Kansas Common Sense

Demanding Answers on ISIS-linked Terrorists Entering the U.S.
On Wednesday, eight individuals connected to ISIS were detained by the FBI. These individuals were originally apprehended at the border, claimed asylum and were allowed to travel freely throughout the U.S. Last week, as Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science, I questioned FBI Director Christopher Wray on the risk of potential terrorists entering the country through the southern border.

After reports that the eight individuals were arrested, I called on the FBI Director to provide answers to the American people on what steps the FBI is taking to make certain potential terrorists are apprehended at the border and not allowed to walk freely in the U.S. The Biden administration’s failure to control the border has endangered the American people and left our country vulnerable to attack.

You can read more about my questions to the FBI in Fox News here.

Discussing the State of the Airline Industry
This week, I addressed aviation stakeholders at Politico’s event “Flight Path: State of the Airline Industry.” The discussion included conversations with FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker and Southwest CEO Bob Jordan on how to support the traveling public and the overall health of the aviation industry. As the traveling public begins their summer travel plans, it is imperative the aviation sector can meet these demands in a safe and dependable manner. I also discussed the burgeoning industry of sustainable aviation fuel and my work to position Kansas agriculture and ethanol industries to be at the forefront.

I also discussed my legislation, the Farm to Fly Act, and the burgeoning industry of sustainable aviation fuel and my work to position Kansas agriculture and ethanol industries to be at the forefront.

You can read more about the event here.


Questioning FAA Administrator on Aviation Safety
On Thursday, the Senate Committee on Commerce held a hearing on “FAA Oversight of Aviation Manufacturing” with FAA Administrator Whitaker. I raised several important topics to the administrator including aircraft production rates of the 737 MAX aircraft, the intent of Boeing to acquire Spirit AeroSystems and recent conversations between the administrator and aviation manufacturers. Promoting the safety of the aviation industry is a main priority of mine that requires a collaborative effort between the FAA, Congress, aircraft manufacturers, airlines, air traffic controllers and other vital stakeholders.

Kansas has a strong and storied history within the aviation industry, but it will not continue if the flying public does not feel safe. I look forward to my continued partnership with the FAA and our vital stakeholders in the aviation arena to ensure the safety of our skies.

You can watch my questions to the FAA Administrator here.


Putting “Farm” back in the Farm Bill
This week, Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) – the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture – released a framework for the Farm Bill. The Farm Bill framework does exactly what farmers in Kansas and throughout the country have asked for: it puts more farm in the Farm Bill by bolstering crop insurance, modernizing the farm safety net, expanding market access and development programs, maintaining locally led conservation programs and investing in our rural communities.

I am pleased the framework includes several of my legislative priorities, including the Farm to Fly Act and the Butcher Block Act. In addition, it provides significant investments for land grant universities such as Kansas State University. I look forward to continuing this debate and working with my colleagues to provide our producers with the tools necessary to combat the consequences of prolonged drought and help bring certainty to farmers, ranchers and families in Kansas.

Advocating for Fair Treatment for Organ Donations
This week several of my Senate colleagues and I sent a letter to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) Board of Directors to ensure the Board, Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) remain on the same page regarding implementation of the Securing the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network ActThe Securing the OPTN Act, which passed in July of 2023, removed barriers in order to create a more open, competitive process to bid for an OPTN contract. While Congress and HHS have worked closely on implementation of the bill and to fund OPTN modernization, it was time to engage the current Board of Directors to make certain all stakeholders are involved to ensure congressional intent is understood.

Meeting with Panasonic
On Wednesday, I met with Allan Swan, President of Panasonic Energy, North America in Washington, D.C. for an update on the Panasonic DeSoto plant. We discussed ways to increase their competitive advantage in the marketplace against China by utilizing tax credits to manufacture clean energy domestically. We also discussed their partnerships with local organizations and universities to attract local talent.


Meeting with the SEC and Big 10 Regarding NIL
On Wednesday, I met with Big 10 Commissioner Tony Petitti and SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey to discuss the progress being made to establish a federal Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) standard for college sports. We discussed the recently-announced settlement to resolve outstanding antitrust cases against the NCAA and the Power Five conferences and the remaining work to enact a federal NIL law. While the settlements may resolve some outstanding lawsuits, federal legislation is still necessary to provide stability for college athletics.

I appreciate Commissioners Petitti and Sankey for taking the time to meet with me and for their work to resolve these important issues for college sports.

Meeting with Kansans
Garden City and Finney County
This week, I met with members from Garden City and Finney County local government. We discussed various new projects in Garden City, such as their efforts to make highway travel near Garden City more safe and the importance of passing a new Farm Bill. We also talked about Garden City's water reuse project that will pump more water into the Ogallala Aquifer each year starting in 2027.

Thank you to Matt Allen, Myca Bunch, Roy Cessna, Lovia DuVall, Scott Geier, Fred Jones, Hannah Keim, Garden City Mayor Manny Ortiz, Rachelle Powell, Courtney Prewitt, Derek Ramos and Chad Tenpenny for taking the time to meet with me.


Kansas Music Educators Association

On Wednesday, I met with the Kansas Music Educators Association in my Washington, D.C. office to hear updates on the music education programs in our state and the issues facing educators. Music programs are essential to fostering creativity and promoting teamwork skills in young Kansans, and I appreciate the dedication that these educators invest in their students each day.

Thank you to Jamie Minneman, Damian Johnson, Mark Gard, John Taylor and Kelly Knedler for taking the time to visit with me.

Congressional Award Gold Medalist
This week, I met with Daniel John of Overland Park to congratulate him on receiving the Congressional Award Gold Medal for his outstanding achievements. The Congressional Award, a charity founded by Congress, aims to recognize excellence in young people by examining four areas of achievement: Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness and Expedition. Over the course of two years, each awardee completed over 400 hours of community service, dedicated 200 hours to a personal development activity, 200 hours to physical fitness and completed a 5-day, 4-night expedition. This is an outstanding recognition, and Daniel should be very proud of his achievements. Thank you to the John family for meeting with me while visiting Washington, D.C.


Paralyzed Veterans of America Great Plains
On Thursday, I met with the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) Great Plains Chapter to discuss their legislative priorities to better the lives of veterans in Kansas. These include improving access to care at VA medical facilities and how to further support veterans, servicemembers and their families. I appreciate the support of PVA for my bill the Elizabeth Dole Home Care Act which removes existing VA caps on home care, allowing veterans to stay in their homes, makes certain that VA is adequately staffed and expands resources for veterans and their families.

Thank you to Shanya Goerdt and Amanda Vazquez from the PVA Great Plains Chapter for taking the time to meet with me and all of their work they do for veterans in Kansas.


Dodge City 
This week, I met with leaders from Dodge City in Washington, D.C. We discussed the importance of transportation in the southwest corner of the state, especially the need for the Essential Air Service and Airport Improvement Programs, as well as the need for improvements on the highway system due to continuously increasing freight and commuter traffic in the region. They also provided updates on efforts to improve local traffic conditions near railways and in the high traffic areas in light of the city's continued economic development and the new Hilmar cheese plant expected to start production this year.

Thank you to Director of Public Works Corey Keller, Assistant City Manager Melissa McCoy and Mayor Chuck Taylor of Dodge City for meeting with me and for your leadership and efforts in western Kansas.


Kansas FFA
On Thursday, I was met with Kansas FFA students Kyle Ruehle of Dodge City and Tyler Martisko of Inman. The FFA Washington Leadership Conference allows FFA students from across the country to visit our nation's capital and learn about its history while receiving leadership experience and training. It was great to talk about their community involvement and plans for the future. Thank you Lukas and Cody for taking the time to visit with me.


Visits Across Kansas
Bartlett Grain
On Friday, I visited Bartlett Grain’s new soybean crushing facility. John Baumgartner and Nolan Allison provided a tour of plant operations and walked through the process of how to make soybean meal, pelletized hulls, renewable fuel feedstock and soybean oil. The Cherryvale facility has 50 employees and has been a catalyst for economic development in the area.

I appreciated Montgomery County Commissioner Mike Cordray, City Administrator Jonathan Booe, former State Representative Jim Kelly and Montgomery County Action Council director Melissa Johnson for taking the time to give me a tour and share how this project is impacting the region.


Coffeyville Regional Medical Center
On Friday morning, I was also in Montgomery County for the groundbreaking ceremony for a new primary care clinic at Coffeyville Regional Medical Center. As a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, I was able to help secure resources to support the construction of a new clinic. This clinic will increase the number of patients who can be cared for, as well as provide the opportunity for additional providers to be hired.

Thank you to CEO Brian Lawrence and board chair Monte Coffman for inviting me to speak and Coffeyville Mayor Alec Hendryx and Montgomery County Commission Chairman Mike Cordray for joining us.


Celebrating 249 Years of the Army
Friday marked 249 years of the U.S. Army. Thank you to all of those who have answered the call to defend and protect our nation, especially those at Fort Riley and Fort Leavenworth.


Kansans in the Office

Capitol Tours

Christine Bieser of Tonganoxie

Eric Bieser Jr. of Tonganoxie

Easton Brous of Lenexa

Jock Brous of Olathe

Griffin Brous of Olathe

Stacy Brous of Olathe

Cameron Christopher of Silver Lake

Jamie Christopher of Silver Lake

Jacob Christopher of Silver Lake

Logan Christopher of Silver Lake

Michael Christopher of Silver Lake

Piper Creighton of Stockton

Allison Dix of Stockton

Alissa Foshee of Overland Park

Audrey Foshee of Overland Park

Dave Foshee of Overland Park

Eliya Foshee of Overland Park

Hayleigh Francis of Gardner

Michele Green of Valley Center

Fredrick Green of Valley Center

Ezekiel Green of Valley Center

Stephanie Ham of Wichita

Caroline John of Overland Park

Daniel John of Overland Park

Michael John of Overland Park

Madison Johnson of Phillipsburg

Aldea Keith of Hill City

Gregg Kipers of Lawrence

Marah Kipers of Lawrence

Deann Kipers of Lawrence

Michele Leigan of Valley Center

Trnette Logan of Wichita

Anna McLaughlin of Topeka

Julia McLaughlin of Topeka

Amanda Menninga of Newton

Emma Menninga of Newton

Joseph Menninga of Newton

Sam Menninga of Newton

Taydem Mitzner of Hill City

Jeremiah Mohlan of Topeka

Jeffrey Morris of Topeka

Megan Morris of Topeka

Gianna Morris of Topeka

Jeremiah Moylan of Topeka

Jack Parker of Olathe

Shana Parker of Olathe 

Mary Rivera of Wichita

Madyson Runyon of Kirwin

Lukas Sebesta of Hill City

Cody Summitt of Phillipsburg

Danika Szopinski of Topeka

Ann Taylor of Dodge City

William Wehrs of Topeka

Gail Weinberg of Olathe

Gary Weinberg of Olathe

Kylie Weir of Topeka

Emily Wheeler of Olathe

Jacob Wheeler of Olathe

Nevaeh Wheeler of Olathe

Sam Wheeler of Olathe

Afterschool Alliance
Gina Knapp of Overland Park

Michael Lemon of Merriam

American Bakers Association
Sean Bassi of Overland Park

Brook Carson of Prairie Village

Joanie Spencer of Overland Park

John Spencer of Overland Park

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Legha Dobson of Hays

American Horse Council
Monica Chapman of Pleasanton

Alan Hinds of Lawrence

Justine Staten of Olsburg

American Nephrology Nurses Association
Molly Cahill of Overland Park

American Planning Association
Lauren Driscoll of Salina

Karie Kneller of Mission

American Promise
Zachary Weaver of Overland Park

American Subcontractors Association
Andrew Christ of Olathe

Brad Miller of Stillwell

Associated Equipment Distributors
Adam Berry of Wichita

Steve Meadows of Wichita

Brewers Association
Jason Leib of Shawnee

Kooper O’Brien of Wichita

Children’s Mercy KC
Lisa Horn of Kansas City

Dallas Polen of Kansas City

Citizens Climate Lobby
Alan Bauman of Prairie Village

Matilda King of Manhattan

Olayemi Oveoken of Manhattan 

City of Dodge City
Corey Keller of Dodge City

Mauricio Leautaud of Dodge City

Melissa McCoy of Dodge City

Chuck Taylor of Dodge City 

City of Garden City/Finney County Delegation
Matt Allen of Garden City

Myca Bunch of Garden City

Roy Cessna of Garden City

Lovia DuVall of Garden City

Scott Geier of Garden City

Fred Jones of Garden City

Hannah Keim of Garden City

Manny Ortiz of Garden City

Rachelle Powell of Garden City

Courtney Prewitt of Garden City

Derek Ramos of Garden City

Chad Tenpenny of Leawood

Ducks Unlimited
Mike Bulk of Sabetha

Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund/Moms Demand Action
Kristen Blackton of Shawnee

LaTonya Boyd of Topeka

David Carttar of Lawrence

DeeDee Cooper of Mission Hills

Colleen Cunningham of Overland Park

Amanda Head of Parsons

Sontana Johnson of Parsons

Christi Karolevitz of Topeka

Shannon Little of Topeka

Katie Mangelsdorf of Lenexa

Claudia Olea of Lawrence

Melissa Reichmeier of Overland Park

Cori Sherman North of Salina

Mary Snipes of Junction City

Joe Tortorici of Overland Park

Ann Williamson of Topeka

Falun Dafa Association of Kansas City
Sara Effner of Kansas City

Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City
Cole Griggs of Lenexa

Mark Hoffman of Leawood

Brenner Holland from Overland Park

Will Ruder of Overland Park

George Schluter of Kansas City

Howe Street Group
Maggie Collins of Leawood

Independent Electrical Contractors
Jason Snell of Wichita

Aaron Stevens of Wichita

Keely Turner of Wichita

Kansas Building Industry Association
Keely Carney of Topeka

Sean Miller of Topeka

Kansas City Delegation for AJC Global Forum
Gavi Geller of Kansas City

Andrea Johnson Krakow of Fairway

Jason Krakow of Fairway

Kansas Music Educators Association
Keaton Alexander of Overland Park

Martha Gabel of Olathe

Mark Gard of Coffeyville

Damian Johnson of Eudora

Kelly Knedler of Concordia

Jamie Minneman of Great Bend

John Taylor of Wichita

KVC Health Systems
Chad Anderson of Olathe

Nicole Norvell of Lawrence

Greg Porter of Kansas City

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
Kacey Cattoor of Mayetta

Corey Craig of Lenexa

Brandy Harris of Hutchinson

AJ Patterson of Topeka

National Student Leadership Congress
Samari Ewing of Topeka

Ju’Lyssa Juarez of Topeka

Susan G. Komen Advocacy Summit
Evelyn Chavez of North Newton

Peggy Johnson of Wichita

Michael Steiner of Overland Park

Topeka & Wichita Area Building Association
Thomas Baalmann of Wichita

Michael Brumley of Topeka

Will Gelyor of Wichita

Carl Harris of Newton

Katy Nelson of Topeka

Kristi O’Kane of Topeka

Patrick O’Kane of Topeka

Mike Pressgrove of Topeka

Brandon Salisbury

Owen Shigley of Augusta

Tim Shigley of Augusta

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