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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today in the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) questioned Roy E. Wright, the Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, on why bad actors such as U.S. Forensic and attorney Gerald Nielsen continue to receive flood recovery dollars from the government.

“Victims of Louisiana flooding need to know that FEMA contracts aren't being awarded to companies and people with a history of ripping off impacted families.  Unfortunately, players like U.S. Forensic and Gerald Nielsen continue to receive federal contracts despite their reprehensible actions being exposed.  I will not stand for these companies stealing tax dollars from Louisiana families struggling to get back on their feet,” said Sen. Kennedy.

A federal judge accused U.S. Forensic of “reprehensible gamesmanship” for rewriting engineer reports to lower the amount of property damage that could be attributed to Superstorm Sandy.  A judge also took Nielsen to task for violating discovery orders in a case brought by victims of Superstorm Sandy.  Despite these accusations, Nielsen represents most of the major flood insurance companies handling claims from the March and August floods that hit Louisiana last year.  U.S. Forensic can still participate in the National Flood Insurance Program. 

Watch the video here.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) is recognizing Mignon Faget and Linda Biernacki - two outstanding businesswomen from the state of Louisiana - today for International Women's Day.

“Over the past nine years, the number of women-owned firms has grown at a rate five times faster than the national average.  Louisiana is among the states with a growing number of women entrepreneurs and business owners.  Mignon Faget and Linda Biernacki are outstanding business owners who have made a positive impact in our communities through their leadership,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “I am proud to serve on the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship where we will continue to work to alleviate obstacles faced by businesswomen.”

Mignon Faget began her design career in 1969 with the launch of her first ready-to-wear clothing collection.  Since then, she has built a thriving company that is dedicated to good design with lasting value.  A fifth generation New Orleanian, Faget has flourished in the culture and traditions of her birthplace and has made giving back to her community a core principle of her business.  She employs many women in a creative field, making and selling jewelry that is hand crafted in America.

Linda Biernacki began her community involvement more than 30 years ago when she started working at a local fire sprinkler company and joined Shreveport-Bossier Women in Construction.  In 1990, Biernacki opened Fire Tech Systems, Inc.  This company offers fire protection to residential homes along with commercial businesses and is now licensed in six states.  Linda established the Fire Tech Systems Scholarship Program geared towards young women whose studies involve the construction industry. Biernacki also collaborates with the National Association of Women in Construction to offer a scholarship through the Caddo Career & Technology Center.

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today announced that 73 million acres off Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida will be offered for oil and gas exploration and development. 

“President Trump recognizes the valuable role that Louisiana can play in making America energy independent.  I have been working with the Trump administration since I took office to roll back regulations and policies that put our oil and gas industry in a chokehold,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “By reducing our reliance on foreign oil, we will strengthen our country and we will create jobs on American soil.”

The proposed region-wide lease sale scheduled for August 16, 2017, would include all available unleased areas in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  The sale will be livestreamed from New Orleans.  Two Gulf lease sales will be held each year.

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) issued the following statement today on President Trump's address:

“I was pleased to hear such a strong emphasis from the President on growing jobs and growing our economy.  Louisianians want nothing more than to work hard at a good job,” said Senator Kennedy.  “President Trump delivered a powerful message about placing the American people above the Washington bureaucrats.  This is exactly why I came to Washington.  Our people need more jobs, not more government.  I was also pleased to have the President talk about the need for a strong military.  I was especially happy the President called for a renewed American spirit.”

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U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) issued the following statement today:

“Today, I urged the White House to approve Gov. John Bel Edwards' request for a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance (Categories A-G) to help the parishes of Ascension, Livingston, Jefferson, Orleans and St. James following the devastating tornadoes.  President Trump has already approved Individual Assistance for tornado victims, and I couldn't be more appreciative of his swift action,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “A Public Assistance declaration would take care of additional needs, including helping local governments clean up storm debris and paying for hotel rooms while families wait for their homes to be rebuilt.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C.”Today in the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Senator John N. Kennedy (R-La.) questioned Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen on the slow economic growth that our country has been experiencing since the financial crisis is 2008.

“Can we agree that 1.9% growth is not acceptable to most Americans? …I think we can agree on that,” said Senator John Kennedy.

Watch more of Senator Kennedy's remarks here:

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Senator John Kennedy demanded answers from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen on why community financial institutions are being burdened with regulations that make it hard for small businesses to borrow money.

“If community banks were not the cause for the financial crisis in 2008, then why are they bearing some of the regulatory burdens from Dodd-Frank?” asked Senator Kennedy.  “Many parts of Dodd-Frank apply to community banks, so the water is not 12 feet deep but 10 feet deep but you can still drown in 10 feet of water.”

Named after sponsors U.S. Senator Christopher J. Dodd and U.S. Representative Barney Frank, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, most often referred to as 'Dodd-Frank,' was passed in 2010 as a response to the financial crisis in 2008.  Dodd-Frank's purpose was to place major regulations on the financial industry that caused the breakdown of the markets.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Gov. John Bel Edwards met with senior HUD officials last week to identify federal restrictions that are making it more difficult for Louisiana's flood victims to rebuild.

“Gov. Edwards and I met with HUD officials to continue work on ironing out the problems that are arising with the rebuilding process,” Sen. Kennedy said.  “It was a productive meeting, and we will continue to work together until every home and business impacted by the March and August floods is rebuilt.”

The issues discussed included:

  • The necessity of conducting environmental reviews of homes repaired with disaster funding through community development block grants.
  • Amending the requirement that 70% of CDBG dollars benefit low to moderate-income residents. The governor is proposing lowering this to 50%.
  • Giving homeowners and business owners more time to apply for the reimbursement of money they spent to rebuild immediately after the disaster before federal aid arrived.  Currently, the application process shuts off a year from the disaster.
  • Allowing flood victims to repay their Small Business Administration loans with block grants.

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“I had a productive and informative meeting with Judge Neil Gorsuch this evening to discuss his recent nomination to the Supreme Court.  We used this time to get to know each other better personally as well as professionally,” said Senator Kennedy. “I look forward to continuing our discussions about his judicial philosophy, the decisions he has authored, and his views on the U.S. Constitution.  As a member of the Judiciary Committee, I believe that the American people deserve a full and fair vetting of the next Supreme Court Justice and look forward to the rest of the confirmation process.”

U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) issued the following statement today:

“Today, I urged the White House to approve Gov. Edwards' request for President Trump to declare an expedited major Presidential Disaster Declaration for the state of Louisiana following the devastating tornadoes. The tornadic activity impacted multiple parishes, including areas still recovering from last year's flooding. The communities of New Orleans East, Killian and Donaldsonville sustained the worst damage. Our state and local governments incurred tremendous expenses responding to the tornadoes and saving lives.  Homes and businesses have been reduced to piles of debris.  No one can recover from Mother Nature's wrath alone, and I am confident that the nation will help us rebuild.”