Media

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $4,512,068 in a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant for Louisiana disaster aid.

“Hurricane Ida created a massive strain on Louisiana’s health services. I’m thankful that this $4.5 million will help cover the expenses the storm caused,” said Kennedy.

The FEMA aid will fund the following:

  • $4,512,068 to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for emergency protective measures taken during Hurricane Ida, including additional support to 911 operations, medical evacuations and other public health measures.

Watch Kennedy’s full remarks here.

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, today raised concerns regarding the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans’ inefficiency and failure to protect Louisianians’ homes and businesses from flood damage.

Key excerpts from the senator’s remarks are below.

“When New Orleans gets two inches of rain in a short period of time, it floods. Why? Because New Orleans is below sea level, and it’s in a bowl.”

. . .

“That’s why our founders in the city built first in the French Quarter—because it’s the highest area. We have what’s called the Sewerage and Water Board, which has pumps, when it rains a lot, to pump the water out. We’ve had that for years and years and years and years. The taxpayers pay for it. 

“And for years and years and years and years, it has been a model of inefficiency. In fact, it has been a cesspool of political patronage and corruption.” 

. . .

“Look at the headlines from our TV stations: ‘Payroll fraud in a secret sex room: troubling allegations at New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board,’ ‘Former New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board Employee Sentenced for Theft Scheme,’ ‘New Orleans Sewerage Water Department Raided by FBI,’ ‘Ex-Sewerage and Water Board Official Has to Pay Back $100,000 He Stole,’ . . . ‘We knew the Sewerage and Water Board was dysfunctional—Now We Know It's Corrupt.’” 

“The people of New Orleans deserve better, and what we need to do is one of two things. The politicians have had their shot: They missed. We need to either turn the Sewerage and Water Board over to the state of Louisiana and let some somebody else run it, or we need to privatize it because the Sewerage and Water Board’s plan right now—when it floods, when half of the pumps are broken—you know what their plan is? I kid you not: ‘Move to higher ground.’ Where?”

View Kennedy’s full remarks here.

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today joined Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and a bicameral group of 113 other lawmakers in urging the Biden administration’s U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to withdraw its proposed rule regarding Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for passenger cars and light-duty trucks. 

Under the Biden administration’s proposed rule, automakers would be required to more than double their average fleet-wide fuel economy in fewer than 10 years. This requirement would force American car manufacturers to produce electric vehicles to meet the new CAFE standards.

We write to express our deep concern with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s proposed Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for passenger cars and light trucks, which represent yet another attempt by this Administration to use the rulemaking process to impose its climate agenda on American families,” the lawmakers explained.  

“NHTSA’s proposed standards, when coupled with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) distinct, extreme tailpipe emissions proposal, amount to a de facto mandate for electric vehicles (EVs) that threatens to raise costs and restrict consumer choice, harm U.S. businesses, degrade our energy and national security and hand the keys of our automotive industry over to our adversaries, especially China,” they continued.

“The proposal issued in July is mere virtue signaling for this Administration’s extreme climate agenda, but it would actually have only limited impact on emissions while strengthening foreign adversaries and harming American workers and consumers,” concluded the lawmakers.

Kennedy also urged leaders to prevent the Biden administration’s EPA from implementing its rule to require more than two-thirds of all vehicles sold in the U.S. to be fully electric in fewer than nine years.

The full letter is available here.

 

 

 

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today spoke on the Senate floor, warning the Biden administration that terrorists, cartel members and sex offenders are exploiting the chaos at the border to enter our country illegally.

Kennedy urged President Biden to work with conservatives to secure the border and address this ongoing national security threat.  

Key comments from Kennedy include:

“You can cut the irony with a knife. After years of presenting themselves as ‘sanctuary cities,’ officials—many of them well intentioned—throughout the country learned in 2023 that the crisis at our border is not just a problem for southern states like Texas, Arizona and even my state. It’s an American crisis. Today, President Joe Biden’s failed border policies have wreaked havoc in every single corner of the United States, including Louisiana.

“According to one estimate, and it’s not the only estimate, but I think this is a very telling estimate—Louisianians pay an additional $4,613 an illegal migrant—that’s about $604 million per year—in state taxes because of illegal immigration. . . . That’s happening at a time when Louisiana families are also having to come out of pocket with an extra $800 per month to deal with inflation.”

. . .

“President Biden’s border policies are not just a human rights disaster, though they certainly are. But his policies have also provided the perfect cover for terrorist sympathizers, child sex offenders, for cartel associates to enter the United States illegally. All you have to do is mix in because nobody is checking anybody.

“The numbers that I’m about to give you will make you throw up. Border Patrol apprehended 169 members of the FBI’s terrorist watchlist attempting to cross the southern border illegally in 2023 alone. . . . That’s more than 10 times the number of potential terrorists that Border Patrol detained in the four years before President Biden took office.”

. . .

“We know what Mexico’s cartels have done. They have been exploiting our open border to terrorize Americans for years. Their weapon of choice is fentanyl. The cartels kill tens of thousands of U.S. citizens per year by working with China to flood our communities with fentanyl. That fentanyl comes from China, and it comes from Mexico. Louisiana lost more than 1,300 people—1,300 loved ones—to fentanyl poisoning in 2022 alone. The narco-terrorists flood our communities with poison and fill their coffers with as much as $1 billion per year.”

. . .

“These cartels, the members, they put migrants through hell as they march them across our southern border. Predators sexually assault an estimated four out of every five women. It’s unsurprising, then, many of the male migrants the cartels usher to the border are also known sex offenders. In just two months, Mr. President, Border Patrol agents in Texas caught 21 known child predators . . . attempting to enter the country illegally. Imagine how many we don’t know about. Border Patrol apprehended 284 sex offenders in fiscal year 2023 alone.” 

. . .

“The American people see the southern border like they see the front door of their home. Most Americans lock their front door at night. They don't do that because they hate everybody on the outside. Most Americans lock their front door at night because they love the people on the inside, and they just want to know who's coming in and out of their home—and that's all the American people want in terms of immigration.”

Kennedy’s full remarks are available here.

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) joined the Major Richard Star Act, which Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) introduced. The bill would allow combat-injured veterans with fewer than 20 years of military service to receive full retirement benefits—without reduction—concurrent with their disability compensation.

“Louisiana and America’s brave veterans are underserved because they’re not able to receive both retirement and disability compensation. It is only right that our combat veterans are able to retire peacefully with full benefits for their sacrifices,” said Kennedy.

Currently, only veterans with over 20 years of military service and a 50% or more disabled rating can qualify to receive Department of Defense retirement and Department of Veterans Affairs disability payments concurrently.

“I will always demand our nation’s veterans receive the full benefits they’ve earned, especially those who were forced to retire from military service as a result of their injuries. Prior to his passing, I was proud to work with Major Richard Star to address an injustice that prevents thousands of veterans living with the wounds of war from accessing what they’ve earned. The Major Richard Star Act is a top priority for me, and I’ll continue to take on anyone in Washington to get it passed and provide veterans the benefits and dignity they deserve,” said Tester.

Major Richard Star was a decorated war veteran after whom this legislation is named. Major Star retired due to combat related injuries and passed away from cancer in 2021. 

“More than 50,000 veterans, including hundreds in Idaho, could benefit from the Major Richard Star Act. To honor the service of all veterans and Major Star’s enduring legacy, we must meet the responsibility of ensuring these combat-injured veterans receive the full benefits they have earned. Reducing retirement pay because of a combat disability is an injustice that must be corrected,” said Crapo. 

The full bill text is available here.

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced $14,006,597 in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants for Louisiana disaster aid.

“Hurricanes Ida and Laura and severe storms ripped through Louisiana, and many communities are still rebuilding. I’m grateful to see that this $14 million will help Louisianians’ recovery efforts throughout our state,” said Kennedy.

The FEMA aid will fund the following: 

  • $4,237,757 to the Beauregard Electrical Cooperative for permanent work repairs as a result of Hurricane Laura.
  • $4,173,482 to the Natchitoches Parish Port Commission for dock repairs as a result of severe storms and flooding.
  • $3,310,409 to Lafourche Parish for permanent repairs to the Larose Park as a result of Hurricane Ida.
  • $2,284,949 to Ascension Parish for waterway debris removal operations required as a result of Hurricane Ida.

 

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, joined Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) in introducing the Protecting Life in Foreign Assistance Act.

The bill would codify the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy (formerly the Mexico City Policy), which prohibits the funding of foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that perform or promote abortions. The Mexico City Policy was first instituted by Pres. Ronald Reagan and has since been rescinded and reinstated by various presidential administrations.

“This will sound like common sense to most fair-minded people, but the Biden administration should not ship Americans’ hard-earned taxpayer dollars overseas to fund abortions. No matter who occupies the White House, America should support life at home and abroad,” said Kennedy.

“Each human life, born and unborn, has immeasurable dignity and worth. The lives of both an unborn baby and her mother matter; and healthcare should heal, protect, and preserve both their lives. Our laws and use of taxpayer money should reflect that truth, which is why I have introduced these bills,” said Lee. 

Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), John Thune (R-S.D.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) also cosponsored the legislation.

Text of the Protecting Life in Foreign Assistance Act is available here.

Watch Kennedy’s full message here.

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today released the following message addressing this year’s March for Life in Washington, DC, which many Louisianians and Americans attend: 

“When I was a kid growing up in Zachary—I remember it like yesterday—my dad would always say, ‘Son, you will never know love until you have a child. . . . It’s special.’

. . .

“My Dad was right. I found that out when God smiled on Becky and me and we got our son Preston when he was just a few days old.

“That’s why it’s so sad that abortion remains a heartbreaking reality in our own country. Some Americans find it easier to ignore this evil than to work to overcome it, but you, all of you, have chosen to stand together to protect the life, the liberty, the happiness of countless unborn boys and girls.

“Each year, you and your work renew my hope for our country’s future. You do. Few things fill my heart as much as seeing young people travel from every corner of this wonderful country to defend the defenseless and give a voice to the voiceless. America could use more of your moral clarity and your courage.

“We all know that human life is precious, and it doesn’t matter whether that life is 82-years-old or 82-seconds-old. I pray that your voices will continue to bring about pro-life changes in America. . . . God bless you all, and may God bless the millions of unborn babies you’ve done so much to protect.”

View Kennedy’s full remarks here.

 

 

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) has earned an “A+” rating for his commitment to protecting the lives of the unborn through his pro-life legislative record during the first session of the 118th Congress. 

The Susan B. Anthony List’s national scorecard recognizes lawmakers who have consistently championed life through their voting records and legislative leadership. 

“All human life, whether it's 82 years or 82 seconds old, is precious. I will never stop defending America’s defenseless unborn children,” said Kennedy.  

During the first session of the 118th Congress, Kennedy cosponsored legislation to prevent the Biden administration’s Department of Defense from facilitating abortions. The senator also cosponsored the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act to permanently stop federal funding for abortions. 

In the 117th Congress,  Kennedy opposed using taxpayer money to fund abortions and voted against Democrats’ attempt to force states to legalize abortion up to the point of a child’s birth. He also helped lead an effort to defund Planned Parenthood

Prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Kennedy co-led the pro-life bicameral amicus brief in the case of June Medical Services v. Russo.

In addition, the senator authored the Pregnant Women Health and Safety Act to protect the health of women and children and the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, which would make it a crime to abort a child based on his or her gender. 

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), Ranking member of the Senate Energy and Water Subcommittee on Appropriations, today sent a letter to Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, urging the department to not limit U.S. exports of liquified natural gas (LNG) through enforcing unnecessary burdens in the permitting process.

“. . . the Department of Energy, through new guidelines and rulemakings, will crush a burgeoning U.S. industry that employs tens of thousands of Americans, provides cheap and reliable energy to millions, and is a vital instrument in weening the world off of dirty Russian energy,” the senator wrote.

Kennedy raised concerns that any attempt by the Biden administration to implement additional rulemaking in the permitting process would arbitrarily limit the country’s ability to utilize natural gas resources and that such actions would be a mistake. 

“The U.S. has a natural gas resource base that conservatively stands at close to 4,000 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas. Let's put that resource to its best use to maintain our energy independence, to help our allies, to reduce emissions and to create good-paying jobs—instead of needlessly sidelining it,” Kennedy concluded.

Background:

  • Louisiana’s LNG export terminals account for 63% of all U.S. LNG exports.
  • The LNG industry employs 18,000 people in Louisiana.
  • LNG contributes $4.4 billion to Louisiana’s economy.

The full letter is available here.