Kansas Common Sense

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Debt Deal Leaves Much Work to be Done 

Over the last few months, Kansans have endured the many ups and downs of an ever-changing debate in Congress over whether we should raise the debt ceiling for the eleventh time in the last decade. I, along with many of my colleagues, hoped we could use this moment in history to bring about significant change to the way business is conducted in Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, the recent debt ceiling increase was a good ‘deal’ for Washington, but it is not good for the future of America.

The reality is the legislation did not offer a solution to the underlying problem of our financial crisis today: our government’s out-of-control spending. Even if fully enacted, the bill only slows the growth of spending by $21 billion next year. Considering the fact Washington spends $4 billion more than it takes in each day, this saving will disappear in less than a week. At this rate of spending, in 10 years our debt will reach a staggering $22 trillion and in three decades it will be three times the size of our entire economy.

The one positive result of the debt debate is that Washington is now talking about how much it should cut instead of how much it can spend. Even though significant cuts did not occur, the debate informed the American people of the magnitude of our spending problem – but that’s no reason to pat ourselves on the back. Can you imagine a family congratulating themselves for talking about their spending habits without ever changing the way they spend money? When Kansas families are in serious financial trouble, they don’t just slow down how quickly they spend borrowed money – they cut up their credit cards.

Although members of the Kansas delegation ultimately came to different conclusions on the final deal, we remain unified in our commitment to rein in our staggering national debt and grow the economy. Substantial reductions in spending and structural changes to the way Washington spends taxpayer dollars must be made. There is much work to be done in the months ahead, and I will redouble my efforts to bring common sense to Washington, work for a strong economy and put Americans to work.

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Short-Term FAA Extension Approved on Friday

Our Kansas communities, especially those rural areas, rely on aviation to connect with the rest of the state and the country. The aviation industry is also a key provider of jobs for thousands of hard-working Kansans. For these reasons, I was pleased on Friday when Congress passed, and President Obama signed into law, a short-term reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This passage ended the two-week partial shutdown of the FAA, which had furloughed 4,000 government workers and another 70,000 construction employees. When Congress returns to Washington in September, I am hopeful the policy disputes that have prevented a long-term extension will be resolved by both chambers. I support a long-term reauthorization of the FAA bill, which would provide the ability to plan for the future, rebuild our airports, and ensure Americans’ safety in the air.

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Expanding Overseas Markets for U.S. Beef

This week, I joined 38 of my colleagues in asking U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk to press for expanded access to Japanese and Chinese markets for U.S. beef in negotiations with those countries. Exports to Japan and China were restricted following the discovery of an isolated case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in the United States in 2003. Since that time, U.S. beef exports to China remain prohibited, while Japan has imposed unscientific restrictions that limit U.S. imports to beef from cattle under 21 months of age. Although beef exports to Japan have somewhat recovered, exports remain $1 billion per year below pre-2003 levels. Kansas is the third largest beef producing state in the nation and expanding market access for U.S. beef would have a significant economic impact on our state. Click here to read the letter we sent to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk.

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Visiting my Childhood Hometown of Plainville

On Wednesday, I drove up to Plainville to visit with my Dad, and I took the opportunity to visit several businesses while in town. I was able to see the new Farm Implement and Supply facility on the south end of town, which owners Ron and Todd Gilliland have much to be proud of. I also enjoyed visiting with citizens at the Short Stop convenience store, as well as the USD 270 district office and the elementary school. Superintendent Beth Reust and her staff do an excellent job of educating Kansas children and I thanked her for her hard work. I also went to the new Rooks County Health Center to visit with the staff and patients. Plainville is fortunate to have such a high caliber health care facility. I wrapped up my visit by meeting with folks at the post office and Midwest Community Bank. 

Rural towns like Plainville face many challenges, but I am always impressed by the residents’ willingness to endure those challenges in order to preserve a special way of life for their children. Thanks to all the citizens of Plainville for taking time out of their work day to visit with me.

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Lions Club Meeting in Jetmore

Lions Clubs work to make Kansas communities strong and I have been a proud member of the Hays club for many years. The Lions Clubs motto is “We Serve,” and the more than 6,500 Lions in Kansas exemplify this selfless spirit. Founded in 1917, Lions Clubs bring members of a community together around the common goal of service. Lions have helped after disasters in Kansas and frequently engage in projects to promote vision health.

I was pleased to attend Thursday’s meeting of the Jetmore Lions Club and to visit with fellow Lions about issues in their community. I appreciate the contributions of Lions members and enjoyed visiting the Jetmore Lions Club.

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Listening Tour Continues

I continued my listening tour this week in Southwest Kansas and traveled to Edwards and Hodgeman Counties. On Friday morning, I had the opportunity to visit with many local residents at Kinsley Drug Store. Later that morning, I drove to Jetmore in Hodgeman County and visited with citizens at the courthouse. I appreciated the opportunity in both towns to hear Kansans share their thoughts and to discuss a wide range of topics including job creation, the recently passed debt ceiling increase, energy prices and many issues facing rural America. Hearing directly from Kansans gives me a better understanding of their views and the ways I can better serve them in Washington, D.C.

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Upcoming Listening Tour Stops

In August, I will be continuing my statewide listening tour. Please find more information about my upcoming town hall meetings below. If you’re nearby, I encourage you to stop by and share your thoughts. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Meade County, Meade
Location: Meade County Courthouse
Room: Commissioners Meeting Room
Address: 200 N. Fowler
Time: 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. 

Seward County, Liberal
Location: Liberal Chamber of Commerce
Address: 4 Rock Island Rd.
Time: 2:00-3:00 p.m. 

Stevens County, Hugoton
Location: Common Grounds Espresso Café
Address: 531 S. Main Street
Time: 4:00-5:00 p.m. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011
Morton County, Elkhart
Location: Jim-n-I’s Restaurant
Address: 634 Highway 56
Time: 7:00-8:00a.m.
Stanton County, Johnson
Location: Stanton County Courthouse
Room: Commissioners Meeting Room
Address: 201 N. Main Street
Time: 9:30-10:30 a.m.

Grant County, Ulysses
Location: Grant County Senior Center
Address: 117 E. Grant
Time: 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. 

Monday, August 15, 2011
Cowley County, Arkansas City
Location: CornerBank
Address: 125 North Summit
Time: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 

Chautauqua County, Sedan
Location: Chautauqua County Farm Bureau (hosted by Chautauqua County Farm Bureau)
Address: 230 E. Main
Time: 1:45-2:45 p.m. 

Montgomery County, Coffeyville
Location: Coffeyville Community College Technical Campus
Address: 600 Roosevelt
Time: 4:00-5:00 p.m. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011
Rawlins County, Atwood
Address: Main Street
Time: 4:00-5:00 p.m. 

Cheyenne County, St. Francis
Location: St. Francis Community College (hosted by Cheyenne County Farm Bureau)
Address: 100 College Street
Time: 7:30-8:30 p.m. 

Friday, August 19, 2011
Wallace County, Sharon Springs
Address: Main Street
Time: 8:00-9:00 a.m. 

Greeley County, Tribune
Location: Greeley County Library
Address: 507 Broadway
Room: Common Room
Time: 9:45-10:45 a.m. MTN 

Kearny County, Lakin
Address: Main Street
Time: 2:00-3:00 p.m. 

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In the Office

This week we had several visitors in the Washington, D.C., office from across the state, including the Kansans listed below. Click here to view photos of some of the visits.

North American Millers Association
Aaron Kuhlmann of Augusta
Treton Jacobs of Halstead
Jack Peterson of Topeka 

Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition
Brenda Bandy of Manhattan 

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Kang Connie Thao of Kansas City 

CGSCF Simons Center for the Study of Interagency Cooperation
Ted Strickler of Leavenworth 

Hawker Beechcraft Corp
James Maslowski of Wichita
Derek Hess of Wichita
Doug Scott of Wichita 

Many Kansans stopped by this week for a tour of the United States Capitol including: KayLonni Williams of Liberal; Tory and Lori Ifland and children, Katelyn, Ross and Allie of Cedar; Steve and Janelle Spiegel and children, Zachary, Ryan and Jacob of Formoso; Brian and Lisa Huesers and children, Jordan, Lauren, Ryan and Nolan of Leawood; Carol Young of Hays; David and Rose Hoover of Spring Hill; Dr. Mark Baker and son, Asher of Caney; James and Kristi Young and son, Anthony of Overland Park; Kim Lipford and children, Christopher and Elizabeth of Lenexa; and Jeffery and Leslie Brockhoff and children, Johanna and Evan of Powhattan. Kansans Visiting from Olathe included: Ben and Sean Williams; David and Christina Walker and children, Zachary, Catherine and Gregory; Jennifer Kirk; and Laura Emery. Kansans visiting from Prairie Village included: Christopher and Debra Schneider and children, Zachary, Samantha and William; and Michael and Nancy Putman and children, Brady, Riley and Cody of Prairie Village.

Monte, Marty and Brent Mitchell of Lenexa; and Connie Thao of Kansas City stopped by the office for a picture and to say hello.

Contact Me

It is an honor to serve you in Washington, D.C. Please let me know how I can be of assistance. To send me an email, click here. You can also click here to contact me through one of my Kansas offices or my Washington, D.C., office.

Very truly yours,




My email address is only equipped to send messages. I encourage you to send me a message through my website: https://www.moran.senate.gov

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