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Sen. Kennedy: ‘It would be downright stupid to shut down the government’

WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, voted today in favor of a continuing resolution to fund the federal government and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through Dec. 21.  This continuing resolution is a temporary measure that prevents a partial government shutdown and allows Congress more time to negotiate long-term appropriations legislation.

As part of the continuing resolution, the NFIP will remain authorized for two weeks, which will give the U.S. House of Representatives more time to vote on Sen. Kennedy’s six-month reauthorization legislation, S.3628.  Sen. Kennedy’s six-month NFIP reauthorization legislation passed in the Senate last week.

“It would be downright stupid to shut down the government,” said Sen. Kennedy. “I’m willing to work all day, all night and weekends to ensure that the government is fully funded and that families in Louisiana can receive flood insurance.  We have several federal departments and agencies that still need funding, and we need to be smart about the appropriations process.  I think these two weeks will give us time to settle on fair and effective legislation to keep the lights on.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced today that Louisiana will receive $41 million in Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grants for the widening of Interstate 12 in St. Tammany Parish and for roadwork connected to Port Fourchon.  The Appropriations Committee funds the BUILD grants, and Sen. Kennedy has been working with Transporatation Secretary Elaine Chao to secure the funding through the appropriations committee.  Secretary Chao phoned Sen. Kennedy early this morning to announce the funding.

Sen. Kennedy wrote Secretary Chao in July 2018 about unsafe conditions and bottlenecks along a 3.8-mile segment of Interstate 12 in St. Tammany Parish.  Four people died in traffic accidents on the stretch of roadway over Memorial Day weekend this year.

The funding for Port Fourchon also is vital to reducing traffic accidents.  A new connector road and lift span bridge will be built to divert traffic from a rural road to a four-lane divided highway.

“The widening of Interstate 12 is critical to public safety.  After the Memorial Day weekend fatalities, I started working with state and local leaders to convince Secretary Chao that this funding was necessary to save lives.  I want to thank St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister and state Sen. Jack Donahue for working tirelessly with me on this project,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “I’m also pleased that we received funding for infrastructure related to Port Fourchon, which plays a vital role in our oil and gas industry and energy economy. Port Commission Executive Director Chett Chiasson’s leadership and hard work on this BUILD grant will do enormous good in our efforts to continue growing our port.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today that the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development awarded 14 grants and loans to Louisiana communities.  The awards include $20 million in grants to support water and environmental programs in Louisiana.

“These grants and loans are investments into communities across Louisiana,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “Mostly aimed at water programs, these investments help revitalize and protect our small towns that contribute to our economy and the character of the state.”

 

  • Ascension Parish received a $7,861,000 grant and a $9,678,000 loan.
  • The Town of Gibsland received a $1,991,000 grant and a $2,529,000 loan.
  • East Columbia Water District received a $150,000 grant and a $3,129,000 loan.
  • West Grant Water Association received a $337,000 loan.
  • Village of North Hodge received a $114,000 grant and a $141,000 loan.
  • Town of Coushatta received a $4,174,000 loan.
  • Randolph Water Systems Inc. received a $8,000 grant and a $142,000 loan.
  • Hudson Gaars Mill Water System Inc. received a $826,000 grant and $976,000 loan.
  • Town of Haughton received a $2,971,000 grant and a $6,849,000 loan.
  • Black Water Inc. received a $495,000 grant and a $3,205,000 loan.
  • Village of Hodge received a $543,000 grant and $1,543,000 loan.
  • Belah-Fellowship Water System Inc. received a $4,068,000 loan.
  • Town of Melville received a $3,224,000 grant and $1,166,000 loan.
  • Consolidated Waterworks #13 of West Feliciana received a $1,907,000 grant and a $5,825,000 loan.

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) delivered a speech on the Senate floor today in honor of former President George H. W. Bush.

People don’t really care how much you know until they know how much you care,” said Sen. Kennedy. “President George Herbert Walker Bush knew a lot, but he cared a lot too.  America weeps both in joy for his life and in sadness because his soul is in a better place but not with us. America and the world have lost a favorite son.”

Click here or the photo below to watch Sen. Kennedy’s full floor speech.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) issued the following statement today on the inclusion of a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) extension in the stopgap government funding bill:  

“We are working to keep the National Flood Insurance Program funded and government going for another two weeks while the nation mourns President George H. W. Bush,” said Sen. John Kennedy.  “I know that we can put longer-term solutions in place.  I’m ready to work through Christmas to get it done.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) issued the following statement today:  

“Last month, three of my Senate colleagues, two of my House colleagues, and I met in Beijing with Premier Li Keqiang, the second ranking Chinese government official, and others to discuss several issues.  The State Department asked us in particular to lobby China to stop Chinese citizens from exporting synthetic fentanyl and the ingredients to make it to Mexico, from which fentanyl enters the United States.  We hammered hard.  This weekend, President Xi Jinping, meeting with President Trump, announced that China would designate fentanyl a “controlled substance” subject to the maximum penalty under Chinese law.  Fentanyl killed more Americans last year than we lost during the entirety of the Vietnam War.  Much of it came to the United States from China.  The credit for this breakthrough goes to Presidents Trump and Xi, but it sure made me feel like our trip to Beijing was worthwhile.  

I love being in the United States Senate.  I will not be a candidate for Governor in 2019.  I will, however, continue to work hard every day in D.C. and Louisiana for jobs, economic growth, cheaper health insurance, a stronger military, and an end to government waste.  I am fortunate to sit on powerful Senate committees that provide a venue to do that.  It is such an honor to represent the people of Louisiana in the United States Senate.  Right now, that’s where I think I can do the most good.  

I hope someone runs for Governor who understands that Louisiana state government does not have to be a big, slow, dumb, wasteful, sometimes corrupt, spend-money-like-it-was-ditchwater, anti-taxpayer, top down institution.  I love Louisiana as much as I love my country, and the people of my state deserve a state government as good as they are.  

Thank you to the many people who offered me advice about my decision.  I listened carefully.  You taught me a lot.

Finally, I want to thank the many constituents who encouraged me to run.  Your support humbles me.  It is my honor to serve you in the United States Senate.  You, and your families, are the reason I get up to do this job each and every day.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today that the Office of Gulf Restoration in the Department of the Treasury awarded a $400,000 grant to Livingston Parish for a shoreline restoration project.

The Amite River Costal Wetlands Restoration Project will help rebuild 10 acres of forested coastal wetlands and shoreline habitats that have been lost due to erosion at the meeting point of the Amite Rive and Lake Maurepas in Livingston Parish.

“Funds from this grant will begin the planning stages—surveying, permitting, designing and engineering—of the Amite River Costal Wetlands Restoration Project,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “Repairing the shoreline after years of erosion will help preserve Louisiana’s natural wildlife and resources as well as the beauty of the Amite River.” 

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) issued the following statement today on the death of former President George H. W. Bush:  

“America, and the world, weep at the passing of President Bush,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “He devoted his life to serving his country with quiet capability.  Louisiana will never forget the time he spent raising money to help us recover from Hurricane Katrina.  God bless, President George H. W. Bush, and his family.”

 

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Donald Trump today signed into law U.S. Sen. John Kennedy’s (R-La.) bipartisan legislation that will help disaster victims rebuild and recover.

Sen. Kennedy was the lead sponsor of the disaster recovery bill, S.3554.  The legislation will allow the SBA to get more dollars in the hands of disaster survivors by preventing loan limits from dropping from $25,000 to $14,000.  Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) were cosponsors.

“Louisiana families want to start rebuilding as soon as the storm passes.  We want to rip out the sheetrock and replace the roof as soon as the evacuation order is lifted.  This legislation keeps an important recovery tool in place,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “Families need as many options as possible when faced with a storm’s devastation.  We don’t want to slow down their recovery.”

“More than six years after Superstorm Sandy ravaged New Jersey and much of the East Coast, families and communities are still going through the difficult rebuilding process,” said Sen. Booker.  “This bipartisan bill is an important step towards helping victims of natural disasters find meaningful assistance.” 

“As Florida’s Panhandle continues to recover from Hurricane Michael, it is imperative that businesses and homeowners affected by the storm have the ability to apply for Small Business Disaster loans as a means to rebuild the local economy and ensure housing remains available and affordable for workers,” said Sen. Rubio. “If this bill is not signed into law, each future Small Business Disaster loan’s value will be effectively cut in half, harming the businesses and homeowners who they are intended to help following future natural disasters.”

 

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – With hours remaining before the program’s lapse, the U.S. Senate today passed U.S. Sen. John Kennedy’s (R-La.) six-month reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).   

The House and the Senate also approved a seven-day extension that prevents the program from lapsing Friday.  Sen. Kennedy now will focus on House passage of his longer-term extension.

“For the past week, I’ve been working hard to convince my colleagues in the Senate that a lapse in the NFIP would be a disservice to families across this country, not just in the coastal states.  I’m glad my colleagues came around.  More than five million Americans rely on this program to protect their homes, families and businesses.  I don’t have to drive home the importance of this program to anyone in Louisiana, where it is as essential as air,” said Sen. Kennedy. “I am frustrated with the inefficiency in Washington that is causing us to extend the program again without long-term reforms, but families deserve to be protected.”

 

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