Kansas Common Sense


Welcome to “Kansas Common Sense.” Thanks 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. 

Remembering 9/11
Wednesday marked the 18th anniversary of the terrorists attacks against our country on September 11th, 2001. I can still remember the earth shaking below me in Washington, D.C. as a plane crashed into the Pentagon. We all remember exactly where we were and what we were doing on this tragic day that has become a defining moment for our nation and has forever changed our world.

As we recognize the 18th anniversary of these attacks on our country, let us #NeverForget the lives lost and the brave men and women who answered the call to service that day and every day thereafter.

Confirming Miki Bowman to a Full Term on the Federal Reserve
On Thursday, Michelle ‘Miki” Bowman was confirmed to a full, 14-year term on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Bowman – a Washburn University School of Law graduate and Council Grove native – joined the Federal Reserve Board of Governors as the Community Bank Representative in November of 2018.

Miki Bowman has distinguished herself as an important leader in the banking community. In her short time on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, she has already brought a critical perspective to our nation’s monetary policy with experience as a community banker. I know that Miki will continue to give a voice to the ag community and rural America, and I am pleased the Senate confirmed her to a full term. Click here to read more.

President Rolls Back WOTUS in a Big Win for Kansas Farmers and Ranchers
On Thursday, the president effectively ended an Obama-era rule titled “Waters of the United States,” or WOTUS. In doing so, the president eliminated uncertainty and scaled back the government overreach that defined WOTUS. This is a big win for our Kansas farmers and ranchers, and I’ll continue working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to clarify the limits of federal jurisdiction over US waterways. Click here to read more on this announcement.

New Grant to Assist Wichita PD
On Thursday, I was pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) awarded a $750,000 grant to the Wichita Police Department to establish a Crime Gun Intelligence Center (CGIC) integration initiative in Wichita. The CGIC integration Initiative is a DOJ competitive grant program administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance in partnership with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) that provides funding to state and local government entities that are experiencing increases in gun-related violent crime. The program helps awardees implement comprehensive and holistic models to reduce violent crime and the illegal use of firearms by allowing them to integrate with their local ATF CGIC.

I will continue to work with the Wichita Police Department on how we can best equip our men and women in uniform to keep our communities safe. To read more on this announcement, including what Wichita PD Chief Gordon Ramsay had to say, click here.

New Grants for Kansas Community Health Centers
This week, the Department of Health and Human Services announced grants to a number of health centers in Kansas, including Vibrant Health in Wyandotte County and Southeast Kansas Community Health Center in Pittsburg. This grant will help our health centers provide families in Kansas with access to critical healthcare services they need. I appreciate the efforts of our health centers in securing these grants to assist them in their work and improve health outcomes in our communities. These resources will drive down care costs by reducing emergency room visits and improve maintenance of health issues. I will continue to work in the Senate to ensure our providers are receiving the resources needed to provide quality care to Kansans.

Discussing Banking Policy with Secretary Mnuchin
On Tuesday, the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing with Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, and Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria. This hearing focused specifically on the White House’s recently-released plan for housing finance reform. The plan lays out a comprehensive vision for the path forward for the mortgage securitization enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the housing industry in the United States.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac have remained under government conservatorship, putting American taxpayers at risk for any future failures in the secondary mortgage market. During the hearing, I emphasized the importance of this issue to Administration officials while reiterating my support for deliberate housing finance reform which helps more Americans pursue the American dream of owning a home. Click here to watch my remarks.

Meeting with Spirit AeroSystems Leadership
This week, leadership of Wichita-based Spirit AeroSystems visited my office to discuss their growing role within our military and national security operations. The visit came in advance of the Senate’s markup of the FY2020 Department of Defense Appropriations bill, which will invest heavily in the innovative programs and platforms that Spirit and similar companies are delivering to the Department of Defense. These systems include the fuselages of the Navy’s P-8 Poseidon and the Marine Corps’ CH-53K Heavy Lift helicopter, along with advanced composite research for the Air Force. Spirit’s proven history of delivering quality and affordable products to the DoD has made them one of the nation’s premier aerospace manufacturers. I am proud that Kansans are leading the effort to modernize our military’s fleet of aircraft and trust in their ability to deliver the best product possible to our nation’s warfighters.

Meeting with Kansas Rural Electric Cooperatives
On Wednesday, I met with representatives from Kansas Electric Cooperatives (KEC) and electric cooperative leaders from across the state. During the meeting, we discussed solutions to expanding rural broadband, technical fixes to the tax code, and sensible reforms to the Endangered Species Act. We also discussed S. 1183, my legislation that targets improvements to rural energy resiliency and autonomy, spurs economic activity and improves public and environmental health. Electric cooperatives distribute power to customers in 103 of the 105 counties in Kansas and are a critical part of the electrical grid. I look forward to continuing work with KEC to help them provide power at a lower cost to consumers while improving energy resiliency in Kansas.

Working to Support the Men and Women of the Marines
This week, I met Commandant of the Marine Corps General David Berger. I was pleased to share with him that the FY2020 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill includes provisions to support his Marines in replacing the Marine Corps’ aging CH-53E Super Stallion fleet. The fuselage for the CH-53K is manufactured by Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita and will effectively meet the Marine Corps’ warfighting requirements in the 21st century. General Berger conveyed to me about his priorities for the Marine Corps, specifically his goals to rebalance its objectives and relationship with the Navy. We further discussed the value of a deterrence strategy when seeking to avoid conflict and how we can apply a whole of government approach to achieve deterrence. I am confident that the Marine Corps is in the hands of a capable leader, and I look forward to continuing to work with General Berger in the future.

Touring Duocommun in Parsons
On Friday, I met with leadership of Ducommun in Parsons. Ducommun is a global provider of manufacturing and engineering services to the aerospace and defense industries that employs a number of Kansans. Thank you to Parsons Performance Center Director Mike Carlo for the tour and all the employees of the Parsons facility for their productive conversation.

More Stops on My Kansas Listening Tour
Labette County
On Friday, folks from across Labette County joined me in Altamont for a stop on my Kansas Listening Tour. During this stop, we discussed a number of issues including my work to make certain rural America can thrive, access to broadband and digital infrastructure, healthcare delivery close to home, immigration, the ag economy and the need to pass USMCA, veterans' healthcare as well as immigration. Thanks to those in attendance for their productive conversation and to State Representative Rich Proehl and State Senator Dan Goddard for attending.

Neosho County
Following my townhall meeting in Altamont, I was in Neosho County for a Kansas Listening Tour stop in Chanute. During this stop, I joined local residents where we discussed a number of topics including my work to make healthcare more accessible to veterans through the VA MISSION Act, immigration, the 2nd Amendment, rural healthcare and rural broadband deployment. Thanks to those in attendance for their productive conversation and to State Senator Dan Goddard for attending.

Announcing My Service Academy Selection Board
On Wednesday, I announced members of my 2019 Service Academy Selection Board. This 20 member panel of dedicated Kansans will review applications and interview candidates who are applying for admission to U.S. Service Academies.

One of the greatest responsibilities I have as a United States Senator is to nominate Kansas students to attend service academies. I am proud of these young students for their desire to serve our nation, and I’m grateful to my Service Academy Selection Board for the thoughtful consideration they put into the application process. These students applying to enter service academies represent the best of Kansas, and I look forward to receiving the selection board’s recommendations and meeting with students in Hutchinson. Click here to read information about members of the Service Academy Selection Board.

Now Accepting Spring 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 spring 2020 session are due October 25. 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

Austin Smith of Burns
Cheyenne Smith of Burns
David Smith of Burns
Mason Smith of Burns
Shannon Smith of Burns

American Academy of Dermatology Association
Frank Koranda of Leawood
Holly Fritch of Leawood
Robert Durst  of Topeka

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
Janelle Williamson of Topeka
Judith Calhoun of Lawrence
Lori Beth Ranallo of Roeland Park
Theresa Meyer of Palmer

American College of Rheumatology
Rami Diab of Wichita

American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association
Ed McKechnie of Pittsburg

American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA)
Keith Tucker of McPherson

American Society Of Health System Pharmacists
Christina Crowley of Olathe
Jeff Little of Shawnee

Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC)
James Hall of Wichita

Calvary Baptist Church
Pastor Greg Rickard of Ottawa
Scott Edmondson of Shawnee Mission
Tamara Rickard of Ottawa

Concerned Women for America
Andy Saldiver of Topeka
Barbara Saldiver of Topeka
Mary Meens of Topeka

Capitol Tour
Catherine Bartholow of Olathe
Donna Pearson McClish of Wichita
Halie Jeanneret of Onaga
Hank Will of Scranton
Joanna Will of Scranton
Keisha Conts of Wichita
Kevin Rasure of Goodland
Kim Rasure of Goodland
Mary Stewart of Olathe
Miriam Goertzen-Regler of North Newton
Robert Bartholow of Olathe
Ryan Goertzen-Regler of North Newton
Steve Stewart of Olathe

Growth Energy
Jesse McCurry of Colwich
Mark Paliotte of Liberal
Megan Vincent of Sterling
Mike Chisam of Hutchison
Nathan VanderFiend of Wichita
Nick Hanna of Wichita
Steven Geick of Sterling
Tom Willis of Liberal
Trevor Hinz of Wichita

In Defense of Christians
Father Paul O’Callaghan of Wichita

Kansas Auctioneers Association
Dave Webb of Stilwell
Jason Woody of Douglass
Kora Cameron of Olathe

Kansas Electric Cooperatives
Cedric Drewes Dodge City
Dennis Stanes of New Strawn
Doug Jackson of Belleville
Doug Shepherd of Topeka
Jerry Gallagher of Concordia
Leslie Kaufman of Topeka
Mike Rogers of St. Francis
Otto Levin of Kensington
Peggi Axelson of Plainville
Phil Wages of Topeka
Sandy Benoit of Damar
Scott Ayres of Cheney
Shane Laws of Dodge City
Stuart Lowry of Hays
Terri Larson of Dodge City

Kansas Farmers Union
Donna Pearson McClish of Wichita
Donn Teske of Wheaton
Halie Jeanneret of Onaga
Hank Will of Scranton
Jeff Kindel of Concordia
Joanna Will of Scranton
Keisha Conts of Wichita
Keisha McClish of Emporia
Ken DeVan of Leavenworth
Laura Christensen of Merriam
Miriam Goertzen-Regier of North Newton
Olivia Taylor-Pucket of Lawrence
Richard Boxum of Downs
Ryan Goertzen-Regier of North Newton

Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research
Logan Dover of Overland Park
Ron Dover of Overland Park 

National Grocers Association
David Smith of Leawood
Jimmy Holland of Kansas City
Jon McCormick of Kansas City

National Trailer Manufacturers Association
Meghan Ryan of Topeka
Rick Coffey of Edwardsville

Spirit Aerosystems
Duane Hawkins of Wichita
Keven Matthies of Wichita
Michelle Lohmeier of Wichita
Tom Gentile of Wichita

Topeka Housing Authority
Robert Banks 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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