Supreme Court Ruling on Roe v. Wade
Since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, numerous, sensible laws designed to protect the lives of the unborn have been blocked by unelected judges. On Friday, nearly 50 years after Roe, the Supreme Court ruled there is no constitutional right to an abortion. As Justice Alito stated, “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.” With this ruling, the American people will again have the opportunity to make their voices heard through their representatives and the legislative process. This decision will now allow legislatures, accountable to the citizens who elected them, to take action to pass laws that protect children in the womb and support their mothers.
Announcing Amelia Earhart Statue to be Placed in U.S. Capitol
Today, I joined Senator Roger Marshall in announcing that the Architect of the Capitol approved placement of a statue of Amelia Earhart – the most famous woman in aviation and in Kansas history – in the U.S. Capitol. The Congressional Statue Dedication Ceremony will take place on July 27. A bold and inspiring aviator, Amelia Earhart soared into the history books, setting flight records and breaking barriers. She led the way for thousands of women to pursue their dreams – whether that was in aviation or to break their own, new barriers.
Next month, the statue of Amelia Earhart will join President Dwight D. Eisenhower as bronze beacons representing Kansas in our nation’s capital. I want to thank the Atchison Amelia Earhart Foundation, the Earhart family and the City of Atchison for their tireless work to bring Amelia to the Capitol.
The National Statuary Hall Collection in the U.S. Capitol consists of 100 statues – two contributed by each state. Kansas first sent marble statues of U.S. Senator John James Ingalls and Kansas Governor George Washington Glick to the U.S. Capitol. In 1999, the Kansas Legislature voted to replace these two statues with President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Amelia Earhart. The Amelia Earhart statue will be the 10th woman represented in the 100 statues in the U.S. Capitol. The bronze statue of Earhart was created by George and Mark Lundeen and will be a twin to an Amelia Earhart statue that will be placed at the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum in Atchison.
Questioning Federal Reserve Chairman Powell on Rate Hikes on Agricultural Industry
On Wednesday, I questioned Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell during a U.S. Senate Banking Committee hearing on recent interest rate hikes and their impact on the Kansas agricultural community. In the increasingly difficult business environment Kansas farmers already face, uncertainty surrounding the trajectory of costs poses growing concern for the farming industry and its lenders.
Farming is a noble calling, and our agricultural industry is the backbone of our nation and the world. Kansas farmers already face an uphill climb as costs rise and profit margins shrink. Our agricultural community must be given the confidence that the Fed will do all in its power to prevent rate hikes from threatening this essential industry.
You can watch the video here.
Senate Gun Safety Legislation
Last week, I voted to oppose the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act on the Senate floor. We can and must do a better job of preventing violence, however we must work to address the root issues of violent crime rather than create new laws that hinder the Second Amendment rights of legal gun owners. In order to make our policies genuinely effective, we should start by enforcing existing gun laws, punishing criminals to the fullest extent of the law and ensuring our schools are safe from senseless acts of violence. We must also recognize that violence cannot be solved by the federal government alone. State legislatures should work to find solutions that fit the needs of their states, and we ought to always be working to instill family values, rid our communities of hate, support our law enforcement and end the stigma of mental health.
Touring the University of Kansas Cancer Center
On Tuesday morning, before returning to Washington, D.C., I had the opportunity to visit The University of Kansas Cancer Center – the only National Cancer Institute-designated center in the region. It was great to tour the state-of-the-art facility and meet with some of the hardworking individuals who lead cancer research in the heartland. I am grateful for their work and dedication to finding new treatments and a cure for cancer. Thank you to Dr. Roy Jensen, Dr. Robert Simari and Christine Thomas for taking the time to provide a tour of the research labs.
Responding to Biden’s Gas Tax Holiday Proposal
On Wednesday, President Biden called on Congress to suspend the federal gas and diesel fuel tax for three months. However, a federal gas tax holiday is a trivial attempt to address a serious issue that is hurting Kansas families. When President Biden took office he immediately sought to undermine American fossil fuel production – creating significant difficulty and uncertainty for domestic producers which has contributed to gas prices skyrocketing to historic levels. The Biden administration must shift course and pursue an all-of-the-above energy strategy which unleashes American oil and gas production.
Questioning U.S. Trade Ambassador Katherine Tai
On Tuesday, during my Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, I questioned U.S. Trade Ambassador Katherine Tai regarding the soaring costs of imported fertilizer. The increasing input prices facing farmers are tightening margins and straining their ability to operate. The U.S. Trade Representative must work to reduce trade barriers and ensure farmers have access to an adequate supply of fertilizers. The Biden administration must reverse anti-energy policies that are driving up the cost of fertilizer inputs like natural gas, and roll back tariffs on phosphates and nitrogen fertilizers. I also asked Ambassador Tai about ongoing negotiations to lower duties on softwood lumber and steel. Homebuilders in Kansas are seeing growing costs of materials, which is driving up home prices, and forcing low- and middle-income buyers out of the market. When our country faces an affordable housing shortage, and the world is facing decreased food production, we should not let high tariffs stand in the way of Kansans meeting these needs.
Holding Big Tech Accountable
Last week, I joined Senator Roger Marshall as a co-sponsor of the Political Bias of the Algorithm Sorting (BIAS) Emails Act. This important legislation would provide needed accountability to Big Tech. Censorship of political emails by Big Tech hurts Kansans’ ability to decide for themselves who they want to elect as their representatives. We must make certain Big Tech does not use biased algorithms that are designed to influence voters and push agendas.
Indian Affairs Committee Hearing
On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held an oversight hearing on the Department of Interior’s recently published report on Federal Indian Boarding Schools. I listened to Secretary Deb Haaland provide moving testimony on the impact of these schools on Native American children and successive generations. The report listed a dozen schools in Kansas, and described conditions at the Haskell Institute and Kickapoo Boarding School. We must know our past to build our future, and this report is a necessary starting point for the work ahead. Before the hearing began, I visited with Secretary Haaland and Assistant Secretary Bryan Newland about the need to quickly hire a new president at Haskell to provide stability, and I was pleased they both informed me this is a priority for the department.
Addressing the Kiwanis Club in Newton
Last week, I was pleased to join the Kiwanis Club in Newton and speak with them about the current issues impacting their community. I always appreciate hearing input from Kansans on what is important to them, as well as their insight regarding current happenings in our state and nation. Thank you to Kelly McElroy, the Newton City Manager, for the invitation and to the entire Kiwanis Club for hosting me.
Touring Agco Corporation in Hesston
Last week, I stopped by Agco Corporation in Hesston to tour their facilities and to visit with their senior leadership on the current issues facing their business and community. A highlight of my tour was the opportunity to see the final production of the combines and swathers they manufacture. Thank you to Beth Shelton, Executive Director of the Harvey County Economic Development, Megan Smith, Executive Director of the Hesston City Chamber, Susan Swartzendruber, Hesston City Councilmember, and all of the senior leadership of Agco Corporation for hosting me during this tour.
Visiting Full Vision in Newton
On Monday, I was in Harvey County and had the opportunity to tour Full Vision, a precision metal fabrication ship that has been in business for 60 years. Thank you to Doug Scheible and his team for showing me the wide array of products they manufacture, including equipment roll over bars and medical grade treadmills. Thank you to Newton City Manager Kelly McIlroy and Economic Development Director Zach McHatton, as well as Harvey County Economic Development Director Beth Shelton, for joining the tour.
Meeting with Kansans in Washington, D.C.
Sedgwick County Commissioner Sarah Lopez
On Thursday, I met with Sedgwick County Commissioner Sarah Lopez to discuss the federal government’s economic development initiatives and how these initiatives will assist Sedgwick County. As the Ranking Member of the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Subcommittee, I help fund the Economic Development Administration and their work to build durable economies across the country, including in Kansas. I look forward to continuing to work alongside local leaders, like Commissioner Lopez, to strengthen the local economies in our state.
Kansas Music Educators Association
I enjoyed meeting with members of the Kansas Music Educators Association in our nation’s capital last week to discuss their legislative priorities, as well their efforts to grow the number of music educators in Kansas and provide more opportunities in music for Kansas students. Thank you to Jamie Minneman, John Taylor, Kelly Knedler and Holly Taylor for sharing their insights on the challenges for music educators and their accomplishments in training young Kansans to have a love for music. I look forward to continuing to work together with these educators to make certain all Kansas students have access to a well-rounded education.
Douglas County 4-H Group
On Wednesday, I welcomed members of the Douglas County 4-H to my D.C. office. It’s always great to spend time with young Kansans, and this group was no exception. I enjoyed speaking with these young men and women about the positive effects that 4-H has had on their lives. I have no doubt that they are all on the path to becoming great leaders who will positively impact our state in the years to come.
Wheat Harvest Near Albert
I wanted to share this photo of the Kansas wheat harvest that I received this week from Katie Rosborough and her dad. Kansans truly do feed the world, and pictures like this one are a great reminder of the dedication our Kansas farmers have in this mission.