Kansas Common Sense

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Recognizing the 75th Anniversary of D-Day
June 6, 1944, will forever mark a crucial moment for humanity and world history, when more than 160,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy, France. Operation Overlord, commonly known as D-Day, was a courageous attempt and bold strategy to drive Nazi forces from Western Europe and reverse the course of the war.

The night before the Allied troops invaded Normandy, Kansas’ favorite son and then-General Eisenhower penned the following words to his soldiers: “I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory!” On the 75th anniversary of the invasion, we remember the courage displayed by those who stormed the beaches of Normandy. Their devotion to duty in the face of overwhelming odds on the beaches ultimately secured the liberation of Europe and the end to the war for good.

Photo courtesy of Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum.

It is fitting that our reflection be centered in Abilene, the boyhood home of President Eisenhower. On Thursday, I wrote a guest column in the Abilene Reflector-Chronicle memorializing this day and what it means to Kansas. Click here to read.

Signaling a New Day for Veterans’ Healthcare
This week, the VA MISSION Act began implementation across the country, signaling a new day for veterans’ healthcare. This landmark legislation – signed into law one year ago last Thursday – improvesexpands and modernizes the Veterans’ Community Care Program, and includes several provisions introduced by the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and me.

Over the past several years, I’ve worked in a bipartisan manner to create a 21st century VA healthcare system that meets the needs of veterans, reduces bureaucracy, improves care coordination, supports rural hospitals, allows our veterans to receive care from local walk-in clinics and increases the availability of telemedicine.

Americans of all ages, from all backgrounds and walks of life, have bravely stepped up to defend our nation, and I remain committed to fostering a transformative VA that provides them ample access to timely, quality healthcare when they return to civilian life. The VA MISSION Act is a significant leap forward in accomplishing this goal and I will continue work with VA leadership to make certain that MISSION Act implementation continues as intended by Congress and that the VA puts veterans’ best interest at the center of its decision-making. To read more on the VA MISSION Act, click here.


Announcing a National Public Safety Partnership in Wichita
Wichita has been selected as just one of 10 new National Public Safety Partnership sites nationwide. This program will establish federal partnerships with state, local and tribal agencies to pursue violent criminals, specifically those involved in gun crime, drug trafficking and gang violence in Wichita and Sedgwick County.

As chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Department of Justice, I remain committed to making certain that Kansas law enforcement agencies have the resources they need to enhance public safety and strengthen the partnerships that are vital to the health and well-being of our communities.

Celebrating 100 Years Since the 19th Amendment
100 years ago on Tuesday, the Senate passed the 19th amendment. In Kansas, we recognize our own leadership in this movement as the eighth state to grant full suffrage to women, nearly seven years before Congress passed the 19th amendment.

Let us again reflect on this important step toward gender equality – understanding that equality at the ballot box was an important first, but not final, step in this work for equal opportunity – and look to the unfinished work that remains.


Introducing the Aeronautics Innovation Act
This week, I introduced the bipartisan Aeronautics Innovation Act with Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) to help boost innovation, research and development in the aeronautics industry.  

The future of our aerospace industry depends on our commitment today in aviation research, testing and manufacturing. With the proper resources and the ability to continue attracting a strong workforce – the industry is poised to make groundbreaking discoveries, perfect new technology and build better and more efficient aircraft. However, without the proper strategy and investment, the U.S. risks falling behind other industrialized nations in developing and advancing the next generation of aircraft.

This bill would provide a five-year funding commitment to advance innovation and supplement research in the field, ensuring Kansas continues to play a prominent role in the national aerospace industry for generations to come. More on this legislation here.

Working Together to Fuel Cancer Research
Thank you to The University of Kansas Cancer Center Director Dr. Roy Jensen and The University of Kansas Health System healthcare providers, scientists and administrators for their groundbreaking work that brings us closer every day to finding a cure for cancer.

Last month, I brought National Cancer Institute Director Dr. Doug Lowy to Kansas City to highlight the collaborative work being done across our region to improve outcomes for those suffering from cancer. Read Dr. Jensen’s letter to the editor in the Kansas City Star here.


Now Accepting Fall 2019 Internship Applications
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 process works. I am proud to be able to offer this same opportunity in my Senate office today, where I have interns year-round working closely with my staff on behalf of Kansans.

Applications for internships in my Washington, D.C. and Kansas offices for the fall 2019 session are due June 14. Congressional internships are open to qualified undergraduate and graduate students who have an interest in public service and have achieved academic excellence. Click here for more information and to apply.

Kansans in the Office

AJC Global Jewish Advocacy
Gavriela Geller of Overland Park 

Capitol Tour
Elyse Achenbach of Winfield
Austin Alexander of Hutchinson
Ethan Alexander of Hutchinson
Kelly Alexander of Hutchinson
Nathan Alexander of Hutchinson
Nichole Alexander of Hutchinson  
Jayne Brooks of Hays
Krista Brooks of Hays 
Matt Brooks of Hays
Nathaniel Brooks of Hays
Thomas Brooks of Hays
Emmy Ebert of St. George
Laura Ebert of St. George
Neil Ebert of St. George 
Sadie Ebert of St. George
Emeri Ekstrand of Overland Park
Korene Ekstrand of Overland Park
Luke Ekstrand of Overland Park
Mark Ekstrand of Overland Park
Wesley Ekstrand of Overland Park
Ann Garcia of Topeka
Elias Garcia of Topeka
Deborah Hoffman of Hays
David Lord of Overland Park
Garrett Lord of Overland Park
Jeremy Lord of Overland Park
Paula Lord of Overland Park
Stuart Lord of Overland Park
Elizabeth Mathias of Augusta
Jackson Mathias of Augusta 
Jane Mathias of Augusta 
Wayne Mathias of Augusta
Avarie Needham of Paola
Kent Needham of Tonganoxie
Terry Needham of Tonganoxie
Codi Olsen of Hiawatha
Grete Olsen of Horton 
Cole Resnik of Topeka
Ivan Rummery of Augusta
Boone Smith of Hoyt
Brennen Smith of Hoyt
Adalyn Vukorep of Olathe
Denis Vukorep of Olathe
Halle Vukorep of Olathe
Katie Vukorep of Olathe
Marshall Vukorep of Olathe
Patricia Jacobs Way of Hays   
Marcquiece Williams-Cade of St. George
April Wilkes of Pittsburg
Bailey Wilkes of Pittsburg
Blake Wilkes of Pittsburg
Dan Wilkes of Pittsburg

Chamber of Lawrence
Joe Caldwell of Lawrence
Hugh Carter of Lawrence
Jack Cline of Lawrence
Kathy LittleBull of Lawrence
Bonnie Lowe of Lawrence
Reggie Robinson of Lawrence

Children’s Advocacy Centers of Kansas
Lori Chandler of Wichita
Melissa Cooke of Wichita
Kasey Dalke of Great Bend
Jamie Fager of Great Bend
Vicki Hubin of Hiawatha
Laura Kelly of Newton
Heather McLemore of Great Bend
Lucas Moody of Emporia
Ericka Purcell of Wichita
Valerie Ramage of Manhattan
Cindy Riddell of Shawnee
Diana Schunn of Wichita
Dorothy Sparks of Iola  

Federation of State Medical Boards
Kathleen Selzer-Lippert

FHLB Topeka
Ryan Gilliland of Topeka

International Association of Exhibition and Events
Danica Tormohlen of Mission

Kansas Livestock Association
Ed Durst of Morrowville
Jeff George of Garden City
Tom Strahm of Sabetha 

Kansas Health Care Association
Carla Deckort of Topeka
Steve Drzymalla of Newton 
Greg Noll of Topeka
Melanie Simpson of Overland Park

K-State Research and Extension
Paula Peters
Gayle Price
Robin Reid  
Wade Weber

National Association of Homebuilders
Ashlea Baalmann of Wichita
Tom Baalmann of Wichita
Will Engel of Newton 
Wes Galyon of Wichita
David Gatz of Wichita 
Leon Greaser of Wichita
Carl Harris of Newton
Sean Miller of Topeka

National Association of Surety Bond Producers
Monica Donatelli of Overland Park
Patrick Pribyl of Lake Quivira

National Limousine Association
Diane Forey of Leawood

North American Young Generation in Nuclear
Jay Bhatt of Overland Park
Stacy Greybeal of Mission
Leo Olcott of Mission
Maggie Staiger of Ottawa

Recreation Vehicle Industry Association
Piar Adams of Wichita

Nikki Burris of Wichita

The Young Women’s Christian Association
Kathleen Marker of Topeka
Alison Pollock of Topeka

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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