Sen. Kennedy (R-La.) Demands Further Investigation After Scathing Audit Reveals DHH’s Sloppy Oversight of Medicaid Program
Jul 03 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today called for a thorough investigation into whether taxpayer dollars were wasted because of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals’ sloppy oversight of the Medicaid program. A recent audit by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office determined that it’s impossible for DHH to know whether millions of dollars in taxpayer money were improperly spent.
“Louisiana’s chief auditor, who is nonpartisan and calls it like he sees it, described DHH’s management of the Medicaid program as completely willy-nilly. It’s embarrassing,” said Sen. Kennedy. “Medicaid consumes nearly half the state budget. I don’t think it’s a matter of whether taxpayer dollars were wasted, it’s a matter of how many were wasted because of DHH’s incompetence. Someone – preferably not DHH – needs to account for every single penny and demand repayment of any that was misspent.”
Sen. Kennedy (R-La.) Denounces Democrats’ Radical Push To Abolish Immigration Enforcement Agency and Create Open Borders
Jul 02 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) issued the following statement today about the radical push by some Democratic leaders to abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE):
“Democrats who are pushing to eliminate ICE must be living in a fantasy world. They’ve forgotten the horror of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. They pretend that violent drug cartel members aren’t intent on crossing our border and turning our daily lives into bloody nightmares,” said Sen. Kennedy. “ICE just helped secure the lengthy prison sentence of a drug cartel leader whose organization tortured and murdered 12 Mexican law enforcement officers. The ridiculous push to eliminate ICE dishonors those who have died in cross border violence and the officers who have sacrificed their lives guarding the U.S. border. Radical Democrats and Democratic leadership are playing high stakes, political poker with the safety of American families.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today that he has signed on to U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson’s (R-Wis.) bill, S.3041, the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018. This legislation addresses the duplication of benefits’ problem for the 2016 flood victims, improves mitigation activities and ensures that multi-structure campuses such as schools and hospitals only have to meet one $500,000 deductible. The duplication of benefits’ fix is especially important to the victims of the historic 2016 floods in Louisiana who are still struggling to rebuild.
Sen. Kennedy also has separate legislation S.2547, the Consolidating Losses Associated to Severe Storms Act of 2018 (CLASS Act), to relieve the financial stress that Louisiana school districts are suffering because of the 2016 floods. S.3041 builds on Sen. Kennedy’s previous efforts to spare school districts from millions of dollars in penalties on flood-damaged buildings.
“Under the current rules, we are essentially punishing people for being diligent about rebuilding their homes after a disaster, and that has to stop. This legislation makes some long-awaited, common sense reforms to our disaster recovery programs, including duplication of benefits,” said Sen. Kennedy. “Currently, the federal government treats a loan from the Small Business Administration like a disaster benefit which then often prevents people from qualifying for disaster grants down the road. I am proud to be a part of this legislation that helps Louisiana families recover from the 2016 floods.”
Sen. Kennedy (R-La.) Fights to Save Millions of Taxpayer Dollars By Eliminating Federal Employee Pay Raises
Jun 29 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) proposed an amendment to eliminate the federal employee executive branch pay raise for next year. The Senate Appropriations Committee, in a vote of 2-29, rejected his amendment.
“Washington is on a spending spree, and it’s time for some change around here,” said Sen. Kennedy. “My amendment would have saved hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in a payroll that tops $270 billion annually. We could have used the savings to pay down the national debt and invest in our children’s futures. It may have only gotten two votes, but at least I tried. And I’ll keep fighting to curtail government spending.”
Senate Passes Farm Bill That Includes Sen. Kennedy’s Extension Of National Flood Insurance Program And Protects Louisiana Farmers
Jun 28 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate passed a Senate Farm Bill today that contains U.S. Sen. John Kennedy’s (R-La.) amendment to prevent the National Flood Insurance Program from expiring in the middle of hurricane season. H.R.2, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the Senate Farm Bill, extends the program for six months. The Senate passed the Farm Bill on an 86-11 vote.
The bill also protects Louisiana sugar cane farmers by keeping tariff-rate quotas on imports and preventing foreign countries from flooding the market with their inferior product. The American Sugar Cane League estimates that Louisiana sugar cane production employs 17,000 people and generates 13 million tons of cane a year.
“I’m grateful that the Senate included my amendment, ensuring that the National Flood Insurance Program will continue to protect families during hurricane season. We can’t abandon Louisiana families who faithfully pay their premiums every year,” said Sen. Kennedy. “I also cannot emphasize enough how much this bill does for our sugar cane farmers. Generations of families have farmed sugar cane in Louisiana. That is a legacy we need to protect from foreign producers trying to flood the market.”
Other highlights included in the Farm Bill for Louisiana:
- Allows the U.S. Department of Agriculture to fund projects that will deploy high-speed broadband in rural America, including Louisiana.
- Continues to fund programs that help cotton farmers and textile manufacturers.
- Reauthorizes the Grassroots Source Water Protection Program, which promotes clean source water in rural communities. The plans identify voluntary actions that farmers and ranchers can do to prevent source water pollution.
Jun 27 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement today on the retirement announcement by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy:
“I congratulate Justice Kennedy for serving on the U.S. Supreme Court for more than 30 years and wish him well on his retirement. Serving on the nation’s highest court is a pinnacle reached by few and requires true dedication to public service. We owe him a sincere thank you.
As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I look forward to sitting down with President Trump’s nominee and asking some tough questions. I will be looking for someone of great intellect who has more than a passing fondness for the U.S. Constitution and doesn’t think personal preferences have a role in judicial decision-making. In short, I’m hoping Justice Gorsuch has a brother or a sister who is willing to serve.”
Jun 27 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate today inserted a proposal by U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for six months into a substitute version of the Senate Farm Bill. The program extension, which was cosponsored by U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.), now is in H.R.2, the substitute Senate Farm Bill. A vote on the full bill is expected Thursday.
“This is huge news for homeowners from Houma to Plain Dealing and all the points in between. The National Flood Insurance Program is on the brink of expiring at the worst time possible. It’s the middle of hurricane season, and we haven’t even gotten to August when the worst hurricanes typically hit,” said Sen. Kennedy. “This six-month deal will give us time to work on a longer reauthorization and much-needed reforms. It will also ensure that Louisiana families don’t have to worry every time it rains.”
“Louisiana families depend on the National Flood Insurance Program for peace of mind and recovery after disaster,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Preserving this program through hurricane season, as we work on a long-term reauthorization that ensures the program is affordable and sustainable, will be a big victory for homeowners.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – With hurricane season underway along the Gulf coast, U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) and U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.), today submitted an amendment to H.R.2 the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 – also known as the Senate Farm Bill – that would reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for six months. Sen. Kennedy spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate today to underscore the importance of the NFIP’s reauthorization. Unless action is taken, the program will lapse July 31.
Click here or the image below to watch Sen. Kennedy’s full remarks.
“In the absence of reauthorizing legislation, the National Flood Insurance Program will lapse, in the middle of hurricane season, leaving more than five million American families and businesses vulnerable. I don’t want people to be scared every time it rains,” said Sen. Kennedy. “We can’t allow the program to expire, and this may be the shortest way home. My colleagues shouldn’t play politics with the NFIP. It’s central to the stability and vitality of the American economy, whether you live in Plaquemines Parish or the Missouri floodplain. We cannot afford to let down the many Americans who depend on the National Flood Insurance Program for protection against natural disasters. Did I mention that we are in the middle of hurricane season?”
“Louisiana families depend on the National Flood Insurance Program for peace of mind and recovery after disaster,” said Dr. Cassidy. “We must preserve this program through hurricane season as we work on a long-term reauthorization that ensures the program is affordable and sustainable.”
In a multi-layered approach to ensuring the program doesn’t expire, Sen. Kennedy and Sen. Cassidy also introduced a standalone bill to extend the National Flood Insurance Program.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today submitted an amendment that would attach his Fraud Reduction Through Photographic Identification Act to the Senate Farm Bill. The amendment would implement the simple step of requiring food stamp recipients to show photo identification in order to combat fraud and abuse.
“Taxpayers lose billions of dollars every year to welfare fraud. When $75 billion a year is being stolen from hard-working Americans, then you have an enormous problem. We can’t sit idly by while people abuse taxpayers’ generosity,” said Sen. Kennedy. “Requiring food stamp recipients to show a photo ID is a simple step that will reduce fraud. At the very least, we’ll ensure that food stamp benefits aren’t being used to support criminal activity.”
Jun 25 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) attached an amendment to H.R.5895, the minibus appropriations legislation, which aims to prevent wait times from continuing to increase at veterans clinics and facilities in Louisiana. Specifically, the amendment says that “None of the funds made available in this act may be used in a manner that would increase wait times for veterans who seek care at medical facilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs.” Wait times at VA clinics in Louisiana are as high as 42 days. Currently, the VA clinics in Pineville, Leesville, Lake Charles and Shreveport are experiencing the longest wait times.
“In Louisiana the average wait time for veterans to receive care at a VA clinic is 18 days,” said Sen. Kennedy. “That is just plain unacceptable. We have to do better for the men and women who served our country. It’s a sad way to run government that my amendment has to be put into words and isn’t just common sense.”