Sep 26 2019
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.
Sep 25 2019
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.
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.”
Sep 23 2019
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.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced Friday that Louisiana will receive $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to ensure the safety of the state’s pipelines and roadways.
Nearly half of the funding focuses on protecting the public from pipeline and hazardous materials’ accidents through training, emergency plans and notification systems. Another $773,504 will go to LSU for the analysis of crash videos involving motor vehicles.
“With 50,000 miles of pipelines and hundreds of miles of roadways in Louisiana, it’s important that we focus on safety,” said Sen. Kennedy. “Accidents claim lives every day. We need to work on reducing them and protecting our Louisiana families.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today a $7.8 million Department of Transportation grant for runway improvements at Monroe Regional Airport.
“This project will help Monroe Regional Airport meet the growing demand for air travel to and from Monroe,” said Sen. Kennedy. “Whether you are coming or going, this improvement will ensure travelers have a safe and easy trip.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) issued the following statement on the death of a Mandeville police officer today:
“It’s heartbreaking when a law enforcement officer dies in the line of duty keeping us safe. St. Tammany is my home parish, and I know the city of Mandeville is hurting today. The loss of a police officer hurts all of us. God bless our law enforcement officers. You awe us with your bravery and sacrifice every single day.”
Sep 19 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) joined Republican members of the Senate Appropriations Committee in sending a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey pressing them to support our farmers and ranchers by ensuring that Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments are not excluded from the House of Representatives’ Continuing Resolution (CR).
Congress routinely replenishes the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) which funds programs in the United States Department of Agriculture that support farmers and ranchers during hard times.
“We are deeply concerned about the efforts of Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives to intentionally omit provisions in a CR in an attempt to prevent or delay Market Facilitation Program payments to our nation’s struggling farmers and ranchers,” the senators write.
“The upcoming CR must include the anomaly requested by USDA that would allow them to access the $30 billion in spending of the Commodity Credit Corporation prior to October 1st to ensure the Market Facilitation Program payments and farm bill programs continue uninterrupted,” the senators write.
The full text of the letter is here.
Sep 19 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today that the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration will award a $4.2 million grant to improve port infrastructure at the West Calcasieu Port in Sulphur, Louisiana.
This grant will fund the construction of a bulkhead and crane pad for loading and unloading barges at the West Calcasieu Port. The Department of Commerce estimates that this project will create 400 jobs. This improvement project will enhance the port’s resiliency to natural disasters, support private investment and drive economic development in the region.
“The West Calcasieu Port Facility plays an important role in the commercial activity along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, including barge fleeting and marine construction,” said Senator Kennedy. This EDA grant is an important investment in Louisiana’s economy that will help create more jobs in a growing industry.”
“The Trump Administration is working hard to fulfill its commitment to rebuild communities devastated by natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “These improvements will boost the Port’s capacity to serve the critical maritime transportation needs in the region and to boost job growth in the local community.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government (FSGG), advanced the FSGG FY2020 Appropriations bill today that prioritizes federal agencies and programs that will promote consumer privacy, reunite people with lost savings bonds and save taxpayer dollars.
The FSGG subcommittee appropriates funds for a diverse group of federal government departments and agencies such as the Executive Office of the President, the Department of the Treasury, the federal judiciary, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The FY2020 FSGG appropriations bill includes a provision to reunite approximately $24 billion in unclaimed savings bonds with their bondholders. These bonds are currently sitting in the U.S. Treasury. Sen. Kennedy’s provision will require the U.S. Treasury to digitize the records of the unclaimed property, which will make it easier for Americans to search for and redeem their bonds. The full Appropriations Committee will consider the bill on Thursday.
“This Committee has a responsibility to the taxpayers to ensure each and every dollar is spent wisely. I am proud to say we accomplish that with this bill,” said Sen. Kennedy. “We provide the resources necessary to return $24 billion in lost savings bonds to their rightful owners, repair crumbling buildings before they have to be replaced and pursue unpaid taxes that prevent us from lowering the deficit.”
Sen. Kennedy chairing FSGG subcommittee markup on Tuesday
Department of Treasury – The bill provides $12.87 billion for the Treasury Department, which is $105 million more than the enacted level.
- Treasury Departmental Offices – $223 million for Departmental Offices, an increase of $9 million above the FY2019 enacted level. Additional funds will allow the Department to manage a growing caseload associated with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, invest in information technology improvements, and hire additional staff to conduct economic analysis of tax regulatory actions.
- Savings Bonds: $25 million to digitize unclaimed savings bonds records.
- Treasury Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI) – $167.7 million for TFI, which combats terrorism financing and administers economic and trade sanctions through its Office of Foreign Assets Control. The FY2020 amount is $8.7 million above the enacted level and is $1 million more than the President’s budget request.
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – $11.414 billion for the IRS, including $200 million more than the FY2019 enacted level for enforcement activities to address the tax gap.
- In addition, to ensure accountability and transparency, the bill includes:
- A prohibition on IRS funds for bonuses or to rehire former employees unless employee conduct and tax compliance is given consideration;
- A prohibition on funds for the IRS to target groups for regulatory scrutiny based on their ideological beliefs;
- A prohibition on funds for the IRS to target individuals for exercising their First Amendment rights;
- In addition, to ensure accountability and transparency, the bill includes:
Executive Office of the President (EOP) – $717 million for EOP. The bill maintains the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) and Drug-Free Communities (DFC) programs within the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The bill provides $280 million for the HIDTA program to combat heroin and prescription opioid abuse and $100 million for the DFC program.
Judiciary – $7.418 billion in discretionary funding for the federal judiciary, which is $166 million above the FY2019 enacted level. This will provide sufficient funding for federal court activities, including timely and efficient processing of federal cases, court security, and defender services.
District of Columbia – $673 million in federal payments to the District of Columbia. Within this amount, the bill provides resources for public safety and security costs, and supports the District of Columbia court system and offender supervision program.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) – $274 million for the CFTC, which is $6 million above the FY2019 level and $10 million below the FY2020 budget request.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – $339 million for the FCC, which is offset by regulatory fees and equal to the enacted level. The bill also provides $132.5 million for the spectrum auctions program.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – $312.3 million for the FTC, which is $2.6 million more than the FY2019 enacted level and equal to the FY2020 budget request.
General Services Administration (GSA) – The bill allows GSA to spend $9.83 billion out of the Federal Buildings Fund, an increase of $546 million compared to the FY2019 enacted level. This level will provide funding for rent payments for privately-owned office space leased by the government, and operations and maintenance costs for buildings owned by federal government agencies across the nation. Of this amount, the bill provides $446 million for construction.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – $1.767 billion for the SEC, which is $10 million more than the budget request and includes $11 million for the potential relocation of the SEC’s New York Regional Office. This appropriation is fully offset by fees.
Small Business Administration (SBA) – $876 million for the SBA to provide assistance to small businesses, expand the economy, and increase job growth for unemployed and underemployed Americans. The bill fully funds the disaster loans program at $177 million. The bill also funds several valuable programs, including $131 million for Small Business Development Centers, $31 million for microloan technical assistance, and $14.2 million for veterans outreach programs.
Other Oversight, Accountability, and Noteworthy Provisions:
- Maintains current levels of pay for the Vice President and other senior political appointees;
- A prohibition on funding for grants or contracts to tax cheats and companies with felony criminal convictions—and new provisions to ensure compliance with these provisions;
- A prohibition against the use of funds to paint portraits of federal employees, including the President, Vice President, Cabinet Members and Members of Congress;
- A requirement that agency inspectors general have timely access to agency documents and records;
- A requirement that all departments and agencies link contracts that provide award fees to successful acquisition outcomes, and prohibit the use of funds to pay for award or incentive fees for contractors with below satisfactory performance; and
- A new requirement that provides transparency into advertising produced or disseminated at U.S. taxpayer expense.