In the News
Jerry Moran, fresh from getting an economics degree, went to work as a small-town banker, using some of his income for subsequent studies at the University of Kansas School of Law.
The U.S. senator from Kansas never lost an appreciation for that early work, often telling audiences that rural business growth depends on the risks taken together by those community bankers and local business owners.
Moran now sits on a committee that could help strengthen this relationship.
On Tuesday, the Senate ratified its roster of committees for the 2018 session. The Kansas Republican joined the chamber’s Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.
The assignment marks a return to the panel, on which he had served in earlier sessions. Moran said he understands its “critical role” in helping the nation’s economy by bolstering small businesses, stimulating home sales and generating products for export.
“The appointment will also give me a greater opportunity to continue to be an advocate for access to community-based financial services and ensure Kansans can continue to call rural America home,” the senator said.
Committee assignments in Congress depend on the openings available. From the perspective of individual members, the assignments can reflect a particular expertise. From a state’s perspective, the assignments usual dovetail with a need for attention in some specific area.
Moran, for example, occupies a seat on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, from which he can affect policies that impact Kansas’s vital aviation industry.
He also sits on the Environment and Public Works, Veterans Affairs and Indian Affairs committees.
Along with a colleague from Missouri, Sen. Roy Blunt, Moran has a place on the Senate Appropriations Committee. On this, Blunt serves as chairman of the subcommittee that oversees funding for the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education departments.
The Missouri Republican chairs an aviation operation and safety subcommittee on the Commerce, Science and Transportation panel, along with being on the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Rules and Administration Committee.
Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts holds one of the more high-profile committee chairmanships, at least for the Midwest; he heads the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.
This goes along with the Republican’s other assignments on the Ethics, Finance, Rules and Administration and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committees.
In the Senate minority, Missouri’s Claire McCaskill has no opportunity for a chairmanship, but she serves as the top-ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee.
In seniority, she is the third-ranking Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, and she also sits on the Finance Committee.
On the House side, North Missouri Congressman Sam Graves serves on the Armed Services and Transportation and Infrastructure committees, the latter on which he chairs the subcommittee on Highways and Transit.
In this, the Republican takes a substantial role if Congress and the White House can push through a sweeping infrastructure improvement package this session.
Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins, a Republican whose district includes Northeast Kansas, on Wednesday announced her selection as chair of the Oversight Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee.
“As we come off the heels of generational tax reform, we must take the next steps to ensure the Internal Revenue Service is doing its job, which is to help taxpayers, not entrap them,” she said Wednesday. “As a CPA, I understand the difficulties many taxpayers have experienced when working with the IRS to simply file their taxes.”
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