WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today authored an amendment to the upcoming federal government funding bill that would deliver $2.5 billion in disaster aid to Louisiana.
Housing aid for Hurricanes Laura and Delta would total $600 million, with $1.4 billion in housing aid for Hurricane Ida recovery. The amendment would also provide $500 million in funding to rebuild vital ports that the storms damaged.
“Our state took gut punches from a string of storms, and our people still need help. This $2.5 billion would address major housing needs in southwest Louisiana and communities across the state. Louisianians are hardworking, but they’re hurting. They shouldn’t face rebuilding after these historic hurricanes alone. The White House knows that and has failed to act,” said Kennedy.
The White House has failed to send Congress a formal request for disaster aid, without which Senate Democrats are not expected to approve additional disaster funding.
Kennedy fought for nearly $600 million in disaster relief to be included in the short-term funding bill that became law after passing the Senate on Sept. 30, 2021. The legislation also extended the National Flood Insurance Program without raising the debt limit. This law provided $595 million to Louisiana.
He also spoke on the Senate floor ahead of the most recent funding extension to urge Congress not to forget Louisianians’ need for disaster relief aid in the upcoming government funding deal.
Kennedy is the only member of the Louisiana delegation who sits on an appropriations committee.
On Aug. 2, 2021, Kennedy offered an amendment to the Senate’s infrastructure bill providing $1.1 billion in disaster relief to Louisianians recovering from Hurricanes Laura, Delta and Zeta. The Senate blocked the amendment.
Text of today’s amendment is available here.
- On Feb. 18, Kennedy joined the Louisiana congressional delegation in urging leaders on the Senate and House Appropriations Committees to dedicate additional disaster recovery funds for Louisiana.
- On Feb. 16, the Senate Small Business Committee passed the Disaster Assistance for Rural Communities Act, which would allow rural homeowners, renters and small businesses to access disaster relief more easily in the wake of a natural disaster. Kennedy helped introduce the bill.
- On Oct. 19, 2021, the Senate passed the State, Local, Tribal and Territorial Fiscal Recovery, Infrastructure and Disaster Relief Flexibility Act, which Kennedy helped introduce. The bill would allow state governments to use unspent pandemic relief funds from the American Rescue Plan Act’s State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund to provide relief for natural disaster victims and to invest in infrastructure needs. The bill is waiting for a vote in the House.
- On July 21, 2021, Kennedy joined Louisiana’s congressional delegation in urging the Office of Management and Budget to prioritize Louisiana’s request for supplemental disaster relief.
- On July 15, 2021, Kennedy 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 historic storms. The Senate blocked the bill’s passage.
- On May 18, 2021, Kennedy urged President Biden to provide supplemental disaster relief for southwest Louisiana.
- On Sept. 4, 2020, Kennedy wrote to Senate leadership, Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), to request that the Senate consider emergency supplemental aid to help Louisiana residents recover from Hurricane Laura.