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.

Immigration Update
I oppose the family separation policy and am working with my Senate colleagues and administration officials to ensure that the current circumstances are brought to an end. Our country must make the well-being of these children a priority. We can find appropriate ways to secure our borders and deter illegal immigration in a moral way that honors our values as Americans.

To address this issue, I’ve cosponsored the Keep Families Together and Enforce the Law Act. This bill ensures the humane and fair treatment of migrant children and families by setting mandatory standards of care for family residential centers. In addition to keeping children and their parents together, the legislation also keeps children safe by requiring children to be removed from an individual who presents a clear and present danger to the health and safety of the child. The legislation also authorizes 225 new immigration judges to prioritize the timely adjudication of family cases.

I will continue to closely monitor the Department of Homeland Security’s family reunification process and I am working to make certain families are reunited humanely and expeditiously.

Chairing a Hearing on the Cambridge Analytica Data Breach
As chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Data Security, I held a hearing on Tuesday to take another look at the Personality Test Application formerly hosted on the Facebook platform that led to the wrongful collection of data from millions of Facebook users. My colleagues and I heard from subject matter experts in the use of social media data for commercial, political and research purposes. This hearing followed a joint hearing between the full Senate Commerce Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee in which we heard from Facebook CEO and Chairman Mark Zuckerberg on the company’s data collection and sharing arrangements with third parties and how its users’ privacy is safeguarded. Far too many people are unaware of how their personal data is being used or that they may have unknowingly given companies permission to use this data. The way our personal information is being collected and used must change, and this hearing brings us one step closer to finding an appropriate solution. Watch my opening remarks here.

Introducing FCC Nominee Kansan Geoffrey Starks
On Wednesday, I introduced fellow Kansan and nominee to the Federal Communications Commission, Geoffrey Starks, in a Senate Commerce Committee nomination hearing. Born and raised in Leawood, he is only the third Kansan ever to be nominated to serve on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and if confirmed, he will join Chairman Ajit Pai as one of two Kansans currently serving on the commission. As the assistant bureau chief of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau and former senior counsel to the deputy attorney general at the U.S. Department of Justice, Mr. Starks’ dedication to public service is exceptional. Critical issues before the FCC today – like efficient and effective broadband deployment rural Kansas so desperately needs to connect more people, schools, libraries and hospitals – require this type of devotion. If confirmed, I look forward to working with Mr. Starks and the rest of the commission in bipartisan fashion to address the communications challenges facing our nation. Watch my introduction of Mr. Starks here.

Participating in Bloomberg Government Discussion
I spoke with Bloomberg’s Nancy Ognanovich on Thursday at a Bloomberg Government Breakfast Series discussion on trade, tariffs, the farm bill, aviation and the current state of the Senate. Please watch the full discussion here.

Meeting with the Alzheimer’s Association
On Tuesday, I met with advocates from the Alzheimer’s Association in my D.C. office during their Alzheimer’s Impact Movement 2018 Advocacy Forum. During the meeting, we discussed how we can try and find new treatments – and hopefully a cure – for this devastating disease.

The advocates expressed appreciation for my cosponsorship of the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure Act and the Palliative Care and Hospice Education Training Act (PCHETA), both of which would greatly enhance the resources available to caregivers and the quality of life for those who suffer from Alzheimer’s.

I appreciate the good work of the Alzheimer’s Association as we try to make certain that in the future, no individual or family has to experience the impact of this disease. I will continue to work with this organization and my colleagues in D.C. and in Kansas to help end Alzheimer’s.

Hosting Townhall Meetings in Franklin and Jackson Counties
On Friday, I hosted a townhall meeting in Pomona where we discussed healthcare, concerns around free trade, gridlock in the Senate and recent bipartisan accomplishments, and I shared updates with the group on immigration and issues happening at our border.

In Holton on Saturday, we discussed the Farm Bill, welfare reform, veterans’ healthcare, trade, tariffs and upcoming judicial nominations, and I shared the latest news in the Senate on immigration and my efforts to change the current situation at the border.

Introducing Florida Georgia Line at Kicker Country Stampede
Saturday evening, I joined thousands of Kansas country music fans at the Country Stampede just north of Manhattan. This event is the state’s largest annual music festival and is held at Tuttle Creek State Park. I enjoyed spending the evening visiting with Kansans, listening to many talented performers and introducing country music superstar duo, Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley of Florida Georgia Line. Tuttle Creek State Park is a wonderful host to country music fans and performers alike and this year’s Country Stampede yet again represented the welcoming spirit of Kansans.

Thanks to Jeff and Marla Copper for arranging the details of my visit and thanks to all the event organizers for their hard work to ensure this year’s Country Stampede was a great success.

Now Accepting 2018 Service Academy Applications
As students are finishing up the school and beginning their summer breaks, I want to remind them of the opportunity to apply to a United States Service Academy. Appointing Kansans to the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.; the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.; the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo; and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y. is one of my favorite duties as a U.S. Senator.

To review requirements and move through the application process, please download an application from my website or contact my Olathe office at 913-393-0711. All application materials are due to my Olathe office by September 7, 2018. After applications have been reviewed, applicants will be notified of interviews with my Service Academy Selection Board, which will take place on Saturday, September 22, 2018, at the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene.

Kansas in the Office

Alzheimer’s Association
Stephen Benson of Wichita
Karen Clond of Lenexa
Jamie Gideon of Bucyrus
Jan Johnson of Bucyrus
Breana Jones of Wichita
Robert Miller of Wichita

American Nurses Association
Kelly Sommers of Topeka

Blue Valley FFA & Hays FFA
Reagan Alsbaugh of Chetopa
Mazle Casto of Chapman
Reagan Dalke of Chapman
Luke Gauby of Washington County
Anthony Meals of Randolph
Ashton Ohley of Hays
Rylee Olson of Olsburg
Kenna Pfannenstiel of Hays
Quentin Rupp of Hays
Lauren Simmons of Washington County
Elizabeth Wright of Olsburg
Colton Vajnar of Hays
Curt Vajnar of Hays
Mary Ella Vajnar of Hays

Congress Bundestag Exchange Students
Severin Mulzer of Erie
Sophie Simon of Baldwin
Mathes Trauer of Wellsville
Fritz Wisser of Wellsville

D.C. Project
Corinne Mosher of Overland Park

Encompass Health
Tiffany Kiehl of Overland Park

Falun Gong
Linda Kuang of Overland Park
Kerrie Mitchell of Baldwin City
Catherine Rooney of Eudora

FCC Commissioner
Geoffrey Starks of Leawood

Graze the Prairie
Linda Pechin-Long of Latham

Howard Walts (Mayor Brown LLP)
Kent Wells of Garden City

KC Healthy Kids
Christine Hursey of Paola
Mike Hursey of Paola

Midwest ATC
Andy Groth of Overland Park
Amy St. Pierce of Overland Park

Doug Furnell of Leawood
Dan Murray of Lawrence
Kathy Peterson of Shawnee
Keith Turnbaugh of Eudora

NIST Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship
Eli Janzen

Novo Nordisk, Inc.
Donald Kempin of Olathe

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
Erin Dedrickson of Shawnee

Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equality
Kathryn Ammon of Lawrence
Dene Dryden of Palco
Reyna Perez of Topeka

United States Cattlemen’s Association
Steve Hilker of Cimarron
Allan Sents of McPherson
Deanna Sents of McPherson

United Way of Kansas
Sherry Dryden of Hays
Carla Lee of Emporia
Jami Reever of Emporia

US Global Leadership Coalition
Brenda Jones Barwick of Edmond
George Bocox of McPherson
Matt Hickam of Topeka
Doug Keesling of Chase
Karyn Page of Wichita
Michael Symanski of Overland Park
Joan Wagnon of Topeka

Capitol Tour
Verla Adkins of Fall River
Catherine Bocox of McPherson
Joshua Bocox of McPherson
Benjamin Bocox of McPherson
John Clement of Olathe
Susan Clement of Olathe
Rose Clement of Olathe
Catherine Clement of Olathe
Sigrid Clement of Overland Park
David Davis of Olathe
Cynthia Davis of Olathe
Amy Davis of Fall River
Frank Devocelle of Olathe
Molly Devocelle of Olathe
Quentin Hahn of Overland Park
Taylor Lammers of Olathe
Andrew “Dale” McBride of Caney
Gina McBride of Caney
Michael Rottinghaus of Overland Park
Beth Rottinghaus of Overland Park
Katherine Rottinghaus of Overland Park
Lauren Rottinghaus of Overland Park
Dale Schinstock of Manhattan
Susan Schinstock of Manhattan
Emma Schinstock of Overland Park
Polly Schinstock of Manhattan
Henry Schinstock of Manhattan
Heather Schoonover of Olathe
Robert Schoonover of Olathe
Brandie Shockley of Wichita
Eden Shockley of Wichita
Greg Wolf of Lenexa
Melanie Wolf of Lenexa

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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