WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — KSN News sent a questionnaire to each candidate facing a challenger in the November general election. We have not made any edits to the candidate’s answers.
Current Occupation: Congressman for Kansas 1st District, U.S. House of Representatives
Education: Quinter High School, Kansas State University (degree in Agricultural Economics, served as Student Body President)
Previous Political & Community Positions: Served as 50th Lt. Governor of Kansas; Past Board Member, Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership Program; Past Board Member, Kansas Chamber of Commerce;
Family: Wife (Audrey Mann) and four kids
Campaign website/Facebook/Social Media:
What are the top three things you think deserve your immediate attention in Washington, and what action would you take on them, including how you’d compromise with members of the other party?
When I think of the top three things that deserve my immediate attention I think of the Farm Bill, the right to life, and the Second Amendment. The Farm Bill needs to be reauthorized for 2023, and in order for that to happen, we will need to work across the aisle. Protecting crop insurance is my number one priority within the Farm Bill – if we make any changes to that program, we will need to use a scalpel not a sledgehammer. I also want to make sure that the Farm Bill continues to promote and support both domestic and international ag trade, and that any and all oversight within the bill doesn’t amount to federal government overreach. I am willing to make certain compromises to reauthorize a strong Farm Bill, but I am not willing to make any compromises, however, on provisions relating to the right to life, and the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans.
What should be done to fight inflation and fix the country’s economy?
The Biden Administration has a spending addiction. Injecting $1.9 trillion of government spending into the economy has clearly deteriorated the value of the dollar and hurt the purchasing power of the American family. We are experiencing the highest price increases since the Great Recession. Inflation and price increases are hurting not only consumers, but also businesses up and down the supply chain. Small businesses all over the country are being forced to raise their costs due to supply chain issues, labor shortages, or both. To get inflation under control and stop consumer costs from rising even further, President Biden and Congress need to end the deficit spending. I cosponsor H.J.Res.3, which proposes a balance budget amendment to the Constitution, H.R. 2056, which sunsets unauthorized spending programs, and H.Con.Res.44c, which would require the Comptroller General to present an annual fiscal state of the nation to Congress.
Share your thoughts on abortion rights and restrictions.
In the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence, our nation’s founding fathers listed three unalienable rights that people possess as an endowment from God. They chose to put the right to life first, because all other rights hinge upon that most basic one. I believe that life begins at conception, and I will fight to protect the life of the unborn. I support adoptions, foster care, and crisis pregnancy centers that work tirelessly to care for mothers and their babies. Devaluing the life of unborn children has desensitized America. I support life-saving resources that value the life of both the mother and the child, and I believe that taxpayer dollars should never be used to fund abortion. I support pro-life legislation including the Born-Alive Survivor Protection Act, the Protecting Individuals with Down Syndrome Act, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, and more.
What needs to be done about health care?
Congress must strengthen the Medicare program and ensure that the Americans who depend on it have access and choices to receive the health care that they need, including lower prescription drug costs and affordable premiums for Medicare health plan options. This is a hometown issue for me, as the Big First District has more critical access hospitals than any other Congressional district. I cosponsor several pieces of legislation and have cosigned many letters supporting critical access hospitals and allowing for more health care options for Kansans. I cosponsor H.R. 19, the Lower Costs, More Cures Act of 2021. The bill would provide an out-of-pocket cap for seniors in Medicare Part D, cap the cost of insulin for seniors in Medicare Part D, create more transparency around drug prices for patients, and reduce the cost of cancer treatment and other drug administration for Medicare beneficiaries. I also cosponsor H.R. 6700, the Critical Access Hospital Relief Act, H.R. 8565, the Rural HELP Act, H.R. 4390, the Protect 340B Act, and more.
In terms of telehealth, one of the few bright spots of COVID-19 era legislation was the loosened restrictions on telehealth practices, which allowed providers to stay connected to their patients from afar, and which was particularly helpful for folks in rural areas. I am committed to making sure that these pandemic exemptions remain permanent. I cosponsor several pieces of telehealth legislation including the Telehealth Modernization Act, which would allow patients to use telehealth services wherever they are. I also cosponsor H.R. 2903, the Connect for Health Act, as well as the Protecting Access to Post COVID-10 Telehealth Act and the Expanded Telehealth Access Act, which would both eliminate restrictions on the use of telehealth in Medicare and allow occupational therapists to provide telehealth services.
Do you think we need immigration reform, and what changes would you support?
I believe that America’s first focus should be securing our southern border and fixing the humanitarian and drug crisis that President Biden’s policies have created there. I support legal immigration, but I am against offering mass amnesty to millions of people who have entered our country illegally, which just encourages more illegal border crossings. Republicans and Democrats agree that Congress should reform immigration policy, but Speaker Pelosi will not consider reasonable, bipartisan legislation that first secures the southern border.
During President Biden’s first week in office, he halted border wall construction after the funds were already appropriated by Congress. This resulted in DOD contractors getting paid millions of dollars a day to sit and watch steel bake in the sun. I have been to the border and I have seen the heartbreak. Overcrowded facilities are overwhelming customs and border patrol agents. Texas migrant facilities are well over 700% capacity, and the cartels will throw migrant children into the Rio Grande as a distraction to avoid being apprehended. I cosponsor H.R. 812, the Security First Act, doubling the annual technology and equipment budget for the border, H.R. 2729, the Finish the Wall Act, requiring the Secretary of Homeland Security to resume all activities related to the construction of the border wall system within 24 hours of enactment, and H.R. 2300, the Slash Immigration Executive Orders Act, revoking several of Biden’s executive actions that have greatly contributed to the border crisis. All these bills await further action in the House. A genuine, workable solution to this issue requires open dialogue between the American people, Congress, and the President.
What are your thoughts on election integrity in Kansas? Across the United States? Would you change the election process, and how?
The democratic process is the bedrock of our country, and states have the right to free and fair elections. In our country, individual states have the primary responsibility to administer federal elections in an orderly manner, but they must be held accountable by Congress. I support voter ID laws, which are currently in place in Kansas, and I think every state in our country would be smart to follow suit.
Where do you stand on LGBTQ issues and rights?
America is a free country, and consenting adults have the right to do as they please when they are in private. Parents, however, also have the right to decide what kind of material our children are exposed to in elementary school. I stand against force-feeding children a leftist, progressive vision of human sexuality and gender in the classroom.
Share your stance on gun control/Second Amendment rights.
I stand against any efforts to diminish or weaken the rights of law-abiding citizens to own, carry, and use firearms. The Second Amendment is a load-bearing wall in our Constitution. If you weaken a load-bearing wall, it compromises the entire structure. Last year, President Biden penned six anti-Second Amendment executive actions in one day, banning handmade guns altogether, defining a pistol as a short-barreled rifle allowing for more intense regulation, and mandating a report on gun gifting and trading. We can no longer sit idly by and watch while a single administration attempts to dictate the direction of our country through dozens of executive orders with no input from Congress. Congress was created to legislate. Governing by executive order is not legislating. That’s why I introduced H.R. 716, the More Accountability is Necessary Now (MANN) Act – requiring the executive branch to notify the American public and Congress with its intent to issue any new, or revoke any existing, executive order pertaining to the rights of law-abiding Americans to own, carry, and use firearms. I also introduced H.R. 1758, the Home Defense and Competitive Shooting Act, which pushes back on President Biden’s intent to re-define pistols as short-barreled rifles and eliminates the prohibition on transporting short-barreled rifles in the interstate commerce.
What are your thoughts on climate change? What should Congress do about it, if anything?
My experience is that America’s ag producers are careful stewards of their land, and Congress should ensure that they have the resources they need to do their jobs well and then get out of their way. I support legislation that allows for voluntary, locally led conservation efforts, but the left has been using “climate change” to scare people into tolerating the obscene spending implications of their liberal wish list. The so-called “Inflation Reduction Act,” which will do nothing to reduce inflation, contains more than $250 billion in Green New Deal spending and a gives the EPA a brand new $27 billion climate slush fund. The Bill also contains $12 billion in new taxes on oil and gas producers, expanding the senseless war on producers of fossil fuels. Spending like this cannot continue.