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Kennedy announces $595 million for hurricane recovery as part of relief bill

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U.S. Sen. John Kennedy

Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $594,931,000 from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for disaster recovery from Hurricanes Laura and Delta. This funding comes to Louisiana through the government funding bill, the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Act, that was recently signed into law.

Sen. Kennedy advocated for the inclusion of the disaster relief for Louisiana in the bill.

“Louisianians are still reeling from the damage left by Laura and Delta. We need a helping hand as we rebuild, and I am pleased to see this $594.9 million that Congress set aside for Louisiana’s recovery efforts come to our state,” said Kennedy.

The Louisiana Office of Community Development will receive the award in the form of a community development block grant from HUD. The funds are part of the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Act.

Background on Kennedy’s response to historic natural disasters:

On October 19, the Senate passed the State, Local, Tribal and Territorial Fiscal Recovery, Infrastructure and Disaster Relief Flexibility Act, cosponsored by Kennedy. 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.

On Sept. 30, Kennedy voted in support of a short-term funding bill to send disaster aid to Louisiana and to extend the National Flood Insurance Program without raising the debt limit. This bill provided the $595 million awarded to Louisiana above.

On August 2, 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.

On July 21, 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, 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, Kennedy again urged President Biden to provide supplemental disaster relief for southwest Louisiana.

On May 13, Kennedy helped introduce 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.

In September 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.

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