Kansas Common Sense
Jun 20 2011
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- Discussing Jobs on Fox Business
- Colwich’s Legacy Bank President Testifies On Capitol Hill
- Legislation to Reduce Burdens on Job Creators
- The Wichita Aero Club
- The Airbus Design and Engineering Center in Wichita
- Poet Ethanol and the Biofuels Industry
- Disaster Loans Now Available for Kansans Affected by Recent Floods
- Listening Tour Continues
- Upcoming Listening Tour Stops
- In the Office
This week, I had the opportunity to appear on Fox Business’ “The Willis Report” to discuss the current state of our economy. Unfortunately, the current economic policies are creating an environment of uncertainty and hampering job creation. Instead of creating barriers to job growth, Congress and the Administration should be pursuing pro-growth policies. Click here to read more about my thoughts on this topic. Click here to watch my interview with host Gerri Willis.
At my request, Legacy Bank President Frank A. Suellentrop of Colwich, Kansas, testified this week before the Senate Banking Committee’s Subcommittee on Financial Institutions about the challenges facing community banks in the current regulatory environment. The Subcommittee was fortunate to receive a strong dose of Kansas common sense from Frank, a fourth-generation banker who shed light on the disconnect between banking regulators in Washington and the experiences of community banks like Legacy Bank.
I remain concerned that community banks are being prevented from making good loans to creditworthy borrowers in their hometowns because of overregulation by Washington. Until we reach a point where community banks are willing and able to make prudent loans to customers, I fear our economic recovery will continue to lag. One of the most significant roadblocks to community bank lending is the uncertainty coming out of Washington. Businesses and banks alike keep waiting for the next burdensome regulation or rulemaking to come down the road.
Frank gave my colleagues a good sense of what is happening on Main Street. He has found himself subject to examiners who insist on micromanaging loan decisions, constantly looking over the bank’s shoulder, and questioning the creditworthiness of customers with whom his bank has been dealing with for years. Click here to view a clip from Frank Suellentrop’s testimony.
This week I sponsored legislation to stop the federal government from imposing regulations not based on sound science and common sense on job creators. Stemming overregulation will give business greater freedom to invest and hire new workers. The bill would strengthen the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), which was was a bipartisan effort to prevent Congress and federal regulators from blindly imposing economic burdens on the private sector and on state, local and tribal governments without weighing the costs and benefits. Click here to read more about my legislation to reduce economic burdens on job creators.
As the most diverse of the world’s five major aviation clusters, Wichita provides approximately 20 percent of all manufacturing employment in Kansas. To help preserve its place as “The Air Capital of the World,” the new Wichita Aero Club was formed in 2008. In less than three years the Aero Club has established a tradition of promoting interest in aviation, providing a forum that spotlights industry issues and achievements, and enhancing professional development through the building of relationships.
On Sunday, I was pleased to attend a reception following the second annual Wichita Aero Club Golf Classic. The event, which raised more than $2,200 to benefit the club’s Aviation Education Initiative, was a great opportunity to get better acquainted with our state’s aviation leaders and discuss issues of importance to the industry. Thank you to executive director Dave Franson for inviting me to participate.
On Monday, I had the opportunity to tour the Airbus design and engineering center in Wichita. Originally opening in 2002 with a staff of 40 engineers, the facility has more than doubled its physical footprint in less than a decade and now houses approximately 300 engineers. This team of highly-trained professionals works on every Airbus aircraft, including the new A350 XWB.
European-based Airbus is also the largest export customer of the U.S. aerospace industry. Last year alone, Airbus injected $10 billion into the U.S. economy by purchasing parts, components and systems. This investment represents 40 percent of Airbus’ procurement budget for manufacturing aircraft.
Outside of the office, Airbus employees are actively involved in the Wichita community; Special Olympics, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Kansas Food Bank, United Way and aviation camp at Exploration Place are just a few of the organizations where Airbus employees make a positive difference. Thank you to Vice President of Engineering John O’ Leary, Senior Director of Engineering John Papadatos, and Vice President of Government Relations Rob Wrigley – as well as their employees – for providing a tour of their Old Town facility. I appreciated the chance to learn more about Airbus’ contributions to the aviation industry, the Kansas economy, and the Wichita community. Click here to view a photo from my visit.
On Monday, I visited a company that is part of our country’s energy solution. Poet Ethanol Products of Wichita has been a leader in marketing ethanol for over a decade. Poet handles two billion gallons of ethanol annually from 35 partner facilities located in the Great Plains and Upper Midwest. Three of those facilities – Lyons, Oakley and Phillipsburg – are based in Kansas, and approximately 150 Kansas employees provide services in market development, portfolio development and risk management, transportation and distribution, and transaction processing.
My conversation with Poet Ethanol President Bob Casper, Chief Operating Officer Ben Sweat, Director of Business Development Mark DeVries, and Analyst Kelly Casper provided me with additional insight about their company and issues facing the biofuels industry. Thank you to Bob and his team for taking time out of their busy schedules to provide me such an informative visit.
I am pleased to announce that the Small Business Administration (SBA) has made low interest disaster loans available for Kansans whose property was damaged or destroyed by the flash flooding on June 1-2, 2011. The SBA assistance is available for Kansans in Riley County as well as the surrounding counties including Clay, Geary, Marshall, Pottawotomie, Wabaunsee and Washington. Kansans of these counties who are interested in SBA assistance may go to the SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center at the Manhattan Public Library at 629 Poyntz Avenue. The Center is open from 9:00am to 5:30pm, Monday through Friday. Applicants may also apply online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela or call (800) 659-2955. Click here for more information on loan availability.
I continued my listening tour this week and hosted four town halls in the following counties: Greenwood, Woodson, Miami and Rice. On Monday, my annual listening tour included stops at Eureka, Yates Center and Miami. In Eureka I had the pleasure of meeting Greenwood County residents at the newly renovated Greenwood Hotel. I visited with attendees about general Internet access for the area as well as over-regulation by the federal government and the survival of rural post offices. Thanks to the Greenwood Preservation Society, the Eureka Chamber of Commerce, as well as area residents for our warm reception.
In Yates Center, we discussed government spending, Medicare, housing in Southeast Kansas, and over-extension of our military forces around the world. Thank you to Woodson County Commissioners John Weseloh and Gwen Martin, as well as everyone who took time to share your thoughts with me. I’d also like to thank those visitors who made the trip from Allen County including Iola City Administrator Judy Brigham, Assistant City Administrator Corey Schinstock, and Humboldt City Administrator Larry Tucker. Thanks also to Carl Craig, who joined us from Independence.
I continued my annual listening tour in Paola on Monday afternoon, spending time with residents of Miami County at the Farm Bureau Building. The residents had a wide range of topics they wanted to discuss including deficit spending, EPA regulations, the need for energy independence, and American military presence around the world. Special thanks to Mike Martin and Marjorie Pretz of Miami County Farm Bureau for allowing me to use their facility.
Finally, I was in Lyons on Friday to visit with Rice County residents, and stopped by City Hall, the courthouse, the public library and several local businesses – including the Rice County District Hospital, Lyons Daily News, First Bank, Lyons Federal Bank, Lyons State Bank, Lyons Foodliner, Minix Realty, and Adams, Brown, Beran & Ball CPAs. I appreciated the chance to visit with local residents so I could gain a better understanding of their views and the ways I can serve them better in Washington, D.C. Click here to view a photo from my visit.
This month, I am 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.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Norton County, Norton
Location: Main Street
Decatur County, Oberlin
Location: Main Street
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Riley County, Manhattan – Hosted by the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce
Location: Historic Union Pacific Depot
Address: 120 Fort Riley Blvd.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Republic County, Belleville
Location: Bel-Villa Restaurant
Address: 213 US Highway 36
Jewell County, Mankato
Location: Mankato Community Center
Address: 214 North High Street
Smith County, Smith Center
Location: Smith County Courthouse, basement meeting room
Address: 218 South Grant
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Pratt County, Pratt – Hosted by the Rotary Club
Location: Park Hills Country Club
Address: 337 Lake Road
Barber County, Medicine Lodge
Location: Main Street
Harper County, Anthony
Location: City Hall
Address: 124 S. Bluff Ave.
Friday, July 8, 2011
Reno County, Hutchinson – Hosted by the Kiwanis Club
Location: Hutchinson Community College
Address: 1300 North Plum
Stafford County, Stafford
Location: Stafford Community Senior Center
Address: 130 South Main Street
Edwards County, Kinsley
Location: County Commissioner Office, Edwards County Courthouse (1st Floor)
Address: 312 Massachusetts Avenue
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.
US Cattlemen's Association
Deanna and Allan Sents of McPherson
KSU Research and Extension
Brian Olson of Colby
Gayle Price of Girard
Amy Jordan of Emporia
Sandra Wick of Smith Center
Carolyn Kleiber of Hillsboro
Laura Pearl of St. Marys
Joanne Wilson of Manhattan
Elizabeth Wilson of Manhattan
Lori Bammerlin of Manhattan
John Wesley of Wichita
Mike Armstrong of Lenexa
Rob Olson of Olathe
Brenda and Dean Cherpitel of Overland Park
Joe Vaughan of Kansas City
Farm Credit Institutions
Larry Barrett of Colby
Kelsy Rhodenbaugh of Wichita
Jeana Hultzist of Bonner Springs
Audrey Green of Stockton
Pam and Kurt Dillon of Atwood
Shelby Castens of Atwood
Sierra Castens of Atwood
Jason Sis of Atwood
Ashley Stewart of Washington
Makaela Miller of Washington
Korey Welch of Haddam
Tyler Stille of Washington
Andrea Mattas of Wilson
Kolten Beck of Clay Center
Morgan Hammel of Clay Center
Hannah Byers of Clay Center
Jessie Sumerour of Leonardville
Andrea Mattas of Wilson
Kelli Robinson of Great Bend
Drew James of Clay Center
Bryce Pachta of Belleville
AJ Cochren of Clay Center
Kansas Cooperative Council
Leslie Kaufman of Topeka
Roger Knoh of Kansas City
Curtis Sneden of Topeka
ABC Heart of America Chapter
Jim Kistler of Mission
Jerry Starkey of Olathe
Council for Responsible Nutrition
Carolyn Sabatini of Leawood
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
Kathryn Hogan of Merriam
Pearl Hogan of Merriam
International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists
Jan Gerber of Wichita
Kristy Timmons of Mission
Healthcare Billing and Management Association
Jud Neal of Overland Park
National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs
Loren Shaiken of Fairway
American Association of University Women
Teresa Sullivan of Fairway
Fonda Sprengelmeyer of Overland Park
Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission
Rep. Joanne Pottorff of Wichita
Rep. Jene Vickrey of Louisburg
Josh Vickreg of Louisburg
Kansas Coalition against Sexual and Domestic Violence
Joyce Grover of Topeka
Kim Pentico of Topeka
Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center
Christopher Orwoll of Hutchinson
Investment Adviser Association
Marc Vincent of Wichita
Kansas Bankers Association
Frank Carson of Mulvane
Allison Grace of Andover
Joylynn Harlow of Salina
David Herndon of Kansas City
Janna Lanie of Kingman
John Lehman of Girard
Kent Needham of Overbrook
Kathy Olsen of Topeka
Jeanette Richardson of Hutchinson
Bruce Schriefer of Wichita
Eric Schroeder of Overland Park
Ted Starr of Hiawatha
Chuck Stones of Topeka
Brandon Vering of Greenleaf
Kansas Bankers Association
Steve White of Council Grove
Tom Page of Wichita
Matt Canfield of Belle Plaine
Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site
Dave Smith of Lawrence
Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas
Keith Lawing of Wichita
Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce
Lyle Butler of Manhattan
Dick Carter, Jr. of Topeka
Sue Peterson of Manhattan
Kent Glasscock of Manhattan
Fred Willich of Manhattan
Neal Farmer of Manhattan
Dan Yunk of Manhattan
Cheryl Yunk of Manhattan
Propane Marketers Association of Kansas
Don Reinert of Newton
Greg Noll of Topeka
John Pankratz of Wichita
Brian Miller of Overland Park
John Jacobson of Andover
Jay Jackson of Kansas City
Daniel Carrigan of Kansas City
Risk and Insurance Management Society
Rob Zachrich of Kansas City
In the office this week for a tour of the United States Capitol were: Kyle McGee of Yates Center; Jean Brown of Salina; Sandra Wick of Smith Center; Brian Olson of Colby; David and Avery Whipple of Leavenworth; Janelle and Natalie Wareham of Holton; Shelby and Sierra Castens of Ludell; Lois Bourisaw of Junction City; Mary and Samuel Terril of Prairie Village; Ross, Brenda, Sam and Isaac Hicks of Winfield; Larry Thompson and Brenda Leonard of Iola; David Anderson of Hesston; Donna Hadlock of Inman; Bonnie Hinck of Eskridge; Cole Thompson and Ashley Stewart of Washington; Allison Nickelson and Kyle Helberg of Penokee; Chantelle Simon and Jordan Bell of Morland; Cindy Green and Brenda and Stephen Kucera of Kansas City; Vicki, John and Ryan Terril and Reece and Lureburg Baurisaw of Manhattan; Catherine and Barney Horton, Pam and Kurt Dillon, and Jason Sis of Atwood. Kansans visiting from Olathe included Jacob Snow, James, Julie, Emily, Anna, Katelyn and Joshua Sluyter, Shirlene, Jeff, Lacie, Andy and Jacob Kazmaier. In from Wichita were Johnna, Christopher and Kara Kolar, Howard, Diane and Brooke Lachenmayr, Damaris and Ryan Hubbell, and Joshua Shorter. Touring with us from Overland Park were Linda, Stephen, John and Alex Samuelson, Katherine and Margaret Horton, Olivia, Jason, Elijah, Leo and Clarissa Sheahan.
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,
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