Kansas Common Sense


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Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing
“The Eagle has landed.”

On Saturday, we recognized the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 and came together to celebrate the boldness of our first astronauts. While the nation paused to reflect on this occasion, I’m also working to see that we use this renewed excitement and energy to propel us into the future to take our next giant leap. Cilck here to watch my remarks reflecting on the special occasion and sharing my vision for the future.


Discussing our Crucial Role in Ending Global Hunger and Feeding the World
As Kansans, we have a long history of leading the fight to end global hunger. This week, I sat down with WFP USA to discuss this and why I believe in my lifetime we can end hunger and malnutrition around the globe.

I am honored to follow in the footsteps of Senator Bob Dole from Kansas in working to expand our nation’s efforts to provide food to the most vulnerable populations are the world. By continuing to invest in Food for Peace, Dole-McGovern and other international food-aid programs, we will save lives around the world and reduce conflict by promoting greater social and economic stability. These goals are attainable if America continues to lead the world in combatting hunger and remembers that while our country’s collective moral convictions make fighting hunger the right thing to do, the benefits we receive as a nation from reducing global food insecurity also make it the smart thing to do.

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, as well as chair and co-founder of the Senate Hunger Caucus, I will continue working to implement programs and policies that promote food security and feed hungry families across the world. Read the full Q&A here.

Meeting with University of Kansas Health System and KHA Leadership
Thanks to leadership from The University of Kansas System and the Kansas Hospital Association (KHA) for our productive discussion on the work being done to increase access to healthcare across Kansas. Hospitals across our state face numerous challenges and we must continue to find innovative ways to keep hospital doors open to patients, particularly in our rural areas. I’m proud of the cooperation to tackle these complicated issues. I will continue to work with communities across our state to protect and increase access to healthcare.


Participating in Patterson Health Center’s Grand Opening
On Friday, I was in Anthony where I participated in the grand opening of the Patterson Health Center. This new, state-of-art facility is a product of three communities and an entire county coming together to find an innovative solution to their healthcare needs. The project was supported by Harper County native Neal Patterson, who went on to found Cerner Corporation, a multi-billion dollar company with over 26,000 employees across the world. 

During my remarks, I touched on the monumental progress that this milestone represents for the county, especially given the volatile nature of healthcare in rural Kansas. I also discussed how important rural hospitals are to small communities, and commended the many individuals who worked hard to make this idea a reality, and how they have defined the future of Harper County for the better. 


Presenting Coach Self the 2019 Kansan of the Year Award
On Wednesday, I recognized the University of Kansas Men’s Basketball Coach Bill Self as our 2019 Kansan of the Year, awarded by the Kansas State Society. I’m grateful for Coach Self’s work to not only bolster the profile of the school and its basketball team, but also for the tremendous impact he has on the individual lives of the players he coaches.

I was grateful for the opportunity to be a part of that spirit ahead of the team’s 2018 Final Four appearance in San Antonio, when my office worked closely with Coach Self, Congressman Kevin Yoder, and the KU Athletic Department to make certain that KU center Udoka Azubuike’s mother would be able to attend the Jayhawks’ Final Four appearance. Together we were able to secure her visa to come to the United States, while also reuniting Adoka and his mother for the first time in six years.

That focus on individual development also shines through in Coach Self’s philanthropic work, including a number of various camps he hosts for young athletes, as well as his consistent engagement with community organizations, including an outstanding partnership with the University of Kansas Medical Center. In fact, not only did Coach Self represent Kansas in our nation’s capital this week, but earlier this week, he took his team to spend time with patients at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City.

Coach Self, I thank and commend you for your dedication to Kansas – on and off the court. Congratulations on this well-deserved honor. You may be Oklahoma born and bred, but we’re pleased to claim you as our own.


Meeting with Overland Park Rotarians
On Monday, I joined members of the Overland Park Rotary Club to discuss several issues facing our state, including veterans’ healthcare and Medicare, and several Rotarians shared their thoughts and concerns with me about the current political climate. A hallmark of being a Rotarian is a desire to work together, even with those whom you disagree with, for the betterment of our communities, and I echoed their desire for a more productive and civil public discourse. Thank you to Club President Janeé Hanzlick for hosting me for this informative and productive discussion, and to Overland Park Rotary members for always striving to live by the Four-Way Test.


Continuing my Kansas Listening Tour
Miami County
I continued my Kansas Listening Tour this week with a stop at Louisburg City Hall on Monday. We discussed a variety of issues including veterans’ healthcare, education, immigration and expanding broadband across our state. We also discussed the polarizing climate in Congress and around the country – we must return our focus to “who can I help?” rather than “who can I fight?”, and I am committed to continue working for Kansas values in Washington, D.C.

Thank you to Becky Bowes of the Louisburg Chamber of Commerce for coordinating my visit and to Mayor Marty Southard for opening up City Hall for our discussion, and thank you to the nearly 60 Kansans who attended to share their thoughts and hear an update on my work in the Senate.


Linn County
On Monday, I also hosted a Listening Tour Stop in La Cygne, where we discussed several issues, including China trade policy and the need to quickly pass the USMCA agreement. International trade – whether it be with China, Japan, Mexico, or Canada – has a major impact on agriculture and the overall economy in our state. I will continue to champion trade policies that serve the best interest of our state and nation, and will continue to promote quality of life for rural America through supporting small businesses, encouraging entrepreneurship and connecting our youth with local workforce needs. We also discussed implementation of the VA MISSION Act and the improved level of care this legislation offers our veterans.

Thank you to State Senator Caryn Tyson for joining me on this stop and to La Cygne residents for attending this discussion.


Harper County
On Friday, following the grand opening of the Patterson Health Center, I joined folks from across Harper County for a Listening Tour Stop. During this meeting, we discussed a number of issues including veterans' healthcare and the importance of maintaining access to healthcare in rural Kansas, as I also emphasized during my remarks at the hospital's grand opening. We also talked about the need for Congress to pass USMCA to provide more market access for farmers and ranchers. Thank you to Pat Patton and Patterson Health Center for hosting this visit.


Kingman County
On Friday, I was also in Kingman County to hold a Listening Tour Stop. During this meeting, we discussed a number of issues, including declining farm income and the need to support our ag producers, bolstering national security and supporting our men and women in uniform, and the need for immigration reform. 

Thanks to State Representative Joe Seiwert for attending this meeting and to Jeri's Kitchen for hosting us.


Kansans in the Office

Jacob Miller of Manhattan

American Diabetes Association
Marta Casselman of Gardner

Capitol Tour
Adam Bogusch of Olathe
Isabel Bogusch of Olathe
Jean Bogusch of Olathe
Jonah Bogusch of Olathe
Quentin Bogusch of Olathe
Aaron Bollig of Sharon Springs
Braylen Bollig of Sharon Springs
Errin Bollig of Sharon Springs
John Cooper of Lenexa
Kristin Cooper of Lenexa
Eva Gentry of Topeka  
Nancy Hofstetter of Kansas City
Brenda Holliday-Stanton of Soldier
Garrett Jackson of Cedar Point
Jim Kramer of Hays
Luanne Kramer of Hays   
Deborah Meyer of Leavenworth
Mark Meyer of Lenexa
Lauren Meyer of Lenexa
Samantha Meyer of Leavenworth 
Scott Meyer of Leavenworth
Alyssa Pierce of Sharon Springs
Hayley Pierce of Sharon Springs
Brian Rowan of Great Bend  
Toni Schneider of Cedar Point
Isaiah Smith of Great Bend
Malachi Smith of Great Bend  
Henry Staples of Kansas City
Lydia Staples of Kansas City
Luke Wessel of Cedar Point
Sam Williams of Overland Park

Educational Theatre Association
David Hastings of Olathe 
David Hastings of Olathe
Emily Martin of Olathe

Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries
Gary Champlin of Concordia

Kansas Grain and Feed Association
Shari Bennett of Topeka
Sarah Dodge of Cheney
Alex Erwin of Fairway
Colby Gantz of Ness City
Trae Green of Topeka
Sam Hanni of Edgerton
Justin Jenkins of Chapman
Deb Miller of Stockton
Clark Pearson of Miller
Eric Preston of Baxter Springs
John Ricker Jr. of Hutchinson  
Johnny Schaben of Burdett
Ron Seeber of Topeka
Lance Studer of Ottawa
Ciera Thurman of Andover
Amy Varner of Leoti

Korean American Grassroots Conference
Young Woo Chang of Overland Park
Jisu Kang of Prairie Village
Seongmin Kang of Lawrence
Dong Gun Kim of Overland Park
Junghoon Kim of Overland Park
Tae Oh Kim of Overland Park
Caleb Ko of Overland Park 
Han Yun Park of Overland Park
Shane Towns of Overland Park

National Federation of Independent Business
Patti Bossert Mellard of Topeka 

National Science Teaching Association
Betsy Lawrence of Edgerton

Petland Inc.
Bradley Bockus of Wichita
Becky Hertel of Wichita
Laura Jones of Wichita
Russell Reynolds of Overland Park  
Lydia Secondline of Wichita
Keaton White of Wichita
Staci Williams of Topeka
Steiner Williams of Topeka

Ranchland Trust of Kansas
Lynn Gentine of Topeka

Aaron Carrillo of Newton
Jonathan Cole of Manhattan
Nathaniel Faflick of Wichita
Matthew Mohan of Topeka
Pranav Savanur of Manhattan
Mercedeh Taracoli of Overland Park

University of Kansas Hospital System
Jeff Anderson of Lawrence
Tom Bell of Salina
Reagan Cussimanio of Kansas City  
Brenda Dykstra of Olathe
Landon Fulmer of Lawrence
Kenny Wilk of Basehor  
Chris Wilson of Olathe

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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