Kansas Common Sense
Dec 27 2022
Wishing Kansans a Merry Christmas
Robba and I wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and very happy holiday season. May this be a time filled with special moments and creating memories that will last for years to come.
This holiday season, let each of us also remember our military men and women, first responders and law enforcement officers who are away from their families over Christmas. I am grateful to each of them for their selfless dedication and service, and I wish them a very Merry Christmas.
Thanking Our Troops
Robba and I are also thinking of our troops who are deployed overseas this holiday season. Spending Christmas far from loved ones is never easy, and it is a sacrifice so many of our troops and military families make to keep our nation safe. I am praying for their safe return and many future holidays surrounded by family and loved ones.
You can watch my full Christmas message to our troops here.
FY2023 Appropriations Package, Fulfilling Our Promise to Fully Fund Our Troops
Many Kansans have expressed concerns regarding the FY2023 Appropriations Package passed by Congress last week.
Congress has a responsibility to pass 12 separate appropriations bills by September 30. This year’s appropriations bill was three months overdue. While the process was flawed, we should not continue to leave our military at level funding by delaying this legislation even longer – especially with the growing threat of China and Russia.
This bill provides our men and women in uniform and their families with a 4.6 percent pay increase to help military families contend with the current record-high inflation and help recruitment numbers. At a time when our military is facing serious challenges in recruitment and retention, these additional resources to our military are more critical than ever.
The appropriations bill spends more on defense than non-defense, and in fact non-defense spending decreased [in real dollars] from last year. We provide more money for defense and less money for other government programs than President Biden requested in his 2023 budget.
This bill was also successful in adding a number of provisions that advance the cause of those who served our nation. By including the Joseph Maxwell Cleland and Robert Joseph Dole Memorial Veterans Benefits Improvement Act (Cleland-Dole Act) and the STRONG Veterans Act in the appropriations bill, we were able to make important changes to the way veterans receive benefits and health care.
This appropriations bill was past due, but the process begins in early 2023 for next year’s appropriations bill. We have an opportunity to work with the new Republican House majority to reduce spending. That opportunity begins in a few weeks.
I spoke about the appropriations bill on the Senate floor last week. To watch the floor speech, click here.
Urging My Colleagues to Advance the Afghan Adjustment Act
This week, I spoke on the Senate floor to urge my colleagues to advance the Afghan Adjustment Act. The chaotic evacuation from Kabul stranded thousands of our Afghan allies behind enemy lines. Veterans are calling for Congress to help our allies and friends who assisted them in battle. We must answer that call and make the Afghan Adjustment Act a top priority next Congress.
You can watch my full remarks here.
Pike Valley High School
Kansas Community Visits
I visited Pike Valley High School in Scandia to speak with the school administration and to receive a tour from students. It was great to hear from these young Kansans about their fall semester as they prepared for winter break. Thank you to Principal Jeremy Miller for hosting.
I enjoyed visiting Courtland this week and speaking with folks from the community during my stops in town. Thank you for the warm welcome from those at Bostwick Irrigation District, Swedish American State Bank, Courtland Coworking with North 40 Architecture, Little Hometown Graphic Design, JenRus Freelance Marketing, Ag Marketing Partners, Republic County Economic Development, Bestifor Farms, City Hall and Courtland Community Library.
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