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.

Robba and I wish you and your families a very happy new year! We are looking forward to a busy 2017 in a new Congress with a new administration to work with. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve you and I hope you will continue to stay in touch with me and share your thoughts and priorities.

This map shows my travels across our state over the last year.

Standing With Israel
After allowing the United Nations Security Council to vote last week on a resolution denouncing Israel, Secretary Kerry further provoked Israelis and all who stand as allies to Israel with his remarks this week. Over the last eight years, the Obama administration has made a series of blatantly misguided choices when it comes to working with our strongest ally in the region. The incoming administration will have to work overtime to repair the damage President Obama has done. I will be introducing a resolution next week expressing the sense of the Senate that we stand in support of Israel and disapprove of the U.N.’s actions. As a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, I am committed to working with both Republicans and Democrats to make sure we stand with Israel and that the United Nations cannot be used as a forum to create policies that hurt our nation, its allies and our mission of peace.

Spending Time in Northeast Kansas Communities
I spent Wednesday visiting a few communities in northeast Kansas that I hadn't been to so far this year and am bringing back the conversations I had with these Kansans with me to D.C. in the coming week. I stopped in Axtell in the morning on my way to Seneca and visited City Hall, Aces Café, Axtell Lumber, Nemaha-Marshall Electric Co-op and the Nemaha County Coop. In Seneca, I was invited to tour of Koch and Company, where they make high quality cabinets and doors and employ more than 450 people. Our discussion focused on their needs for workers, the costs of health insurance and how imports from foreign counties such as China impact their business. My thanks to Jeff Conor, their CFO, who hosted me. On Wednesday afternoon I was on Main Street in Bern to visit the post office, the State Bank, Lortscher Agri Service, the Bern-Sabetha Veterinary Clinic, AHRS Construction, Inc., Duffer’s Repair & Supply, and Bern Seed Inc.

Hosting Kansas Listening Tour Stop in Logan
I held a townhall meeting Friday morning in Logan at the Legacy Logan’s Hometown Cafe. This was the first stop on my next Kansas Listening Tour, where I will visit all of Kansas’ 105 counties to hold townhall meetings and hear from Kansans about the issues you care about most. About 35 people were able to attend and share their concerns about our tax code, health care, the VA, trade agreements and changes to our immigration system. I appreciated Kansans coming out to pass along a good dose of Kansas common sense. Thank you to Rep. Ken Rahjes for attending and to Christie Berg and the team at Legacy Hometown Café for helping facilitate the stop.

Visiting Harper and Ashland Healthcare Facilities
I visited Harper Hospital District #5 on Thursday and met with staff and patients. The hospital system includes a 25-bed critical access hospital with 10 long-term beds, an attached assisted living facility, three rural health clinics and an emergency department. I appreciated hearing from the staff and learning more about the work their critical access hospital does on behalf of patients throughout Harper County. My thanks to Sandra Owen, the hospital’s CFO and interim CEO, for accompanying me. I then visited Ashland Health Center, where I got an update on the construction progress they’re making on their new hospital. Thanks to CEO Michael Mages for hosting me. As we head into next Congress and look for ways to make health care for Kansans, especially in rural areas, more accessible and reliable, I’ll be remembering the conversations I had this week.

Seeing Irwin Army Hospital at Ft. Riley in Action
On Saturday, I toured Irwin Army Hospital at Fort Riley to meet with the director of the emergency room and labor and delivery staff. We also discussed their plans for delivering the first baby of the new year. The hospital, which opened in October after seven years of construction, provides care for Fort Riley soldiers and their families with emergency services, medical education classes, a wellness center and several different types of therapy programs. While I have visited Irwin Army Hospital several times in the past few years while working to see it open, this weekend’s visit was the first time I’d been able to see it carrying out its vital mission—treating our soldiers and their families. More than just providing care, this state of the art facility also gives peace of mind to our Big Red One soldiers currently serving in Iraq that in the event of an emergency, their families will be well cared for. There is no more important time to remember those sacrifices and the duty we have to those who have served than the holiday season. My thanks to Deputy Commanding General, BG Pat Frank and Chief Nursing Officer, Colonel Mark MacDougall, for joining me. Please click here to read more about my visit. 

Attending K-State vs. Texas Basketball Game
Robba and I joined the crowd at Friday evening’s K-State vs. University of Texas men’s basketball game in Manhattan to cheer on the Wildcats. Great to see the men bringing home a win!

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.

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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