Media

“Our children will become America’s next leaders, so it’s important that we continue to invest in their education during this outbreak. This funding will give Louisiana students the resources to succeed even under challenges they’ve never walked through before.”

 MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $286,980,175 in funding from the Department of Education to support continued education for K-12 students in Louisiana who were impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our children will become America’s next leaders, so it’s important that we continue to invest in their education during this outbreak. This funding will give Louisiana students the resources to succeed even under challenges they’ve never walked through before,” said Kennedy.

This funding is part of $13.2 billion allocated to the Education Department through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. It will help promote distance education, prepare for next school year and ensure student health and safety.

Additional information about this CARES Act relief funding is available here.

“With accurate data, we can understand what works best to combat the spread of the coronavirus. I’m glad to see this funding support Louisiana research to flatten the curve.”

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today announced $199,009 in grant funding from the National Science Foundation to support a coronavirus research project at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

“With accurate data, we can understand what works best to combat the spread of the coronavirus. I’m glad to see this funding support Louisiana research to flatten the curve,” said Kennedy.

The funding comes through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act.

More information about the project is available here.

“I respectfully urge you to deny any request for early release made by Robert Allen Stanford, Bernie Madoff, and others who chose to devastate innocent Americans with their fraudulent schemes.”

 MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today wrote a letter to Attorney General William Barr to request that he deny early prison releases for Allen Stanford, Bernie Madoff and others convicted of serious fraudulent crimes.

“Our efforts should be focused on protecting those who protected us[:] our parents, grandparents, and military veterans who led crime-free lives. Criminals such as Stanford and Madoff who preyed on the elderly should be the last ones to benefit from the change in circumstances COVID-19 has caused. . . . I respectfully urge you to deny any request for early release made by Robert Allen Stanford, Bernie Madoff, and others who chose to devastate innocent Americans with their fraudulent schemes,” wrote Kennedy.

On March 26, 2020, Attorney General Barr directed the Federal Bureau of Prisons to grant early release to certain non-violent criminals who are at high risk of falling victim to the coronavirus. Congress originally authorized this power through emergency legislation to protect elderly or chronically ill inmates from infection.

Kennedy also requested that the Justice Department publish on its website key information regarding every inmate who is released under the orders developed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The letter is available here.

“Waiving SBA’s affiliation rules for local newspapers and broadcasters and ensuring that financial assistance flows to the local affiliate, not the parent company, would allow these small, local operations to be eligible for much-needed financial relief. Local newspapers and broadcasters have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis, are essential for maintaining a well-informed public, and deserve our help.”

MADISONVILLE, La. – As the Senate considers additional measures to support small businesses around the country struggling with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), John Boozman (R-Ark.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) sent a letter to Senate leadership urging them to ensure any future legislation make thousands of local newspapers, TV and radio stations around the country eligible for small business assistance under the Paycheck Protection Program.

In the letter, the senators called for waiving the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) affiliation rule to allow local media outlets to access funding, pointing to the critical role these outlets play in keeping communities healthy and informed.

“Ensuring that local news outlets remain viable at this critical time is not only a matter of fairness, but is essential to public health. Local newspapers, radio, and television stations provide important local content that keeps their communities informed,” wrote the senators.

The coronavirus pandemic has had devastating effects on local media outlets around the country, including Louisiana’s. In the last few months, local newspapers have lost as much as 50 percent of advertising revenue, and the National Association of Broadcasters found that some local broadcasters have reported as much as a 90 percent loss in advertising revenues. Nationwide, advertising losses for local TV and radio broadcasters are estimated to reach at least $3 billion. The crisis has also resulted in an estimated 28,000 news workers being laid off nationwide.

These losses have only increased the financial difficulties many local media outlets have been feeling for years. From 2005 to 2018, newspaper advertising revenue fell from $49 billion to $14 billion, while subscription revenue remained flat. During the same time period, at least 1,800 newspapers went out of business, and roughly 28,000 newsroom jobs were lost nationwide.

“Waiving SBA’s affiliation rules for local newspapers and broadcasters and ensuring that financial assistance flows to the local affiliate, not the parent company, would allow these small, local operations to be eligible for much-needed financial relief. Local newspapers and broadcasters have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis, are essential for maintaining a well-informed public, and deserve our help,” the senators concluded. 

The letter is available here.

“Federal and state governments are working together to save lives and livelihoods in Louisiana and many other states, as America’s oil industry is struggling mightily. I’m proud to join my state officials in asking the EPA to quickly approve this waiver and protect Louisiana refinery jobs.”

 MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today wrote a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler to request a waiver of the renewable volume obligation (RVO) under the renewable fuel standard (RFS) program in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Federal and state governments are working together to save lives and livelihoods in Louisiana and many other states, as America’s oil industry is struggling mightily. I’m proud to join my state officials in asking the EPA to quickly approve this waiver and protect Louisiana refinery jobs,” said Kennedy.

Governor John Bel Edwards recently requested that the EPA approve a waiver to lower the total RVO in order to combat the impact of the coronavirus on the oil and gas industry.

Low demand for gasoline and jet fuel has forced refineries operating along the gulf coast to decrease production between 20 and 33.3 percent. As oil prices decline, refineries across the country are fighting to maintain facilities and pay employees.

The letter is available here.

“Our state’s public transportation system is doing whatever it takes to adjust to this pandemic, and this funding will help Shreveport maintain its transit services and support efforts to slow the spread of the virus around northern Louisiana.”

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced an $11,323,615 grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to support Shreveport Transit Management, Inc. in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

“Our state’s public transportation system is doing whatever it takes to adjust to this pandemic, and this funding will help Shreveport maintain its transit services and support efforts to slow the spread of the virus in northern Louisiana,” said Kennedy.

The federal funding requires no local match. It is part of a previously announced $162 million grant delivered through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act to support Louisiana’s public transit industry. More information from the FTA is available here.

“I’m thankful for President Trump’s leadership and that he takes wisdom from many places. . . . It’s an honor to be part of a team that will help resuscitate our economy and put our people back to work—because American innovation and elbow grease is how we guarantee a future that’s brighter than ever.”

MADISONVILLE, La. – President Donald Trump has selected Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) to join a bipartisan, bicameral task force of lawmakers focused on reopening the economy in the wake of the coronavirus. President Trump conducted his first meeting of the economic task force this morning by phone, with Sen. Kennedy and fellow task force lawmakers taking part.

“I’m thankful for President Trump’s leadership and that he takes wisdom from many places. My home state has the president and his administration to thank for crucial help as we fight the coronavirus. It’s an honor to be part of a team that will help resuscitate our economy and put our people back to work—because American innovation and elbow grease is how we guarantee a future that’s brighter than ever,” said Kennedy.

“Failing to refuel the Paycheck Protection Program is a quick way to kill jobs and close down job creators for the long haul. I hope my colleagues in both chambers and on both sides of the aisle will allow us to inject an additional $250 billion into this program immediately—with no strings attached.”

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) released the following statement after the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program ran out of funding today:

“Right now, funding small businesses is a key way we save jobs. Failing to refuel the Paycheck Protection Program is a quick way to kill jobs and close down job creators for the long haul. I hope my colleagues in both chambers and on both sides of the aisle will allow us to inject an additional $250 billion into this program immediately—with no strings attached,” said Kennedy.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act gave $349 billion to the Small Business Administration to make loans to cover payroll expenses during the coronavirus pandemic. The program has saved millions of jobs but ran out of lending capacity in less than two weeks.

In recent days, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have demanded the following as pre-conditions for providing additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program:

  • $100 billion in additional funding for hospitals.
  • $150 billion in additional funding for state and local governments.
  • A 15 percent increase in the maximum benefit payments for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
  • Another round of $1,200 checks to individuals.
  • An extension of unemployment benefits for two additional months. 
  • New strings attached to the increase in Paycheck Protection Program funds that would force small-business owners to submit personal data about themselves and other owners and investors to their banks and the federal government. These requirements could result in additional paperwork, slow the application process and cause small businesses not to participate.
  • Additional restrictions would limit $125 billion of the $250 billion in funding to criteria that exclude many business owners.

“It’s critical for health care providers to have access to telehealth services as we fight this pandemic. This funding will help protect the safety of patients as well as the medical professionals on the frontlines.”

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, today announced $1 million in grant funding from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to support telehealth services and devices for the Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

“It’s critical for health care providers to have access to telehealth services as we fight this pandemic. This funding will help protect the safety of patients as well as the medical professionals on the frontlines,” said Kennedy.

The grant is part of $200 million appropriated in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act for the FCC to promote telehealth services. It will promote efforts aimed at caring for vulnerable populations and high-risk patients during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The federal and state governments are working together day and night to respond to this pandemic. This funding will help reimburse Louisiana for the money spent on resources to combat this virus.”

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Homeland Security, today announced a $55,718,685 FEMA grant to help the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness respond to the coronavirus outbreak in Louisiana.

“The federal and state governments are working together day and night to respond to this pandemic. This funding will help reimburse Louisiana for the money spent on resources to combat this virus,” said Kennedy.

President Donald Trump declared a major disaster in Louisiana on March 24, 2020. The grant is authorized under the Robert T. Stafford Act.