WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today joined more than 20 fellow senators in urging Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm to support continued exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG). The letter comes in the wake of Democrat senators’ asking Granholm to limit American LNG exports.
“. . . the Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently reported several power plants that burn fuel oil had to be reactivated in January to help meet demand, due to natural gas pipeline constraints. Obstructing new LNG exports could also have the unintended effect of increasing global LNG prices, which would correlate to increased energy costs for customers in the United States,” wrote the senators.
“Geopolitically, NATO member states and countries such as South Korea and Japan rely on the relative certainty associated with the U.S. LNG regulatory model. . . . We encourage your department to issue non-free trade agreement export licenses in a timely manner to ensure the global market continues to view U.S. LNG as a dependable source of energy and a reliable alternative to strategic competitors like Russia,” the senators continued.
“Increased production and export volumes of U.S. natural gas encourage developing nations to use a cleaner fuel source. Investing in domestic oil and gas production creates U.S. jobs. It lowers domestic and global emissions. It also increases U.S. energy security and makes us essential to the energy security of others. We ask that you please consider these factors in your ongoing efforts to facilitate the supply of energy commodities to our allies and partners, while simultaneously securing clean and reliable energy domestically,” concluded the senators.
The senators also directed the letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
Louisiana produces more LNG than any other state and accounted for 55 percent of U.S. LNG exports in 2020. That production played a significant part in turning America into the world’s largest LNG exporter.
The letter is available here.
Feb 16 2022
WASHINGTON – The Senate Small Business Committee has passed the Disaster Assistance for Rural Communities Act, which Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) helped introduce in May. The bill would allow rural homeowners, renters and small businesses to more easily access disaster relief in the wake of a natural disaster.
“After a year-and-a-half of hurricanes and floods, Louisiana still needs help rebuilding. They can’t afford bureaucratic hurdles that block that help. The Disaster Assistance for Rural Communities Act would help rural Louisianians more easily access federal aid to recover from storm and flood damage. The Small Business Committee just took an important step toward making this common-sense bill into law,” said Kennedy, who is a member of the Senate Small Business Committee and voted to advance the legislation.
Under current law, bureaucratic roadblocks prevent small businesses and homeowners in rural communities from accessing Small Business Administration (SBA) assistance following a natural disaster. This legislation creates a waiver at no cost to taxpayers that allows rural communities to more readily access and secure SBA disaster assistance in the wake of presidentially-declared disasters.
Text of the Disaster Assistance for Rural Communities Act is available here.
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today joined Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and more than 40 other senators in urging Attorney General Merrick Garland to respect Special Counsel John Durham’s prosecutorial independence and to support the special counsel’s efforts.
Most recently, Durham’s investigation apparently uncovered that individuals affiliated with the Hillary Clinton campaign exploited access to non-public data from White House internet servers and other locations in an attempt to fabricate a narrative of ongoing communications with Russia and Russian entities.
“As you are aware, Special Counsel Durham continues to uncover alarming information related to the origins of the FBI investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections. Those findings include the highly concerning, and potentially criminal, manipulation and exploitation of federal law enforcement resources to target American citizens, including a presidential candidate, based upon fabricated evidence that had been procured and disseminated by individuals closely connected with a rival political campaign,” the senators wrote.
“The fraudulent abuse of the FBI’s investigative powers by those malign actors has left a dark stain on the reputation and credibility of the nation’s premier law enforcement agency. We hope you agree that those responsible for that manipulation and exploitation must be identified and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law by Special Counsel Durham. We further expect you will support his important work until all those responsible for the fraud committed upon the American people are brought to justice,” concluded the senators.
The letter is available here.
Watch Kennedy’s Comments here.
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today discussed inflation that Americans are suffering under as a result of President Biden’s economic policies. Below are key excerpts from Kennedy’s remarks.
“If many Americans won the lottery tomorrow, the first thing they would do is fill up their gas tank. I’m not sure that President Biden understands that.
“The Biden administration claims that they are for the little gal or the little guy, but they sure don’t seem to like them very much. I can’t imagine a more pernicious tax than inflation. This inflation . . . is a direct result of President Biden’s economic policies.
“President Biden, of course, denies that. . . . I expect President Biden next to say that inflation originated in a bat—but it didn't. It began with the economic policies of the president.
“What can we, as members of Congress, do about it? Well, we can’t force the members of the Biden administration to retake Econ 101. But we can do our part by stopping spending like we were drunken sailors.”
Video of Kennedy’s comments is available here.
Kennedy introduces bill to end taxpayer funding for nonprofits engaged in human trafficking, smuggling
Feb 15 2022
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today introduced the Protecting Federal Funds from Human Trafficking and Smuggling Act of 2022 to stop the federal government from funding groups that engage in human trafficking and smuggling illegal aliens.
“American taxpayer dollars should not reward nonprofits that aid and abet human trafficking or illegal immigration. This bill would ensure that tax dollars and tax-exemptions are reserved for nonprofits that respect the law and don’t exploit vulnerable people,” said Kennedy.
The bill would stop the federal government from awarding grants or contracts to nonprofits unless these nonprofits certify that they are complying with federal law regarding human trafficking and the smuggling of aliens. The legislation would revoke the tax exemptions of nonprofits that knowingly violate federal laws against human trafficking and smuggling.
The bill would also require the Secretary of Homeland Security to provide a written strategy on improving cooperation with nonprofits to detect and report illegal aliens and require the Department of Homeland Security to establish an online database of all nonprofits that violated federal law regarding human trafficking and smuggling.
Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Texas) introduced the Protecting Federal Funds from Human Trafficking and Smuggling Act of 2022 in the House.
Text of the Protecting Federal Funds from Human Trafficking and Smuggling Act of 2022 is available here.
Feb 15 2022
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today joined Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and more than 30 other Republican senators in introducing the Never Yielding Europe’s Territory (NYET) Act to provide critical support for Ukraine’s self-defense and to deter Russian aggression, imposing costs on Russia for its ongoing and potential future aggression against Ukraine.
“What you allow is what will continue, and Russia’s thuggery must end now. This bill would help Ukraine defend itself and punish Putin and his oligarchs for Moscow’s rogue aggression towards Ukraine,” said Kennedy.
“While a ‘military’ invasion has not yet occurred, there are other ways Russia can attack Ukraine that would be debilitating for Ukrainians and European security more generally. Rather than simply restating authorities the president already has, the NYET Act takes immediate action to permanently stop Nord Stream 2, sends a powerful deterrent message, imposes heavy economic and military costs on Russia, strengthens U.S. allies and partners, and supports Ukraine via new authorities, funds, and tools,” said Risch.
The NYET Act, among other measures, would:
- Sanction Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
- Sanction Putin’s allies and major Russian banks.
- Provide $500 million in Foreign Military Financing for Ukraine, including $100 million for emergency lethal assistance for critical capabilities like air defense, anti-armor and anti-ship capabilities.
- Create a Ukraine Resistance Fund to help Ukraine resist attempts to occupy or subjugate any new territory Russia may seize.
- Double funding for U.S. military exercises in Europe.
- Create a new State Department Foreign Military Financing program for Eastern Europe to help European allies strengthen their own defensive capabilities and incentivize greater burden-sharing.
Text of the NYET Act is available here.
Watch Kennedy's comments here.
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today urged Congress not to forget Louisianians’ need for disaster relief aid in the upcoming government funding deal. Below are key excerpts from Kennedy’s remarks.
“No matter how many times you have been through a natural disaster, I can tell you, it doesn’t get any easier to see your home demolished, or to see your home flood, or to see your business blown away.
“And that’s why, as we’re working out a government budget deal—and I hope we can work out a budget deal—I want to make sure that Washington doesn’t forget about my people in Louisiana and forget about the other Americans who, through no fault of their own, have sustained damage from a natural disaster and need a little help.
“The storms and the floods that hit Louisiana in the last year-and-a-half are not just a distant memory for many of my people. Louisiana families are going to have to live with the consequences of everything the Gulf has been throwing at us for a while. That means broken buildings. That means wrecked homes. That means destroyed businesses. That means debris cluttering the streets. And that doesn’t even begin to describe the mental anguish of having a hurricane uproot your life, and your livelihood, and your kids’ education, and your ability to go to church on Sunday.”
. . .
“I urge my colleagues not to forget the people in Louisiana and the people of America who have suffered these natural disasters as we work out our budget.”
Video of Kennedy’s comments is available here.
Kennedy urges Biden administration to stop FEMA plan that makes flood insurance unaffordable for Louisianians
Feb 14 2022
MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today urged President Biden to stop the implementation of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Risk Rating (RR) 2.0, a plan that enacts the biggest change in history to the way the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) calculates flood insurance premiums. RR 2.0 significantly raises flood insurance premiums on Louisianians who depend on the NFIP to protect their homes from natural disasters.
These higher rates began on Oct. 1, 2021 for new NFIP policies, and the rate changes will take effect for existing policyholders this April 1, 2022.
“As you know, many Americans’ greatest investment is their home. . . . Although RR 2.0’s purpose is to address the sustainability of the NFIP, the program is only effective if families that depend on the program can afford its premiums. Despite the concern many stakeholders and Members of Congress have voiced, FEMA has continued to rollout RR 2.0, implementing Phase I of rate hikes to new policies. Phase I is just the tip of the iceberg,” Kennedy wrote.
“FEMA is implementing RR 2.0 unilaterally—without consulting Congress. These changes amount to the biggest change to how the NFIP calculates premiums since its inception in 1968. FEMA branded these changes as ‘equitable,’ but they hurt hardworking, low- and middle-income Americans the most by threatening to devalue their most important asset—their home. It’s unthinkable that FEMA seems to be taking deliberate action to make flood insurance less affordable in the wake of the devastating hurricanes that have recently ravaged coastal states like Louisiana,” continued Kennedy.
“Alongside many of my Senate colleagues, I have worked diligently and in a bipartisan manner to propose reforms to the NFIP program. Without proper Congressional oversight, FEMA’s sweeping change in the program is putting millions of Americans in danger of losing their homes and businesses. In light of this, I am asking you to halt FEMA’s effort to fully implement RR 2.0. As president, you have the authority to rein in FEMA’s end-run around Congress, and I urge you to do that in order to protect the vulnerable homes and businesses that belong to millions of Americans,” Kennedy concluded.
Text of the letter is available here.
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today joined Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in introducing the Cutting Rampant Access to Crack Kits (CRACK) Act of 2022 to block American Rescue Plan Act dollars from funding the purchase and distribution of drug pipes to drug users.
“The Biden administration wants to spend millions of dollars helping drug users smoke crack and meth, but there is no safe way to smoke these dangerous drugs. Sooner or later, these drugs kill people. Why wouldn’t the president spend this money to help people get off crack and meth or to stop these drugs from crossing the border into our country in the first place? I’m grateful to partner with Sen. Rubio to make sure taxpayer dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act don’t end up funding crack pipes,” said Kennedy.
The Department of Health and Human Services originally explained that the Harm Reduction Program, which the American Rescue Plan Act funds, would help provide drug users with pipes to smoke crack cocaine, crystal methamphetamine and “any illicit substance.”
Text of the CRACK Act of 2022 is available here.
Kennedy, Duckworth introduce bill to relocate federally-owned chimpanzees to Chimp Haven in Louisiana
Feb 09 2022
WASHINGTON – Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) today introduced the Chimp Sanctuary Act to prohibit the housing of chimpanzees at any installation of the Department of the Air Force. The Chimp Sanctuary Act would ensure all chimps housed at Department of the Air Force installations are safely transported to Chimp Haven, a sanctuary for more than 300 chimps in Louisiana.
“The federal government is still housing chimps no longer involved in research, which costs American taxpayers money and deprives these social creatures of a happier home. The Chimp Sanctuary Act would save American tax dollars and give these chimps a better quality of life,” said Kennedy.
“For years, 34 chimpanzees—that are no longer needed for government research—have been held on the Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico in clear violation of the CHIMP Act. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation with Senator Kennedy in order to right this wrong and help safely transport these chimps to Chimp Haven where they can be properly cared for and live full, healthy lives,” said Duckworth.
At Chimp Haven, chimps would enjoy a high quality of life and receive excellent care from the veterinary and behavioral teams there. Chimps at the sanctuary experience large social groups and a natural environment that stimulates their minds and helps them recover from the sometimes traumatic time they spent in laboratories.
This Nov. 4, Kennedy sent a letter to Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Francis Collins urging the NIH to comply with the Chimpanzee Health Improvement, Maintenance, and Protection Act, which requires the NIH to send all federally-owned chimps no longer needed for research to Chimp Haven.
Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) also cosponsored the bill.
Text of the Chimp Sanctuary Act is available here.