Kansas Common Sense
Welcome to “Kansas Common Sense.” I hope you and your family are enjoying this holiday season. Robba and I enjoyed a peaceful Christmas with our family and we wish you and yours a very Happy New Year. In January, Capitol Hill begins to forge a new path and I am hopeful 2015 will bring a Congress better capable of working together for the well-being of our nation. I look forward to advocating for pro-growth policies that create jobs and more economic opportunity for every American.
On Friday, I spoke with Kelly Lenz on the Kansas Ag Network to discuss trade with Cuba, my new committee assignments for the 114th Congress and the Farm Bill. Click here to listen.
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.
Kansas Listening Tour Continues
This week, I continued my Kansas Listening Tour with four stops in Harper, Barber, Edwards, and Stafford Counties. The issues I focus on and work I do in Washington, D.C., are largely based on the conversations I have with Kansans so making certain I am home to visit with folks is my top priority. I was proud to learn this week that I led my Senate colleagues in hosting the most town hall meetings in 2014 with 80 Listening Tour Stops throughout Kansas. You can visit my website for upcoming Kansas Listening Tour stops in your community.
On Monday, about 15 residents in Harper County joined me at Chaparral High School in Anthony to share feedback on a number of issues facing our country. Topics of discussion included rural access to health care, getting veterans the health care they need, the farm bill and regulatory issues related to agriculture and the oil & gas industry. Thanks again to all those who took the time to share their thoughts and concerns with me, and thank you to Dana Craig for helping to organize my visit.
From Harper County, I headed to Medicine Lodge in Barber County where I visited with folks at People's Bank, including Dennis Ricke, Barber County Farm Bureau President, who discussed the Lesser Prairie Chicken. While in Medicine Lodge, I also had the opportunity to visit Medicine Lodge Memorial Hospital and Physician's Clinic where I met with CFO Tom Lee and his wife Suzanne Lee, Executive Director of the Medicine Lodge Community Health Foundation, and received a tour of the hospital. Medicine Lodge Memorial Hospital recently completed Phase 2 of its renovations and I was very impressed with the new facility. Finally, I visited with Sloane Freeman at the pharmacy in Medicine Lodge and saw their newly renovated drug store in an old grocery store. In addition to providing patients with advice and filling prescriptions, locals like to come in and grab coffee at the pharmacy. The Freeman’s truly provide a great service to the community.
My third Listening Tour stop this week was in Edwards County where I held a town hall meeting at St. Bernard Parish Hall in Belpre. The folks in attendance were interested in discussing a range of topics including changes to U.S. relations with Cuba, the importance of approving the Keystone XL pipeline in the next Congress, the sanctity of life, immigration, and tax reform. The community expressed thanks for the efforts to protect local Post Offices. I appreciated their kind words. Thanks again to former County Commissioner Marge Scheufler for helping organize my visit and to all who shared their thoughts and concerns.
My final stop Monday was in Stafford County at the Courthouse Annex in St. John. Topics of discussion ranged from concerns with Obamacare and access to rural health care, to the Marketplace Fairness Act and the importance of agriculture and water to our state. Thanks again to the concerned citizens who attended. And thank you to the Stafford County Kansas Farm Bureau for hosting and Sharilyn McNickle for helping to organize.
I appreciate these opportunities to hear from Kansans. I have upcoming Listening Tour stops next Monday in Burdett at the Burdett Senior Center, in Jetmore at King Center, and in Ness City at the Ness County Courthouse. On Wednesday, I will be at the Community Building in Fairview. Friday I will be hosting town halls at the Scott County Hospital meeting room and then in the community room of the Lane County Courthouse. On Tuesday Jan. 6th I will be in Lenexa at Firehouse #3 auditorium. You can find out more about these town hall meetings in the sidebar of this newsletter. As I continue to schedule Listening Tour stops, I look forward to hearing from folks across the state.
Thanks to Fall/Winter 2014 Interns
My own interest in public service was sparked by an internship for Kansas First
District Congressman Keith Sebelius in 1974. As an intern, I had the chance to
learn firsthand how a Congressional office operates and how the legislative
I am proud to be able to offer this same opportunity in my Senate office today
where I have interns year-round who have a unique opportunity to work closely
with my staff on behalf of Kansas. Thanks to the fall/winter 2015 interns — Nathan Yunker of Hays, Fort Hays State University; and Jakob Provo of El Dorado, KansasWesleyan University — for all of your hard work. I wish you the best of luck as you pursue your dreams and begin your careers.
Applications are already being accepted for internships in my Washington, D.C., office for the summer 2015 term. Congressional internships are open to qualified undergraduate and graduate students who have an interest in public service and have achieved academic excellence.
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.
Very truly yours,
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