Mitigating Risks of Artificial Intelligence
AI has tremendous potential to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the federal government, in addition to the potential positive impacts on the private sector. However, it would be naïve to ignore the risks that accompany this emerging technology, including risks related to data privacy and challenges verifying AI-generated data. Recognizing these risks, Congress directed the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop an AI Risk Management Framework that organizations, public and private, could employ to ensure they use AI systems in a trustworthy manner. This framework was released earlier this year and is supported by a wide range of public and private sector organizations, but federal agencies are not currently required to use this framework to manage their use of AI systems. This week, I introduced the Federal Artificial Intelligence Risk Management Act with Sen. Mark Warner to require federal agencies to utilize these reasonable AI risk management guidelines that have already been created by NIST. It is important for the federal government to mitigate risks associated with AI, while still benefiting from new technology. I urge my Senate colleagues join Sen. Warner and I in support of this commonsense approach to ensure there are sensible guardrails in place on federal AI use.
Read more about the bill in POLITICO, here.
Meeting with the American Legion National Commander
This week, I met with the new National Commander of The American Legion (TAL), Daniel Seehafer, who was elected to his position in August of this year. I applauded Commander Seehafer for his dedicated work in ministry and service to our country, first, in the U.S. Navy and Navy Reserves and, now, through TAL. I let him know how appreciative I am of TAL for the work they do in Kansas and throughout the nation and for their steadfast support of my efforts in Congress to care for servicemembers, veterans, and their families. I am particularly grateful for TAL’s support for my bipartisan Veterans’ HEALTH Act, which would make it easier for VA to provide veterans with timely, high-quality health care in VA medical facilities and through VA’s partners in the community. Commander Seehafer and I discussed common goals and priorities, which we both have, which include preventing veteran suicide, helping veterans achieve success after their service by providing them with a seamless transition from military to civilian life, and expanding access to care across the country. It was a privilege to meet with him, and I look forward to continuing to work with him and with Legionnaires everywhere to better the military and veteran communities we both serve.
Discussing Resources for NASA
On Thursday, I met with the NASA Administrator Bill Nelson to receive an update from NASA and the needs of the agency. As the lead Republican of the Appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over funding NASA, I remain interested in ensuring NASA has the resources needed to meet our nation’s goals within the space domain. NASA also plays a diverse role within our state from providing satellite imagery, to impacting our agricultural community by providing innovative research to our aviation community. I remain committed to ensuring the agency has the resources needed to advance our nation’s space goals, while also meeting the needs of Kansans.
Discussing Army Morale with Gen. Randy George and Secretary Wormuth
This week, I had a productive meeting with the Secretary of the Army, the Honorable Christine Wormuth, and the Chief of Staff of the Army, General Randy George. Amid one of the most challenging national security environments of my lifetime, the Army will continue to have a critical role in defending our nation’s freedoms. I also highlighted the need to continue to expand programs in our schools, like JROTC and STARBASE, especially in rural communities, to foster early connections to service, leadership, and other important skills. Lastly, we discussed the challenging times we are facing. With the aggressive stance of Russia and the attacks faced by our ally Israel, we discussed the importance of supporting defense funding for Ukraine and Israel. These actions are more than a gesture of solidarity; they are crucial to strengthening our international leadership and commitment to global democracy.
I am acutely aware of the challenges our servicemembers face, particularly when resource constraints impact morale and the well-being of their families. As a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and Co-Chair of the Senate Army Caucus, I am committed to ensuring our armed forces are sufficiently equipped to meet recruitment goals and operational demands. I look forward to hosting General George at Fort Riley in the near future like I have with many of his predecessors. I am thankful to both of these individuals for their steadfast service to our nation and look forward to continuing to support the Army’s critical mission.
Meeting with Benedictine College Leadership
On Wednesday, I met with Benedictine College President, Stephen Minnis and Director of the Center for Constitutional Liberty, Kevin Vance, to discuss ongoing initiatives and updates at the college. President Minnis shared an update on their ongoing library construction project, which will improve the educational experience students receive in Atchison and will also become a tourist attraction for Kansans seeking to learn more about our nation’s founding. Along with the addition of a new state-of-the-art library, Benedictine plans to expand its current engineering program and make various other facility improvements on campus.
Thank you to President Minnis and Kevin Vance for taking the time to meet with me and for ensuring students receive a quality education and rewarding college experience at Benedictine.
Visits Across Kansas
BSA Troop 74 Annual Pancake Feed
On Saturday morning, I visited the Boy Scouts of America Troop 74 for their Annual Pancake Feed in Manhattan. Troop 74 has been serving the area for years and continues to raise up young men dedicated to helping their communities. Thank you to Troop 74 and their leaders for hosting a successful Pancake Feed this weekend.
Mitchell County Hospital Health Systems
On Friday, I toured the Mitchell County Hospital Health Systems in Beloit. I was able to meet with hospital board members and tour the facility with hospital staff. Keeping rural hospitals staffed, funded and up-to-date is a top priority of mine, and I will continue to find ways to support these establishments.
Thank you to all the local and state leaders, as well as hospital staff and directors for joining me on the tour.
Hill City High School
Later on Friday, I toured Hill City High School. There, I met with students, teachers and staff who showed me around their building. It was great to see how the individuals at Hill City High School pour into their students and encourage them to pursue various vocational interests. One exceptional student from Hill City High School is Pamela Presley, who revived a competitive alternate nomination to the U.S. Naval Academy from me in October. Thank you Principal Alan Stein, Superintendent Dale Deighton, and Dillon Gansel for giving me a tour.