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.
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.”
Feb 08 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) is cosponsoring important constitutional amendments that will deliver true reform to taxpayers.
S. J. Res. 2 will create true term limits by limiting members of the House to three terms and members of the Senate to two terms. S. J. Res. 2 was introduced by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
“Term limits keep politicians honest and hard at work by giving them a deadline,” Sen. Kennedy said. “If you know your time on Capitol Hill is limited, then you're going to wake up early every day to accomplish as much as you can. Our constituents want true reform, and term limits are the way to deliver it.”
Sen. Kennedy also will cosponsor a balanced budget constitutional amendment that will force Congress to go on a spending diet by requiring the federal government to live within its means unless extraordinary measures are met. To protect taxpayers' pocketbooks, a two-thirds vote would be required on tax increases and federal spending could not exceed 18 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product.
Feb 01 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) issued the following statement today in support of Neil Gorsuch for the next associate justice of the United States Supreme Court:
“The role of the Senate is to provide 'advice and consent.' Many Americans are going to have to live with this Justice the rest of their natural lives. His decisions will affect many facets of their lives, economically, socially, culturally, and spiritually,” said Sen. Kennedy. “The American people deserve a full and fair vetting process. I like what I see so far, but look forward to learning more in the confirmation process. Neil Gorsuch is obviously very well-qualified based on his education and background, but I want to know what's in his heart. I want to know what he thinks about past Supreme Court decisions and how the Justices reached those decisions. I want to know whether he thinks personal preferences have a role in the judicial decision-making. I want to know if he knows the name of the person who cleans his office. Also, I'm rather fond of the U.S. Constitution, and I want to make sure he is, too.”
U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) issued the following statement today in support of the March for Life rally:
"Earlier this week, President Trump took action to ensure that our federal dollars don't support abortions abroad. This was an important step that espouses what I have always believed. Human life is precious. With strong leadership and peaceful rallies such as March for Life, we will serve as a voice for the unborn and bring an end to abortion in the U.S."
Sen. Kennedy is co-sponsoring two pieces of legislation that protect life. The “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” (S.184) would establish a permanent prohibition on taxpayer funding for abortions. The “Life at Conception Act” would establish once and for all that life begins at conception and guarantee unborn children constitutional protection under the 14th Amendment.
Next week, Sen. Kennedy will be co-sponsoring two additional pieces of legislation that promote conservative values important to our Louisiana families. The first would overturn an Obama administration rule that forces states into funding Planned Parenthood. The second would permanently ban federal funding to Parent Parenthood and redirect the dollars to other health care clinics.
The President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
For decades, the energy industry operating in the Gulf of Mexico has produced more than 90 percent of our domestic offshore oil and natural gas. Louisiana has been at the forefront of this work. However, the unelected bureaucracy within President Obama's administration created an agenda that has left America's domestic energy production at a significant competitive disadvantage. Within the past two years alone, more than 140 rules and regulations directly impacting the oil and gas industry have been issued, in many cases with little to no public input. As a result, reports show that Louisiana alone has lost over 25,000 jobs in the past two years. With your leadership, we can change this situation and bring back those good paying jobs, which is the purpose of my letter to you today.
Last summer, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) at the Department of the Interior published a Notice to Lessees (NTL 2016-N0l) that sets new standards for financial assurance and bonding requirements. These new requirements mandate unreasonable increases in capital for companies attempting to obtain offshore leases, which will inevitably bankrupt smaller operators and encourage larger ones to relocate. The current proposal is simply unworkable and creates a financial strain on companies with unresolved questions. I respectfully ask you to direct BOEM to rescind NTL 2016-N0l and have it work with industry leaders, both large and small, to develop an appropriate solution.
As you said last Friday in your inaugural address, "We've enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry..." That couldn't be more true with regard to our energy sector and, specifically, the application of this Notice to Lessees. It's time that policies from unelected bureaucrats with extreme viewpoints be swept away so that we can put the American people back to work and make us less dependent on energy from the Middle East.
Thank you for your leadership. I look forward to working with you to advance the American people's agenda.
United State Senator
U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today issued the following statement on a revocation notice by the U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) that will benefit Louisiana companies and Louisiana workers in the offshore oil and gas industry.
"This decision will get Louisiana mariners back to work by restoring the proper treatment of U.S.-built vessels crewed by U.S. citizens in the Gulf of Mexico," said Sen. Kennedy. "The offshore industry is a lifeblood to Louisiana. We need to close loopholes that benefit foreign workers at the detriment of Louisiana mariners. I look forward to working with President Trump on this issue, and I applaud the CBP for taking a positive step that will benefit the lives of many Louisiana families."
Jan 19 2017
January 18, 2017 (Washington, D.C.)”U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) was named Tuesday to three subcommittees of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.
His assignments are:
- Housing, Transportation and Community Development
- Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection
- Economic Policy
"These are important subcommittees that examine HUD, banks, flood insurance, disaster assistance and other issues important to Louisianians," said Sen. Kennedy. "I am eager to get to work."
The Honorable John Bel Edwards
State of Louisiana
P.O. Box 94004
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70804
By email, fax, and U.S. mail
Dear Governor Edwards:
You have indicated that you plan to initiate a state-sponsored construction program, using American taxpayer money appropriated to Louisiana by Congress, to help Louisiana homeowners rebuild after the catastrophic flooding in March and August of last year.
I write to ask you to issue an executive order prohibiting all public officials, their immediate family members and companies in which these officials or their immediate family members have a five percent or more financial interest from receiving any contracts or subcontracts funded by public money for rebuilding flood-damaged structures. I do not believe that it is enough to simply prohibit entities in which public officials or their families have a controlling interest. True ethics standards mean tougher standards for our politicians and their families. They shouldn't profit from Louisianians' tragedy.
We owe it to the American people, Congress and ourselves to be good stewards of the taxpayer money received for rebuilding, particularly in light of our request for more funding. For moral as well as practical reasons, Louisiana must have zero tolerance for the waste or theft of this money or the appearance of waste or theft.
Some may argue that disclosure of the contracts that would be prohibited by your executive order would be sufficient. Disclosure, however, is not enough. There still could be an appearance of impropriety to reasonable people. Only prohibiting these contracts altogether will send the message that Louisiana will not tolerate corruption or cronyism, or any hint of them.
Appearances count. For example, Louisiana law prohibits the state treasurer from playing the state lottery. That law exists for one reason: to protect the state's integrity, which would be undermined by the appearance of impropriety, if the state treasurer won a jackpot.
Plato wrote that “Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.” Maybe so. But barring public officials, their relatives and their companies from receiving rebuilding contracts is not just an effective way to prevent corruption. It's also a good way to show taxpayers that Louisiana is serious about its reputation.
Thank you for your time, Governor.
United States Senator
Washington, D.C.”U.S. Senator John Kennedy today cosponsored a Senate resolution objecting to the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, as well as all efforts that undermine direct, bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians for a secure and peaceful settlement.
Resolution 2334 criticized Israel for allowing Israeli citizens to live on West Bank land that Israel captured in the last war with Arabs.
“I'm proud to join a bipartisan group of Senators who are standing with Israel in the face of the misguided actions taken by the United Nations,” said Kennedy. “America must always stand with Israel when the United Nations and other entities actively work to set her back along with the Middle East peace process.”
- Expresses grave objection to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 (2016);
- Calls for United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 to be repealed or fundamentally altered so that it is no longer one-sided and allows all final status issues toward a two-state solution to be resolved through direct bilateral negotiations between the parties;
- Rejects efforts by outside bodies, including the United Nations Security Council, to impose solutions from the outside that set back the cause of peace;
- Rejects any efforts by the United Nations, United Nations agencies, United Nations member states, and other international organizations to use United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 to further isolate Israel through economic or other boycotts or any other measures, and urges the United States Government to take action where needed to counter any attempts to use United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 to further isolate Israel;
- Reaffirms that it is the policy of the United States to continue to seek a sustainable, just, and secure two-state solution to resolve the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians; and
- Urges the incoming Administration to work with Congress to create conditions that facilitate the resumption of direct, bilateral negotiations without preconditions between Israelis and Palestinians with the goal of achieving a sustainable agreement that is acceptable to both sides