Kansas Common Sense
Dec 09 2019
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Visiting the U.S.-Mexico Border
This week, I traveled to Rio Rico, Arizona to visit the U.S.-Mexico border for a tour led by U.S. Border Patrol and an Operations and Drug Threat briefing from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). During my visit, I witnessed first-hand the efforts of our law enforcement to interdict drugs and stop crime at our southern border, and the need for more resources to keep our nation safe.
I have long recognized our immigration system is broken, and I look forward to returning to work in Washington with first-hand knowledge of our border crisis. Thank you to all the law enforcement officers who work tirelessly to protect our borders. A special thanks to U.S. Border Patrol Acting Patrol Agent in Charge Agent Kevin Hecht and DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Apolonio “Polo” Ruiz for hosting me at the Arizona-Mexico border.
It is Time to Pass USMCA
On Tuesday, I spoke on the Senate floor regarding the importance of passing the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Canada and Mexico are Kansas’ top two export markets and this trade agreement would provide certainty for farmers and ranchers while protecting the supply chain for Kansas manufacturers. I was able to highlight my time at the Kansas Farm Bureau townhall last week where farmers, ranchers and agriculture leaders expressed the importance of trade and the need to pass USMCA. I also noted USMCA’s role in protecting the integrated North American supply chain critical to the many manufacturers – aerospace, aviation, automobile, farm equipment and numerous others – that call Kansas home. Twenty-five percent of the manufacturers in our state, mostly small- to medium-sized businesses, export to Canada and Mexico. USMCA was signed over a year ago, and it is time for the House to pass this important agreement.
Questioning Panel on Consumer Data Privacy
On Wednesday, as a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, I participated in a hearing with a panel of industry stakeholders and advocates to discuss legislative proposals to protect consumer data privacy. We discussed a variety of legislative proposals put forward to address issues related to the privacy and security of consumers’ personal information. As the Chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection with jurisdiction over the Federal Trade Commission, I have held hearings, briefings, and met with multiple subject matter experts and stakeholders in the interest of developing a federal privacy framework that will provide strong protections for consumers nationwide, including bolstering the FTC’s existing enforcement authorities and resources. I look forward to continue working with my colleagues on the committee towards enacting a bipartisan federal privacy bill that will offer Kansans and all Americans the privacy assurances they deserve.
Supporting the Senate Hunger Caucus Food Drive
As co-chair of the Senate Hunger Caucus, I helped host a Senate Holiday Food Drive over the past weeks. Senate offices in Washington, D.C. have collected food for needy families, which will be given to the Capital Area Food Bank at the conclusion of the drive this week. I am thankful for the food my office collected to help hungry families this Christmas season. Special thanks to my staff member Judd Gardner for his leadership on this year's drive.
This is the time of year to come together as a community and help those less fortunate than ourselves, and food drives are a great way to help those in need. In 2018, it’s estimated that more than 37 million people in the U.S. were food insecure, including 371 thousand Kansans. I appreciate the organizations in Kansas that are helping to end hunger in our state, including Harvesters Food Bank and the Kansas Food Bank, which feeds thousands of families across Kansas.
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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