Sen. John Kennedy


(FreedomWire.org) – Department of Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas looked stunned on Wednesday after Republican Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy surprised him during a hearing.

Mayorkas was testifying before the Senate Appropriations Committee when mid-testimony Sen. Kennedy patted him on the right shoulder, walked behind him and went in for a handshake.

Mayorkas immediately jumped at the first pat on the back before being overcome with confusion as he searched around to see who laid a hand on him. Mayorkas then cracked a smile after he realized it was Kennedy.

Kennedy later grilled Mayorkas, asking him to define an assault weapon after Mayorkas called to ban them.

“You said you will oppose all assault weapons. But you don’t know what they are. Can you give me an example?” Kennedy stated.

“I think I gave you an example yesterday.” Mayorkas replied.

On Tuesday, Mayorkas was grilled  from Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee over the Biden administration’s border crisis, Kennedy shared his takeaways.

Kennedy pointed out, “Either Secretary Mayorkas believes in completely open borders or he is not qualified to manage a Chuck E. Cheese.”

(FreedomWire.org) – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said the Silicon Vally Bank (SVB) crisis could have been avoided, had the bank’s executives and federal regulators done their job on risk management.

Speaking on the Senate floor on March 15, Kennedy emphasized that SVB Bank wasn’t broke but it had a liquidity problem.

“If the management of Silicon Valley Bank had known the difference between a banking textbook and an L.L. Bean catalog, Silicon Valley Bank would have never bought securities that are so sensitive to interest rate[s] without hedging that risk, and it’s a very easy thing to do,” Kennedy said. “Honestly, it’s banking 101.”

To shore up its balance, SVB announced on March 8 that it had sold $21 billion worth of securities at a $1.75 billion loss and it would sell $2.25 billion in common equity and preferred convertible stock. The securities had lost much value after the Federal Reserve launched an aggressive campaign of interest rate increases last year.

SVB, the nation’s 16th largest bank with about $209 billion in total assets, collapsed on March 10, after depositors rushed to withdraw money over concerns about the bank’s solvency. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has now assumed control of the bank.

Aside from what bankers at SVB should have done, Kennedy said the crisis could have been prevented two other ways.

The Louisiana senator dismissed arguments from Democrats, who claimed that the bank’s failure was the result of a bill former President Donald Trump signed off in 2018 that rolled back the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act.

“There’s been a lot of talk about ‘Silicon Valley Bank wasn’t being regulated because of a bill passed back in 2018 or 2019.’ That’s not true,” he said. “Silicon Valley Bank was heavily regulated. It had to file regular reports with the federal banking regulators. It was subjected to stress testing. It was subjected to liquidity stress testing.”

Nevertheless, the senator noted that federal regulators did not do their job.

“Where were the regulators? Where were they?” he asked. “You couldn’t have found them with a search party.”

He added, “All regulators had to do was read the reports that Silicon Valley Bank was submitting, and they would have seen the problem.”

“I guess they were asleep, but this whole debacle could have been avoided if the regulators had just done their job and stepped in and said, ‘Silicon Valley Bank, what you’re doing is dumb, and you can’t do it anymore.’ That would have avoided it,” he said.

Kennedy, who serves on the Appropriations, Banking, Budget, Judiciary, and Small Business Committees, said the FDIC should have put in the work to find a buyer for SVB.

“There’s been a lot of talk about, well, they had an auction for the bank, and nobody wanted it. That’s not true,” Kennedy said. “There were buyers, but the problem was that the people at the FDIC do not like bank mergers.”

“Some bank mergers make sense. Some bank mergers don’t make sense. In this case, it would have made extraordinary sense. And, so, the folks at the FDIC stalled and re-stalled, and then we had mass panic,” he added.

On March 12, the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, and the FDIC issued a joint statement, saying that “depositors will have access to all of their money starting Monday, March 13.”

“No losses associated with the resolution of Silicon Valley Bank will be borne by the taxpayer,” the federal regulators said.

“So if we had done any one of those three things, any one of those three things, this mess could have been avoided,” Kennedy said.

Watch Sen. Kennedy’s speech here:

(FreedomWire.org) – Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) stumped a Biden judicial nominee by asking her what it said in certain parts of the U.S. Constitution since she is being considered for a federal position.

Judge Charnelle Bjelkengren, of Spokane County Superior Court in Washington State, was nominated by President Biden to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington. During her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Bjelkengren could not answer Kennedy’s questions about what different parts of the U.S. Constitution do and how courts might interpret laws. 

Each of the three questions Kennedy posed, Judge Charnelle Bjelkengren did not have an answer.

“Judge, tell me what Article V of the Constitution does?” Kennedy asked.

“Article V is not coming to mind at the moment,” Bjelkengren replied after a long pause.

“How about Article II?” Kennedy followed up.

“Neither is Article II,” said Bjelkengren.

Article V of the Constitution concerns the amendments process, and Article II invests the executive power in the president of the United States, enumerating the powers of the executive branch. 

Next, Kennedy asked if Bjelkengren knew what “purposivism” is, but she was again unable to give an answer. Purposivism, or the purposive approach, is a philosophy of interpreting the law that emphasizes the law’s purpose — advocating for judges to enforce the spirit of the law when it contradicts with the text of the law, according to Harvard Law professor John F. Manning, writing in the Columbia Law Review. In contrast, textualists argue that judges must strictly adhere to the law’s enacted text, when it is clear. 

Bjelkengren said in her many years of experience in the judicial system in Washington state, she never had to deal with the legal concept of purposivism.  

Kennedy did not seem impressed. “Well, you’re going to be faced with it if you’re confirmed, I can assure you of that,” he said. 

Bjelkengren is a graduate of Mankato State University and received her law degree from Gonzaga University School of Law in 2000. She previously served as an assistant attorney general for the Washington Attorney General’s Office.

(FreedomWire.org) – Republican Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy attacked political elites during a Sunday campaign speech given on behalf of Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker.

Known for his one liners, Kennedy released a campaign ad telling voters who want to defund police that they should “call a crackhead” next time they need assistance. During 2020’s race riots, he referred to Chicago as “the largest outdoor shooting range in America.”

“They’re all over Washington, DC, these high IQ stupid people. And they’re in charge. Most of them are woke. Most of them are members of the berserk wing of the Democratic Party,” Kennedy said.

“These woke, high IQ stupid people, they walk around with zip lock bags of kale that they eat to give them energy. Now, if you want to eat kale that’s up to you. I don’t eat kale. You know why? Because kale tastes to me like I’d rather be fat.”

Kennedy is a frequently sought after Republican surrogate, he also appeared during the 2022 midterms. Kennedy won his own reelection bid by 44 points.

Kennedy gave a campaign speech on behalf of Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker on Sunday.

Walker and incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock advanced to a runoff after neither candidate cleared 50% in the November general election. Georgians must cast their ballots by Tuesday, Dec. 6 in the election. Several polls have shown Warnock with a slight lead.

Prominent Republicans have campaigned for Walker throughout the race, which determines whether or not Democrats will have majorities in Senate committees. Democrats have already clinched 50 seats, giving Vice President Kamala Harris the opportunity to cast tie-breaking votes. However, they can avoid another power-sharing agreement with Republicans if Warnock wins.

Both candidates have pointed to various scandals as evidence the other is unfit for office. Walker has been dogged throughout the race by allegations of domestic abuse, as well as reports that he paid for at least two mistresses to have abortions. Several news outlets have also reported that Warnock attempted to evict low-income tenants from a building that his church owns.

(FreedomWire.org) – Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) slammed President Joe Biden’s policies, saying they have “screwed up” the United States.

Appearing on Fox News’s Jesse Watters Primetime Wednesday, Kennedy blasted Biden’s infrastructure bill as being “emblematic of a larger problem.”

The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which was touted by the Biden administration as a major bipartisan achievement that will create jobs and provide much-needed funding for roads, bridges, water projects, and broadband access, passed Congress in August 2021.

“The American people have learned over the past 20 months that if you want something screwed up, President Biden is your man,” Kennedy said. “It has been 20 months of misery and vexation and Homer Simpson goes to Washington. I mean, pick your issue. The infrastructure bill, COVID, crime, the border, Congress, the economy, inflation, gas prices, Afghanistan, baby formula, for God’s sakes.”

“That’s why, based on the polling, you can see it,” Kennedy continued. “A majority of Americans believe that if you put the Biden Administration in charge of the Sahara Desert, it would quickly run out of sand.”

Kennedy, who is running for reelection in the Senate and is heavily favored to win, also said the “wokers” with whom Biden surrounds himself have turned him into a laughable caricature.

“The journalism professors with their comment-worthy man purses, experts like James Taylor and Vice President Harris — these people have way more zeal than wisdom,” Kennedy said. “They have turned our president into a caricature of this nice elderly gentleman — maybe on a day pass from a nursing home — happily eating ice cream and wandering around the country saying, ‘Well, the economy is slowing and prices are rising, and your 401Ks are crashing because the economy is so good and my policies are so good.’ And nobody is believing it. Because it’s not true.”

A new battleground election tracker released earlier this week showed many voters are not satisfied with the direction of the country and blame Biden. More than 70% of voters said the Biden administration’s policies are responsible for the current state of the economy, with 45% saying it is to blame “a great deal.”

(FreedomWire.org) – Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana said Tuesday that Americans are wise to the deception practiced by President Joe Biden on the subject of illegal immigration at the southern border.

“President Biden talks a lot about democracy, as he should,” Kennedy said during an appearance on “The Faulkner Focus,” according to Fox News.

“Democracy depends on the mutual acceptance of the rules, norms and institutions. President Biden’s southern border policy has undermined that principle. He has completely opened the southern border, and he has looked the American people in the eye, and he has lied and said the border’s closed,” Kennedy said.

Customs and Border Protection has said that through August, there were 2,150,639 encounters along the southern border. With one month to go in the federal fiscal year, the number of encounters had already far surpassed the 1,734,686 recorded in the 2021 federal fiscal year.

When CBS dug into those numbers, it found that there are changes taking place in the nationalities of the illegal immigrants streaming across the border.

More than 25,000 Venezuelans were taken into custody in August, which was a record for illegal immigrants from the South American nation. The high tide also made Venezuela the second-ranking nation behind Mexico in terms of illegal immigrants crossing into the U.S.

CBS noted that when taken together, Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua made up over one-third of those arrested.

Kennedy said Americans do not “have a low tolerance for morons.”

“They don’t like being treated like a moron. They don’t like the president lying to them, and when they call the president out, they don’t like the president calling them Nazis and racists,” he said

Kennedy said Americans should not be slammed as anti-immigrant.

“Most Americans support legal immigration,” he said, noting that “the whole world wants to come here.”

“When is the last time you saw somebody trying to sneak into China? They want to come to America, and Americans support that,” he said, noting that more than 1 million people become citizens every year.

Kennedy said Americans know the difference between right and wrong.

“The American people feel that illegal immigration is illegal. I mean, ‘Duh,’” he said.

He said fearing for the nation’s safety is not evidence of bias.

“The American people look at the southern border like they look at their home,” he said.

“Most Americans lock their front door at night,” Kennedy said. “They don’t lock their front door at night because they hate everybody on the outside. They lock their front door at night because they love people on the inside, and they want to know who’s coming in and out of their house, and that’s the way most Americans look at the southern border.”