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.

Advocating for Kansas Farmers During Trade Negotiations
It does not make sense to drive down farm commodity prices by escalating a trade war, only to then ask taxpayers to foot the bill to keep family farmers and ranchers in business. Ad hoc disaster assistance may help stop the bleeding in farm country if these tariffs are imposed, but we should not pretend government payments will cover losses that producers will shoulder due to lost export markets. A better way to handle this would be to not put farmers and ranchers in the damaging position in the first place. I will continue advocating for trade deals that put America first and protect our farmers and ranchers across the country. Read my full editorial in The Hill on why farmers and ranchers can't afford a trade war here.

Garmin Aviation Jobs Rally
On Friday, I spoke to Garmin International employees and members of the Kansas aviation community in Olathe as part of an aviation jobs rally entitled “Kansas and General Aviation: Proud Tradition, Bright Future.” The state of Kansas has a rich aviation heritage dating back over 100 years to the days when pioneers like Clyde Cessna first moved to Wichita with dreams of building airplanes. It is a testament to the strength and talents of aviation workers in Kansas that one century later aviation manufacturing remains our state’s largest industry.

Garmin has been a significant component of that success, with the company’s aviation business set to expand in the coming months into a new 720,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility that hosted Friday’s event. I was proud to be there not only to celebrate Garmin and general aviation, but also to reflect on the successes we have had working together in recent months to defeat proposals in Washington, D.C. to privatize our nation’s air traffic control system. Such policies would have greatly diminished general aviation’s ability to create jobs and generate economic growth. Thanks to Garmin CEO Cliff Pemble and the hard-working employees at Garmin for their hospitality and all they do on behalf of the Kansas economy.

Demanding a VA Worthy of Veterans’ Sacrifice
Those who have served our nation deserve a VA worthy of their sacrifice, where they can access the quality care they have earned quickly. With the president's announcement of his intention to nominate a new VA secretary, much of the news has focused on claims about "privatizing" the VA, which are being used to distract from the many problems at the department. I wrote an op-ed in the Kansas City Star this week to share more details about my goals for the VA and how the legislation I introduced with Sen. John McCain would bring much-needed change to the VA. I am not advocating for privatization, I am advocating for veterans to have greater choice in their healthcare. Please click here to read more.

Speaking at CFTC-KSU Conference
I had the opportunity to speak at the inaugural Agricultural Commodity Futures Conference jointly hosted by Kansas State University and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in Overland Park. This first-of-its-kind conference near the CFTC’s regional office in Kansas City, bringing regulators and industry stakeholders together, is a constructive step in making certain that the futures markets are operating efficiently for our agricultural producers. During these times of low commodity prices and uncertain trade relations, it is more important than ever that our farmers have every tool at their disposal to effectively manage their operations.

As a member of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee, which is responsible for CFTC funding, I will continue to ensure that the CFTC has the resources it needs to allow the futures markets to work for the farmers and ranchers that rely on these markets. I look forward to seeing the innovative results of this inaugural conference and future conferences and appreciate all those who attended and are working toward a bright future for our country’s farmers and ranchers.

Townhall Meeting in Sterling
After visiting the 911 Communications Center, I drove to Sterling to have a discussion with over 45 people for my Rice County townhall. The conversation started with the importance of protecting free trade and opening markets around the globe for Kansas farmers, ranchers and manufacturers. From there, we discussed a number of topics including the recently passed omnibus, our national debt and the new tax law. Other topics included Russian interference in our elections, the special counsel probe and engaging with CMS regarding Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements and supporting our critical access hospitals as well as our community nursing homes. Thank you to Lee Sankey and Taggart Wall for the introductions, and to the Sterling Rotary Club for hosting me and to Rice County Commissioner Debbie Wiens for attending.

Rice County 911 Communications Center
I had an informative visit at the Rice County 911 Communications Center where we discussed their communications system, ESInet, and how they efficiently share information with neighboring counties. Thank you to Josh Michaelis and Scott Ekberg for the tour – I will continue to advocate for increased wireless coverage across Kansas and America to increase the ability of first responders to communicate and quickly assist those in need.

Kansans in the Office

American Society for Gravitational Research
Stephen K. Chapes of Manhattan

Kansas City Corps of Engineers
Janet Flynn of Prairie Village
Thomas Swanson of Olathe
David Trigg of Shawnee

Wichita State University Center for Combating Human Trafficking
Bailey Patton of Wichita       
Bracklin Risa Rehmert of Wichita
Karen Countryman-Roswurm of Wichita

Capitol Tour
Xinyan Bai of Manhattan
Treva Benoit of Hays
Brenda Bruehert of Olathe
Edward Bruehert of Olathe
Heather Cummings of Topeka
John Cummings of Topeka
Seth Cummings of Topeka
Allyson Harris of Topeka
Yanan Liu of Manhattan       
Kerry McCue of Hays
Dana Miller of Garden City
Kyle Miller of Garden City
Kate Ryan of Manhattan
Esther Stein of Leawood
Jonah Stein of Leawood
Stewart Stein of Leawood     
Xinya Su of Manhattan
Tyler Thomas of Wichita
Dixie Thomas of Wichita
Xiu Wang of Manhattan
Dawn Wilson of Overland Park
Sam Wilson of Hays
Youwei Yang of Manhattan
Jingbin Zhang of Manhattan
Liang Zhang of Manhattan

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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