WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today joined Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), along with Reps. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), Trent Kelly (R-Miss.), Michael Guest (R-Miss.), Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and more than 200 other lawmakers in filing an amicus brief supporting the State of Mississippi in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case, which considers the question of whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health represents the most significant challenge to Roe v. Wade and the viability standard in Planned Parenthood v. Casey in a generation. 

“I’m proud to support this amicus brief, and I stand with Mississippi’s noble effort to defend life in the womb,” said Kennedy.

“Mississippi is at the forefront of the fight for life, and I am glad to lead the charge in Congress on behalf of the unborn. For too long, the precedents of Roe and Casey have prevented states from taking meaningful steps to protect life in the womb. My colleagues and I are urging the Supreme Court to correct these decades of injustice,” said Wicker.

“In taking up Mississippi’s pro-life law, the Supreme Court has a chance to reconsider the current misguided abortion jurisprudence. As a Senator, as a woman, and as a mother, I think this case offers us a chance to overturn Roe and return the abortion issue to the political process and away from activist judges. I am thankful so many of my colleagues are standing with Mississippi and against unlimited abortion on demand in this case,” said Hyde-Smith. 

In the amicus brief, the lawmakers ask that “the Court uphold Mississippi’s law as effectuating important state interests, or, alternatively, return this case to the lower courts for consideration on a full evidentiary record, recognizing that certain precedents [Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey] may be reconsidered and, where necessary, be wholly or partially overruled.”

The State of Mississippi in 2018 enacted the Gestational Age Act, a state law prohibiting abortion after 15 weeks’ gestation, except in cases of medical emergency. The Jackson Women’s Health Organization, an abortion clinic in Jackson, Miss., sued on the grounds that the law violates the viability standard established by Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The Fifth Circuit Court affirmed the district court’s decision on these grounds.

The State of Mississippi filed its case with the Supreme Court on July 22, 2021.

Text of the amicus brief is available here.

WASHINGTON – Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), along with five of their Senate colleagues, sent a letter to Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Gary Gensler following the initial public offering (IPO) by the Chinese vehicle-for-hire company Didi and the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) enforcement actions against Didi.

The senators urged Gensler to enforce the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act and start thorough investigations of potentially fraudulent Chinese Companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges.

“As an illustration of our concern, the Chinese ride-hailing company, Didi Global Inc. recently held its initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Prior to the offering, Didi officials and executives downplayed the risks of imminent Chinese regulation in its IPO prospectus filed at the SEC despite news reports that the CCP warned Didi officials to delay the IPO. . . . Immediately following the IPO, the CCP’s cyber arm, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), opened an investigation into Didi claiming that the company violated Chinese privacy and national security laws. . . . Resulting from this CAC crackdown, Didi’s stock price plummeted only two days after its IPO. The timing of the CAC investigation conveniently occurred after the company was able to snatch billions of dollars from American investors,” the senators wrote.

“The Didi IPO also highlights the troubling trend of Chinese companies taking advantage of our capital markets while ignoring the transparency that is required under U.S. law to access U.S. markets. According to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, as of October 2020 there were 217 Chinese companies listed on U.S. exchanges, including 13 companies that are claimed by the CCP as Chinese state-owned enterprises. We have serious doubts that these companies are in compliance with U.S. transparency requirements,” the senators continued.

“All of this requires the SEC to get much more serious and focused on U.S. listed Chinese companies, starting with the full enforcement of the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act that became law last year after passing both chambers of Congress unanimously. This law will delist Chinese companies that do not comply with Public Company Accounting Oversight Board inspections within three years. The SEC should recognize the urgency of implementing this law and begin counting compliance years now. Congress has already recognized this urgency and is currently considering accelerating this law’s compliance shot clock,” the senators continued.

The senators recommended that, to combat the threat of fraudulent Chinese companies, the SEC should also:

  • Launch investigations into Chinese companies, like Didi, and their underwriters to combat potential fraud and reporting oversights.
  • Investigate the potential risks that certain Chinese-controlled shell companies pose to U.S. investors.
  • Consider cooperative efforts among American, European and Japanese stock exchanges to prevent prospective or delisted Chinese companies from working their way into other prominent markets.
  • Investigate index providers doing business in the U.S. that continue to add Chinese companies to their products despite these companies’ lack of transparency.

Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) joined Kennedy and Sullivan on the letter.

Text of the letter is available here.


Last December, the president signed into law Kennedy’s Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, which prohibits a company from being listed on any of the U.S. securities exchanges if the company has failed to comply with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s (PCAOB) audits for three years in a row.

Many Americans invest in U.S. stock exchanges as part of their retirement and college savings, and dishonest companies operating on the exchanges put Americans’ investments at risk. This legislation protects the interest of hardworking American investors by ensuring that foreign companies traded in America are subject to the same independent audit requirements that apply to their competitors in America and other countries.

This June, the Senate also passed Kennedy’s Accelerating Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, which would put additional pressure on China by requiring foreign companies to comply with PCAOB audits within two consecutive years instead of three. This would help remove fraudulent and non-compliant companies from U.S. exchanges more quickly.

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today released the following statement upon the passing of former senator Mike Enzi:

“Mike Enzi was a principled leader for the people of Wyoming and America and a dear friend to me. He was an example of thoughtful kindness to everyone in the Senate. Becky and I are going to miss him, and our hearts break for the Enzi family.”

WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives today passed Sen. John Kennedy’s (R-La.) DUMP Opioids Act, which would allow everyone in a community to use drop boxes at VA medical centers to dispose of unused controlled substance prescription medications. The Senate passed Kennedy’s legislation in April, and the bill now heads to the president’s desk.

“Giving communities a way to safely get unneeded opioids off the street is a crucial step in combating the opioid epidemic. The House has taken a simple, lifesaving step, and I’m thankful to Dr. Miller-Meeks for championing this bill. I hope that President Biden signs this commonsense, compassionate bill very soon. The opioid crisis hurts families in Louisiana and around the country every day, and the DUMP Opioids Act gives everyone a key tool to make our communities safer and healthier,” said Kennedy. 

Beginning in 2022, certain VA medical centers will be approved to have drop boxes that veterans can use every day to drop off unused medications, and the DUMP Opioids Act would make those drop boxes accessible to their entire communities. The bill instructs the VA Secretary to designate times that the public can dispose of prescriptions at the drop boxes and allows the secretary to carry out public information campaigns to highlight those times. 

Text of the DUMP Opioids Act is available here.

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today introduced the Tourism District Protection Act to combat crime in areas in which tourism represents a key segment of the economy.

“The pandemic lockdowns took revenue away from Louisianians who live in tourism-dependent areas, and now crime is rising across the country. The Tourism District Protection Act would empower police in tourist areas to combat crime so that Americans can visit our country’s iconic locations without fear of getting mugged or attacked,” said Kennedy.

The Tourism District Protection Act would modify existing Justice Department law enforcement programs so that state and local law enforcement may use available funds to fight crime in places that rely on tourism. Programs include:

  • The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, which awards grants to state and local authorities to hire community policing professionals; develop and test innovative policing strategies; and provide training and technical assistance to community members, local government leaders and all levels of law enforcement.
  • The Emergency Federal Law Enforcement Assistance Program, which provides funds to help state and local law enforcement during emergencies.
  • The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, which provides state and local governments with funding to support a variety of programs including, but not limited to, law enforcement.

“The ‘Tourism District Protection Act’ authored by Senator John Kennedy is important legislation as it provides urgently needed public safety resources that not only benefit tourists but also improve the quality of life for all residents in communities that surround these cities. Tourism-dependent regions have experienced critical revenue declines during pandemic restrictions which left them financially devastated and with diminished capacity to fund law enforcement efforts in response to surging violent crime. Funds authorized through this legislation will serve as a foundation for prosperity, growth, and citizen safety by enabling tourist destination cities to implement strategies and bolster law enforcement initiatives to address violent crime,” said President of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, Inc., Rafael C. Goyeneche III.

Text of the Tourism District Protection Act is available here.

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today joined Louisiana’s congressional delegation in urging the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to prioritize Louisiana’s request for supplemental disaster relief in response to Hurricanes Laura and Delta.

“Today marks 328 days since the disaster, and as we approach the one-year anniversary of these devastating storms, we are hopeful that OMB will acknowledge the extreme need for supplemental disaster relief and issue a formal request. We respectfully urge you to expedite Louisiana’s request for supplemental disaster relief. The federal government must provide the thousands of severely impacted Americans in Southwest Louisiana with a real recovery. Our offices look forward to working with you to accomplish this mission,” the lawmakers wrote. 

Last week, Kennedy introduced the Gulf Coast Hurricane Aid Act of 2021. The bill would provide $1.1 billion in disaster relief to Louisianians recovering from last year’s hurricanes. To pay for the aid, Kennedy proposed using revenue from the Federal Communications Commission’s spectrum auction last year, allowing the government to provide the aid without needing to borrow money or add to the deficit. The Senate blocked the bill’s passage.

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Reps. Clay Higgins (R-La.), Steve Scalise (R-La.), Garret Graves (R-La.), Mike Johnson (R-La.), Julia Letlow (R-La.) and Troy Carter (D-La.) also signed the letter. 

 “For the past year and a half, weather disasters in Louisiana have painted a fantastic impression of hell. Since the Senate blocked my $1.1 billion disaster relief bill last week, it’s clearer than ever that the Biden administration must prioritize getting relief to southwest Louisiana by sending a formal request to Congress. Louisianians are tough, but they’re tired, and they need help,” said Kennedy.

“It’s been over a year and our constituents, especially those in Lake Charles, are still suffering from the storms of 2020. Relief has taken too long. We’re working together as our congressional delegation to push the administration to support disaster relief for Southwest Louisiana,” said Cassidy.

“It’s been nearly one year since Hurricanes Laura and Delta devastated Southwest Louisiana, and our region continues to face extreme recovery needs. We are beyond the time for consideration. Southwest Louisiana needs help now. The entire Louisiana congressional delegation is united on this effort, but we need executive branch support to advance long-term recovery resources,” said Higgins. 

“Hurricanes Laura and Delta brought widespread devastation to Southwest Louisiana last fall, and thousands of residents are still picking up the pieces nearly one year later. As we head into the more active months of hurricane season, it’s imperative that additional supplemental disaster relief be delivered to Southwest Louisiana quickly so our communities can get back on their feet and make real progress toward a full recovery,” said Scalise.

“It’s been almost a year since Hurricanes Laura and Delta made landfall in Southwest Louisiana. To watch hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer funds go toward paying people to not work, bailing out private pensions, funding a bridge in New York, building a tunnel in California, or targeting EPA grants for environmental justice—and nothing for the 2020 hurricanes and natural disasters—is disgusting. To make matters worse, Congress rejected multiple amendments by our delegation to target disaster recovery funds for Louisiana and others impacted by the 2020 hurricanes. I appreciate the delegation coming together to push this long-overdue need for those impacted by multiple hurricanes last year. We look forward to working with the Biden Administration, and our state and local leaders to offer a hand up to those truly in need,” said Graves.

“As Louisiana braces for another hurricane season, many of our citizens who were devastated by last year’s historic storms are still recovering. With the first anniversary of Hurricanes Laura and Delta fast approaching, it is imperative that the Biden Administration issue a formal request for disaster relief to Congress, and I join my Louisiana colleagues in urging this action immediately,” said Johnson.

“After a devastating year that has brought hurricanes, floods and freezes, it is infuriating that the people of southwest Louisiana are still waiting on answers from the federal government. This assistance is crucial for people to be able to recover and rebuild and our delegation is united to ensure that the administration makes this a top priority,” said Letlow. 

“We are in the middle of the 2021 hurricane season, yet our communities have not recovered from disasters that occurred less than a year ago. The people of South Louisiana need assistance to both mediate the uncertainty of another deadly hurricane, and to support the long-term recovery process. I am confident the Biden Administration will work with us to get resources to those in need. I stand ready with my colleagues in the Louisiana delegation to work together to garner much-needed disaster relief. While I don’t represent this area, when disaster strikes we are one Louisiana,” said Carter.

The letter is available here.

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) joined Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) in writing to Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget Shalanda Young to express concern over the Biden administration’s decision to stop the Army Corps of Engineers from funding projects that facilitate fossil fuel transportation.

The Biden administration’s plan is particularly damaging for Louisiana because it could target anything that moves through waterways or ports, not just the oil and gas products that also travel via waterways.

The appendix to the Army Corps of Engineers FY 2022 budget states that one of the Corps’ key objectives is not to fund “work that directly subsidizes fossil fuels including work that lowers the cost of production, lowers the cost of consumption, or raises the revenues retained by producers of fossil fuels.”

“This policy goes far beyond establishing priorities through the budget process and is instead an attempt to unilaterally usurp the law making powers of the Legislative Branch. Congress has not given the Executive Branch the authority to categorically exclude an entire industry from eligibility for congressionally authorized federal projects. Instead, within the last decade, Congress repeatedly recognized the critical role of fossil fuels in our nation’s commerce by dedicating federal funds specifically to ports that transport a significant amount of petroleum products, natural gas, or coal,” the senators wrote.

“Fossil fuels and its related products are a commodity commonly transported as waterborne commerce on federal waterways. For example, petroleum and petroleum products comprised 42 percent of all commodities transported as waterborne commerce in 2019. It defies reason that Congress would permit categorically excluding a commodity that is so closely tied to the economic advancement of the United States, as well as its national security,” the senators continued.

“The fossil fuel industry is responsible for millions of American jobs, and the oil and gas industry alone supports nearly 8 percent or $1.7 trillion of the U.S. GDP and helps lower the U.S. trade deficit by billions of dollars. Not only do fossil fuels help provide heat and electricity in our homes and fuel to power our vehicles, but they are also used to make the products we rely on daily, including everything from smartphones and clothing to PPE and medicines. The decision to exclude fossil fuels from commercial navigation projects, especially if applied to other modes of transportation, could have significant ramifications for the United States economy, including a detrimental rise in the price of everyday consumer goods,” the senators continued.

The senators asked Young to:

  • Provide a complete list of every instance the FY 2022 budget includes language that prohibits funding or subsidies for fossil fuels.
  • Define “directly subsidize fossil fuels” and explain whether the language in the budget would ban funding for federal projects that are indirectly connected to fossil fuels.
  • Explain whether the Biden administration intends to ban funding for other modes of transportation of fossil fuels, including highway projects, air transportation projects and railway projects.
  • Clarify how prohibiting funding for projects that lower the cost of fossil fuel consumption will benefit Americans.

Text of the letter is available here.

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) joined Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in introducing a resolution supporting the Cuban people as they lead historic protests against the Cuban communist regime. The resolution highlights the Cuban communist government’s long record of oppression against pro-democracy leaders, political opponents and civic movements.

“Cubans are risking their safety to demand freedom and the blessings that come with it. America must support Cubans in their historic struggle for liberty. To that end, Congress and President Biden should stand with the people of Cuba against its communist regime both now and in the coming days,” said Kennedy.

“The Cuban people are courageously standing up for their freedoms after 62 years of subjugation under a communist dictatorship. This is truly a historic moment, and one that as a Cuban American I’m proud to witness. The people of Cuba have made their voices clear. We must stand in support of the Cuban people’s ongoing efforts to live in a nation free from tyranny and censorship,” said Rubio.

Text of the resolution is available here.

Watch Kennedy’s comments here.

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today introduced and asked the Senate to pass the Gulf Coast Hurricane Aid Act of 2021. The bill would provide $1.1 billion in disaster relief to Louisianians recovering from Hurricanes Laura, Delta and Zeta. To pay for the aid, Kennedy proposed using revenue from the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) spectrum auction last year. That would leave the government with no need to borrow money or add to the deficit. The Senate blocked the bill’s passage.

“I know this has been true for states besides Louisiana, but the last 18 months in Louisiana, from a weather perspective, has been a fantastic impression of hell. Today the Senate had an opportunity to send more than $1 billion to help Louisiana recover from historic hurricanes without charging taxpayers a dime, and it balked.

“The people of Louisiana—especially those in southwest Louisiana—have waited too long for the funds they need to rebuild their lives. My legislation would send them aid without adding one red cent to the U.S. debt.

“Louisiana Republicans and Democrats are united on this issue, and we desperately need Pres. Biden to send a request for this disaster aid to Congress. Today makes that fact clearer than ever,” said Kennedy.

The bill would have secured the relief funds from the proceeds of a historic FCC auction that Kennedy advocated for while he was the chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government last Congress. The funds would have helped Louisianians still recovering from last year’s storms, which caused billions of dollars of damage and destroyed or damaged more than 100,000 homes.

Kennedy was instrumental in convincing the FCC to conduct a public auction instead of a private sale of C-band spectrum. A private sale would have subsidized foreign companies, but the public auction put U.S. taxpayer interests first and raised more than $80 billion—making it the most profitable FCC auction in history. 

Video of Kennedy’s comments today is available here.

Text of the Gulf Coast Hurricane Aid Act of 2021 is available here.

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today introduced the Don’t Push My Buttons Act in response to social media platforms that track personal data to polarize and provoke online users. The bill would deny legal immunity under the Communications Act of 1934 to platforms that leverage user data to promote divisive content without permission from those users.

“Social media giants are using people’s data to manipulate them into spending more time on their sites, but the price is a more polarized America. It’s time to stop rewarding platforms that use their algorithms to target users with content that plays on individuals’ emotions without their consent. If these companies wield user data to foment division, they should not continue to enjoy such unfettered liability protections,” said Kennedy. 

Many social media platforms collect data to identify their users’ “hot buttons”—divisive issues that create strong emotional responses or reactions. The companies then employ algorithms that intentionally show their users content designed to agitate them.  

The Don’t Push my Buttons Act would narrow the scope of the liability limitation provided under Section 230 of the Communications Act, denying immunity to platforms that use algorithms to optimize engagement by pushing divisive content into users’ feeds.

Text of the Don’t Push My Buttons Act is available here.