Kansas Common Sense

Dear Friend,

 

Welcome to “Kansas Common Sense.” Thank you for your continued interest in receiving my weekly newsletter. Please feel free to forward it on to your family and friends if it would interest them.

Last week, the U.S. Senate confirmed several executive nominations and voted down a procedural measure to move forward on legislation to provide transportation and housing appropriations, one of twelve annual spending bills in Congress. Nominations confirmed by the Senate include Samantha Power to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, James Comey for FBI Director, B. Todd Jones for Director of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and all five members of the National Labor Relations Board for the new term beginning later this month.

 

Signaling Support for Kansan Judicial Nominees

Providing advice and consent on Presidential nominees is one of the most important roles of the United States Senate and a responsibility that I take seriously. After many months of serious negotiations with the White House on the importance of filling two judicial vacancies, I am pleased we were able to come to an agreement, and this week the President sent the Senate two highly qualified candidates. Daniel D. Crabtree of Kansas City, Kan., was nominated to the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, and Kansas Supreme Court Justice Nancy L. Moritz of Topeka, Kan., was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. I appreciate all the Kansans who willingly provided names and advice so these two important positions could be filled. Click here to learn more about the two Kansan judicial nominees.

Good Samaritan Hunger Relief Act Encourages Charitable Giving
Food banks across our state feed hungry Kansas families who have fallen on hard times. To help them and the people they serve, I introduced legislation this week to encourage businesses and farms to donate surplus food to local food banks. The Good Samaritan Hunger Relief Tax Incentive Act permanently extends the tax credit for donating food and expands the credit to all businesses including small businesses, farmers, ranchers, and restaurant owners.

Approximately 70 billion pounds of food are wasted each year. Permanently extending the hunger relief tax incentive is a commonsense solution to increase food bank contributions and make sure wholesome food does not go to waste. Click here to learn more about this legislation.

Discussing the MLP Parity Act with the Senate Finance Committee

Master limited partnerships (MLPs) are business structures taxed as partnerships, but have ownership interests traded like stock. MLPs have been highly effective in attracting private investment but are only available to investors in energy portfolios for oil, natural gas, coal and pipeline projects. These projects get access to capital at a lower cost and are more liquid than traditional-financed energy projects.

Broadening the Internal Revenue Code to allow for MLP structure to also apply to renewable energy projects would improve our tax policy to encourage investment in all energy. This would result in economic development, job growth, and cheaper energy bills for consumers. Developing a more sources of American energy would also improve our nation’s competitiveness in the global race to develop and utilize affordable and sustainable energy.

I sponsored the MLP Parity Act (S. 795.) to achieve this and I am pleased to see this legislation receiving the Senate’s attention. On Wednesday I was called to testify before the U.S. Senate Finance Subcommittee on Energy where I explained to my colleagues that the MLP Parity Act is a straightforward, powerful modification of the federal tax code that could unleash significant private capital and aid in the development of an effective strategy to address our long-term energy needs.

 

Honoring Lieutenant General Richard Seitz

This week, I introduced legislation to honor the Army career and life of the late Lieutenant General Richard “Dick” Seitz by renaming the Junction City Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) for veterans after him. Senator Pat Roberts, who also sponsored this bill, and I have tremendous respect for Lt. Gen. Seitz, who served 37 years and was a World War II veteran, including action at the Battle of the Bulge. Following his military retirement, he remained active in the Junction City and Ft. Riley communities, and as result of his efforts was named Outstanding Citizen of Kansas. Dick was a mentor and a friend whom I hold in the highest regard.

I am grateful for his heroic service to our country and his commitment to Junction City, and I am delighted to be working to name the VA’s Junction City CBOC in his honor. On July 29, I attended the memorial service for Lt. Gen. Seitz in Junction City.  Click here to read the legislation in its entirety. Click here to watch my speech commemorating Lt. Gen. Seitz.

 

Visiting Pottawatomie County

Pottawatomie County Fair: Ridin-Rockin-Livestockin

On Sunday, I enjoyed attending the Pottawatomie County Fair Parade in Onaga and the good conversations before and after the parade. This year’s parade theme was “Ridin-Rockin-Livestockin” and I enjoyed seeing all the creative entries. County fair parades are always a great way for communities to come together and see the future of agriculture demonstrated by the participants and their families. Thank you to Greg Unruh for driving the Galaxy 1963 parade car.

 

Community HealthCare System in Onaga

I also visited Community HealthCare System (CHCS) — Onaga. The CHCS Onaga Hospital is a 25-bed Critical Access Hospital serving Onaga and the surrounding rural area. CHCS has grown their capacity significantly over the last two years adding family practice medical clinics in Corning and Westmoreland. In all, CHCS operates two hospitals, five family practice medical clinics, and three senior care facilities. During my visit, I was given a tour of new hospital construction aimed at increasing CHCS’s capacity to deliver essential health care services. It was great to visit with CHCS CEO Greg Unruh and board members about issues facing Critical Access Hospitals including Medicare reimbursement, as well as their many successes in improving rural healthcare delivery in Northeast Kansas. The CHCS Board members include: Justin Boswell, Chairman; Virginia Rezac, Vice Chairman; Alan Fischer, Secretary; Karen Harder, Treasurer; Mark Bouton; Melvin Handley; and Robert Ladner. Click here to see a photo.

Attending the All American Beef Battalion

Saturday, I enjoyed joining more than 350 soldiers and their families at a steak feed at the Great Plains Joint Training Center in Salina. The event was sponsored by the All American Beef Battalion, which supports our brave troops by organizing steak feeds, entertainment, meetings and projects for service members and their families. The AABB was founded by Bill Broadie of Ashland. Bill is a 4th generation Kansas cattle man who served with the 3rd Marine division in Vietnam in 1967. The AABB’s goal is to foster appreciation, respect and honor for the members of our Armed Forces whose sacrifices have and will continue to make our freedoms possible. Special thanks to Bill for organizing the great event. I enjoyed visiting with all the brave men and women who attended, including First Sergeant Chad Dikeman and Captain Jason Knudson of the 469 Ground Ambulance in Wichita. Click here to see a photo.
 

 

In the Office
Last week we had several visitors in the Washington, D.C., office, including the Kansans listed below:

Mike Torrey of Wamego

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
Joe Barnes of Smith Center
Susan Holland of Topeka
Sandy Kuhlman of Athol
Patrick Leary of Andover
Susan Spielman of Topeka
Robin Stroud of Dodge City
Karren Weichert of Topeka

National Rural Health Association
Jodi Schmidt of Parsons
Chad Austin of Topeka
Roger Masse of Ellsworth

Kansas Home Care Association
Jane Kelly of Topeka

KC Board of Public Utilities
David Alvey of Kansas City
Joe Dick of Kansas City

Via Christi Health
Bruce Witt of Wichita
Jeff Korsmo of Wichita

Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition
Brenda Bandy of Manhattan

Kansas Independent Oil & Gas Association
Ed Cross of Topeka

Adventist Health Policy Association
Ken Bacon of Overland Park

National Young Leaders Conference
Will Gross of Easton
Wynter Wiebke of Lincoln

Kansas State University Fulbright Stewardship Program
David Carter of Manhattan
Kristina Snyder of Manhattan

Capitol Tour
Jason Endicott of Ashland
Jan Endicott of Ashland
Canaan Endicott of Ashland
Jacki Endicott of Ashland
Andrew Endicott of Ashland
Jesse Herrmann of Andover
Shelly Herrmann of Andover
Morgan Herrmann of Andover
Allie Herrmann of Andover
Ty Herrmann of Andover
Jeff Stanton of Overland Park
Duncan Stanton of Overland Park
Charlie Stanton of Overland Park
Michael Pepoon of Wichita
Joseph Pepoon of Wichita
Corey Williams of Overland Park
Virginia Williams of Overland Park
Elizabeth Williams of Overland Park
Brian Karnik of Overland Park
Stephanie Karnik of Overland Park
John Doswell of Hutchinson
Isac Moreno of McPherson
Toby Prine of Hays
Jenny Prine of Hays
Emily Prine of Hays
Andrew Prine of Hays
Tim Kosmicki of Hays
Stockton Kosmicki of Hays
Norm Messner of Shawnee
Debbie Messner of Shawnee
Jake Messner of Shawnee
Brenda Egbert of McCune
Tyler Egbert of McCune
Steve Reichard of Augusta
Dianne Reichard of Augusta
Corbin Reichard of Augusta
Taylor Reichard of Augusta
Paige Reichard of Augusta
Tim Ruder of Hays
Deb Ruder of Hays
Ben Ruder of Manhattan
Toby Ruder of Augusta
Neil Waner of Manhattan
Gloria Waner of Manhattan
Charlie Ramsay of Plainville
Kathy Ramsay of Plainville
Steve Fellhoelter of Plainville
Tracy Fellhoelter of Plainville
Bob Plante of Plainville
Eileen Plante of Plainville
John Ruder of Plainville
Carla Ruder of Plainville
Emily Ruder of Plainville
Melinda Ruder of Plainville
Rick Bloom of Wichita
Melissa Bloom of Wichita
Baylee Bloom of Wichita

 

Honored to Serve You in Washington

It is an honor to serve you in Washington, D.C. Thank you to the many Kansans who have been calling and writing in to share their thoughts and opinions on the issues our country faces. I appreciate the words of Kansans, whether in the form of a form of letter, a Facebook comment or a phone call, who wish to make their voice heard.

Please let me know how I can be of assistance. You can contact me by email by clicking here. You can also click here to contact me through one of my Kansas offices or my Washington, D.C., office.

 

Very truly yours,


Jerry

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