Save the Date: Open Office Hours on Friday, July 12
I am holding open office hours at my Topeka office on Friday, July 12, at 9:00 a.m. Open office hours are 5-10 minute, private meetings where folks have the opportunity to speak with me directly about the issues and concerns that matter most to them. Meetings are open to any Second District resident on a first come, first serve basis. Congressional staff will be on hand before and after to handle any additional casework requests. To make a reservation, please contact Melissa Underwood in my Topeka office at 785-234-5966. To learn more about my work in both in the Second District and Washington, please visit my website.
Administration Delays Key Part of ObamaCare Until 2015
On Tuesday, the administration announced it will delay implementation of the employer mandate until 2015, proving that the president's health care law is truly an unmanageable "train wreck." Just three months after the Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told my committee, the House Ways and Means Committee, that the president's health care law would be implemented on time, and does not need a backup plan for delays. Apparently, the Obama administration changed its mind.
It is clear the administration has come to realize the law's devastating effects on American businesses and employees, but while it gives businesses a free pass on the employer mandate, I am disturbed the administration does not share the same concern for hardworking American families who are struggling to afford the law's government-mandated insurance. Not only would the employer mandate put additional strain on the exchanges, it is already forcing employers to slash their workers' hours and destroying jobs. I hope the administration recognizes that this means we need to relieve all Americans from this mandate permanently, because no amount of government tinkering is going to fix this terrible law. We need to focus on a permanent delay, and a plan for replacement legislation that actually works. We need a plan that does not leave 30 million people uninsured, that is effective and centered on patient-driven reforms.
Weekly Republican Address
On Saturday, I delivered the Weekly Republican Address calling on Senate Democrats to pass bipartisan student loan reform. Millions of undergraduates saw the interest rates on their student loans double on July 1 due to Democrats' inaction. The Republican-led House acted to stop the rate hike in May, passing a plan that mirrors one offered by the president. As a mother of two college students, I understand paying for college is difficult enough without all this uncertainty. I urge the president to show leadership and help solve this problem.
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Meeting with Kansans During District Work Period
On Tuesday, I learned more about the Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging (JAAA), and the services they provide to Douglas, Jefferson and Shawnee counties during JAAA's "Celebrate the Spirit of Independence" event in Oskaloosa. It was great to meet staff members, like executive Director of JAAA Jocelyn Lyons, and see the agency's good work first-hand. My visit gave me a better perspective on home health care. It showed me the importance of affordability, so that patients are able maintain a good life at home.
I also met with the Kickapoo tribe at the Kickapoo reservation near Horton. It was informing to hear about the tribe's concerns and the needs of the Kickapoo community from the Tribal Council Chairman, Tribal Council Secretary, and other members of the Tribal Council and staff. I am looking forward to continuing to work together and building on our relationship with tribal leaders.
On Wednesday, I visited the John Redmond Reservoir near Burlington before heading to the Coffey County library for a listening session as a part of my Congress to Kansas tour. At the reservoir, I took a vehicle tour to see the tainter gates, floating bulkhead work area, the recreation area, hay lease area, and flood risk management area.
Thanks to the Coffey County folks who attended my listening session at the library on Wednesday, I appreciate you taking the time to visit with me and share your concerns about immigration, the economy, jobs, and Social Security and Medicare.
Welcome to Washington
This week I welcomed my "second-session" summer interns to Washington. Originally from Kincaid, Eli Johns is a senior at Washburn University studying political science. Morgan Moxley is a junior studying public relations at Kansas State University, and also participates in the ROTC program. Even though she was born in Germany, Morgan calls Leavenworth home. And, last but not least, Adam York is originally from Ashland. He recently graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in history. I am looking forward to getting to know each of you during your time as congressional interns.
I hope you and your families had a wonderful and safe Independence Day!