Kansas Common Sense


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Meeting with Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson

On Wednesday, I met with Secretary of the Air Force Dr. Heather Wilson to discuss Air Force priorities across the service and in Kansas, including the delivery of the KC-46A to McConnell Air Force Base. Secretary Wilson affirmed her commitment to accelerating delivery of the Air Force’s KC-46A this October, after multiple delays, to McConnell Air Force Base – a significant achievement for McConnell as the first base to receive the new aerial refueling tanker. The KC-46A is a critical component to the future of our Air Force and global war-fighting capability and McConnell Air Force Base is well prepared for its imminent arrival. I look forward to hosting Dr. Wilson in the Air Capital of the World so she can see firsthand how Kansans are supporting our national security through our strong aerospace industry and advancing groundbreaking research at the National Institute for Aviation Research.

Joining Fox News to Talk Helsinki Summit

Putin is not our friend; he’s an adversary intent on continuing Russia’s disruptive activities, including meddling in our own democratic process. The Helsinki summit, and my meetings with Russian officials in Moscow, did nothing to suggest we should roll back sanctions and reaffirmed that Congress must continue to hold Russia accountable. Click here to watch my full interview on Fox News.

Speaking on the Senate Floor Regarding NATO

This week, I took to the Senate floor to speak on the importance of NATO in protecting America’s security and prosperity. At the NATO summit last week, President Trump reaffirmed our nation’s commitment to the alliance and the importance of collective defense. Having recently returned from meetings with European officials, I remain convinced that Russia is intent on continuing their disruptive activities in Europe, the Middle East and here at home. NATO serves as a deterrent to Russia, but it also offers our nation support in fighting terrorism, cyber threats, and human and drug trafficking. Indeed, the only time the alliance has invoked collective defense is after the 9/11 attacks when our allies came to our assistance in Afghanistan, and where they still serve alongside our military today. Watch my full speech here.

Meeting with Pittsburg State University President Steve Scott

On Tuesday, I met with Pittsburg State University (PSU) President Steve Scott and Chief Strategy Officer Shawn Naccarato in my Washington, D.C. office. We discussed a number of exciting developments important to the future of PSU and the Pittsburg community. While much remains under construction, the downtown Pittsburg revitalization project, expected to be completed in the coming months, will be an exciting development for the city – bringing new businesses and creating over 100 new housing units for PSU students. Coupled with Governor Jeff Colyer’s announcement that the Highway 69 corridor leading to Pittsburg will be expanded to four lanes, the economic future is bright for Pittsburg and southeast Kansas.

President Scott and I also discussed his vision to grow enrollment and strengthen the economic potential of PSU’s Kansas Technology Center (KTC). It is vital for the future of our state’s manufacturing workforce that opportunities for educating and training talented students be maximized, and KTC’s unique strengths in plastics engineering and polymer research make it well positioned to have a significant impact. As chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science, I am working to make certain schools like PSU will have the enhanced capabilities and modernized equipment necessary to produce highly skilled graduates and accelerate economic growth.

Hosting Kansas Listening Tour Stops in Crawford, Osage and Chase Counties 

On my way to Washington, D.C. this week, I visited Girard for a townhall meeting with Crawford County residents. Our discussion touched on many topics, including the recently-passed Farm Bill, VA Choice and the VA MISSION Act, the importance of trade agreements and my actions on recently-imposed tariffs. I also congratulated the community on sending two students to service academies, one to the United States Air Force Academy and one to the United States Naval Academy.

A special thank you to Heartland Rural Electric CEO Mark Scheibe for hosting me and for his warm introduction. Thank you also to State Senator Richard Hildebrand, Sheriff Dan Peak, Pittsburg Mayor Jeremy Johnson, former State Representative Terry Calloway, Pittsburg City Manager Daron Hall, Frontenac City Council member Lynn Grant and Frontenac City Administrator Brad Reams for attending. Read more on my visit in the Morning Pittsburg Sun here.

I visited Burlingame as part of my Kansas Listening Tour on Friday. I stopped in Thrill’s Kettle Corn, where I visited with founder and owner Jerry Hill who recently captured the “triple crown” for popcorn at the Kansas State Fair. I’m pictured here with Jerry and his staff, who are holding their award-winning “triple crown” popcorn – winning first place at the Kansas State Fair was the regular popcorn, caramel came in second place, and cinnamon in third. Jerry has a unique story behind the creation of his company and I am pleased to see his business thriving in the “Kettle Corn Capital of Kansas.” Jerry championed those naming rights in 2016 and signs proclaiming that title now greet visitors at every entrance to town. Thanks to Jerry and Burlingame residents for the time and conversation.

Strong City
On Saturday, I was at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve for my Chase County townhall meeting to visit with residents of Strong City and the surrounding area and discuss issues such as veterans’ healthcare, the MISSION Act, tariffs and the escalating trade war, and policies affecting rural communities. Thanks to National Park Service staff for hosting me and to Chase County Commissioner Anthony Hazelton for joining.

Meeting Moundridge Middle School Students

On Wednesday, I met with students, parents and teachers from Moundridge Middle School during their trip to our nation’s capital. The group asked insightful and thought-provoking questions regarding things happening in Congress and our country and I shared updates with them on recent legislation passed through Congress. I always enjoy meeting with young Kansans who make the important trip to Washington D.C. to experience our nation’s democracy first-hand.

Four State Farm Show

This weekend, members of my staff hosted an informational booth at the Four State Farm Show located south of Pittsburg. Crowds of agricultural producers and customers turned out for the Farm Talk’s 44th annual event, which featured hundreds of vendors and folks representing the ag industry. Our staff was on hand to answer questions and gather input from show attendees. Many Kansans shared their concerns on issues facing Congress, including the need for a Farm Bill to be signed into law. 

Now Accepting 2018 Service Academy Applications

Appointing Kansans to the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.; the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.; the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo; and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y. is one of my favorite duties as a U.S. Senator.

To review requirements and move through the application process, please download an application from my website or contact my Olathe office at 913-393-0711. All application materials are due to my Olathe office by September 7, 2018. After applications have been reviewed, applicants will be notified of interviews with my Service Academy Selection Board, which will take place on Saturday, September 22, 2018, at the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene.

Kansans in the Office

American Academy of Dermatology
Holly Fritch of Leawood

Conestoga Energy
Tom Willis of Liberal

East Kansas Agri-Energy
Bill Pracht of Westphalia

Family Medicine
Jonathan Pike of Wichita

Green and Grow Inc.
Alan Sobba of Garnett

Kansas Corn
Avery Aust of Louisburg
Keren Duerksen of Newton
Trent Frye of Belleville
Ken McCauley of White Cloud
Dennis McNinch of Utica
Jaylie Weseloh of Yates Center

Marne Marotta
Lisse Regehr of Iola
Glenna Garcia of Iola

Pittsburg State University
Ed McKechnie of Pittsburg
Shawn Naccarato of Pittsburg
Dr.  Steve Scott of Pittsburg

Tracia Bañwelos of Wichita
John Bartel of Topeka
Lila Bartel of Topeka
Aaron Carrillo of Newton
Jonathan Cole of Wichita
Nate Faflick of Wichita
Emma Hahn of Wichita
Genevieve Prescher of Lawrence
Kimberly Trigg of Salina

Senior Corps
Cary Bathon of Augusta
Lori Biship of Manhattan
Melody Gault of Augusta
Cathi Hahner of Basehor
Dave Hahner of Basehor
Suesan Harrington of Manhattan
Dale Hogg of Great Bend
Lind Hogg of Great Bend
Jolene Niernberger of Ellis
Christina Tinsley of Independence

Capitol Tour
Kaylyn Bauman of Arlington
William Boeh of Troy
Kim Burns of Pittsburg
Morgan Burns of Pittsburg
Reece Burns of Pittsburg
Abigail Geesling of Turon
Danielle Geesling of Turon
Eric Geesling of Turon
Ava Gladhart of Highland
Grant Gladhart of Highland
Heather Gladhart of Highland
Casey Guthals of Manhattan
David Guthals of Manhattan
Daniel Hawkins of Andover
Dayton Hawkins of Andover
Gavin Hawkins of Andover
Heather Hawkins of Andover
Laura Heiman of Axtell
Debra Jones of Pratt
Thomas Jones of Pratt
Brenda Lawton of Wichita
Joseph Lawton of Wichita
Rachel Lawton of Wichita
Timothy Lawton of Wichita
Zachary Uttley of Pittsburg
Mary Winkelman of Overland Park
Noah Winkelman of Overland Park
Todd Winkelman of Overland Park
Lauren Winter of Overland Park

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,

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