Kansas Common Sense
Jan 06 2020
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.
2019 - By the Numbers
Here is a quick look – by the numbers – of some of my offices work in 2019. Throughout the year, I had the opportunity to listen to and hear from thousands of Kansans across the state, and I took your thoughts, advice and insight back to Washington. Thank you to all of the people I have had the opportunity to know and speak with over the past year.
I am also reminded of one of the most important jobs my office does: helping Kansans to navigate and resolve issues with federal agencies through casework. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office if we can be of any assistance regarding Social Security, Medicare or veterans’ affairs, or if you have other concerns regarding federal issues. We are always here to help in both our Kansas and Washington, D.C. offices. Learn more on my website here.
Happy New Year!
Urging Senate Leadership to Move USMCA Forward
On Friday, I requested that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leaders Chuck Schumer consider the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) immediately upon its discharge from the Senate Finance Committee should the impeachment process remain stalled. Having received 385 votes in the House of Representatives, the USMCA is an overwhelmingly bipartisan product, making its passage a readily accomplishable achievement. The Senate ought to expeditiously consider and pass this historic agreement and do so quickly before impeachment proceedings may delay Senate consideration. Read the full letter here.
Statement on the Death of Qassem Soleimani
Friday morning, while appearing on CNBC’s Squawk Box, I spoke about the death of terrorist leader Qassem Soleimani. Soleimani was a perpetrator of death and directly responsible for thousands of deaths in the Middle East, including the lives of many American soldiers. This strike was based on intelligence indicating an imminent threat to American lives, and I applaud the work of our brave servicemembers and intelligence officers in carrying out this mission. The threat from Iran remains significant, and it is imperative we ensure the safety of all Americans, not just in Iraq, but in the Middle East and around the globe. I have regularly supported asserting Congress’s constitutional authority when using force and expect the White House to work with Congress regarding future actions against Iran. Watch my full interview here.
Discussing the 737 Max on CNBC’s Squawk Box
Also on CNBC, I discussed the impact of Boeing’s suspension of 737 MAX production on Kansas. We have watched the MAX fuselages stack up at Spirit Aerosystems while Boeing works with federal regulators to get the aircraft back in the air. This aircraft is vital to the Wichita community and Spirit, which employs more than 12,000 Kansans and provides business to a number of smaller suppliers and subcontractors in the area. I have always recognized the seriousness of this issue, and I want the jetliner back into production as soon as it has been determined safe to fly by science and safety standards. Watch the interview here.
Hosting a Roundtable with Federal Reserve Board Governor Bowman on Rural Banking
Kansas farmers and ranchers are experiencing difficult times and need ag lenders that can meet their credit needs. On Monday, I hosted a roundtable discussion in Emporia with Federal Reserve Board Governor Miki Bowman and Kansas ag producers, farm organizations and ag lenders. Federal regulators in D.C. need to understand the unique and important relationships between farmers and their bankers. Overly burdensome regulations should not diminish the ability for lenders to satisfy agriculture’s access to credit. As a former Kansas banker and Kansas Banking Commissioner, Governor Bowman understands and appreciates the importance of these issues. We also discussed the state economy and the significance of trade with Mexico, Canada, Japan and China. Thank you to Governor Bowman for joining us and to Emporia State University President Allison Garrett for hosting. Special thanks to Kansas Sen. Jeff Longbine and Reps. Eric Smith and Mark Schrieber for joining us as well.
To read more about the meeting in the Emporia Gazette, click here.
Touring Honeywell Aerospace
On Friday, I toured the Honeywell Aerospace facility meeting with Honeywell leadership and new associates. Honeywell has been expanding in Olathe, and I was able to speak with employees who have recently moved to the area from other parts of the country and hear how they are enjoying life in Kansas. I also heard about Honeywell’s work with the FAA for their certification process.
Thank you to Honeywell for hosting, and special thanks to Mayor Michael Copeland and Olathe Chamber of Commerce CEO Tim McKee for joining us.
Visiting Garmin International
Next, I had the opportunity to tour Garmin International in Olathe for the first time since their 2018 expansion project, joined again by Mayor Copeland and Tim McKee. Originally founded in Kansas, it has been incredible to watch their continued growth over the past few decades, demonstrated by their facility size seen in the picture I took from across the street. After the tour, we discussed issues in Washington relevant to Garmin’s work and their role in the aviation world and Olathe community.
Meeting with H&R Block CEO Jeff Jones
Also on Friday, I met with H&R Block CEO Jeff Jones. He updated me on future plans and their efforts to do more with the Kansas City region. I look forward to seeing how his efforts to become increasingly involved in the community develop moving forward.
Meeting with Geary Community Hospital
This weekend, I visited Geary Community Hospital and met with the Board of Trustees. We discussed actions currently being taken to ensure the hospital continues to provide access to quality care for the Geary County community. I am encouraged by the efforts of Geary Community Hospital to continue to improve existing services in Junction City and establish a firm path for the future of the hospital. Thank you to the Board of Trustees for the invitation and Kansas Rep. Lonnie Clark for joining us.
Robba and I kicked off the New Year by attending a Wichita State University Shockers men’s basketball game and cheered them on to victory against the East Carolina Pirates. It was great to start off 2020 with a Shocker win! Thank you to WSU for inviting us to attend.
Hosting Kansas Listening Tour Stops in Eureka and Osage City
Visiting Greenwood County
Following my roundtable in Emporia on Monday, I traveled south to Eureka for a Kansas Listening Tour stop in Greenwood County. A number of Kansans joined me to discuss oversight at the VA and improvements to veteran care, including the VA MISSION Act. Other important topics raised by attendees were thoughts on amending our Constitution, making the regulatory environment work better for our rural community banks, balancing the federal budget and impeachment.
I was pleased to see Members of the Kansas Legislature, Sen. Bruce Givens and Rep. Joe Newland, in attendance. My sincere gratitude goes out to all the members of VFW Post #2712 for hosting the town hall and opening their doors to the public.
Visiting Osage County
On Thursday, I traveled to Osage City for another Kansas Listening Tour stop held at American Legion Post #198. There was a great turnout to discuss the progress on USMCA currently in the Senate Finance Committee, the importance of a secure southern border, and postal issues. Thank you to all the folks that took the time to attend and engage with me before I head back to Washington, D.C.
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.
Newsletter Sign-up Form
Note: Fields marked with an * are required.