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
Washington, DC – Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS) announced today that Padee Vang, a senior at Sumner Academy of Arts and Sciences in Kansas City, Kansas, has won the 2016 Congressional Art Competition for the Third District. Her entry, titled “Sauer Mansion,” uses the medium of pen and ink and showcases the historic landmark in Wyandotte County.
“I would like to congratulate Padee for winning this year’s competition and I look forward to walking past it every time I go to vote on the House floor in the U.S. Capitol,” Representative Yoder said. “Her entry stood out among a number of outstanding submissions this year from some of the most talented young artists across the District.
“It was a privilege to partner with the Prairie Village Arts Council and Gallery at Prairie Village City Hall for this year’s art show. Thank you to Daniel Andersen and Julie Flanagan of the Prairie Village Arts Council for their artistic partnership and Mayor Laura Wassmer and the City Council for their hospitality.”
Additionally, the Third District Art Advisory Board awarded three Honorable Mentions to “Green Eyed Angel” by Shawnee Mission South senior Casey Mispagel, “Serenity” by Bonner Springs homeschool sophomore Grace Aldrich, and “Stricken” by Sumner Academy of Arts and Sciences senior Breanna Kay Johnson. Finally, the Peoples’ Choice Award winner, chosen via online voting on Rep. Yoder’s Facebook page, was awarded to “Green Eyed Angel” by Shawnee Mission South senior Casey Mispagel.
The Congressional Art Competition began in 1982 to provide an opportunity for Members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of the high school students in their districts. Since then, over 650,000 high school students have been involved with the nationwide competition. Padee’s art “Sauer Mansion” will hang in the U.S. Capitol with the winning art selected from all Congressional Districts across the country from June 2016 through June 2017.
Overland Park, KS – Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS) welcomes FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai to Kansas on Wednesday to discuss the success of the Kelsey Smith law in Kansas and push to create a national standard for law enforcement that already exists in twenty-two states.
The Kelsey Smith Act, H.R. 4889, which passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee last week, would help law enforcement and telecommunication officials work together quickly in cases of emergency to locate cell phones of missing persons. In 2015, a car was stolen in Lenexa with a five-month-old child inside. Based on the Kansas state-level version of the Kelsey Smith Act that was signed into law in 2009, Lenexa Police were able to track down the vehicle in 35 minutes because the victim’s cell phone was inside. Lenexa Police will demonstrate how the law worked in this situation and highlight the need for the federal law.
WHO: Representative Kevin Yoder
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai
WHEN: Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Media Avail – 2:45 PM
WHERE: Lenexa Police Department
12500 W. 87th St. Parkway
Lenexa, KS 66215
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.
I'm working in Congress to increase organ donation rates nationally. Check out this new unique & creative approach: https://t.co/mJH4KmHCkI
Grabbed lunch at Carmen's Cocina II in Olathe this week and met Luis Araujo, an inspirational small business owner. https://t.co/Smr0SSXSD1