“Everyone on both sides of the aisle knows that we are going to renew CHIP. We need to renew it now. We are scaring people unnecessarily, and it’s ridiculous.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) offered reassurance today on CNN that the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will be reauthorized and urged people to ignore political scare tactics aimed at convincing them otherwise.
“CHIP will be reauthorized. There’s no disagreement on that point. This is phantom politics, and it’s disgraceful,” said Sen. Kennedy. “We need to get this done now. No excuses. CHIP is an extraordinarily worthwhile program for children and mothers in Louisiana, and across the U.S. It should be a crime to tell people it’s in danger when it’s not. It’s like telling people that you’re going to cancel LSU football unless they pay higher taxes.”
Sen. Kennedy sent Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a letter thanking him for his ongoing work to reauthorize CHIP. Sen. Kennedy asked that CHIP be made a legislative priority.
According to the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), the federal government contributed $325.6 million and the state contributed $18.4 million to the CHIP program in federal fiscal year 2016. The program currently insures at least 122,000 children across Louisiana and covers basic medical costs such as doctor visits, immunizations, and prescription medications.
“CHIP costs the state of Louisiana very little, and thousands of children receive health insurance. This is a well-managed program with little waste, and you can’t say that about many government programs,” said Sen. Kennedy. “CHIP is a good deal for the taxpayer, and it’s the right thing to do for those children. We’re going to renew it. We need to renew it now because people are scared.”
Sen. Kennedy spoke frankly with Poppy Harlow and John Berman on CNN this morning about why it is imperative to reauthorize CHIP. Click here to watch Sen. Kennedy’s full interview.
“This historic opportunity could not have been possible without Bill’s leadership.”- Sen. Kennedy
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) issued a statement commending Sen. Bill Cassidy’s leadership and efforts on H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Sen. Cassidy is a member of the Finance Committee which crafted the Senate’s version of the tax bill. As such, Sen. Cassidy was in a unique position to shape the bill from inception. Out of the entire Louisiana congressional delegation, only Sen. Cassidy sits on a tax authorizing committee. Under current estimates, Louisiana will receive an additional $100 million in revenue under the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act until 2020 and 2021. This will allow our state to invest in priorities such as coastal restoration and hurricane protection.
“Senate Finance Committee member Dr. Bill Cassidy worked tirelessly to ensure that Louisiana priorities were secured in H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” said Sen. Kennedy. “Louisiana stands to receive millions of dollars in additional revenue for coastal restoration and hurricane protection because of Sen. Cassidy and the entire Louisiana congressional delegation. The entire state of Louisiana owes them great gratitude.”
“I believe in freedom, not more free stuff.”-Sen. Kennedy
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) released the following statement about the recent tax package passed by Congress.
“While some in Louisiana state government are trying, yet again, to raise the taxes of the people of Louisiana, President Trump and the United States Congress have cut taxes for the hard-working people of Louisiana. We believe that families can spend the money they earn better than government bureaucrats can,” said Sen. Kennedy. “We believe in freedom, not more free stuff. You cannot create prosperity through taxation and government spending.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today announced that the deadline is upcoming for National Flood Insurance Program policyholders affected by Louisiana’s August 2016 floods to submit a Proof of Loss form. The Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017 deadline also applies to supplemental claims.
“Thousands of people were impacted by the August 2016 flooding,” said Sen. Kennedy. “The end of the year will be here before you know it. Please ensure that you’ve filed your paperwork so that you can recover and rebuild. ”
Dec 19 2017
Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) Helps Pass Once-In-A-Generation Tax Cuts For The American People
“This bill will help every single Louisiana family, and I am proud to be a part of this historic moment.” –said Sen. Kennedy
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) voted today to pass a once-in-a-generation series of tax cuts. By voting for the bill, Sen. Kennedy made sweeping reforms to America’s antiquated tax code while delivering on his campaign promise to lower taxes and help get the economy moving again.
“This bill helps every single Louisiana family by putting more dollars into their paychecks instead of federal coffers. New jobs get created when families spend those dollars. It’s Economics 101,” said Sen. Kennedy. “We doubled the standard deduction. We more than doubled the child tax credit. We lowered tax rates. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: This bill is about tax cuts, jobs, and more jobs. We have delivered on both. We’ve finally given families and businesses meaningful tax cuts. We’re giving them the tools to dream and to build and to prosper. ”
Highlights from the legislation:
- Increases Take-Home Pay: The typical family of four will receive a tax cut of $2,059.
- Lowers Tax Brackets: The new tax brackets are 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 37%.
- Doubles the Standard Deduction: For an individual, the standard deduction goes from $6,350 to $12,700. For a married couple, it goes from $12,000 to $24,000.
- Doubles the Child Tax Credit: The child tax credit is doubled from the current $1,000 to $2,000, and more parents are allowed to claim the credit.
- Repeals Obamacare’s Individual Mandate: Repealing this unpopular tax will help provide additional relief to low- and middle-income families.
- 135,510 people in Louisiana paid the individual mandate tax penalty in 2014 rather than purchase insurance.
- Builds Families: The Adoption Tax Credit is preserved, which ensures that the adoption process remains accessible and affordable.
- Supports Teachers: The Educator Expense Deduction is retained, allowing teachers to claim a deduction for money they spend out of pocket on their classrooms. This tax deduction helps teachers who selflessly spend their own money on school supplies.
- Preserves Historic Tax Credit: By preserving the Historic Tax Credit (HTC), Louisiana’s historic properties and communities will continue to be revitalized and create new economic opportunities.
- Provides A Two Year Boost In GOMESA Funding: Under current estimates, Louisiana will receive an additional $100 million in revenue under the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act until 2020 and 2021. This would allow our state to invest in priorities such as coastal restoration and hurricane protection.
Dec 18 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today that the final draft of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) contains important provisions for Louisiana families, teachers, and businesses. The most significant provision is a two-year boost in the Gulf Coast's share of offshore revenue.
"Louisiana stands to receive millions of dollars in additional revenue for coastal restoration and hurricane protection," said Sen. Kennedy. "This is a tremendous acknowledgment of the critical role that Louisiana plays in reducing our nation's reliance on foreign oil. It's also an invaluable gift to our children and grandchildren. We need to reverse coastal erosion for future generations. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy worked tirelessly to ensure this provision was in the bill. The entire state of Louisiana owes them great gratitude."
The bill also:
- Creates flexibility for families: Families will receive flexibility in saving money for their children’s education through 529 educational savings accounts. Traditionally, this money could only be used for college tuition. Now families will be able to use the savings for primary or secondary school expenses, ensuring that kindergarten all the way through college is covered.
- Builds families: The Adoption Tax Credit is preserved. This ensures that the adoption process is accessible and affordable.
- Supports teachers: The Educator Expense Deduction is retained, allowing teachers to claim a deduction for money they spend out of pocket on their classrooms. This is a modest tax deduction that helps teachers who selflessly spend their own money on school supplies.
Sen. Kennedy (R-LA) Asks Revenue Department To Collect Taxes From Col. Edmonson For Free Housing, Other Benefits
Dec 13 2017
WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today sent a letter asking Louisiana Department of Revenue Secretary Kimberly Robinson to collect unpaid state income taxes from former State Police Supt. Mike Edmonson for the fringe benefits he received while serving as a cabinet secretary.
Text of the letter:
December 13, 2017
The Honorable Kimberly Robinson
Louisiana Department of Revenue
617 North Third St.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802
By email, fax, and U.S. mail
Dear Secretary Robinson:
I am requesting that you collect unpaid state income taxes from former State Police Supt. Mike Edmonson. It is clear from the draft of the state Legislative Auditor's Office report obtained by news media that Col. Edmonson received taxpayer-funded perks that constituted taxable income. The perks included free housing, utilities, cable television, electricity, dry cleaning, and meals. These are fringe benefits, and Col. Edmonson should have calculated their fair market value and reported them as taxable income.
Col. Edmonson is not above the law merely because he was a member of Gov. Edwards' cabinet. In fact, he took on an added responsibility as a public servant to conduct himself with honor and honesty. He also cannot be allowed to shirk his tax obligations when Louisiana families and businesses are struggling with a higher tax burden.
As you know, the Edwards administration convinced the Legislature to raise well over $1 billion in new taxes and fees last year, and Governor Edwards asked for another tax increase this year, all at a time when our oil and gas industry is in a depression and we have one of the highest unemployment rates in America. The least you can do is demand that his cabinet appointees pay their taxes.
United States Senator
Dec 12 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced the passage of his resolution asking that all members of Congress spend at least one day a year as a substitute teacher. The resolution builds upon Sen. Kennedy’s long practice of serving as a teacher several times a year by urging other lawmakers to gain firsthand knowledge of the challenges facing educators and students in the classroom.
“I started substitute teaching 15 years ago when I realized there was a huge disconnect between lawmakers and teachers of secondary and elementary schools. Teaching is the most difficult job in the world, and very few members of Congress have stood in front of a class of students and taught,” said Sen. Kennedy. “Teachers not only have to teach, but they’re expected to be psychologists and sociologists and mentors and mommies and daddies. You have to get in there and experience it to really know what’s going on in the classroom these days. I’m proud to see my resolution pass the U.S. Senate. I hope many of my colleagues take the initiative to experience the challenges and rewards of the classroom.”
Click here to read the full text of Sen. Kennedy’s resolution.
Dec 07 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. John Kennedy and Bill Cassidy, M.D. today met with President Trump, top administration officials, and a group of fellow Senators at the White House to advocate for Louisiana oil refining jobs while discussing potential changes to the nation’s biofuels policy.
“Louisiana is one of the nation’s largest energy refining states. As such, we have 17 refineries with thousands of workers who depend on maintaining a reasonable proportion of biofuels for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). It’s imperative that we ensure our nation’s refineries have a seat at the table as we continue to debate a potential legislative overhaul of the RFS,” said Sen. Kennedy.
“The current Renewable Fuel Standard is harming Louisiana refiners, families, fishers and workers,” said Dr. Cassidy. “The status quo is unacceptable, so today’s meeting with President Trump was a positive step in the right direction. I look forward to finding answers for this issue.”
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) sets the amount of ethanol and biodiesel that must be blended into transportation fuel. The mandated minimum amount of biofuel increases each year, decided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). To make sure that companies are compliant, the EPA uses a credit trading system called the Renewable Identification Number (RIN). The refiners are the obligated party and must submit these “RIN” credits. If the refiners can’t blend the fuel themselves, then they purchase these RINs from rivals that do. Each gallon of renewable fuel has its own RIN.
The RFS was designed to reduce our reliance on foreign oil and increase agriculture production. Just a few years after the RFS started, the shale boom happened and changed the playing field. The RFS is a government program that is costing refiners billions and ultimately placing the cost on the consumer at the pump.
The meeting was attended by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn. Also in attendance were Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Enzi (R-WY), James Inhofe (R-OK), James Lankford (R-OK), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Pat Toomey (R-PA).
Dec 07 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) sent a letter today to the Republican members of the conference committee that is working on delivering robust tax reform to American families and businesses. Sen. Kennedy highlighted the importance of three key amendments to teachers, parents, grandparents, the energy industry and coastal communities in Louisiana.
“Congress has made tremendous progress toward delivering meaningful tax cuts to middle-class families and small businesses. Our conferees are working on smoothing out the differences in order to put a final bill on the President’s desk by Christmas,” said Sen. Kennedy. “All I ask is that the conferees preserve amendments important to our teachers, our kids and our coastal communities. Louisiana needs tax cuts, and we also need to educate our kids and stop our coastline from disappearing.”
The full text of the letter is below. Sen. Kennedy highlighted:
Supporting schoolteachers: The Educator Expense Deduction allows teachers to claim a $500 deduction for money they spend out of pocket on their classrooms. This is a modest tax deduction that helps teachers who selflessly spend their own money on school supplies.
Creating flexibility for families: An amendment was introduced that creates much-needed flexibility for families who save money for their children’s education through 529 educational savings accounts. Traditionally, this money could only be used for college tuition. The amendment gives families more freedom by allowing the savings to be used for primary or secondary school expenses, ensuring that kindergarten all the way through college is covered.
Increasing coastal restoration funding: Louisiana is critical to the nation’s energy industry and reducing the reliance on foreign oil. Our state is home to a fifth of the nation’s refining capacity and is a major contributor to natural gas production. Unfortunately, we’re losing our coast at an alarming rate. A bill passed by the Senate would increase Louisiana’s share of offshore revenue in order to address this growing problem. We have to sustain our infrastructure, coastal communities and wetlands in order to continue to be an energy powerhouse.