News from Congressman Roger Marshall, M.D.
 

Doctor's Note

Friend,

The time has finally come. This week the House Agriculture Committee began the process of delivering certainty to our farmers and introduced the 2018 Farm Bill. Even before you elected me, I promised you I would get this done. The House Ag Committee produced a bill that reassures our farmers that Washington is listening.

I held more than 70 town halls and roundtables around the First District, and in every single one of them, we discussed the importance of this bill. Beyond that, the House Ag Committee has been working on this for three years, we’ve had more than 100 hearings discussing the bill with industry leaders, and six committee listening sessions around the country. This bill was drafted in complete daylight. We had open and honest bipartisan discussions and agreements. And just when the committee had wind beneath its sails, our committee members on the left, left the table. I want to be clear on this issue, I think they will come back around, and we will pass a bipartisan Farm Bill. The reason they left in the final minutes is that our bill requires a 20-hour work requirement or job training for able-bodied SNAP beneficiaries aged 18-59. These requirements aren’t designed to rip people off assistance; they are designed to empower them so that they can flourish. We’re making an unprecedented investment through the bill into  job training and career counselling – so that any SNAP beneficiary that wants a training spot will get one. I do believe we have to get people from welfare to work, we're doing it the right way, and I know members on the left will come around if they put their people over party and refuse to follow Nancy Pelosi’s order to block the bill.  

We will be marking up the bill next week and bringing it to the floor for a vote soon after. I am hopeful that cooler heads will prevail. I have faith we will do this together. 

 Yours,

In the News

On video

 

This past Wednesday, 54th Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, announced he would not seek reelection this upcoming fall. Serving Wisconsin's first district for 17 years, Speaker Ryan has dedicated a large portion of his life for the betterment of our great country. I totally understand and respect Speaker Ryan's decision to spend more time with family and treasure these years with his three kids. I have so much respect for Speaker Ryan and wish him nothing but the best of luck. Somehow the media uses something so harmless to paint a doomsday picture that the GOP is falling apart. I assure you this is #FakeNews we have a tremendous group of leaders here. Click the above picture to watch my segment on MSNBC just hours after the announcement.

In the House

2018 Farm Bill Released

“Roger and I have worked side-by-side on this legislation, and I am thankful for his dedication and leadership,” the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Mike Conaway said. “Our bill will help provide much-needed certainty to our producers while helping to address the challenges in farm country, including producers in Kansas. I look forward to working with him to move this bill through committee and across the House floor.”

The 2018 Farm Bill protects crop insurance, reduces regulatory burdens, invests in rural broadband, ensures we are protecting the health of our livestock and helps out our farmers and ranchers who are starting out during already tough times.

This bill also recognizes the importance of trade amid escalating trade tensions. The 2018 Farm Bill strengthens our safety net and assistance to farmers affected by unfair trading practices and restores funding that promotes opening new markets. 

•    Provides the stability of a five-year bill

•    Protects crop insurance

•    Strengthens ARC/PLC (Title One Farm Programs)

•    Additional money to EQIP

•    Livestock health and biodefense

•    Rural broadband funding

•    Restores overseas market promotion programs

•    Additional investments in the Voluntary Public Access Program (Kansas Walk-In Hunting) up 25%

•    Increased support for Rural Telehealth and Opioid Programs

 

Trade and Small Business

Trade continues to be a top issue here in Washington and small businesses are an important part of this conversation. This week in the Small Business Committee, we discussed how the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Grant Program through the Small Business Administration is helping small businesses better access foreign markets. In Kansas, this program is administered by both the Kansas Department of Commerce and the Kansas Department of Agriculture, providing small businesses with export training assistance, opportunities to attend foreign trade shows and trade missions, and assisting with market entry. It was a great hearing and I am excited to continue discussing how we can support American businesses of all sizes in accessing the international marketplace.

Infrastructure

 

During the district work period, I hosted an infrastructure roundtable in Hutchinson Kansas. The 2018 funding package delivered $21 billion to begin rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure. I wanted to look at our infrastructure needs from all angles. At the meeting my constituents gave their perspectives from a wide-variety of industries, including general contracting, agriculture, cooperative, and utilities. Rural America must have infrastructure that supports our railways, roads, waterways and expands rural broadband access so that our businesses can thrive. Upon returning to Washington, I addressed the House floor on our infrastructure needs. Click the above picture to listen to my floor speech.

Disappointment: Balanced Budget Amendment Fails to Pass House

I am extremely disappointed that H.J.Res.2, the Balanced Budget Amendment, did not pass the House. Washington needs to be held accountable for its actions and out of control spending. This amendment to the Constitution would have restricted Congress to spend no more than it receives. Washington should balance its budget and live within its means the same way hard-working Americans do on a daily basis. I am reminded of my hospital and businesses, which always had to operate on a strict budget and be responsible with their funds. With our country facing a $20 trillion deficit, we are arriving at a fiscal ultimatum. This was a common-sense bill, and the House failed. 

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Update

Yesterday I met with the President at the White House to discuss our historic tax reform bill and highlight its successes. Across the country our economy is booming, and Kansas unemployment in March dropped to 3.4 percent. Business optimism is soaring, and employers are using their tax savings to invest in their hardworking employees, just as this bill was designed!

Do you have a tax reform story to share? Whether you are a business owner giving bonuses and raises or an employee seeing a spike in your paycheck, we want to hear from you!

Congrats to one of our own, Kate Dixon!

2018 Kansas Cherry Blossom Princess

The Cherry Blossom Princess program is a week-long celebration that offers cultural, educational, and professional development opportunities. One young woman from each state is selected in a very competitive process. The program takes place each year during the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. and is managed by the National Conference of State Societies. 

This year, representing our great state of Kansas is our very own Kate Dixon. Kate is my health policy fellow. She is from Louisburg, KS and graduated from Kansas State University in 2016 with a degree in nutritional sciences. She is a rock star, while working full-time in our office she is also currently a full-time student at George Washington where she is getting her master’s in Public Health. While health is her number one area of expertise, Kate also helps in the areas of veteran’s affairs and K-12 education.