and break promises to hard-working families who faithfully pay their premiums every year,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “My reauthorization is a short-term solution that will give us time to work on reforms.  This is so important that I included the reauthorization in the Farm Bill and filed a standalone bill to get this done before July 31 arrives.  We need to step on the gas.”

 

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