The more information that comes out surrounding the exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the more concerned I get.
Not only did President Barack Obama fail to give required notice to Congress, but it does not appear we have been given sufficient assurances the five terrorists released will not plan future attacks on Americans.
This type of public swap with a terrorist organization is basically unprecedented, and puts our soldiers at risk. For this type of high-profile swap to occur for a soldier, who reports indicate was a deserter, seems completely irresponsible.
Ensuring rural communities have access to quality care
Access to quality health care in our rural communities continues to be one of my top priorities.
Congress must ensure our rural hospitals are able to sustain a health care system that provides folks the care they require, and we need cost-effective solutions to incentivize physicians to practice in these areas.
This week, I introduced bipartisan legislation with Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., that will provide greater access to anesthesiology professionals for our rural hospitals and help to improve the shortage of access to anesthesiology medical care in rural communities.
House Resolution 4781, the Medicare Access to Rural Anesthesiology Act of 2014, will allow certain rural hospitals to use Medicare Part A funds on a “pass-through” basis to attract and retain physician anesthesiologists to provide services to rural patients.
Meeting needs of Kansas’ defense communities
Last week, the Association of Defense Communities, in collaboration with the Kansas Governor’s Military Council, presented me with the 2014 Congressional Leadership Award.
This award, which was given to only three members in the House of Representatives, recognizes members’ commitment to supporting defense communities across the nation.
More than three years ago, I founded the Defense Communities Caucus with my colleague Congressman Sam Farr, D-Calif., to ensure our nation’s defense communities have a bipartisan voice in Congress.
Since its founding, I have worked hard to see my colleagues and I stay well-informed on the needs of these vital communities, as they assist America’s troops and are home to their loved ones.
There is no question that the way military installations are managed is changing as we work towards more collaboration between the public and private sectors to find budget efficiencies.
I am honored to receive this award, and pleased that our efforts within the Defense Caucus and with the Kansas Governor’s Military Council have helped improve the level of support and the delivery of resources for soldiers and their families.
As more of our soldiers return home, I look forward to continuing our outreach and advocacy on behalf of these communities.
Around the district: Pittsburg, Galena, Blue Rapids, Seneca, Leavenworth
On June 3, I spoke to the Pittsburg Rotary Club about ways to create jobs and build a healthy economy. Thanks to all the Rotarians for the questions and for your volunteer work in the community.
Also on June 3, I traveled to Galena to tour Premier Surgical Institute. The hospital has been open now for a year, and has expanded to 35 patient rooms.
Access to this level of care is key for the survival of our rural communities in Kansas. Premier Surgical is meeting the Galena community’s needs head-on, and it is wonderful to see folks getting care here at home.
Thank you to Chief Executive Officer Joseph Caputo for giving me a tour of the facility.
I dropped by the Kan-O-Tex Service Station in Galena to see the real-life Mater, which inspired the character from the Pixar movie “Cars.” The station was restored in 2006 by four women and they turned it into a hotspot for tourists all over the world.
I also hosted Coffee with Your Congresswoman events in Blue Rapids, Seneca, and Leavenworth. Thanks to all the folks who came out to ask questions and share their thoughts.
I went on local manufacturing tours in Seneca and Leavenworth last week. It was great to see American workers making American products.  Thanks to Koch and Co. Inc., Cereal Ingredients and Henke Manufacturing for showing me your operations.
A tornado recently went through Bern, and thankfully no one was seriously injured. I met with first responders and they told me an army of volunteers was there first thing the next morning.
That’s Kansas for you. Thank you to all who volunteered.