Announcing New Daily Flight Destination for Wichita Airport – Senator Jerry Moran

Announcing New Daily Flight Destination for Wichita Airport
On Friday, I was in Wichita to announce a new daily American Airlines direct flight from Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport (ICT) in Wichita to Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Washington, D.C. This new service is set to begin on January 8, 2024.


Wichita is growing with new business, educational opportunities and families choosing to make Kansas their home. Over the past several years I have hosted numerous business leaders and federal officials in Wichita to meet with local leaders and witness our aerospace, aviation and defense manufacturing capabilities.

As companies in Wichita continue to secure federal work, I have seen a vital need of connecting “The Air Capital of the World” with the nation’s capital. The new direct American Airlines flights will allow federal officials to quickly travel to Wichita to see firsthand the great work being done in our region – amplifying our competitiveness as a city and state. This has long been a void I have heard from industry and business owners, and I am thrilled our hard work to fill this void is accomplished. It will also make travel to Washington, D.C. faster and more affordable for Kansans.


Thank you to Jesse Romo, Director of Airports for the City of Wichita, and airport staff for being strong partners and making certain Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport is ready to accept these new flights. Thank you also to American Airlines for their commitment to Wichita as a destination for these flights. I look forward to Kansans packing the new direct flights to Washington, D.C., Phoenix and Miami.

You can read more from the Wichita Business Journal here and The Wichita Eagle here.

You can watch my full remarks here.


Visiting First Infantry Division Soldiers Deployed to Germany and Romania
I recently led a bipartisan, bicameral delegation to Europe, where we had the opportunity to visit First Infantry Division soldiers deployed in Germany and Romania. These soldiers provide critical security cooperation with our partners and allies in the Black Sea region and direct military-to-military training to Ukrainian soldiers, who will partake in defensive and counter-offensive efforts against Russia. American personnel deployed to Europe support these efforts and assure our allies and partners of continued commitment to the continent.

ImageSenator Moran pictured with soldiers from Kansas

Each time I interact with the men and women wearing the famous “Big Red One” patch on their left shoulder who are deployed to defend U.S. interests abroad, it serves as a powerful reminder of the responsibility this historic unit represents. The First Infantry Division’s 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team is nearing the end of its months-long deployment that began last fall. It was a privilege to visit with soldiers from all over the U.S. who serve in the First Infantry Division, particularly those from Kansas – soldiers from Kansas City, Wichita, Hays, Minneapolis and other parts of our state.

The First Infantry Division has been essential to the United States’ response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine since day one and has had soldiers deployed nearly continuously since February 2022. It is appropriate that the “Big Red One,” the Army’s longest continuously serving division, has participated in every conflict except in Korea since the 1ID flag was first flown. The First Armored Brigade Combat Team of the First Infantry Division was just weeks away from returning home to Fort Riley and their families when the unjust invasion of Ukraine began. In response, the First Infantry Division’s deployment was extended. As they have always done, the Big Red One responded when called.

I have the utmost respect for our soldiers and families who volunteer their service to our nation in uniform to defend our Constitution and interests at home and abroad. I will continue to use my roles as a senior defense appropriator and as Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee to make certain those who serve in our military have the resources needed to succeed both during and after their service.


Senate Floor Remarks on U.S. Education & National Security
I spoke on the Senate floor regarding the U.S. education system and the role early childhood education plays in our national security. Last month, national test scores of American students showed an alarming decline in the education of our children with reading scores in America dropping to the lowest in decades. We must turn these test scores around and accelerate the education of America’s young people as though our future depends on it – because it does.

One of our greatest national security threats is China, and China understands that to force its way into being a global superpower it must be able to challenge the U.S. militarily and economically. This can be done by dislodging the U.S. as a leader in key technology areas that will dictate the success of nations in the coming decades. America’s strength as a global power does not just depend on a strong military or the latest weapons; it also depends on our economy and ability to maintain a technological edge over our adversaries. And that all begins in the classroom, equipping our students to read, multiply, divide and succeed.

While we work to regain ground in education, we must also create more opportunities for immigrants who have gained a STEM education here in the U.S. to practice their profession in this country and contribute to the U.S. economy. Educating people only to send them back to strengthen their home country, at a time in which U.S. demand for STEM talent is through the roof, defies logic. This is why I have worked to pass the Startup Act, legislation that would make certain immigrants with advanced STEM degrees would be able to stay in this country while they are engaged in a STEM-related profession.

The success of our nation depends on young minds grappling and mastering the basics of math, reading, writing and science. We must make certain we are taking an all-of-the-above, long-term approach to national security and that means making strides in the classroom and investing in our students.

You can watch my full remarks here.


One Year Ago: 9-8-8 Launched as National Suicide Prevention Hotline
This week marked the one-year anniversary of the launch of 9-8-8, an easy-to-remember, a 3-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline, now accessible by dialing 9-8-8, is a nationwide network of crisis centers linked through a 24/7 toll-free number that connects callers in crisis to immediate intervention services and care with trained counselors.

The hotline provides free and confidential support, prevention and crisis resources. In 2020, I introduced bipartisan legislation to change the previous 10-digit number to a 3-digit number in order to remove barriers for those seeking assistance during a mental health crisis. The launch of 9-8-8 was an important step in providing Americans with immediate access to mental health services and life-saving support. If you are struggling, with a mental health crisis, you are not alone. I hope you will call 9-8-8 today. You can learn more here.


Receiving Update from World Food Programme Executive Director Cindy McCain
I appreciated the opportunity to meet with Cindy McCain, the new Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP). During our visit, Executive Director McCain updated me on WFP’s efforts to combat global hunger and provided me with an overview of their current projects and operations around the world, including those in Ethiopia, the African Sahel, Afghanistan and Ukraine. Under Ambassador McCain’s leadership, WFP is working to implement new transparency and security measures to make certain resources are used effectively and received by those who truly need assistance. I appreciate Executive Director McCain’s work in the critical battle against hunger, and I look forward to working with her in my role as co-chair of the Senate Hunger Caucus to further these efforts.


Committee Approves Commerce, Justice & Science FY24 Appropriations Package
This week, the Senate Committee on Appropriations approved my FY2024 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Act by a vote of 28-1. I have long been an advocate for returning to regular order and the opportunity that process gives each of us to rein in agencies, departments and bureaucrats by providing specific directions on how tax dollars are spent.

In accordance with the Fiscal Responsibility Act, this bill reduces spending by $1.3 billion. This fiscally responsible bill includes essential resources to further our nation’s priorities in scientific innovation, law enforcement and economic development. I am pleased this committee has produced a bill that reduces wasteful spending without jeopardizing past progress. This legislation will benefit Kansans with federal programs aimed to keep communities safe and invest in infrastructure, and it also accelerates the goal of returning American astronauts to the Moon and cementing our country’s leadership in space exploration.

As Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS), I am grateful to have worked closely with Chair Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) to pass a bipartisan bill that enables numerous agencies within our jurisdiction to accomplish their missions and address the needs of our nation.

You can watch my committee remarks here.


Roundtable on Improving the Organ Transplant System
On Tuesday, my colleagues on the Senate Finance Committee and I participated in a roundtable discussion with the Human Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The conversation focused on efforts to modernize the nation’s organ procurement and transplant network, as well as organ allocation policies currently being implemented by HRSA. Following discussion from Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) about our bipartisan legislation, Securing the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Act, I spoke about the importance of ensuring fair organ allocation policy as essential to broader OPTN improvement and modernization efforts. As Congress works to provide HRSA with the statutory authorities to divide the OPTN contract and increase competition for those contracts, these reforms must be made alongside reviews of policies put in place during the current contractor’s 30-year tenure.

As I have conveyed to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra and Secretary Alex Azar before him, the 2018 liver allocation rule created by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) and a New England-area organ procurement organization executive is one of the most egregious examples of bias policy in action. I sought a commitment from HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson that she would review the 1028 liver allocation policy, which has caused liver allocation in Kansas to decrease by more than 50% and sent livers donated by Kansans to states outside the region. Similar to Secretary Becerra’s commitment earlier this year during a Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, Administrator Johnson agreed that the data collected on the liver allocations policy indicated the rule needs to be reviewed and replaced with one that does not discriminate against Americans living in the Midwest and the South.

Appropriations Committee Hearing on Special Diabetes Program
On Tuesday, as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I participated in a hearing focused on the Special Diabetes Program and how it creates hope for Americans living with type 1 diabetes. Since it was created in 1998, the Special Diabetes Program has provided additional funding for research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on prevention and cure of type 1 diabetes. Dr. Griffen Rodgers, the Director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, participated in the hearing that was attended by more than 100 advocates from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund (JDRF). Kansas’ JDRF participant Blythe Van Dusen from Manhattan also visited my office to share about her personal battle with diabetes and her work with the Kansas City Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. I appreciate Blythe’s eagerness to spread awareness about how diabetes affects the daily lives of children and the research efforts of JDRF.


Diabetes is among the most common of all chronic diseases, often leading to other conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease. These health problems cost our nation billions of dollars every year and result in suffering for millions of Americans. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases conducts diabetes research in its own laboratories and supports research in medical centers and hospitals throughout the United States. As a member of the Labor-Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds NIH, I will continue prioritizing NIH’s budget to further biomedical research leading to treatments that create a brighter future for Kansans burdened by diabetes.


Meeting with Kansans
Zach Bollinger of Hesston, U.S. Air Force Cadet
I was pleased to meet with Zach Bollinger, a remarkable young Air Force cadet from Hesston who is beginning his senior year at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Zach is in Washington, D.C. this summer as a part the Air Force Academy’s research program at the China Aerospace Studies Institute, where he is delving into the capabilities of the Chinese Air Force.

Zach told me that he has wanted to join the Air Force Academy from a young age and serve our nation in uniform. We talked about ways to better reach out to Kansans from rural areas to increase applications and acceptance into our nation’s prestigious military academies. The challenge is not the capability of the student, but the access to courses to showcase the talent – like access to advanced placement courses in rural school districts. I remain committed to working to find solutions to increase engagement and opportunity for rural Kansans who want to serve in the U.S. military.


Katie Sleichter of Clay Center, Truman Scholarship Summer Foundation Board of Trustee Member
This week, I had the opportunity to visit with Katie Sleichter of Clay Center while she spends her summer in Washington, D.C. as a member of the Truman Scholarship Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Katie told me about her passion for food security as it relates to international relations, which is an issue I have promoted in my time in the Senate as co-chair of the Senate Hunger Caucus. I was impressed by her focus on shaping our world for the better. During our meeting, Katie informed me that she is the only Truman Scholar out of 58 selected to come from a rural background. I am pleased to see this rural representation on the board and hope the number will expand so that the diversity of experiences in our country can be utilized in positions of leadership.


Kansas Northwest Technical College
On Wednesday, I met with Northwest Technical College President Ben Schears and Vice President of Operations Sherri Knitig to discuss the technical college’s latest developments. President Schears shared how Northwest Tech is partnering with Goodland’s local businesses and high schools to provide students with the in-demand skills they need to succeed in a rapidly changing world. I was pleased to hear Northwest Tech’s new plumbing program will begin training its first students this year. As a senior appropriator, I secured federal resources for this program and look forward to seeing its progress.

When I was in Goodland last month to break ground on the expansion of Northwest Tech’s Kansas Institute of Diesel Technology, I saw firsthand the dedication of President Schears and Northwest Tech to equip students with the skills they need to start their careers and fill critical jobs in Kansas. Thank you to Northwest Tech for providing students with the recourses needed to achieve excellence in their academics and beyond.


Cboe Board
On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to address the Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe) during their annual visit to our nation’s capital. Cboe, which owns and operates multiple equity and options exchanges, has 300 employees in Johnson County. Cboe acquired Lenexa-based BATS Global Markets in 2016, and I appreciate their dedication to keeping high-tech jobs in our state. Their Kansas City-area office is home to Cboe’s technology and operations center. I have long been a supporter of pathways for students to pursue educations in STEM, and Cboe offers the kind of advanced, technological jobs needed in our state. It was great to have the opportunity to speak with this group about their efforts to make certain our financial markets meet robust demand and help businesses of all kinds thrive.


Kansas Soybean Commission
It was great to spend time with members of the Kansas Soybean Commission during their visit to my Washington, D.C. office. With the current Farm Bill set to expire this year, it is critical we pass a new bill. We discussed the importance of increased funding for crop insurance, water conservation programs and the vital role soybeans play in growth of the biofuels industry.

Thank you to Charles Atkinson of Great Bend; Andy Winsor of Grantville; Scott Gigstad of Everest; Brett Neibling of Highland; Jared Nash of Parsons; Adam Phelon of Lyndon; Cody Loganbill of Eudora and Dennis Hupe of Topeka for taking the time to speak with me about these top priorities for Kansas farmers.


Kansas School Superintendents Association
I was pleased to visit with members of the Kansas School Superintendents Association to discuss current issues facing educators and schools in our state. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, our students have ground to make up for learning lost during the height of the pandemic. During our meeting, Kansas superintendents relayed stories showing how education funding coming from the federal government, especially for special education, is vital to students in Kansas. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education, I will work to support and prioritize special education programs in order to make certain that all Kansas students have access to educational opportunities. Thank you to G.A. Buie, Michelle Hubbard, Jessica Dain, Bryce Wachs and Adrian Howie for meeting with me and for their commitment to making certain all Kansas students receive a quality education.

Community Care Network of Kansas
In June, as a member of the bipartisan Senate 340B working group, I sent out a Request for Information (RFI) to 340B stakeholders, including Kansas hospitals, community health centers, federally qualified health centers and larger health systems, to solicit improvements that need to be made to the 340B program. The 340B program was created by Congress in 1992 through the Veteran’s Health Care Act and requires that drug manufacturers who participate in Medicaid provide certain non-profit health care providers, hospitals and clinics, called covered entities, a discount on outpatient drugs. The 340B program enables covered entities to use these savings to provide more comprehensive services to underserved patients and their communities.

The 340B program is not operating to the benefit of the patients it was created to serve. The Community Care Network of Kansas, which is comprised of health centers and community-based clinics, traveled to the nation’s capital to discuss the RFI and offer their suggestions of essential fixes to 340B. Conversations and proposals, like the ones I had with members of the Community Care Network of Kansas, that are occurring as a result of our group’s RFI have been encouraging.

Thank you to Matthew Schmidt, Teresa Lovelady, Patrick Sallee, Derek Pihl, Daniel Creitz, Sanja Bachus, Scott Anglemyer and Kyle Ahlenstorf for the discussion.


Committee Hearing to Consider Veterans’ Health Care Legislation
This week, the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held a hearing on two of my priority pieces of legislation for veterans in Kansas and across the country. The Veterans’ Health Empowerment, Access, Leadership, and Transparency for our Heroes (HEALTH) Act would improve the timeliness and quality of care delivered to veterans in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities and through the VA’s community care partners, eliminating red tape and making it easier for veterans to choose their own doctors. The HEALTH Act has been endorsed by 13 veterans service organizations and veteran-serving non-profits including VFW and America’s Warrior Partnership who testified at the hearing in support of the bill this week.

In addition, my legislation, the VA Electronic Health Record Modernization Standardization and Accountability Act, was considered during this hearing. This bill would establish a clear, consistent set of safeguards that must be met before the VA can move forward with the new Oracle-Cerner electronic health record. Veterans deserve a world-class electronic health record and the new electronic health record must not be implemented at any other VA medical center until the problems at the initial rollout sites in Washington, Ohio, Oregon and Idaho have been fully fixed.

The Senate VA Committee hearing also included the Expanding Veterans’ Options for Long Term Care Act, a bill I co-led to establish a pilot program to allow the VA to provide assisted living services to veterans as they age. Each veteran has earned the right to decide for themselves how to live out their twilight years, and this bill would provide veterans with yet one more option as they grow older. I hope the committee will pass these bills soon in order to make certain they become law and improve the lives of veterans across the country.

You can watch my committee remarks here.


Bill to Prevent U.S. President from Leaving NATO Without Congressional Approval
While the leaders of NATO countries met for a summit in Lithuania this week, my Senate colleagues and I introduced legislation to prevent any U.S. President from withdrawing from NATO without Senate approval. During my recent travel to Europe, I heard from foreign leaders anxious to know the United States is committed to Europe’s security for the long term. I assured them that is the case in the United States Senate, and this legislation would make certain of that. Europe’s security is a major national interest for the United States. The Senate must approve entering into treaties; it is only reasonable that it has a say in withdrawing from them.

Visiting NMC Health in Newton
This week, I visited NMC (Newton Medical Center) Health to take part in a roundtable conversation with health care and community leaders regarding current issues in the industry and the challenges they face each day caring for Kansans. This 103-bed facility serves the residents of Harvey County and the surrounding area. During this conversation, we discussed a number of topics including mental health resource, workforce needs and hospital viability. A particular focus of our conversation was the recently launched Hospital Resource Officer (HRO) program in partnership with the City of Newton. The first of its kind in the state, this initiative will help to ensure the safety of patients and staff on the NMC Health campus while also building relationships in the community.

Thank you to Newton Medical Center CEO Val Gleason and her team for being such gracious hosts. And special thanks to Newton Police Chief Craig Dunlavy, Newton City Manager Kelly McElroy, city council members Clint McBroom, Rich Stinnett and Kathy Valentine, Harvey County Commissioners Becky Reimer and Don Schroeder, as well as State Senator Carolyn McGinn, State Representative Avery Anderson and Kansas Representative Stephen Owens for joining my visit.


Lenexa Chamber of Commerce Event
On Thursday evening, I enjoyed the chance to visit with community leaders during an event hosted by the Lenexa Chamber of Commerce. I always appreciate the opportunity to visit with Kansans during local events and to hear what is happening in their communities. Thank you to everyone who joined us for this event and who shared their thoughts with me.


Kansans in the Office

Capitol Tour
Anne, Clara, Julia and Katie Zajic of Topeka

G. Susan and Elizabeth Bowles of Hays

Jeanette Wallace of Hays

Jenny Leonard of Wichita

Charlie and Marin Herring of Wichita

Treasa and Leslie Wing of Kingman

Judith and Leslie Smith of Hays

Cevin, Anne, Connor and Allison Rose of Abilene

Drew, Katie, Scarlet, Emmie and Hunter Lynch of Overland Park

Joe, Dana and Brooklyn Newland of Neodesha

Tyler Ashbaugh of Hill City

Ada De Jesus Ramos of Leawood

Noah and Mackenzie Loeb of Prairie Village

Louis B. Loeb of Leawood

Ben, Tina, Noah and Levi Schrag of Canton

Col. Demetrios, Christina and Reid Nicholson of Prairie Village

David, Kerry, Ethan and Gavin Peak of Lenexa

Baleigh Fry of Great Bend

American Academy of Pediatrics
Dr. Dennis Cooley of Topeka

Dr. Pam Shaw of Lawrence

AJ Mellott of Overland Park

Tom Jantsch of Overland Park

Crop Science Society of America
Noah Goza of Wichita

Meeting with Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
Blythe Van Dusen of Manhattan

Council for Exceptional Children
Sean Phelan of Overland Park

Katherine Kersenbrock-Ostmeyer of Colby

Kansas School Superintendents Association
G.A. Buie of Topeka

Michelle Hubbard of Shawnee

Jessica Dain of Piper

Bryce Wachs of Fort Larned

Adrian Howie of Hugoton

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City
Sunee Mickle of Lawrence

Coni Fries of Overland Park

National Retail Foundation
Alicia Hommon of Lyons

Kansas Soybean Commission
Charles Atkinson of Great Bend

Andy Winsor of Grantville

Scott Gigstad of Everest

Brett Neibling of Highland

Jared Nash of Parsons

Adam Phelon of Lyndon

Dennis Hupe of Topeka

Cody Loganbill of Eudora

Meeting with Dr. Cary Fowler, Special Envoy for Global Food Security
John Leslie of Manhattan

Northwest Kansas Technical College
President Ben Schears of Goodland

Sherri Knitig of Goodland

340B Health
Sarah Dodson of Pittsburg

Swanson Reservoir
Jena Brunswig of Scott City

Scott Khvatol of Atwood

Hilliary Chvatal of Atwood

Olivia Chavatal of Atwood

Rayeann Wright of Atwood

Jolene Olson of Colby

Bill Olsen of Colby

Ryan Sargent of Colby

Rural Broadband Group
Jimmy Todd of Lenexa

Andy Ehrlich of Kansas City

National Independent Venue Association
Adam Hartke of Wichita

Jessie Hartke of Wichita

Jennifer Roe of Prairie Village

Community Care Network of Kansas
Matthew Schmidt of Newton

Teresa Lovelady of Wichita

Patrick Sallee of Kansas City

Derek Pihl of Salina

Daniel Creitz of Pittsburg

Sanja Bachus of Topeka

Scott Anglemyer of Topeka

Kyle Ahlenstorf of Hoxie

Meeting with BioKansas, Mental Health America of the Heartland & We Work for Health
Susan Lewis of Lawrence

Janae Bell of Shawnee

Daniel Kennedy of Kansas City


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