Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) Chairs Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing on FCC Oversight and 5G Spectrum Auction Program
Oct 17 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), chairman of the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations Subcommittee, chaired a hearing today on the Federal Communication Commission’s 5G spectrum auction program.
Sen. Kennedy heard testimonies from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, President of Citizens Against Government Waste Tom Schatz and President of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance David Williams.
“A day does not go by that we don’t hear about the race to 5G and the need to get there quickly, and we do need to get there quickly,” said Sen. Kennedy. “However, none of us should be willing to tolerate a situation where rural Louisianians, or rural Kansans, or rural West Virginians or any rural Americans are left behind. Congress and the administration must work together to make sure that every American gets there, so that when the United States wins the 5G race-and we will-we will win it together. The C-Band Spectrum is an integral part of the 5G debate and how we accomplish that end.”
Click here or the photo below to listen to Sen. Kennedy’s opening statement:
Oct 07 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today the Delta Regional Authority is awarding $2.3 million in grants for 16 projects in Louisiana. These projects are aimed at improving public infrastructure and workforce development.
“These are important investments that will improve the quality of life for people across Louisiana,” said Sen. Kennedy. “From improving water and sewer systems to preparing students for technical jobs, the work by the Delta Regional Authority will help our state grow in a positive direction.”
LOUISIANA INVESTMENT PROJECTS
1. Tallulah Sewer System Improvements | Tallulah, LA: $313,743
2. Richardson Medical Center HVAC System Replacement | Rayville, LA: $266,822
3. Chalmette Wastewater Treatment Plant Replacement | Chalmette, LA: $200,000
4. Delta Water System Improvements | Delta, LA: $200,000
5. Franklin Wastewater System Improvements | Franklin, LA: $150,000
6. Grosse Tete Water System Enhancements | Grosse Tete, LA: $150,000
7. Springhill Wastewater Treatment Plant Replacement | Springhill, LA: $150,000
8. Nunez Community College Aerospace Labs and Makerspace | Chalmette, LA: $150,000;
9. Concordia Parish Sewer System Consolidation | Vidalia, LA: $150,000
10. Allen Parish GIS System | Oberlin, LA: $100,000
11. Baton Rouge IT Apprenticeship Program | Baton Rouge, LA: $100,000
12. Oak Grove Industrial Building Repairs | Oak Grove, LA: $100,000
13. Dixie Inn Sewer System Improvements | Minden, LA: $99,750
14. Chatham Water Booster Station Renovation | Chatham, LA: $80,000
15. Bienville Water Well Improvements | Bienville, LA: DRA Investment: $71,768
16. Baton Rouge GIS System | Baton Rouge, LA: $36,750
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) released the following statement today on President Donald Trump’s upcoming visit to Louisiana:
“I urged President Trump to come to Louisiana and rally voters because this election is important to Louisiana’s future. Under the current governor, taxes are sky high and families are struggling,” said Sen. Kennedy. “President Trump cares about Louisiana, and he wants to help put this state on a better path. I am thrilled that he is coming back to Louisiana.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a move that will benefit American taxpayers, U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) secured language in the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act of 2020 that will free up C-band spectrum for 5G technology through a public auction.
Everything from self-driving cars to cellphones will need 5G wireless technology. The federal government is trying to make more C-band spectrum available in order to deploy the technology. At issue is whether to conduct a multi-billion dollar, closed-door spectrum deal that would mostly benefit foreign-owned satellite companies.
“The choice is clear. A private sale has too many pitfalls, including the risk of an inefficient deployment of 5G spectrum that will shut out our rural families. Our country is great because of competition,” said Sen. Kennedy. “A transparent public auction will save American taxpayers millions of dollars. It will ensure that you can watch the Saints win the Super Bowl regardless of whether you live in New Orleans or Mamou.”
Last week, Sen. Kennedy wrote a letter to U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) explaining the importance of holding a public auction. A copy of the letter can be found here.
Sen. Kennedy, Treasury Develop A Game Plan For Helping Americans Redeem $26 Billion In Unclaimed Savings Bonds
Oct 02 2019
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.
Oct 01 2019
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.”
Oct 01 2019
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. ”
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.”
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.”
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.