Thursday, July 18, 2024

Sen. John Kennedy Highlights Louisiana Wins and Federal Cuts in Funding Bill

by BIZ Magazine

U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) has hailed the passing of a funding bill that prioritizes Louisiana’s needs while making significant cuts to federal programs. In a statement, Kennedy emphasized the bill’s role in keeping the government operational while translating Louisiana’s priorities into tangible outcomes.

Kennedy remarked, “Government shutdowns are catastrophic, and this bill keeps the government up and running. It turns Louisiana’s priorities into realities. Our jobs, our communities, and our freedom are a focus of this bill.”

One of the key provisions championed by Kennedy is language protecting veterans’ Second Amendment rights. The bill includes a provision based on Kennedy’s Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act, which prevents veterans from losing their firearm rights when receiving assistance managing their Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits.

“Veterans who sacrificed to defend our Constitution shouldn’t see their own rights rest on the judgment of unelected bureaucrats—but right now, they do,” Kennedy stated. “The Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act would stop government workers from stripping veterans of their Second Amendment rights just because they get a helping hand to manage their hard-earned VA benefits.”

The legislation addresses the infringement on veterans’ rights by the VA, which is required to report veterans to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) when a fiduciary assists them with their VA benefits. Under Kennedy’s legislation, veterans’ information would not be transmitted to NICS unless ordered by a judge due to demonstrated risk.

Additionally, the bill allocates funds to several Louisiana priorities, including:

  • $36.5 million for the J. Bennett Johnston Waterway to prevent dam-safety emergencies and maintain navigation.
  • $15 million for the St. Bernard Transportation Corridor project to advance planning and engineering work.
  • $13.4 million to construct an athletic track and field at Fort Polk in Vernon Parish to enhance troop readiness.
  • $7 million to expand the medical facility at Barksdale Air Force Base to address overcrowding.
  • $6.7 million to plan and design a dormitory for Security Forces Airmen at Barksdale Air Force Base.
  • $6 million for initial construction planning of a service road connecting Ruston to Grambling.
  • $4 million to improve access to the 8th District U.S. Coast Guard Station in Venice.
  • $3 million to upgrade and modernize the National World War II Museum’s D-Day Invasion of Normandy building and exhibitions.

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