Sen. John Kennedy Files Legislation To Protect Consumers By Reforming Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board
Apr 30 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) filed the MSRB Reform Act today to make changes to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) that will benefit consumers across the U.S.
The MSRB is a regulatory organization that oversees the muni bond market which finances airports, roads and other public projects. The 21 person board consists of several public and private representatives raking in exuberant salaries with little oversight from Congress or the SEC. Sen. Kennedy’s legislation aims to make the MSRB less of an insider’s club by requiring a cap on board members’ compensation and placing more distance between the board’s public representatives and their private sector ties.
“The MSRB oversees a municipal securities market that is worth trillions of dollars in public projects. It’s supposed to represent the consumer. Instead, it’s an insider’s club. It’s more incestuous than King Tut’s family,” said Sen. Kennedy. “Public seats on the board shouldn’t be filled by executives who just quit their Wall Street jobs. These reforms are long overdue.”
Specifically, the legislation will:
- Require public representatives to be no less than five years removed from association with a municipal securities broker, dealer or adviser.
- Require the SEC commissioners to confirm new members of the MSRB committee.
- Require the SEC to make a rule to cap compensation for the board within 60 days of the bill’s enactment.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, announced today that BBQGuys of Baton Rouge is the Senate Small Business of the Week.
After serving in the Air Force for 10 years, Mike Hackley started the Grill Store & More in 1998. Recognizing early on the potential for e-commerce, Mike founded bbqguys.com in 2001. Today, BBQGuys has grown to become one of the largest outdoor living online retailers in the world employing nearly 300 people.
“Mike has a keen sense of how things work in the business world and has turned a small business of single-digit employees into a global business that’s constantly evolving,” said Sen. Kennedy. “Not only does Mike run a first-rate business, he also makes it a priority to say good morning to team members every day and treats his staff and customers with the utmost respect. I am proud that he and his business call Louisiana home.”
Mike has created a welcoming environment for customers and staff, and as a result, BBQGuys has been named one of the Best Places to Work several times by the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report. BBQGuys also received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Committed to the community, BBQGuys has participated in several local community activities including Toys for Tots, the Youth Oasis Children’s Center, LifeShare Blood Center and Friends of the Animals of Baton Rouge.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Kennedy issued the following statement on today’s advancement of House Bill 413 by state Rep. Miguez:
“We don’t need banks that ask you how you voted before they’ll do business with you. We don’t need red banks and blue banks. I applaud Rep. Miguez for his bill,” said Sen. Kennedy. “In Washington, I’ve filed the Freedom Financing Act to prohibit big banks from refusing to do business with customers who legally sell firearms. I’ve also filed the No Red and Blue Banks Act to stop discriminatory banks from receiving federal contracts. I’m just sorry that bills like this are necessary to protect law-abiding Louisiana citizens’ constitutional rights.”
Apr 18 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the authorization of Tellurian Inc.’s $30 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility near Lake Charles.
“Tellurian’s Driftwood LNG project is an important investment in Louisiana’s future,” said Sen. Kennedy. “A project like this will support Louisiana families by creating well-paying jobs. The oil and gas industry has been such an important part of Louisiana’s economy for decades. It just continues to evolve with investments like this.”
Tellurian is expected to make a decision soon on the investment.
Apr 16 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) urged the Louisiana Legislature today to address a glaring oversight that guts a bill that is supposed to prohibit the use of nondisclosure agreements in sexual harassment allegations against public employees.
The governor’s executive counsel acknowledged this week that House Bill 197 still would allow victims to be silenced through agreements that prohibit them from making disparaging remarks. The woman who accused the governor’s deputy chief of staff, Johnny Anderson, of sexual harassment signed an agreement prohibiting her from making disparaging remarks about Anderson.
“The Louisiana Legislature is about to ban nondisclosure agreements but allow nondisparaging remarks’ agreements. That is utter insanity. We need to be serious about bringing sexual predators into the sunlight,” said Sen. Kennedy. “This is a mockery and a disservice to victims. By allowing ridiculous loopholes like this, we encourage violators who cover up their sins and pay their victims with taxpayer money.”
After recess, Sen. Kennedy will file the Stop Silencing Victims Act by prohibiting government employees from hiding behind nondisclosure agreements. The bill will apply to state and federal employees.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) met with President Donald Trump today to discuss a solution to the ongoing duplication of benefits’ issue affecting thousands of Louisiana families impacted by the 2016 floods.
“I had lunch with the president today to talk about the duplication of benefits’ issue that is impacting so many Louisiana families,” said Sen. Kennedy. “We talked for an hour and a half. President Trump loves Louisiana, and he wants to help. I’m hopeful that the president is going to take steps to resolve this problem. In the end, if it’s not the answer I want, then I intend to join as a plaintiff in the litigation against the federal government for violating Congress’ legislative intent in producing a solution. The people of Louisiana deserve the disaster relief they were promised.”
Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead
Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead
Apr 10 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) today introduced the No Red and Blue Banks Act to prohibit the award of federal contracts to banks that discriminate against lawful businesses through social policy considerations. In particular, the legislation will ensure that corporate banks like Citigroup and Bank of America will not be awarded lucrative federal government contracts after trampling on business owners’ Second Amendment rights.
Last year, Citigroup and Bank of America announced policies that will restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens. Citigroup wants to tell businesses what kind of firearms and accessories they can stock in their stores and who can buy them. Bank of America will no longer loan money to businesses that manufacture semi-automatic rifles.
“Banks that violate law-abiding citizens’ constitutional rights have no business profiting off the federal government. They’re threatening the sanctity of the Constitution and the Second Amendment,” said Sen. Kennedy. “Citigroup and Bank of America are trying to make banking a red versus blue issue. Anti-gun policies force business owners to abandon their Second Amendment rights in order to find banking services. That’s a slap in the face to every American who helped bail out Citigroup and Bank of America during the financial crisis.”
“Banks should not be the arbiters of constitutionality,” said Senator Cramer. “This legislation ensures financial institutions cannot do business with the federal government if they do not respect the constitutional rights of their customers. The federal government should not be rewarding banks who target supporters of the Constitution.”
Sens. Kennedy and Cramer also filed the Freedom Financing Act to ban financial institutions from refusing to do business with customers who may not share the same political values as the banks.
WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, questioned Attorney General William Barr in the Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations subcommittee hearing today about the risks of submitting the full Mueller report to Congress without redacting confidential grand jury information.
If a full un-redacted report is released to members of Congress, Attorney General Barr agreed that there is a significant risk that confidential grand jury information can be leaked to the public.
“I think it was inevitable that some people were going to be disappointed in the results that Mr. Mueller reached,” said Sen. Kennedy. “You can only be young once. You can always be immature. There will be some that will be so disappointed in the result that they’re going to attack the process in bad faith. I would strongly encourage you to ignore that. Just call them like you see them. Follow the law.”
“We depend on the secrecy of the grand jury for our whole system of justice,” said Attorney General Barr. “People have to be assured that when they go into the grand jury that these are going to be confidential sessions.”
Click here or the photo below to watch Sen. Kennedy’s questioning.
Apr 09 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) delivered a speech on the Senate floor today about the need for immigration reform, including constructing a border wall, reforming U.S. asylum laws and calling an immigration summit to address the crisis at the southern border.
“Now, we’re a nation of immigrants, and I’m proud of that,” said Sen. Kennedy. “Americans cannot be called anti-immigrant. Every year we welcome a million people across the world to become Americans (and) to come into our country. They do it legally. They follow the law. They’re properly vetted. They get in line. They wait patiently, and we welcome them in.”
Floor speech highlights:
Immigration summit: “I think we should start with a presidential summit. Not a representative of the presidents, but a presidential summit of the president of the United States, the president of Mexico, President Lopez Obrador, and the presidents of the Northern Triangle countries, and let’s see what we can do to solve this problem.”
Border wall: “We do have a problem at the border. ‘Problem’ is an understatement. In March, we had 100,000 people come into our country illegally. One hundred thousand. That’s the most in 10 years. If that continues, we’re going to set a record this year for people entering our country illegally.”
“We’ve got to solve this problem ourselves. The first thing we have to do is build a wall. I’m not talking about a wall from sea to shining sea. We have 1,900 miles of border. I’m talking about barriers strategically placed. You cannot seal a 1,900-mile piece of real estate without a barrier. It can’t be done.”
Illegal immigration: “Illegal immigration is illegal. Even if you think it’s a good idea, and I don’t. If you care about the rule of law, which is one of the bedrock principles in America, then you would want to stop the illegal immigration.”
Asylum law reform: “The second thing we need to do, Madame President, as you well know, is to pass asylum laws that look like somebody designed the things on purpose. Because what we have now, doesn’t fit that description.”
“This United States Senate should be debating America’s asylum laws right this second. I’m not saying the other things we’re doing - we are in the personnel business - aren’t important, but there’s not a single issue right now that’s more important. Congress needs to do its job! The Senate ought to be debating this issue right now.”
Click here or the photo below to watch Sen. Kennedy’s full floor speech.
Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) Announces $3 Million Grant to Purchase Shipping Vessels for Louisiana Ports
Apr 09 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced a $3.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to acquire specialized shipping vessels to transport containers to and from the ports in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
As Louisiana’s chemical industry expands, there is an increased demand for inland transportation. These barges are essential for safely and efficiently transporting goods between ports.
“Louisiana’s ports serve as a gateway for goods entering and leaving the country. As Louisiana’s chemical industry expands, our ports need modern equipment to meet that demand,” said Sen. Kennedy. “This grant will give the ports in Baton Rouge and New Orleans the proper vessels to support commerce along the Mississippi River and the Gulf.”