Kansas Common Sense

Welcome to “Kansas Common Sense.” Thanks 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.
Senate Passes My CJS Appropriations Bill
This week, the Senate passed my FY2020 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Act with overwhelming support. This bill funds the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Justice, NASA, the National Science Foundation, and many other agencies. Specifically, this legislation invests in federal law enforcement agencies, state and local law enforcement grants, space exploration, scientific research, economic development programs, trade enforcement, ocean observations, and weather forecasting.

This CJS bill is fiscally responsible and prioritizes important federal programs that support economic development, law enforcement, and scientific innovation. I’m especially pleased that this bill accelerates the goal of returning American astronauts to the moon and cements America’s leadership in space exploration. I am proud to have worked closely with Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) to produce a good government, bipartisan bill that enables numerous agencies within our jurisdiction to accomplish their missions, keep communities safe, and address the needs of our nation.” Click here to watch my remarks on this bill. 
USDA Selects New Headquarters Location in Kansas City
This week, USDA announced that 805 Pennsylvania Avenue in downtown Kansas City has been selected as the new site for the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). I’ve long advocated that USDA’s ERS and NIFA relocate to the Kansas City metropolitan area, knowing that regardless of what side of the border these facilities would land, it would be a positive development for the regional economy and so many institutions across Kansas and Missouri. I applaud the many entities across Kansas City who have worked to bring these agencies closer to the producers they serve. In addition, I’m committed to working with my colleagues in a bipartisan, bicameral way to secure the resources necessary for USDA to complete this move and to welcome their employees to Kansas City.
Questioning Boeing CEO on the 737 MAX and the Future of Aviation Safety
On Tuesday, during the Senate Commerce Committee hearing, I had the opportunity to question Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg on important issues regarding the now-grounded Boeing 737 MAX airplane. It is critical we find out what went wrong, and investigate current policies and protocols to ensure similar tragedies don’t happen again. As the aviation industry is poised to grow significantly in the coming years, I’m committed to working with my colleagues in the Senate to ensure safety in the aviation industry is always the top priority. Click here to watch our discussion. 
Announcing NIST Grant to Pittsburg State University
On Wednesday, I was pleased to announce a grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology to the Kansas Technology Center at Pittsburg State University. This award will help establish a recyclable plastics modeling and testing laboratory, and will allow PSU to continue leading the region and the country in polymers and plastics research.
In order to compete in a global economy and to protect our country from adversaries, it’s important our businesses and manufacturers remain on the cutting edge. As the chief appropriator for the U.S. Department of Commerce and NIST, I’ll continue working with PSU officials to grow their expertise in this important field. To learn more about this grant and to hear what PSU officials have to say about this news, click here.
2019 Sports Fans Coalition’s Most Valuable Policymaker
This week, I was honored to accept the Sports Fans Coalition’s 2019 Most Valuable Policymaker Award. The Sports Fans Coalition is a national non-profit advocacy group devoted to protecting the rights of the fan wherever public policy impacts the games we love. With new technological advances coming seemingly every day, we must ensure our fans are being treated fairly. My BOTS Act, which was signed into law in 2016, would do just that. The BOTS Act prohibits ticket scalpers from using automated purchasing technology to quickly buy large amounts of event tickets before the average fan has an opportunity to make a purchase, ultimately decreasing consumer choice and driving up prices. During my time with these advocates, we discussed my work with Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) to protect Olympic and amateur athletes from abuse. I appreciate their thoughtful and productive conversation on how we can all work together – regardless of position or responsibility – to end the abuse of athletes.
I will continue to work with the Sports Fans Coalition and my Senate colleagues to protect fans from those that wish to take advantage of their passion.
Discussing Infrastructure and Transportation with Civic Council of Greater KC
On Monday, I had the opportunity to meet with the KC Civic Council, a nonprofit organization composed of leadership of some of the largest, private employers in the Kansas City area. During the meeting, we discussed critical issues to the KC area, including infrastructure, workforce and trade issues. The meeting gave us a chance to discuss my Startup Act legislation which encourages job creation, innovation and advances economic development. This legislation will encourage growth in the KC area by developing policies that help recruit and retain highly-skilled students and innovators, and enable entrepreneurs to transform their ideas into companies. The legislation is supported by a diverse group of industry in the KC area, and I look forward to continuing to push for its final passage.  
Junction City Welcome Home Ceremony
On Saturday, I was honored to join our 1st Infantry Division soldiers and their families at Junction City's Welcome Home Celebration this weekend.
During the celebration, it was announced that Junction City was awarded as one of this year’s Great American Defense Communities. And this celebration was evidence of why Junction City is known as one of the best Army hometowns in the country. Welcome home to Fort Riley soldiers who have been deployed across the globe over 2019, and a big thank you to the All American Beef Battalion for serving our active duty soldiers at the event.
Hosting a Ness County Townhall Meeting
On Friday, I was in Ransom to host a Ness County Listening Tour Stop. During this stop, we discussed a number of issues including veterans’ access to healthcare and implementation of the VA MISSION Act, agriculture and the importance of passing USMCA, our work to make certain rural America can thrive, the ongoing impeachment proceedings, challenges in rural healthcare delivery and border security. Thanks to all those who took time to visit with me on Friday, and thank you to Herb Schwartzkopf and the Ransom VFW for hosting my visit to the community.
Kansans in the Office
Thomas Penland of Kansas City
Darin Traff of Shawnee
Agricultural and Applied Economics Association
Dr. Allen Featherstone of Topeka
AIPAC National Council Members
Carol Katzman of Overland Park
Bonnie Siegel of Leawood
Capitol Tour
Sharon Bedolla of Topeka
Preston Burrows of Moscow
Leslie Carr of Topeka
Hudson Curtis of Byers
Kinley Curtis of Byers
Nicole Curtis of Byers
Thomas Curtis of Byers
Linda Douglass of Overbrook
Monica Gonzalez of Moscow
Janet Kramer of Seneca
Tom Kramer of Seneca
Kristofer Liggett of Ness City
Young Liu of Olathe
Cheyenne Miller of Liberal
Calen Moore of Liberal
Marcia Morgan of Topeka
Steven Moss of Topeka
Ben Sherber of Topeka
Evan Sherber of Topeka
Heath Sherber of Topeka
Jennifer Sherber of Toeka
Sue Sprenkle of Satanta
William Swanson of Liberal
Brian Tung of Overland Park
Civic Council of Greater KC
Bill Berkley of Kansas City
Spencer Fane of Leawood
Randy Riggs of Lenexa
Pat Whalen  of Leawood
Fort Hays State University
Odalis Jimenez of Hays
Franklin Savings
Chip Fleischer of Iowa
Global Initiative to End Cameroons Colonial Conflict
Valentine Gana of Overland Park
Harvesters Food Bank
Karen Siebert of Prairie Village
Kansans For Life
Tim Hand of Wichita
Peter Northcott of Lawrence
National Down Syndrome Congress
Jawanda Mast of Olathe
National League of Cities
Mayor Jeff Longwell of Wichita
Ranchland Trust of Kansas
Lynn Gentine of Topeka
United States Army Corps of Engineers - Kansas City District Commander
Col. William Hannan of Kansas City
Bryan Smith of Kansas City
Jennifer Switzer of Kansas City
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 state and country face. I appreciate the words of Kansans, whether in the form of a 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,

Newsletter Sign-up Form

Note: Fields marked with an * are required.