Washington, D.C. – Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS) issued the following statement in response to the Trump Administration’s budget proposal that includes a $5.8 billion cut to the National Institutes of Health (NIH):
“More than 300 members voted to boost medical research by billions in November, we cannot turn around a few short months later and slash its budget. Funding to research cures to the 10,000 known diseases in this world, like cancer, Alzheimer’s, or Parkinson's is a priority for every family in America, regardless of political party. I will fight to ensure that these proposed cuts to medical research funding never make it into law."
In November, Yoder championed the 21st Century Cures Act, which passed the House 392-26. The bill increased biomedical research funding at NIH by $4.8 billion over the next decade and streamlined drug approval process at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to bring treatments to patients more quickly. In 2015, more than 100 House Republicans signed onto Yoder’s letter to House leadership pushing for a $3 billion NIH funding increase that eventually led to the largest funding increase for research in 12 years.
Washington, D.C. – This afternoon, Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS) contacted the White House and urged President Donald Trump to condemn hateful acts like the shooting that took place in Olathe last week. Representative Yoder issued the following statement:
“As the world prepares to watch President Trump tonight at the joint session of Congress, I’ve been in contact with the White House regarding the senseless tragedy last week in Olathe that claimed the life of Srinivas Kuchibhotla and injured Alok Madasani and Ian Grillot. I’ve been clear that the President must use this amazing platform to condemn this hateful act in no uncertain terms and send a powerful message that no American should be fearful in their own community. Diverse political and religious views are what make our country great, and I look forward to him utilizing this opportunity tonight.”
Washington, D.C. – This afternoon, Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS) wrote a bipartisan letter to President Donald Trump in support of Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Grants at the Department of Justice and reports the Administration might have plans to eliminate the grants in the upcoming budget debate. Representative Yoder issued the following statement:
“Each and every day, thousands of women take refuge in domestic abuse shelters and countless lives are saved thanks to the Violence Against Women Act. Cutting VAWA grants would mean we are failing to protect some of the most vulnerable women, children, and families in our country. We feel strongly that Congress and the Trump Administration must ensure the policies and procedures in place at the federal level must remain intact so we can meet their needs.”
In 2013, Yoder voted for the most recent reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which was originally signed into law in 1994. He also voted for reauthorization legislation in 2012 that stalled in the Senate. Today’s letter was signed by Representatives Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH), and Jackie Walorski (R-IN).
The text of the letter is reproduced below and can be viewed online here.
February 21, 2017
President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500
We write this letter to express our deep concern about reports which indicate that your administration may be preparing to eliminate Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Grants at the Department of Justice. This essential program was created after decades of growing unease over the rising violent crime rate against women and has served to protect some of the most vulnerable women and families in our country. Unfortunately, domestic and sexual violence continues to occur at an alarming rate and we feel strongly that Congress must protect the policies and procedures we have put in place at the federal level to respond to the needs of victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking and sex trafficking.
As you know, VAWA was last authorized during the 113th Congress in a convincingly bipartisan manner. Countless lives have been saved by this law which was first authorized in 1994and improved in the years since. Present day programs defend victims of human trafficking and domestic violence who may not have any other alternative resources. In addition, Congress imposed new accountability provisions including audit requirements on all grantees and comprehensive reporting requirements to ensure we are focusing on areas of greatest need.
According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence’s most recent national census, on a single average day as many as 71,828 victims are served with 40,302 finding refuge in our nation’s domestic refuge shelters. Further, thousands of requests for service are unfulfilled each day as a result of lack of government funding and staffing reductions.
We look forward to your FY 2018 budget request and stand ready to assist your administration in prioritizing federal spending decisions that impact investments in communities across the nation. As the budget process continues, we intend to support essential programs that are working to change public attitudes about domestic violence and make a difference in the lives of women, children and families in every state.
Thanks for your attention.
Congressman Kevin Yoder (KS-3)
Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (MO-5)
Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (IN-2)
Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster (NH-2)
Cc: Mick MulvaneyRead More
The co-chairs of the House of Representatives Cancer Caucus, Congressmen Kevin Yoder (R-KS-3), Brian Higgins (D-NY-26), Charlie Dent (R-PA-15), and Derek Kilmer (D-WA-6) are teaming up for a bipartisan push to make the fight against cancer a national priority.
Congressman Kevin Yoder serves on the House Committee on Appropriations as a leading voice in support of increased federal investment in biomedical research through the National Institutes of Health and in 2015 led a successful effort to convince more than 100 of his fiscally conservative colleagues to support the largest NIH funding increase in more than a decade. He’s also authored a resolution recognizing the critical role of researchers, and has been a long-time supporter of the University of Kansas Cancer Center receiving its National Cancer Institute designation in 2012 and applying for its comprehensive designation this year.
“Providing the necessary resources to help researchers around the country find cures for diseases like cancer has been a top priority of mine in Congress,” said Rep. Yoder. “As co-chair of the Cancer Caucus, I will do my part to eradicate this terrible disease by working toward my goal of doubling the National Institutes of Health (NIH)'s budget within the next ten years. I call upon my colleagues to share in that goal. It is a moral, fiscal, and national security imperative.”
Congressman Brian Higgins is a member of the House Budget Committee and the Committee on Ways and Means. His district includes Roswell Park Cancer Institute, one of just 45 National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated comprehensive cancer centers in the country. Higgins is a champion for a substantial increase in the nation’s commitment to biomedical research and founded the National Institutes of Health Caucus.
“The only failure in cancer research is when you quit or are forced to quit due to lack of funding,” said Rep. Higgins. “By working together, Congress can help give researchers the tools to reach breakthrough treatments that lead to better outcomes for those touched by cancer.”
Congressman Charlie Dent, also a member of the House Appropriations Committee, is a staunch advocate of medical research through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and has dedicated his efforts to the prevention of melanoma and colorectal cancer. Rep. Dent led a resolution encouraging efforts to promote childhood skin protection toward the goal of reducing skin cancer and recently introduced the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act.
Rep. Dent said, “Like many people, I have friends and loved ones who have been diagnosed with cancer. I’ve seen the toll cancer takes on both those who have been diagnosed and their caregivers. As co-chair of the House Cancer Caucus, I am committed to using my platform to encourage early detection and preventative measures, as well as funding for research that could lead to new, more effective treatments.”
Congressman Derek Kilmer is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and a strong advocate for the inclusion of cancer prevention measures as a component of healthcare delivery. Rep. Kilmer’s district includes Peninsula Cancer Center.
“Each year millions of Americans are confronted with a cancer diagnosis,” said Kilmer. “These struggles impact the lives of their family, friends, and communities. This Congress needs to step up and help folks grappling with this illness. That’s why I’ve joined the push to ensure that we double down on cutting-edge research investments that can help America’s top scientists figure out how to better stop the spread of cancer.”
Other members of the Cancer Caucus include Congressmembers Lou Barletta (R-PA), Robert Brady (D-PA), Michael Capuano (D-MA), Andre Carson (D-IN), John Carter (R-TX), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), James Clyburn (R-OK), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Michael Conaway (R-TX), Jim Cooper (D-TN), Jim Costa (D-CA), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Rodney P. Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), Gene Green (D-TX), Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Walter Jones (R-NC), Peter King (R-NY), John Lewis (D-GA), Dave Loebsack (D-IA), Tom Marino (R-PA), Michael McCaul (R-TX), Richard Neal (D-MA), Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Bill Posey (R-FL), David Price (D-NC), Tim Ryan (D-OH), Bobby Scott (D-VA), Pete Sessions (R-TX), John Shimkus (R-IL), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Adam Smith (D-WA), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Michael Turner (R-OH), Marc Veasey (D-TX), Greg Walden (R-OR) and Joe Wilson(R-SC).
The World Health Organization reports 1 in 6 deaths worldwide are due to cancer, with 14 million new cancer cases reported in 2012 and that number expected to increase by 70% over the next two decades. In the U.S. the National Cancer Institute estimates there were more than 1.685 million new cancer cases and over 595,000 deaths due to cancer last year alone. The cost of cancer care in the United States totaled nearly $125 billion in 2010 and could reach $156 billion by 2020.
Washington, D.C. – This evening, Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS) spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives urging his colleagues to vote in favor of his legislation modernizing federal law with respect to Americans’ digital privacy rights. Shortly after his remarks concluded, the House unanimously passed H.R. 387 – the Email Privacy Act – by voice vote.
You can view a video of Rep. Yoder's remarks by clicking here. Also included are Rep. Yoder’s remarks, as prepared for delivery:
“Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you for this opportunity for an important debate on legislation that has been a long time in the coming.
“I’d like to thank the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Mr. Goodlatte, and the Ranking Member, Mr. Conyers, for their hard work and leadership in helping shepherd this critical piece of legislation to the floor.
“I rise today to support these long-overdue ideas in this bipartisan legislation that will bring our digital privacy laws into the 21st Century –the Email Privacy Act.
“Mr. Speaker, the year was 1986. I was ten years old, hoping to get a new Nintendo game console for Christmas so I could play Super Mario Brothers.
“You could buy a ticket to see Top Gun for $2.75.
“In the tech world, 1986 marked the debut of the first laptop computer. It was 12 pounds!
“A mobile phone was the size of a small pet.
“Mr. Speaker, it was also the year in which the Congress passed the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.
“At the time, there were only 10 million e-mail users worldwide.
“Now, 232 million Americans send an email once per month.
“The first text message wouldn’t be sent for another six years – now Americans send more than one billion texts each year.
“Mr. Speaker, the times and technology have changed but the laws have not kept pace.
“Federal laws regarding how we treat and protect the privacy of digital communication have been unchanged since 1986, and because of it, our digital content is not afforded the same Fourth Amendment protections as paper documents on our desks at home.
“Now, the Fourth Amendment protects the ‘right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.’
“Yet, when it comes to what’s on American’s cell phones, or home computers, our laws allows federal agencies like the IRS or SEC or the law enforcement, to kick down the virtual doors and search innocent American’s private communication and data storage without a warrant, without probable cause or any type of due process.
“Many Americans take great precaution to store their emails, on services like Dropbox or in the ‘Cloud,’ yet our federal law perversely treats that data storage as if its abandoned by its owner, and therefore loses constitutional protection.
“Well, in 1986, lawmakers believed within reason that individuals and families wouldn’t store data online. They wouldn’t leave their email stored online. They believed that they might have their own servers.
“Therefore, if an individual was leaving an email on a third-party server it was akin to that person leaving their paper mail in a garbage can at the end of their driveway.
“Thus, that individual had no reasonable expectation of privacy in regards to that email under the Fourth Amendment.
“But as we all know, virtually everyone now stores millions of emails and other data on third party servers like Gmail.
“Those emails contain pictures and videos of our kids, our business transactions – our most sensitive information that the government shouldn’t have access to without a warrant, without due process as required by the Constitution.
“Establishing these privacy protections are critical for both ensuring that Americans’ rights are protected, but also ensuring that all cloud computing providers are covered by the same warrant for content requirements.
“In addition to updating our constitutional rights, these privacy protections create business certainty. They ensure consumers will remain happy to continue to using cloud storage services.
“Mr. Speaker, fundamentally, these changes in my bill codify the Sixth Circuit’s decision in U.S. v. Warshak, which held that email content is protected by the Fourth Amendment. A decision which, while important, needs to be enshrined in law as it only currently applies in the sixth circuit. It must be applied nationwide.
“Mr. Speaker, today we can cast a unifying vote in these divided times. We can work to dispel the myth that Congress doesn't work together. We can send a strong message to the American people that their privacy matters.
“I urge passage and I yield back.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS) cosponsored H.R. 510 the Rapid DNA Act of 2017, which allows for law enforcement officials to use Rapid DNA instruments to help reduce DNA backlogs and advance investigations.
The Rapid DNA Act will permit law enforcement officials to compare DNA samples they collect during their arrest to the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). As a result, DNA samples can be analyzed in approximately 90 minutes or less, compared to weeks or months without the FBI’s database. This legislation will help solve crimes quicker and expedite exonerating innocent victims.
“The law enforcement officials that keep us safe should have the best tools available to them,” Representative Yoder said. “In my discussions with local law enforcement, I’ve learned that without the Rapid DNA Act, we are at risk of leaving crimes unsolved and the public unprotected. I hope that this bill passes the House and makes our communities safer.”
The following are statements from local law enforcement supportive of the bill:
Steven Menke, Olathe Chief of Police:
“I am in complete support of this bill. The amount of time it currently takes for local law enforcement to get a DNA sample tested and compared in CODIS is months unless there are some exigent circumstances like an active homicide investigation. And even then, it is a couple of days to get results. This would be a significant advantage to solving crime in days, not months, and to preventing the other crimes that are going to occur.”
Frank Donchez, Overland Park Chief of Police:
“DNA evidence has already changed the game in law enforcement and has led to the arrest and conviction of thousands of individuals who would have previously gone free. This legislation is the next logical step in developing DNA evidence on a timely basis and enabling local law enforcement to react swiftly in taking dangerous criminals off the street.”
Representative James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced the bill in January and it has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
Obamacare has failed to deliver on its promises of affordable health care for Americans. We've seen the facts to back this up - more than 1,000 U.S. counties have only one insurance provider to choose from, and the whole state of Kansas only has two. Kansans can expect premiums to increase by 42% this year, and deductibles have increased seven times faster than wages in recent years.
We need a better plan for our nation's healthcare - one that focuses on giving patients more choices and increases competition in health care markets. The replacement for Obamacare also needs to preserve important protections for people with pre-existing conditions and provide financial help to our most vulnerable citizens. However, these goals can be achieved while still allowing everyone the freedom to choose whether they purchase cover and how they do it.
I joined my colleagues from the Kansas Delegation, Representatives Lynn Jenkins and Roger Marshall, in writing a guest column in the Kansas City Star, outlining our plans for replacing Obamacare. This piece shows how Obamacare is broken, and what we plan to do in order to fix it. I encourage you to check it out here: http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/article129258304.html
Reducing the problem of Obamacare to a set of numbers diminishes the true human impact of the challenges we are facing. For years, I have been hearing from constituents who are frustrated by the way Obamacare has hurt their healthcare access and affordability. Recently, I interviewed constituents to hear their thoughts on Obamacare. This is what they said:
Bob C., Overland Park
"I am single, no dependents looking for an HSA plan on healthcare.gov. For 2016 this plan cost me $375.70 a month. For 2017 it will cost $700.33. This is an 86% increase. I cannot afford this. The ACA might be providing coverage to low income people but will be causing middle income people to go without insurance. I have never really found myself negatively affected by the federal government in a direct way before this."
Jeff H., Shawnee
“I am a 53 year old retired police officer. I am also trying to develop my own small business to supplement my retirement income. In 2013, I purchased high deductible HSA health insurance for me, my wife, and our daughter at what appeared to be a reasonable $437.00 per month. Fast forward just 3 years, and I am now paying $1,275.00 per month for the same plan. So, in order to pay my premiums and fund my HSA, I am paying $1,896.00 per month. That's $22,752.00 per year, or, 36% of what used to be a pretty good retirement income
Aaron K., Overland Park
"I currently do not have insurance, because frankly, I cannot afford it. I am a substitute teacher and am not offered benefits. I am currently looking for full time employment, but have not been able to find it, yet. The Affordable Care Act plans offered me are too expensive and the deductibles are too high. So, that leaves me paying the tax penalty, which is becoming increasingly more difficult to do."
Randall C., Self-Employed
"I am self-employed and have health insurance from Blue Cross/Blue Shield, obtained through the Obamacare Exchange. They are asking me to renew, but the premium, just for me, is going up to $8200 per year with a $6800 deductible."
Kim Q., Self-Employed
"I was perfectly happy with my HSA plan before Obamacare passed. I had a $188/month premium, which is now $392/month. Deductible went from $792 to $6500."
Steven and Kim B., Olathe small business owner
"I own a small business and have purchased health insurance on the open market for years. In the past I could tailor my wife and I coverage to fit our personal needs. I always had several choices between insurance companies and with the ability to customize my coverage benefits and deductibles. We have received notice from our insurance company that they are pulling out of the market in Kansas and we will be forced to purchase insurance elsewhere. Unfortunately there are only a few companies and plans to choose from, and the best deal we can get is almost three times more expensive than our old plan.
Tammy S., Overland Park small business owner
"I am a single mom trying to run a small business in Overland Park. The cost of health insurance is destroying the economy. I cannot afford to provide health insurance for my employees and my own insurance for 2017 will be almost 3.5 times what it was just 3 years ago (pre Obamacare)."
Robert J., Overland Park small business owner
"The American Dream has changed. I work 70 hours a week, but cannot afford health insurance. I just had knee surgery, but had to know choice but to go straight back to work."
Hugh O., local small business owner
"The 30-hour workweek under Obamacare is hurting my business. I can't find enough workers, and I have to pay an outside firm to manage my employees' benefits."
Jason P., local small business owner
"I have to pay an extra $50,000/year on new software to manage employee health benefits. There are many montly underlying costs for my business due to Obamacare."Read More
Overland Park, KS – Yesterday, Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS) made the following statement in response to President Trump’s Executive Order “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” The order restricted Syrian refugees from entering the United States for 120 days and restricted immigration from seven countries from entering the United States for 90 days: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
Representative Yoder’s statement:
"We must be both a compassionate nation and a nation that keeps its citizens safe and we must find common ground to achieve both missions. Reforming and strengthening our vetting system is necessary and important step to continuing the long legacy of refugees coming to America. The Obama Administration rightly did this in 2011 when it paused refugee resettlement from Iraq for six months to prevent terrorist infiltration and again last year when it worked with Congress to sign our bill into law reforming the visa waiver program, which laid the groundwork for this executive order. Likewise, President Trump should have our nation's support to carry out his mission to protect our nation's borders, but he must do so without unnecessarily burdening lawful entrants into the United States or discriminating against specific religions.
"It's clear right now the order is being interpreted too broadly to block valid visas and green card holders. While a temporary pause in new admissions is appropriate - the President should work with Congress to come up with clear procedures to ensure that our refugee program can continue in the safest manner possible."
Washington, D.C. – Today, Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS) celebrates the launch of the first Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account in Kansas. Although Representative Yoder was unable to attend today’s launch in person, he appeared by video to applaud the opening of the first ABLE Savings program, which will help individuals with disabilities and their families better prepare themselves for a financially secure and independent future.
Representative Yoder was a cosponsor of the ABLE Act which passed and was signed into law in December 2014. The law amended Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code to create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. The Kansas State Legislature then had to pass a state law and the Kansas State Treasurer’s Office worked to implement and launch the program today.
The following are Rep. Yoder’s remarks:
“Good morning everyone, I'm so sorry I can't be with you all to celebrate this amazing day as we launch the first Kansas ABLE Accounts. But, I couldn't let this moment pass without congratulating everyone who worked so hard to make this day a reality.
“I first learned of the ABLE Act when Rachel Mast of Olathe walked into my office in Washington, DC and made sure that she didn't leave until I was a committed supporter. Her advocacy and that of her parents, Jawanda and Jonathan, along with hundreds of families all across the country ensured that this bill finally passed Congress and was signed into law. Thanks to the Masts and every family who fought so hard to make this dream a reality. They showed that real people still matter in the halls of Congress.
“Going forward, these ABLE accounts will help thousands of individuals with disabilities and their families realize their dreams, even of someday living in a pink house. I want to thank Kansas State Treasurer Ron Estes, State Rep. Erin Davis, and all those who helped ensure Kansas launched the ABLE Act.
“Today is a day to celebrate, then it's back to our efforts to pass the ABLE to Work Act, which will expand the ABLE Act to allow participants to work meaning jobs and save those earnings for their future as well.
“Today is a brighter day in Kansas because of all of you and your efforts. Thanks for letting me play a little part in this great success. Congrats to all.”
For information on signing up for an ABLE account, please visit: https://www.kansasstatetreasurer.com/prodweb/education_savings/able.php.
To watch a video of Yoder's remarks, click here.
Washington, D.C. – Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS) has been selected to serve as the Chairman of the House Legislative Branch Subcommittee on Appropriations for the 115th Congress. The Appropriations Committee is responsible for allocating federal dollars to fund various programs, departments, and agencies, with the Legislative Branch Subcommittee specifically responsible for funding the offices of Members of the House of Representatives, the support agencies of Congress, security and police forces, services for visitors, and Capitol operations and maintenance.
Representative Yoder has served on the full committee during each of his first three terms in office, including as one of only three freshman members during his first term in the 112th Congress. He previously served as Vice Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee during the 114th Congress and the Vice Chairman of the Agriculture Subcommittee during the 113th Congress.
Yoder is the first Kansan to chair a House Appropriations subcommittee since 1934 and fourth Kansan in history to do so.
Yoder issued the following statement following the announcement of his selection as Legislative Branch Subcommittee Chairman:
“I’m humbled and honored that my colleagues have placed their trust in me to serve as Chairman of the Legislative Branch Subcommittee on Appropriations. One of my top priorities since coming to Congress has been to rein in out-of-control federal spending and increase transparency with regard to how we spend taxpayers’ hard-earned money. I’ve always said that Congress must lead by example when it comes to fiscal responsibility, and chairing this subcommittee gives me the opportunity to follow through with that commitment. I look forward to providing Kansans and the American people with a more streamlined, efficient, and effective legislative branch in this new role.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) offered the following statement in support of Yoder’s selection:
“Kevin is a true fiscal conservative whose work ethic and dedication to service is well-known among his colleagues and the people of Kansas. It’s no surprise that his colleagues have selected him to serve as Chairman of the Legislative Branch Subcommittee on Appropriations, and I look forward to his leadership in this new role.”
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.
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Proud to celebrate #WorldDownSyndromeDay & continue fighting for persons with disabilities in Congress.
Happy #NationalAgDay 2017 to the 60,000 farmers in Kansas. Here’s to another year of feeding the world!