Kansas City, Kansas – On Monday, Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS) was presented with the Champion of Science Award by the University of Kansas and the Science Coalition in recognition of his support for federal funding for basic scientific research. The award is given to Members of Congress in recognition of their commitment to funding the basic research that keeps the United States at the forefront of scientific and medical discovery and technological innovation.
Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little presented Representative Yoder with the award on the KU Medical Center campus, along with KU Medical Center Executive Vice Chancellor Dr. Douglas Girod and Director of the KU Cancer Center Dr. Roy Jensen. Dr. Douglas Lowy, acting director of the National Cancer Institute, was a special guest at the ceremony.
“I’m honored to receive the Champion of Science Award,” Yoder said. “Diseases know no political parties or regional differences. They affect us all indiscriminately. For that reason, we all need to come together to make sure our researchers have every tool they need to find cures. That’s why I’m going to continue to champion this cause so that we can lower the cost of health care for everyone and, most importantly, save lives."
“Representative Yoder’s critical support for the KU Cancer Center’s successful NCI designation effort and his tireless advocacy on behalf of significant additional funding for federal funding for research make him an ideal candidate for this honor,” Gray-Little said. “He clearly understands the importance of maintaining America’s role as a leader in scientific innovation, and we appreciate all he does for Kansas and for the nation.”
“Representative Yoder has a strong history of critical support for scientific and medical research and has a deep appreciation for the benefits that it can provide to patients and their families. He has been a longtime champion of our efforts to obtain NCI designation, and his advocacy in support of the pursuit of scientific knowledge stands out among his peers. He is a natural fit for this award, and I am pleased he is accepting it at KU Medical Center,” Jensen said.
The Science Coalition’s Champion of Science Award recognizes Members of Congress whose actions and votes consistently reflect their belief that basic scientific research, conducted at universities and national labs across the country, is essential to the nation’s ability to address pressing issues in health, security, energy and the environment, and additionally, that a strong federally supported basic research enterprise drives innovation that fuels the U.S. economy. Yoder joins a distinguished group of approximately 80 current and former Members of Congress who have received this award since 1999.
The Science Coalition, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of the nation’s leading public and private research universities, is dedicated to sustaining strong federal funding of basic scientific research as a means to stimulate the economy, spur innovation and drive America’s global competitiveness. Learn more at http://www.sciencecoalition.org/.
Washington, D.C. – This week, Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS) and thirteen of his House colleagues sent a letter to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Director Dan Ashe expressing concerns over recent statements made regarding the potential re-listing of the lesser prairie-chicken (LPC) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Earlier this month, USFWS fulfilled a court ruling that had vacated its ESA listing decision by officially removing the LPC from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. Following the decision, the agency issued a press release stating that they were in the process of “undertaking a new status review to determine whether listing is again warranted.”
“These statements from Fish & Wildlife have confirmed our suspicions,” Representative Yoder said. “The Administration remains committed to this misguided effort to save a bird that already saw its population increase over the last few years due to local efforts. My amendment to prevent the Administration from reopening its efforts and protect farmers and ranchers from unwanted government overreach passed the Appropriations Committee unanimously. Congress’ intent on this issue is clear, and we’re working to make sure Fish & Wildlife respects that.”
In an effort to prevent USFWS from disregarding clear congressional intent, the letter clarifies the language included in the House-passed version of the FY2017 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill that expressly prohibits USFWS from attempting to re-list the LPC under any ESA designation over the next year.
The letter was signed by House members from all five of the states with LPC habitats: Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and New Mexico. The thirteen other signers include: Mike Conaway (TX-11), the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Lynn Jenkins (KS-02), Mike Pompeo (KS-04), Tom Cole (OK-04), Frank Lucas (OK-03), Pete Sessions (TX-32), Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Jeb Hensarling (TX-05), Will Hurd (TX-23), Markwayne Mullin (OK-02), Scott Tipton (CO-03), Ken Buck (CO-04), and Steve Pearce (NM-02).
The text of the letter is reproduced below.
July 28, 2016
Director, Dan Ashe
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS)
1849 C. Street, NW, ROOM 3331
Washington, DC 20240
We write to express our concerns over recent statements you have made regarding the status of the listing of the lesser prairie-chicken (LPC) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Following the bird’s removal from the list of threatened and endangered species, in accordance with the court order issued by the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, your agency issued a press release stating that U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) is “undertaking a new status review to determine whether listing is again warranted.”
This assurance is extremely troubling to many of our constituents and we would like clarification on what this “new status review” looks like and how your agency intends to pay for it, as this would be in direct violation of language included in the House Passed version of the Fiscal Year 2017 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill. To be clear, we would like to reiterate the intent of the language below.
“None of the funds made available by this Act shall be used to treat the lesser prairie chicken as an endangered species or threatened species, or a candidate for listing as such a species, under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).”
This bill language is intended to prevent USFWS from attempting to re-list the lesser prairie-chicken, under any ESA designation, from now until the end of Fiscal Year 2017. At which time Congress will have the opportunity to re-evaluate the legislation. However, we are confident that efforts being taken at the state and local level will be more than enough to see that the bird’s population continues to rebound.
We thank you for your attention to this letter and look forward to your response. If you have any questions about this request, please contact Michael Brooks with Rep. Kevin Yoder at (202) 225-2865.
Member of CongressRead More
Washington, D.C. – According to recent reports, a former physician assistant, Mark Wisner, at the Leavenworth VA Medical Center had a police record prior to his hire date yet he passed his initial background check and was not given any subsequent background checks. In response, Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins (KS-02) and Congressman Kevin Yoder (KS-03) sent a letter to Deputy Inspector General Linda Halliday at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to request more information on the initial background check and the VA’s screening process.
“The fact that a physician assistant, who takes care of our veterans on a personal level, had a police record of this nature and still passed the initial background check is astounding,” said Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins. “Whether this is a lapse in leadership or negligence, we need to do more to ensure those with disturbing police records are not employed by the VA. Our veterans deserve the best quality healthcare.”
“This can never happen again, period,” said Congressman Kevin Yoder. “Our veterans sacrifice so much to defend our freedoms, and in return we must defend them from ever having to face abuse like this when they come home seeking care. I look forward to the VA’s response to our request and their thorough explanation of who will be held accountable and what specific steps can be taken to ensure no veteran will ever be subjected to this kind of pain again.”
Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, Rep. Yoder joined the bipartisan majority of the House to pass a package of bills designed to block the administration’s concessions to Iran and to hold Tehran accountable for its illicit behavior. These bills block the administration’s purchase of heavy water, prevent Iran from gaining access to the dollar, and impose new sanctions on Iran for its human rights abuses, ballistic missile development, and terror financing. After voting in favor of this package, Rep. Yoder issued the following statement:
“The Administration’s nuclear deal with Iran was a disaster a year ago when it was enacted, and it remains a disaster today. Over the last few months, reports have surfaced that the Administration plans more concessions to the Iranian Regime and will continue to remain silent in the face of its increasing aggression and violation of the deal. That’s why yesterday I joined a bipartisan majority of my colleagues in passing a package of bills that will impose new sanctions on the regime and block the Administration’s moves to give cash infusions and access to the dollar even beyond the parameters of the dangerous nuclear deal. Congress will not minimize the very real threat the Iranians pose to our national security and that of our allies in Israel in the Middle East, even if President Obama continues to do so.”
Washington, D.C. – This week, Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS) joined more than 200 Members of the House of Representatives in writing a letter to FBI Director James Comey demanding answers on former-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's failure to safeguard classified information through her use of a private email server in her home during her tenure at the State Department. After sending the letter, Representative Yoder issued the following statement:
“No one is above the law. That’s why Congress is demanding answers about the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice’s decisions to close investigations into Secretary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information without a single charge, even after outlining a clear case that she put our national security at risk and lied about doing so at nearly every turn. Yesterday, I joined more than 200 of my House colleagues in sending a letter to Director Comey requesting a thorough explanation of the bureau’s puzzling decision so we can at least try to restore the American people’s faith in our justice system.”
To read the text of the letter, click here.
Washington, D.C. – This afternoon, Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS) joined a bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives in passing the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act by a vote of 422-2. The bill takes important steps to address the mental health crisis in America, including:
“With more than 10 million Americans suffering from a serious mental illness, it’s time Congress acted to offer them a helping hand,” Representative Yoder said. “I’m proud to support this bill, which is the largest reform of our mental health system in decades and shares the support of nearly the entire Congress. It will improve coordination among agencies and close the gaps that patients have been slipping through for years. It will deliver a top to bottom improvement and bring new hope to those who are too often forgotten and left behind.”
To watch a short video from the bill’s lead sponsor Representative Tim Murphy (R-PA) explaining why the bill is necessary and what it does, click here.
Washington, D.C. – This afternoon, the House Appropriations Committee voted to add Representative Kevin Yoder’s (R-KS) amendment to prevent the listing of the Lesser Prairie Chicken as a “threatened” or “endangered” species to the 2017 Interior and Environment Appropriations Act.
In March 2014, the United States Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS) listed the Lesser Prairie Chicken as a threatened species, citing the bird’s population decline. With approximately half of the Lesser Prairie Chicken population residing in Kansas, the listing had led to the disruption of oil and gas exploration, abandonment of wind energy projects, and increased costs to Kansas farmers and ranchers.
In September 2015, in part after the efforts of Representative Yoder during consideration of last year’s Interior Appropriations Bill, the listing was vacated by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. Last month, the Department of Justice announced it had dropped its appeal of the court’s ruling, effectively halting the Administration’s efforts on the issue.
“As I said when the Justice Department announced it was dropping its appeal, I remain skeptical that was the end of the road,” Yoder said. “The Lesser Prairie Chicken’s listing as a threatened species stunted economic growth in Kansas for little to no benefit. It was a misguided effort to save a bird that already saw its population increase over the last few years due to local efforts. My amendment today simply maintains the new status quo, preventing the Administration from reopening its efforts and protecting farmers and ranchers from unwanted government overreach.”
Overland Park, KS – Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS) will join the Wyandotte County FOP Lodge #40 and Sheriff Don Ash in attending the Dedication and Unveiling of the Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office Memorial in Kansas City, Kansas THIS AFTERNOON.
Representative Yoder will deliver remarks at the unveiling of the memorial, which honors all of the fallen deputies of Wyandotte County. The event will be open to the public and media is also invited to attend.
WHO: Representative Kevin Yoder
WHAT: Dedication and Unveiling of the Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office Memorial
WHEN: Today, Wednesday, June 1, 2016
WHERE: Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office
710 N. 7th Street
Kansas City, KS
Washington, DC – Representative Kevin Yoder will attend events this Memorial Day weekend focusing on the service and sacrifice of those who have served our country. The events will be open to the media.
WHAT: Heart of America Stand Down
(Provides Services for Homeless and At Risk Veterans)
WHEN: Friday, May 27, 2016 at 10:00 AM
WHERE: National World War I Museum and Memorial
100 W. 26th Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64108
WHAT: Spring Hill Memorial Day Ceremony
WHEN: Monday, May 30, 2016 at 10:00 AM
WHERE: 800 Block of Lawrence Street
Spring Hill, Kansas 66083
Washington, DC – This afternoon, Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS) sent a letter to United States Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) Jeh Johnson and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator Peter Neffenger demanding answers about the increasing long wait times at TSA lines in airports across the country and what the agency is doing to alleviate the issue.
“Airports around our country are troubled by long lines of passengers waiting to go through security screening before boarding their flights,” Representative Yoder said in the letter. “I am calling on you and your department to take swift and decisive action in order to alleviate this problem. The safety of our travelers is of utmost concern, but the TSA must also be able to do its job without becoming another bloated, ineffective government agency.”
The full text of the letter is reproduced below.
The Honorable Secretary Jeh Johnson
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
300 7th St SW
Washington, D.C. 20024
Dear Secretary Johnson,
Airports around our country are troubled by long lines of passengers waiting to go through security screening before boarding their flights. I am calling on you and your department to take swift and decisive action in order to alleviate this problem. The safety of our travelers is of utmost concern, but the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) must also be able to do its job without becoming another bloated, ineffective government agency.
I have heard from numerous constituents about the issues with long waiting lines in airports. To make matters worse, the trend is moving in the wrong direction as fliers routinely deal with longer and longer lines. Most people cannot afford to spend hours of their time waiting in line, and many are missing flights due to inordinate wait times. These problems have a rippling effect on travel industries as business and pleasure travelers are less inclined to fly.
In light of these well-documented problems, I am seeking a plan of action from you and your department to improve this situation. Specifically, I would like the answers to these questions:
What is the TSA’s plan to reduce wait times for travelers going through security screening?
Has the TSA set specific goals or benchmarks to evaluate the effectiveness of the aforementioned plan?
Does the TSA have a timeline within which it plans to achieve these goals?
What security screening operations are Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) involved with outside of airports?
Thank you for your commitment to ensuring the safety and security of our nation’s travelers. I hope to see quick and meaningful progress from the TSA to address this problem. I appreciate your attention to these questions, and I look forward to your timely response.
Member of Congress
Cc: Peter Neffenger, Administrator, Transportation Security AdministrationRead More
215 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Kevin is a 5th generation Kansan who grew up on a grain and livestock farm in rural Kansas near a town called Yoder. It was on the farm where Kevin learned the true value of hard work and where he saw first-hand the ingenuity and prairie spirit that makes Kansas such a special place.
Retweeted by RepKevinYoder
Retweeted by RepKevinYoder
Facts you didn't know about the women serving in the People's House https://t.co/Okl6fGAv2Y
Regardless of political party, everyone should reject this kind of disregard for the faithful execution of our laws by the executive branch.