Kansas Common Sense
Nov 28 2016
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Giving Thanks For Our Many Blessings
Thanksgiving is a time to gather together and count our many blessings. I appreciate the opportunity to be reminded each year of what’s important, to express my gratitude, and to enjoy our traditional meal (stuffing is my favorite part!). Food-filled celebrations always remind me of the hard work of the people who raised our turkey, grew our vegetables and harvested the grain used to bake bread. During this holiday, the contributions of rural America shine and individuals across the country are connected by the simple but valuable tradition of a meal. Please click here to read my full Moran’s Memo for more on how Thanksgiving reminds us all to appreciate our ag community.
Robba and I spent time with servicemembers and their families at Fort Riley on Thursday – we are thankful for all the men and women in our armed forces serving and sacrificing to protect our nation at home and abroad. We are pictured below with Brigadier General Patrick Frank, his wife and soldiers.
Highlighting Pioneers in Kansas City
Entrepreneurs are determined individuals who doggedly pursue ideas they believe can improve the quality of life for people around the world. They represent the backbone of the global economy, and their pioneering thinking routinely helps us solve some of our most complex global problems. While many first think of Silicon Valley as the hotbed of our nation’s entrepreneurs and startups, these determined individuals are found everywhere – not just in the cities traditionally known as high-tech hubs. In Kansas, for instance, we have a rich tradition of entrepreneurship, and IT is one of the Kansas City area’s major economic engines. I penned an op-ed in the Startland News as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week about the contributions that these pioneers make both in Kansas City and across our state – click here to read more.
Welcoming Good News for Kansas Workers and Job Creators
On Tuesday night, a federal judge issued an order to halt the Department of Labor's proposed “overtime rule.” This announcement is welcome news for both our workforce and employers across the country as the rule would impose costly regulatory burdens on the businesses and nonprofits that can least afford it. Those costs would likely hurt the very employees that this rule intended to help. If our goal is higher incomes for American workers, the necessary ingredient is economic growth, not a government mandate.
I sponsored legislation to prevent this proposed rule from being rushed into effect and have called for the application of cost-benefit analysis for all regulations of significant economic impact. I will keep working to make certain the voices of Kansans are considered in the conversation about overtime regulations and I will continue to advocate for policies that can actually facilitate more economic prosperity for all Americans.
Visiting the Kansas Intelligence Fusion Center
I appreciate the hard work of talented analysts at the Kansas Intelligence Fusion Center (KIFC) who coordinate with state, local, private sector and federal partners to protect Kansans and all Americans from emerging threats. I paid another visit to the KIFC on Monday and met with Major General Tafanelli to discuss their efforts to keep us safe in the homeland.
Fort Leavenworth Community Honors LTG and Mrs. Lundy
Robba and I joined Lieutenant General and Mrs. Robert Arter and Fort Leavenworth community leaders to honor the new Commanding General, Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, LTG and Mrs. Michael D. Lundy. LTG Arter, our host, has a long history of service to Fort Leavenworth, support of the greater Kansas City and Leavenworth communities and steadfast engagement representing our values and priorities as a civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army. Fort Leavenworth has such a positive presence in the community because of leaders such as LTG Arter who make certain the relationship remains strong. It was a pleasure to honor LTG Lundy – he is well-prepared to continue leading troops and taking command of the vital educational programs at Fort Leavenworth that produce the world’s greatest military leaders. LTG Lundy and his wife are pictured below.
Leading a Bipartisan Charge to Protect Mail Service Quality
I have long been concerned about the quality of postal delivery service in rural Kansas. As the USPS adjusts its operations to meet the demands of a changing economy, it is important that harmful cuts to rural service are not used as the path to cost savings.
This December, as Congress considers legislation to reform the postal service, protecting rural America is especially important. With that in mind, I asked more than 80 members of Congress to join me in making that message clear to our Congressional colleagues. In a bipartisan letter to leaders on Capitol Hill, we explained the need for postal reform legislation that enables the Postal Service to make mail service and delivery more reliable and improve accountability and transparency. I will continue to push for responsible changes to the Postal Service that will steady the institution’s financial condition while preserving the benefits it brings to all Americans. Click here to read the full letter.
Meeting with FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai
I met with Commissioner Ajit Pai of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Monday to discuss our shared goal of providing access to high-quality and affordable broadband services to rural Americans. The expansion of rural broadband infrastructure should remain a top priority of the federal government, as expanded deployment of this technology plays a critical role in addressing economic, educational, health care and public safety goals in rural Kansas. As the Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee and a member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, I remain committed to ensuring rural access to these high-quality communications networks.
Meeting with Agriculture Secretary Jackie McClaskey
I visited with Agriculture Secretary Jackie McClaskey and staff at the Kansas Department of Agriculture to discuss Kansas ag issues and the future of the American Royal Association early this week. Since its inception in 1899, it has served as the location where Kansans have gone to show their livestock, smoke their ribs and compete in rodeo events. It’s even the namesake for the baseball team we root for and the birthplace of FFA. It’s fair to say the American Royal’s impact on our state runs deep. I look forward to a bright future for the American Royal as they make their permanent home in Kansas—it will continue to be a mainstay in the lives of Kansans and all people who celebrate the tradition of agriculture and have a nose for good barbecue.
Attending Junction City and Council Grove Rotary Club Meetings
I joined the Junction City Rotary Club meeting at noon on Tuesday and spoke about our shared mission of preserving the Kansas way of life. Most of our discussion revolved around cutting the federal government’s overregulation and red tape. I had the privilege of meeting Steve Pringle, a local Desert Storm Combat Veteran, who my office has been able to help with the VA. My thanks to Steve for his service to our country. I appreciate Club President Karen Carroll for hosting and Chuck Otte for the kind introduction.
On Wednesday, I spoke to the Council Grove Rotary Club meeting, which convenes every week at the historic Hays House on Main Street, about my agenda in the Senate in 2017 and took questions from the audience. A special guest at our meeting was Colton Steele, a Council Grove High School senior pictured below who is interning in the Chamber of Commerce office. Thanks to Scott Bankers for hosting me and the Council Grove Republican for sharing this photo.
Discussion with TCT in Council Grove
Following Wednesday's Rotary meeting, I met with part of the management team of TCT to discuss the broadband deployment agenda in 2017, both in Congress and at the FCC. Thanks to Controller Jason Pettit, Marketing Director Scott Bankes, Director of Operations Cary Bryant and Angie Schwerdtfeger for visiting with me.
2-1A State Football: Plainville vs. Troy
I was in Hays today to root on my hometown team, the Plainville Cardinals in the 2-1A State Football Championship. The KSHSAA invited me to be a part of the tradition and I tossed the coin to begin the Troy vs. Plainville game at Fort Hays State University's Lewis Field. Congrats to the Troy Trojans, the Rossville Bulldogs, the Pratt Greenbacks, the Miege Stags, the Mill Valley Jaguars and the Derby Panthers on their newly-earned state championships!
Kansans in the Office
Stacia Boden of Derby
Berkley Selvin of Overland Park
Jeff Selvin of Overland Park
Marsha Mondschein of Overland Park
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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