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WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $1,261,760 in a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant for Louisiana disaster aid.

“Hurricane Ida struck New Orleans and left many buildings with damage. I’m thankful to see that this $1.2 million will help the St. Joan of Arc School recover from the storm,” said Kennedy. 

The FEMA aid will fund the following:

  • $1,261,760 to the Archdiocese of New Orleans for emergency protective measures conducted at the St. Joan of Arc School as a result of Hurricane Ida.

 

To view Kennedy’s full remarks click here.

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), the ranking member of the Energy and Water Subcommittee on Appropriations, today condemned the Biden administration’s moratorium on permitting for liquified natural gas (LNG) exports.

Remarks from Kennedy are below.

“When I first heard about President Biden’s moratorium on new liquefied natural gas export terminals, two words came to my mind: energy suicide. With his moratorium, President Biden is trying to commit energy suicide for America and for the West.

“I think we’ve known for some time that on too many occasions, with respect to too many issues, President Biden has been a sock puppet for a faction of neo-socialist Americans who think our country was wicked when it was founded and that it’s even more wicked today. 

“This faction, aided by President Biden, thinks that our country should be torn down and rebuilt by them, of course, and now, with the assistance of the president, they have turned their sights to America’s hard-earned—hard-earned—energy independence.

“With this moratorium, it is clear to me more than it’s ever been, that President Biden’s new energy policy is as follows: Instead of America using its own oil and gas, we should buy our energy from countries that hate us, so those countries that hate us will have more money to buy weapons to try to kill us.

“This new moratorium is going to hurt our economy, it’s going to hurt the American people, and it’s going to hurt our friends, particularly in Europe.

“Stupidity should hurt more. I’ve watched President Biden do a lot of foolish things, but it’s clear to me with this decision that it’s getting worse. President Biden—he’s worse than he used to be, and he wasn’t great then.”

Background: 

  • On Jan. 30, Kennedy penned a Wall Street Journal op-ed vowing to block President Biden’s nominees to the State Department and the Department of Energy until the administration stops its hostility towards LNG production.
  • On Jan. 30, Kennedy and colleagues urged the administration to reverse its decision to pause permitting for LNG export facilities in the U.S., citing a threat to the industry. Louisiana's Calcasieu Pass 2 project is among the 17 proposed LNG terminals Biden's decision froze.
  • On Jan. 18, prior to the Biden administration's decision to halt permitting for LNG export facilities, Kennedy warned DOE Secretary Jennifer Graham about the administration’s burdensome permitting process. 
  • In April 2021, Kennedy wrote an op-ed outlining how Louisiana’s energy production could help meet the world’s demand for LNG.

Kennedy’s full remarks are available here.

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today joined Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in introducing the Violent Incident Clearance and Technological Investigative Methods (VICTIM) Act to establish a grant program at the Department of Justice (DOJ) to help state, tribal and local law enforcement agencies solve more crimes and improve clearance rates for homicides and firearm related violent crimes. 

“As crime rises in the U.S., many cases go unsolved. This is true for Louisiana’s small towns and large cities alike, where local law enforcement has to do more with less. The VICTIM Act would provide law enforcement with key financial and technical support to help bring violent criminals to justice and give victims closure,” said Kennedy.

“Far too many murders in our country go unsolved, leaving families and communities shattered and without answers. This lack of justice is unacceptable, and we can and must do more. I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation that will provide law enforcement agencies with the appropriate training and resources to deliver justice to more grieving families, promote community safety, and assist victims in healing after unimaginable tragedy,” said Booker.

Sens. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) cosponsored the legislation. Reps. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) and Dwight Evans (D-Pa.) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

“Gun violence and violent crime must be addressed with a holistic approach. This bipartisan, bicameral bill will help ensure our law enforcement agencies have the resources needed to keep our communities safe, while also supporting victims and families who are rebuilding their lives in the aftermath of violent crime,” said Durbin.

“Far too many homicide cases go unsolved, leaving families of victims without answers or justice. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation to provide the necessary resources to state and local law enforcement agencies to reduce the number of unsolved homicide cases and make our communities safer,” said Tillis.  

The Louisiana Association of Chiefs of Police, Fraternal Order of Police, Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA), Major County Sheriffs of America (MCSA), Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies (ASCIA), the Niskanen Center and Arnold Ventures support the bill. 

“Homicide cases can be very difficult to clear—and violent firearms-related cases can be even more so. Closing these types of crimes requires diligence, manpower, and a sustained investigative effort. Given the limited resources of law enforcement agencies, it’s important to provide the significant, dedicated resources that clearing these crimes requires, especially given their oftentimes heinous nature. The resources the VICTIM Act would provide would improve the ability of law enforcement agencies to punish the perpetrators of these crimes, provide justice for the victims and their families, and grant peace of mind for communities and the dedicated law enforcement officers that serve them. When we can clear more crimes like these, our communities are safer places to live and work,” said Patrick Yoes, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police. 

“A high clearance rate is something every law enforcement agency strives to achieve. Recognizing the challenges our profession faces such as understaffing and technological advancements, the Major Cities Chiefs Association was proud to work collaboratively with Senators Booker and Kennedy to produce a bipartisan bill that will assist local law enforcement agencies augment, implement and administer programs and technologies to increase clearance rates for homicides and firearm related violent crimes,” said Chief Eddie Garcia, MCCA President.

“The Major County Sheriffs of America (MCSA) is proud to support the VICTIM Act and thanks Senators Booker and Kennedy for their leadership on this important legislation, which will provide law enforcement agencies with the necessary tools and resources to investigate and solve violent crimes. The new resources this legislation would provide will assist agencies across the country with hiring and training investigative personnel while acquiring necessary investigative technology and forensic equipment to keep our communities safe.  We stand ready to support all efforts to advance this important bill,” said Megan Noland, MCSA Executive Director. 

“Building capacity across state and local law enforcement agencies to investigate violent crime is an important priority. The Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies (ASCIA) appreciates Senators Kennedy and Booker for introducing the VICTIM Act, which would provide new resources to help agencies strengthen their abilities to efficiently, fairly, and accurately analyze forensic evidence, investigate, and solve violent crimes,” said Drew Evans, ASCIA President.

“There is no more urgent issue than ensuring violent criminals are brought to justice and that homicides are solved. We’re grateful for Senator Kennedy's leadership in sponsoring this important legislation,” said Greg Newburn, director of Criminal Justice at the Niskanen Center. 

The VICTIM Act would help local law enforcement: 

  • Train detectives and police personnel to investigate, solve and respond to homicides and non-fatal shootings. 
  • Hire additional detectives and investigative personnel.
  • Invest in technology needed for solving crimes.
  • Train police personnel to address the needs of victims and family members of homicides and firearm related violent crimes.
  • Provide victims and family members with mental health resources and assistance with shelter, wage and relocation costs.

The bill would require those who receive VICTIM Act grants to report their use of the money to the DOJ. DOJ would collect and provide that information to Congress.

The full text of the VICTIM Act is available here.

 

 

 

 

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today joined Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) in introducing the Simplifying Subcontracting Act to clarify federal contracts so that businesses can easily pursue federal subcontracts.

“Small businesses benefit from federal contracts, but, when the government uses confusing words, it discourages small businesses from applying for them. The Simplifying Subcontracting Act would make federal contracts use clear language so that more businesses can take advantage of contracting opportunities,” said Kennedy.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, yet many are left out when it comes to federal government subcontracting due to excessively complicated language. Congress can easily fix this with the Simplifying Subcontracting ActMy legislation would require the federal government to communicate in plain language, not bureaucrat, in order to open the door for more small businesses to compete for these contracts,” said Risch. 

The Simplifying Subcontracting Act would:

  • Simplify federal contracts. 
  • Require prime contractors to write applications in plain, clear language.
  • Remedy the government’s use of overly technical language that many find difficult to understand. 

Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also cosponsored the bill. 

Full text of the Simplifying Subcontracting Act is available here.

Watch Kennedy question Yellen here. 

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), ranking member of the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Economic Policy, questioned Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen today about the fact that inflation under President Biden now costs Louisiana families an extra $792 each month. 

These high prices caused by Bidenomics are here to stay, aren't they?” Kennedy asked Yellen.

“I don't expect the level of prices to go down. . . . Some prices will be higher than they were before the pandemic and will stay higher,” Yellen replied.

Real wages—which measure wages when adjusted for inflation—have fallen since January 2021. That means workers are effectively making less money now than they were three years ago.

“If you don't get a pay raise, you're screwed,” explained Kennedy. 

When Kennedy asked Yellen whether it could take a recession to get these prices down, she responded, “Well, we don’t have to get the prices down because wages, wages are going up.”

Wages, however, have not risen as quickly as prices have.

“You don’t think we need to get these prices down? You think it’s ok that bacon’s up 20% under President Biden? Chicken’s up 23.5%. Coffee’s up 30%. Gas is up 44%. [Used] cars and trucks are up . . . 24% under Bidenomics. You don’t think we need to get these prices [down]?” Kennedy asked. 

“People are getting really good at barely getting by because of Bidenomics,” Kennedy added.

Inflation under the Biden administration’s economic policies means Louisianians spend an extra $9,510 annually to buy the same goods and services they purchased before this president took office.

Monthly inflation costs have risen 18.3% since Biden took office. That means inflation has cost Louisiana households nearly $18,000 over the past three years. The median household income for a Louisiana household is $57,852.

Kennedy’s exchange with Yellen is available here.

 

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $3,587,808 in a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant for Louisiana disaster aid.

“Louisiana’s waterways are some of the most iconic parts of our state. I’m grateful to see this $3.6 million help Louisianians in Ascension Parish clean up the debris Hurricane Ida left behind in Bayou Conway,” said Kennedy.

The FEMA aid will fund the following:

  • $3,587,808 to Ascension Parish for debris removal in Bayou Conway.

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Federal Courts, Oversight, Agency Action, and Federal Rights, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, sent a letter to the chief judge of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals regarding discriminatory standing orders issued by three judges on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. 

These three judges have issued nearly identical standing orders implementing a policy that prioritizes granting oral argument to “newer, female, and minority attorneys.” This facially discriminatory policy jeopardizes the integrity of the U.S. legal system. 

“While the standing orders contain minor variations, each establishes a policy under which oral argument requests are granted based on an attorney’s race or sex rather than the substantive merits of the case or the importance of oral argument in clarifying the issue before the court,” wrote Kennedy and Cruz.

“This policy is both unethical and unconstitutional. That is especially true in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, which instructs that ‘[r]acial discrimination [is] invidious in all contexts’ and that ‘eliminating racial discrimination means eliminating all of it.’ Under these standing orders, however, a party that wishes to have the attorney of their choice argue a motion risks being deprived of oral argument if that attorney is an experienced white male, but is assured of oral argument ‘if it is at all practicable to do so’ if that attorney is female or a racial or ethnic minority,” they explained.

The senators note that the policies of these judges suggest ongoing judicial race and sex discrimination, in violation of the Fifth Amendment and judicial codes of conduct. They ask the chief judge’s assistance in addressing the discriminatory policies.

“Depriving parties of their right to oral argument based on the sex or race of the attorney undermines the principles of impartiality, fairness, due process, and the equal protection under the law upon which our judicial system is built. It is unfortunate that the federal taxpayer has, in part, supported such discriminatory conduct,” concluded the senators.

The full letter is available here.

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, joined all other Judiciary Republicans in investigating Rutgers University’s Center for Security, Race and Rights for financially sponsoring events that featured terrorist sympathizers and promoted antisemitism.

“The work of the Center, its promotion of terrorist sympathizers, and its platforming of radical ideologues is troubling to us as members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Committee has a long history of working on legislation meant to root out support for terrorism, and to compensate its victims. For example, in 2016 Congress passed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act,” the senators wrote.

“As the Committee explores the efficacy of this legislation, particularly in the context of recent world events, it is appropriate to evaluate the financial backing of groups that seek to legitimize violence and provide platforms for terrorist sympathizers,” they concluded.

The senators are probing whether U.S. taxpayer dollars fund the Center and what role foreign governments play in supporting the Center’s activities. This Center has received public, bipartisan condemnation, including from Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), who described one of its events as “a platform to those affiliated with Palestinian Islamic Jihad.”

The full letter to the Rutgers University president is available here

The senators also penned a second letter to the law firm Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, based in New York. The firm donated at least $13,000 to the Rutgers Center’s Law Fellows Program over the past three years. The senators asked for written responses to inquiries regarding the firm’s financial support to the university in order to “evaluate the financial backing of groups that seek to legitimize violence and provide platforms for terrorist sympathizers.”

The firm previously declined an informal, private discussion with Judiciary Committee staff.

Full text of the letter to Rutgers is available here and to Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP is available here.

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $1,988,427 in a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant for Louisiana disaster aid.

“Hurricane Ida’s storm surge hit Jefferson Parish hard. I’m grateful to see this $2 million help cover Louisianians’ debris removal costs,” said Kennedy.

The FEMA aid will fund the following:

  • $1,988,427 to Jefferson Parish for debris removal operations on eight private waterways.

Watch Kennedy’s comments here.

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), the ranking member of the Energy and Water Subcommittee on Appropriations, today spoke on the Senate floor to condemn the Biden administration’s pause on new and pending permits for liquified natural gas (LNG) exports. 

Kennedy detailed several Biden administration policies that have harmed America’s energy independence and argued that President Joe Biden’s hostility toward America’s domestic energy sector will hurt the U.S. economy, jeopardize national security and make life more expensive for Louisianians.  

Key excerpts from Kennedy’s remarks include:

“President Biden is committing energy suicide for America. Regrettablyand I mean thatregrettably, too many times in the past three years and on too many issues, we have seen President Biden act as a sock puppet for a faction of neo-socialist Americans who don't like our country, who think our country was wicked when it was founded and that it’s even more wicked today.

“This faction, which President Biden has supported far too often, thinks our country must be torn down and rebuilt, and, of course, they want to be the ones to rebuild it. Now this faction turned its sights, with the help of President Biden, on America’s hard-fought energy independence. President Biden just aided this faction in destroying America’s energy independence and committing energy suicide by declaring a moratorium on new gas terminals in America.

“Apparently, President Biden’s new policy is to give up our own oil and gas and buy the energy that we need from countries that hate us so they will have more money to buy weapons to try to kill us. Stupidity, Mr. President, stupidity should hurt more. I realize you can’t fix stupid, but you can vote it out.”

. . .

“Energy independence is America’s jackpot lottery ticket. Now, we’ve worked hard for it, but it’s our jackpot lottery ticket, but, for some reason, President Biden wants to light our winning numbers on fire.

“He is committing energy suicide. Did I mention that? At every turn, the Biden administration has taken steps to make it more difficult, more expensive and sometimes flat-out impossible to produce, transport and sell the energy products that we need to power America. These foolish policies—the latest of which is a moratorium on LNG—these foolish policies are killing American jobs. They’re killing American jobs, they’re driving up energy prices, they’re jeopardizing our national security and it needs to stop, Mr. President.”

. . .

“Liquified natural gas—it’s not complicated, America helped invent it. You just take natural gas—which is in its gaseous forms—and you cool it, turn it into a liquid, put it on a ship and you can send it all over the world. That’s how we kept Europe open after Putin cut off its oil and natural gas. It was a lifeline for our allies in Europe. It’s a lifeline for many of our friends in west Asia, and President Biden, before this moratorium, he promised our allies in Europe that they could rely on the United States for their LNG needs.

“Now, President Biden has chosen to stab America’s LNG producers and our allies in the back—not in the front, in the back—by prohibiting new LNG export terminals. This decision is going to kill dozens of multi-billion-dollar new terminal projects, including a project in Louisiana that we call Calcasieu Pass 2. . . . It would have brought thousands of good jobs to Louisiana and to America. It would have produced the energy to keep this country safe, to keep this country warm and to help our friends, but President Biden has put all those jobs and the terminal itself in jeopardy. Why? Politics. To appease that neo-socialist faction that I talked about that don’t even like our country.”

. . .

“Energy independence keeps America safe. It keeps America strong. It keeps America prosperous. . . . Louisianians do not want to rely upon the whims of our adversaries to keep our country running.

“We cannot let President Biden commit energy suicide to appease the radical left in the loon wing of his party. So, I ask my colleagues, Mr. President, to join me in pushing back against President Biden’s anti-energy agenda and his moratorium on liquified natural gas.”

Read Kennedy’s recent Wall Street Journal op-ed on LNG here.

View Kennedy’s full remarks here