At the invitation of President Trump, I attended a ceremony at the White House for the signing of S. 153, the Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act.
This bill will promote veteran involvement in STEM education, computer science, and scientific research through better integration of veterans issues within existing National Science Foundation programs and improved
program coordination across multiple federal agencies.
I’m grateful and honored to have been invited to join the President and I look forward to continuing to work with this Administration to make sure that our veterans have access to resources and opportunities to
help them thrive as they transition back to civilian life.
True Blue Award
FRC Action President Tony Perkins presented me with the “True Blue” award for my 100% voting record on conservative, pro-life, and pro-family legislation. I came to Congress to represent traditional Kansas values and I will forever remain rock solid in the fight to protect life and uphold faith, family, and freedom. As a Christian
father of four children and two grandchildren, who’s delivered over 5,000 babies, these issues are deeply personal to me. It is an honor to receive the True Blue Award from Family Research Council in recognition of my advocacy for conservative family values.
Helping Farmer Stress
Farmers and ranchers face stress unlike in any other industry. Natural disasters, commodity prices that often do not cover operating costs, long-term debt and hazardous work conditions
weigh heavy on our Kansas producers. Suicide rates among farmers and ranchers have increased dramatically in recent years, calling to attention the lack of mental health resources in rural America.
The conversation is changing, and I was honored to be part of the Hope in the Heartland Mental Health Summit in Hays last weekend.
The Farm Bill includes several Rural Development
provisions to improve medical facilities and provide access to telehealth services in order to address the mental health and addiction crises.Additionally, the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) provides funding for grants that establish behavioral health resources, such as telephone helplines and websites,
mental health training, and support groups. These resources will help producers learn to manage their stressors and know when to seek help for themselves or those around them.
Protecting Our Intellectual Property
Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier, Director of The White House Office of Technology Policy, provided an update on efforts by the Trump Administration to secure American science
and technology research and intellectual property.American academic institutions are the best in the world, and provide innovative and collaborative environments for federal research and development. However, these institutions
are often targeted by foreign adversaries wishing to access the sensitive and valuable information.Protecting the intellectual property of U.S. academic institutions is vital to ensuring America’s continued leadership in science and technology policy. I appreciated Dr. Droegemeier
taking the time to meet with Members of the Science Committee and discuss ways that we can continue working together toward this goal.
KARL Program Leaders in DC
Thank you to members of the current Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership (KARL) Program members for taking time to speak with me about leadership, civility, and the
needs of our rural communities across the state. It is always great to meet with folks who are working to make their communities and the state of Kansas a better place for the next generation.
Congressional Pet Caucus
I announced the launch of the bipartisan Congressional Pet Caucus, which will focus on health and nutritional well-being of companion animals, common sense legislation
supporting pet ownership, and science-based and transparent regulations. Like so many Americans, my family and I cherish our pets – my wife and I have two labs, Razor and Choco, and a Yorkie, Pepper – and recognize the benefits companion animals have
for Americans of all ages. Through the Congressional Pet Caucus, we will promote sensible legislation, communicate the benefits of the human-animal bond and share resources with caucus members related to
pet health and ownership.
Weather impacts us all, and is vitally important to the work that producers are doing across the state of Kansas. Accurate weather
data, forecasting, and warnings are important in protecting life and property across the country, and the National Weather Service works hard every day to keep Americans safe and informed about the weather. Last weekend, the National Weather Service celebrated its 150th Anniversary, and I was proud to introduce H. Res. 839 honoring their service and legacy. I also had the privilege
to stop by the National Weather Service’s forecasting office in Topeka, which provides weather forecasting information for communities from Concordia to Emporia. It was great to learn more about the tools they use to model and predict severe weather events,
and to thank them for the around-the-clock service they provide to Kansans.
Night Tour of the Capitol
Members of Congress have the unique opportunity to give tours of the Capitol to visitors after the building has closed to the general public. It is a great opportunity to spend more time with Kansans out of the
office and share what I have learned about the great history of our nation’s Capitol.
Last week, the Agricultural Retailers Association, members from Hutchinson Community College, and the Kansas Medical Society were among a group of over 20 Kansans able to join me. I had a great time getting
to know everyone a little better and look forward to seeing them when I am back home in Kansas.