Kansas Common Sense


Welcome to “Kansas Common Sense.” Thank you 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.

Today, I have returned to Washington, D.C., for hearings, briefings, debates and votes. I have appreciated the opportunity to spend August having conversations and town halls, visiting schools and civic clubs across Kansas. I have always seen my job as both in Washington, D.C. and in our home state. The issues I prioritize and how I vote is greatly influenced by my time in Kansas, and I appreciate the thousands of Kansans who took time to visit with me over the past month.

Louisburg Labor Day Parade
Several communities across the state celebrated American workers with parades and festivities this weekend. Robba took part in parades in Chapman and Hoisington. I spent my Monday participating in Louisburg’s Labor Day parade. I have always been proud that Kansans know the value of a hard day’s work and appreciate the prosperity our state gains from that work ethic. Thanks to Ted Halpin for driving me, and to Chuck Hammeke for arranging my participation.
Senate Set for Debate on Iran Nuclear Deal
This week the Senate will resume its consideration of the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). I have read the terms and details of the proposed nuclear deal with Iran and listened to the testimony of senior administration officials responsible for crafting and negotiating it. Based on this information in addition to classified intelligence analyses, I believe this proposal falls short of its goal to prevent Iran’s nuclear weapons capability. Back in Kansas during August, conversations with many people from across the state have only reinforced my conviction that the world can and must do better than this potentially dangerous deal.

This nuclear deal concedes too much and secures too little. The terms fail to adequately dismantle Iran’s nuclear infrastructure while rewarding a government that finances terror and proudly threatens America and our allies. If our goal is to end Iran’s nuclear weapons program forever, we must demand an agreement that does more than provide Iran a generous economic boost in return for a temporary nuclear hiatus. Click here to read more about my opposition to the proposed nuclear deal with Iran.

Speaking at the Wichita Metro Chamber Reception
I was in Sedgwick County and spoke at the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce Reception this week. I fielded questions on a number of important issues including federal regulatory overreach, the Iran nuclear agreement and aviation. I also enjoyed welcoming McConnell Air Force Base's new Commander Colonel Al Miller and the new Friends University President Dr. Amy Carey to Kansas (pictured below).

Thanks to Pioneer Balloon Founder Ted Vlamis for hosting at his beautiful office and to Pioneer Balloon Marketing Director Randy Smith who was in attendance on behalf of the company. Thanks also to Chamber Chair Jon Rossell for the kind introduction.
Wichita Forum on U.S. Tax Reform
This week in Wichita I hosted a forum on U.S. Tax Reform with representatives from the Kansas FairTax Board and Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins. The discussion’s purpose was to educate Kansans about the FairTax – a proposal to replace our complicated and costly income-based, multi-tier tax system with one national sales tax – and render the IRS obsolete. Thanks to Rep. Jenkins, Americans For Fair Taxation President Steven Hayes and the more than 200 of Kansans who participated.

The need for a leaner and fairer tax code has never been greater. With its multitude of exemptions, loopholes and growing complexity, our tax code continues to stifle economic growth and cost Americans and businesses countless hours in their effort to comply. Adding to the significant shortfalls of our current system, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) continues to be beleaguered by gross mismanagement, politically biased leadership, and poor data security protections.

Pictured with me below (left to right) are Kansas Fair Tax Board Members Randell Phalp of Lenexa, Lloyd Hanahan of Overland Park, John Collet of Leawood, State Director Earl Long of Overland Park, Mark Saylor of Topeka, and Americans for Fair Taxation President Steven Hayes.
Washington Rotary Club
I attended Rotary Club this week in the other Washington — Washington, Kansas — and visited with club members. We had a conversation about what’s going on in the North Central part of the state. The meeting took place at the recently remodeled Washington County Hospital, so the discussion focused on health care and celebrating the arrival of a new family practice physician who is came back home to serve his community. Pictured with me below (left to right) is Dr. Kellen Sherlock, Heather Laflen, Roxanne Schottel, Linda Rettig and Sheela Scheele.
Clay Center Community Visit
I also stopped in Clay County this week to visit with the county commissioner, county clerk and mayor. I appreciated the warm welcome and constructive conversation about a number of policy issues facing Kansans. I also visited the hospital, a couple businesses and the newspaper where we discussed the FairTax proposal.   
Visiting Linn Public Schools
My last stop on Monday was visiting with students and teachers at Linn Public Schools. I toured a business class, band class, 2nd grade classroom and kindergarten classroom. I appreciated each of the teachers I spoke with taking time to share the important work they do each day to prepare Kansas children for their future. Thanks to students Hanna Bott and Liza Van der Merwe and Principal Mike Savage for the great tour. Thanks also to The Washington County News' Dan Thalmann for the photos.
Visiting Pittsburg State University
On Thursday morning, I was in Pittsburg to tour the new facilities at Pittsburg State University (PSU) with PSU President Steve Scott and Director of Government and Community Relations Shawn Naccarato. We started our tour at the new, 154,000-square-foot Robert W. Plaster Center, which opened earlier this year. The state-of-the-art facility includes a 100-yard turf field, an 11,000-square-foot modern strength facility, a 300-meter track and seating for up to 1,500. At the Plaster Center, I met a remarkable PSU Student Athlete, Robert McField, who is battling cancer and working to regain his strength. Robert’s commitment is inspiring and I wish him all the best for his health.

While touring the Plaster Center and the newly expanded and renovated Overman Student Center, we discussed the many benefits of polymer research, efforts to connect curriculum with regional business needs, and how PSU works to try to keep higher education affordable so students can avoid an overwhelming amount of student loan debt upon graduation.  Polymers are natural or synthetic materials built of large molecules that represent some of the most important components of our planet. PSU is home to the Kansas Polymer Research Center. Thanks to President Scott and his team for the tour and our conversations – I enjoyed meeting more members of the Pitt State family.

Town Halls in Montgomery and Cherokee Counties
I appreciated the 50 Montgomery County residents who joined me at Independence Memorial Hall Wednesday morning. Topics discussed at the Kansas Listening Tour stop included rural health care, veterans and our military, and the importance of tax reform. Thanks to Toni Comacho with the City of Independence for helping to coordinate my visit. I’m glad State Rep. Jim Kelly, Montgomery County Commissioner Ryan York, Independence Mayor Leonard Caflisch, city manager Micky Webb and Independence Community College Trustee Val DeFever were able to attend. Thanks also to former state legislator Mary Compton for coming from Wilson County.
Wednesday afternoon I also held a town hall meeting in Baxter Springs. Thank you to the 30 Cherokee County residents who joined me including Sheriff David Groves. We discussed veterans’ health care, rising costs of prescription drugs, national security, Gitmo, the Iran deal and overregulation by federal agencies. I appreciate Linda Kennedy for setting up our visit at the Heritage Center and Museum in Baxter Springs.
Oswego Community Hospital
On Thursday afternoon, I had the opportunity to visit Oswego Community Hospital (OCH) and meet with CEO Dan Hiben, State Representative Richard Proehl, as well as local elected officials, pharmacists and hospital staff. Serving Southeast Kansas, OCH is a 12-bed Critical Access Hospital that also operates health clinics in Altamont, Chetopa and Oswego. Our discussion focused on Medicare reimbursements, veterans’ health care and the importance of proximity and ease of access to quality care in rural Kansas. The special way of life in small, rural towns would not be possible without access to health care, and federal policies must enable OCH and other rural health facilities to survive and thrive. Thanks to Dan for hosting me, and to Sarah Rodie for coordinating my visit.
Visiting the National Center for Toxicological Research Center
After wrapping up two days in Southeast Kansas, I crossed the border to visit the National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) in Jefferson, Arkansas, with U.S. Senator John Boozman. Because I serve on the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman that determines its funding, it was helpful to learn more about the facility and see that taxpayer dollars are being well spent. The 1 million square foot research campus is the only U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center located outside the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, and it plays a critical role in the missions of FDA and the Department of Health and Human Services to promote and protect public health.
Pope Francis to Visit Washington, D.C. 
Two weeks from today, Pope Francis will arrive in Washington, D.C., to begin a five-day visit to the United States. On Thursday, September 24, Pope Francis will address a joint session of Congress during my time in the Senate. After he concludes his speech, he is expected to make an appearance on the west balcony of the Capitol, where thousands will gather to watch the speech on large televisions set up around the area.  If Kansans would like to be among those watching from the west lawn, my office has a limited number of tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis. You can contact my office for tickets by contacting our Washington, D.C. office at 202-224-6521.
Now Accepting Spring 2016 Internship Applications
I am now accepting applications for paid congressional internships in my Washington, D.C., and Kansas offices for spring 2016. An internship in my office provides a unique opportunity to work closely with Senate staff on behalf of the state of Kansas. Legislative interns will gain a better understanding of the legislative process in the U.S. Congress, and develop knowledge and professional skills valuable to future career pursuits.

The application deadline for spring 2016 is October 30, 2015. Applications may be obtained and completed under the “Services” section of my website at www.moran.senate.gov. Applicants should submit a completed application form, resume, academic transcript, two letters of recommendation, and a cover letter explaining their interest in public service and addressing a policy issue of personal importance and a suggested recommendation to resolve that issue. Please submit required materials to: internships@moran.senate.gov.

Kansans in the Office
Capitol Tour
Francis Younger of Victoria
Joleen Younger of Victoria
Michael Cole of Hays
Tonya Cole of Hays
Darius Cole of Hays
Terrence Smythe of Wichita
Susan Smythe of Wichita

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 form of 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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