Watch Kennedy’s remarks here.
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced his opposition to the government funding bill, which totals $1.5 trillion but provides no disaster relief to Louisiana. Kennedy introduced an amendment to provide $2.5 billion in disaster aid to Louisiana, but the Senate blocked the amendment.
“In 2020, Hurricane Laura hit Louisiana. Then Hurricane Marco hit us. Then Hurricane Delta hit us. Then Hurricane Zeta. Then Hurricane Ida, all in a period of two years. Those storms caused $150 billion in damage. My amendment, and Sen. Cassidy’s amendment, would appropriate $2.5 billion in disaster aid to Louisiana. That would include $600 million for housing aid for Hurricanes Laura and Delta, $1.4 billion in housing aid for Hurricane Ida. The amendment would also provide for $500 million in funding to rebuild Louisiana ports.
“I’m mindful of the fact, Madame President, that we should make sure this aid is paid for. I would remind everyone that, through the heroic efforts of Sen. Schatz and Sen. Cantwell, in which I played a small part, that we forced our FCC not to give away the C-Band to our telecommunications industry, and instead auctioned it out, in which case it brought in $81 billion. And I think we can spare a little bit of that for people who lost their homes and businesses through no fault of their own,” said Kennedy.
The funding bill’s misguided provisions and spending include, but are not limited to:
- $286 million for Planned Parenthood and up to $200 million to promote abortions abroad.
- $3.2 billion in subsidies for green energy and $78.3 million for green initiatives at the Department of Agriculture.
- $172 million for disaster relief for other countries.
- $9.5 million to support “diversity, equity and inclusion” at the United States Agency for International Development and $4 million to establish an Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the State Department.
- $220 million for the Kennedy Center and the National Gallery of Art.
- $45 million for great apes living in central Africa and Indonesia.
- No provisions to halt implementation of Risk Rating 2.0, a Federal Emergency Management Agency plan that raises flood insurance premiums on Louisianians.
The White House has failed to send Congress a formal request for Louisiana disaster aid, without which Senate Democrats are not expected to approve additional disaster funding.
In response, Kennedy introduced an amendment to this FY2022 funding bill that would deliver $2.5 billion in disaster aid to Louisiana.
Kennedy also 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. This law provided $595 million to Louisiana.
Video of Kennedy’s comments is available here.