Washington, D.C. – Today, Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS) joined a bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives in passing the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by a vote of 375-34. This bill authorizes $619 billion for the Department of Defense (DoD) to fully fund our military so it can protect and defend the United States. Some of the highlights of the bill include:
Following the passage of the bill, Representative Yoder issued the following statement:
“Congress and the federal government’s number one priority is to protect and defend our nation, and the NDAA provides our military the resources to do just that. This bill reverses the trend over the last several years of squeezing our military’s budget, cutting troop levels, and reducing readiness. Instead, we’re giving our troops their largest pay raise in six years and providing them with the tools they need to defend us from threats around the world.
“Over the last year, we’ve seen far too many ISIS-inspired attacks on Americans and our allies in Europe and the Middle East, and the NDAA will help refocus our efforts to destroy ISIS and defeat radical Islamic terrorism. Importantly for our community, the bill also holds the line in federal law against bringing any dangerous terrorists from Guantanamo Bay to Fort Leavenworth. I’m proud of this vote today – a vote to support our troops and keep our nation safe.”
Overland Park, KS – Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS) announced today that he has nominated 27 area students to the U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, and the U.S. Air Force Academy.
The Third District’s Academy Nomination Board, appointed by Representative Yoder, conducted interviews with the applicants following review of their applications. After receiving their nominations, the applicants must now meet the requirements of each U.S. Service Academy to be considered for appointment. Ultimately, the Academies make the final decision on who receives an appointment of admission.
“I’m honored to announce the nominations of the following outstanding Kansans from the 3rd Congressional District to an United States Service Academy,” Rep Yoder said. “These young men and women do an excellent job representing our district with their distinguished character, scholarship, leadership and service. The impressive attributes each one of the nominees possess make them great candidates, and I wish them well as they seek an appointment to an U.S. Service Academy.”
United States Naval Academy – Annapolis, Maryland
Harrison Boldt – Merriam
Chad Coates – Overland Park
Ryan Devers – Olathe
Noah Didier – Overland Park
Marie Divine – Prairie Village
Claire Ivey – Shawnee
Luke Kuklenski – Prairie Village
Austin Lee – Overland Park
Owen Swanberg – Leawood
Maddie Wheat – Shawnee
United States Military Academy – West Point, New York
Claire Allen – Shawnee
Emmett Lockeridge – Kansas City Kansas
Steven Rohde – Overland Park
Jack Russell – Overland Park
Brenden Shutt – Shawnee
Cole Smith – Overland Park
Sidney Spry – Overland Park
Karen Yan – Overland Park
United States Air Force Academy – Colorado Springs, Colorado
Chad Buzzell – Overland Park
Cole Dahlquist – Lenexa
Patrick Doyle – Prairie Village
Annalise Holland – Olathe
Will McConwell – Fairway
Cooper May – Leawood
Jonas Price – Overland Park
Jacob Taylor – De Soto
Victoria Wall – Mission
Rep. Yoder will begin accepting applications for the 2018 Academy class on May 1, 2017. The application deadline is October 1, 2017. For more information on the application process or to receive an U.S. Service Academy Nomination Application packet please contact Susan Metsker in Rep. Yoder’s Overland Park Office at 913-621-0832 or visit www.yoder.house.gov.
Rep. Kevin Yoder: Here's a cause to unite Trump AND Clinton voters
By Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS)
November 30, 2016 | To view online, click here.
There’s no two ways about it, America is divided.
Gallup recently reported a record-high 77 percent of Americans describe our country using that word. Most of us can understand why, after spending last week at the Thanksgiving dinner table avoiding political landmines like Donald Trump’s electoral victory without the popular vote or Hillary Clinton’s email server and whether she should be prosecuted for it.
Although unfortunately too late to solve your Thanksgiving dilemma, the House is voting this week on legislation the entire dinner table could’ve agreed on. It’s called 21st Century Cures.
Whether you voted for Trump or Clinton, life-threatening diseases have almost certainly affected you or someone you love. They affect all of us indiscriminately, regardless of political party. And they are ruthless, killing more Americans each year than any war. Cancer will kill almost 600,000 Americans this year. Another 700,000 Americans will die with Alzheimer’s disease.
A whopping 30 million Americans live with one of the 7,000 known rare diseases. Of those diseases, we only have treatments approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for about five percent of them. In fact, we only have about 500 treatments for the nearly 10,000 total known diseases.
President-elect Trump signaled last week he wants the next wave of innovation – the next generation of research to cure diseases – to take place here in America. That’s encouraging, and House Republicans stand ready to work with his Administration in the coming months and years to ensure it does. But Congress isn’t waiting for his inauguration to get started.
Last year, I was one of the leaders in an effort to secure the largest funding increase at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 2003. We convinced even the most ardent fiscal conservatives to spend more money on research because the investment saves lives and pays for itself. And it’s necessary – the private sector can’t fund research of this magnitude. Since 1946, the American Cancer Society has spent $4.5 billion on cancer research, for example. The federal government, through the NIH, will spend $5.6 billion this year alone.
This week, House Republicans are again working hand in hand with our colleagues across the aisle to pass Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton’s (R-MI) 21st Century Cures Act.
Chairman Upton’s initiative, which has stalled in the Senate after passing the House last year with overwhelming bipartisan support, is returning to the House floor for a vote. After continued public conversations with patients, researchers, innovators, and health care providers on how to expedite the discovery, development, and delivery of new treatments and cures, we are set to pass it with majorities from both parties in Congress.
This compromise package provides the NIH $4.8 billion and the FDA $500 million in new funding over the next decade that is fully paid for without adding to the National Debt.
NIH spending is credited with mapping the human genome, generating an economic impact of $796 billion. Impressive, considering Human Genome Project spending amounted to $3.8 billion. Curing cancer or Alzheimer’s would save our nation trillions more over our lifetime – easily justifying the billions in investments today.
Cures also takes important steps toward maintaining America’s global status as the leader in biomedical innovation by modernizing clinical trials to reduce waiting periods for moving new drugs from the lab to the pharmacy, removing regulatory uncertainty, and breaking down unnecessary barriers to research collaboration.
Ultimately, Cures is something that can unite us. We have a long way to go to lower Gallup’s 77 percent figure, but if we can’t agree on curing disease, what exactly can we agree on?
Kevin Yoder is a United States Congressman, representing Kansas' 3rd District.
Washington, D.C. – This afternoon, Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS) spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives about the importance of getting the 21st Century Cures Act signed into law before the 114th Congress adjourns in December. The House has scheduled a vote on the legislation for this evening.
Click here to watch a video of the speech. Following are Rep. Yoder’s remarks, as prepared for delivery:
“Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of innovation, research, and life-saving cures to diseases that affect every family in every neighborhood of America.
“We are set to begin a new era in Washington soon in January, but we still have the opportunity to accomplish meaningful change before the end of the year.
“We have the opportunity to save lives by getting the 21st Century Cures Act signed into law.
“For example, right now, each year 700,000 people die with Alzheimer’s disease.
“By 2050, estimates are that our country will spend $1.1 trillion to treat patients with Alzheimer’s alone. Yet, we spend just a few hundred million dollars a year on Alzheimer’s research.
“This weekend, 60 Minutes highlighted an NIH-backed Alzheimer’s study and the amazing work researchers are doing to find a cure for this dreadful disease.
“21st Century Cures increases our commitment to studies like these by adding almost $5 billion in new investment for research over the next 10 years.
“Mr. Speaker, if we support 21st Century Cures, we will not only save lives, but our investment will pay for itself one thousand times over.
Overland Park, KS – Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS) will host an Open House at his District Office next week on Monday, November 21st from 3:30 to 5:00 PM.
Representative Yoder and his staff look forward to visiting with constituents over coffee about the top issues facing Congress through the end of this year and beyond in 2017. Those planning to attend should feel free to come and go as their schedule permits. The event is open to the public.
RSVP’s are not required but are encouraged. If you’re planning to attend, please contact our office at email@example.com or call (913) 621-0832.
WHO: Representative Kevin Yoder
WHAT: Constituent Open House
WHEN: Monday, November 21, 2016
3:30 PM to 5:00 PM
WHERE: Office of Representative Kevin Yoder
7325 W. 79th St.
Overland Park, KS 66204
Washington, DC –The office of Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS) announced today it will be offering a limited number of tickets to the 2017 Presidential Inauguration to constituents of the Third District. The inauguration ceremony will take place on Friday, January 20, 2017 on the West side of the U.S. Capitol Building.
If constituents coming to DC are interested in requesting tickets, Yoder’s office has provided this online submission form, which must be completed by January 6, 2017.
Those requesting tickets should note that only a limited number are available, and Yoder’s office will not likely be able to fulfill all requests. Tickets will be distributed on a lottery basis, after the submission deadline. If Yoder’s office is unable to fulfill a request, constituents can still view the Inauguration from the National Mall. Additionally, there will also be a parade afterward that will proceed down Pennsylvania Ave, beginning at the U.S. Capitol and ending at the White House.
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Kevin Yoder (R-KS) sent a letter to the Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert McDonald to ask why former disgraced VA physician’s assistant, Mark Wisner, is currently collecting retirement benefits from the federal government.
The letter states that while it is technically legal for Mr. Wisner to retire while on leave and under investigation, it is bothersome that someone facing multiple counts of sexual assault is collecting a taxpayer-funded pension. Congressman Yoder asks the VA if they have the authority to freeze or revoke the benefits Mr. Wisner is receiving and if the VA could have done something differently to prevent him from retiring while he was on leave and under investigation.
Mr. Wisner is under active investigation for sexual assault after multiple veterans have brought accusations against him. Congressman Yoder is also still awaiting a response from the VA to a previous inquiry that he and Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) sent in July regarding how Mr. Wisner passed his initial background check.
The text of the letter is reproduced below:
Dear Secretary McDonald,
I am disturbed to hear reports that former VA physician’s assistant Mark Wisner is currently collecting retirement benefits from the federal government. It is unconscionable that an individual under active investigation for sexual assault is allowed to receive a taxpayer-funded retirement package. I write to you today to express the outrage of my constituents and seek clarity on why this is happening.
You are well aware that multiple veterans have brought accusations of sexual assault against Mr. Wisner. While the criminal and civil charges against Mr. Wisner are being worked out in the justice system, the VA still has a responsibility to take action to hold this individual accountable. I understand that it was technically legal for Mr. Wisner to retire while on leave and under investigation, but I think you will agree that it is distasteful that someone facing multiple counts of sexual assault is collecting a taxpayer-funded pension.
In an effort to clarify this situation for my constituents, I ask that you please answer the following questions:
1. Does the VA have the authority to freeze or revoke the benefits Mr. Wisner is currently collecting? If so, why has the VA not done so?
2. Was there anything that the VA could have done differently to prevent Mr. Wisner from retiring while he was on leave and under investigation?
In addition, I still await your Department’s response to my previous letter, which was sent to the Office of the Inspector General on July 21, 2016. The letter contained nine questions that sought to shed light on this situation. In a letter dated August 30, 2016, the OIG stated that the questions would be best answered by the VA and noted that they had forwarded my letter to the VA Office of Governmental Relations. Both letters are attached with this one. I expect a prompt reply to the original letter.
I have also been attempting to schedule a meeting with Under Secretary for Health David Shulkin in order to discuss the ongoing investigation into Mr. Wisner. Though I have been seeking to set a date since September, your Department has failed to make Under Secretary Shulkin available. This situation needs immediate attention at the highest levels of the VA, and it is disappointing that your Department has not moved quickly to work with Congress. I again request that a meeting be scheduled so that we can better work together on this.
I hope that you understand the gravity of this situation, as well as the anger and sense of betrayal that many veterans in my district are feeling. Many Americans lost confidence in the VA after its scandals, and the Department has a long way to go in regaining the trust of the taxpayers and the veterans they are serving. The VA needs to take quick, decisive action in order to assure our veterans and the American people that it is fighting to protect those who served our country. Congress has already funded the VA through FY2017, but if necessary I stand ready to take legislative action should it be necessary to prevent taxpayer dollars from going to sexual predators in the future. I look forward to your prompt response.
Member of Congress
Overland Park, KS – Representative Kevin Yoder will attend the University of Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Center grant renewal event tomorrow, Thursday, October 6th from 3:30 PM - 4:15 PM at the Fairway Auditorium in the Clinical Research Center.
WHAT: The University of Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Center Grant Renewal
WHEN: Thursday, October 6, 2016
3:30 PM to 4:15 PM
WHERE: KU Clinical Research Center
4350 Shawnee Mission Parkway.
Fairway, KS 66205
Washington, D.C. – Last night, Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS) congratulated University of Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little on the announcement of her retirement next summer and thanked her for her service to the university and to the State of Kansas.
Following are Rep. Yoder’s remarks, as prepared for delivery:
“Mr. Speaker, I rise today as a proud Jayhawk to recognize a great leader for our state who’s made a positive impact on the lives of many Kansans – KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.
“Last week, Chancellor Gray-Little announced her retirement in 2017, and I wanted to recognize some of the major accomplishments during her tenure at KU.
“From day one, she set aggressive goals through her Bold Aspirations initiative to advance the university into the 21st Century as a leader in education and research.
“It was a great success, leading to KU being designated as a National Cancer Institute (NCI) and working towards a Comprehensive Cancer Center designation.
“The KU Alzheimer’s Disease Center also received national designation from the National Institute on Aging.
“And as someone who utilized both student loans and Pell grants, I was greatly appreciative of her vocal support for those programs that help every student achieve their dreams, regardless of income level.
“Today, on behalf of the United States Congress, I would like to thank Chancellor Gray-Little for her leadership and service to our beloved Jayhawk community and wish her and her husband Shade well in their next endeavors.
“Rock Chalk, Chancellor!”
To watch a video of the remarks, click here.
Washington, D.C. – Today, Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS) is calling on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and specifically Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to open an investigation into how Adrian Espinosa-Flores, the man who has been arrested in connection with the killing of Johnson County Sheriff’s Master Deputy Brandon Collins, was able to be in the United States illegally following his arrest for driving under the influence in California in 2001. Representative Yoder is requesting the investigation to get answers with regard to this case specifically, and to find ways to improve America’s immigration system on the whole.
After sending a letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson requesting the investigation, Yoder issued the following statement:
“The loss of Master Deputy Collins was absolutely tragic. What’s worse, now we’ve come to find out that the man who killed him is in our country illegally and has a criminal record. It’s inexcusable that he was able to be here to commit this crime and it's inexcusable the Obama Administration continues to tolerate and promote policies that prevent these types of criminals from being swiftly deported upon arrest. We must secure our border and place the safety and security of the American people above politics. No family should have to suffer the pain the Collins family is feeling right now.”
The text of the letter is reproduced below.
September 23, 2016
The Honorable Jeh Johnson
Department of Homeland Security
Washington D.C. 20528
On September 11, 2016 Johnson County, Kansas Sheriff’s Master Deputy Brandon Collins was struck and killed as he was performing a routine traffic stop. Reports have revealed that the alleged drunk driver, Adrian Espinosa-Flores, is in the United States illegally and has committed crimes in multiple states prior to killing Deputy Collins. After fleeing from the scene, Espinosa-Flores was eventually captured and charged with involuntary manslaughter while driving under the influence and leaving the scene of a traffic crash involving a death.
In order to better understand the timeline of events surrounding Deputy Collins’ tragic death, the circumstances surrounding how this individual was able to remain in the country after encountering law enforcement in multiple states, and how this tragedy can be prevented from happening again in the future; I am requesting an investigation be conducted by your agency into Espinosa-Flores’ immigration and criminal history. I have listed several questions below that I would like to have answered as soon as possible:
1. Has Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ever been notified about Adrian Espinosa-Flores’ presence in the United States? In particular, was ICE notified as a result of his 2001 arrest for driving under the influence in California or 2013 traffic violation for driving without license in Kansas? If not, why not?
2. How many times in the last year has ICE been notified of any illegal immigrant's presence in the United States as a result of a criminal infraction? How many, and what percentage of those times resulted in the deportation of said individual?
3. Has ICE provided a particular set of criteria outlining which criminal infractions local law enforcement officials should be determining the immigration status of the offender as a part of the booking process? Does driving under the influence fall under that criteria?
4. What is ICE’s standard operating procedure for ensuring the deportation of an illegal immigrant who has been detained or arrested by local law enforcement as a result of a criminal infraction? Was this procedure followed in the case of Adrian Espinosa-Flores in 2001? If not, why not?
5. Has ICE provided local law enforcement with a list of known illegal immigrants in the United States to cross reference when making criminal detentions or arrests? If not, why not?
If you have any questions or need further clarification about this request, please contact Michael Brooks on my staff. Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter, I look forward to your timely response.
Member of CongressRead 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
I’m proud of this vote today – a vote to support our troops and keep our nation safe. https://t.co/pIy7zY2D0Q
I’m honored to announce the nominations of the following outstanding Kansans to an United States Service Academy: https://t.co/g7PYiS8QUW