Congressional briefing: Roberts did read intelligence report before Iraq invasion
Here are today's headlines from the Kansas congressional delegation:
Sen. Pat Roberts (R)
(The Hill) Few senators read Iraq NIE report: Only a handful of senators outside the Intelligence Committee say they read the full 92-page National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq's ability to attack the U.S. before voting to go to war, according to a survey conducted by The Hill. The low interest in the classified estimate, or NIE, could offer valuable cover to the five senators seeking the presidency who acknowledged during recent debates that they did not read the complete document before the pivotal Iraq vote. ... Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy, one of the senators who read the report and a staunch critic of the war, said the findings were "enough to have me vote against going to war in Iraq." But others said that the NIE report had enough intelligence to back the administration's vehement claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in his possession. "I thought he had WMD based on the NIE report of 2002," said Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), who read the report and sat on the Intelligence panel.
Earlier: Brownback didn't read intelligence report before Iraq invasion
(Pratt Tribune) Bill threatens private fliers: The new Federal Aviation Administration re-authorization bill includes creating a new $25 user fee for all turbine prop aircraft for every operation that uses air traffic control and creates a 360 percent increase in fuel taxes for general aviation. The combination would have a serious impact on all general aviation. ... Kansas leads the nation in revenue generated by general aviation with $7 billion annually per capita or $2,500 per resident, Bell said. ... Kansas Congressmen are not supporting the bill. "I will work to fight against this new scheme and to ensure that general aviation gets a fair shake from the FAA," said Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts. The bill is headed to the Senate Finance Committee. Roberts is a member of the committee and he does have jurisdiction, said Sarah Little, Roberts's communications director. Rep. Todd Tiahrt and Sen. Sam Brownback also oppose user fees, Little said.
Rep. Dennis Moore (D)
(OhMyNews commentary) Iraqi Unions Speak Out Against U.S. Occupation: Democratic Congressman Dennis Moore of Kansas insisted to Hussein that there would be "chaos" if the U.S. military withdrew, to which the Iraqi labor leader replied, "isn't there right now bloodshed and occupation?" Hussein also argued that the peaceful areas in Iraq are where occupation forces have withdrawn. But Moore insisted that Iraqi Shias and Sunnis have hated and fought each other for generations. When Hussein denied this, Moore asked her whether she was Shia or Sunni, to which Hussein replied, "Iraqi."
(Providence Journal) Commemorative coins will help fund Disabled Veterans Memorial: In order to finance construction of the Disabled Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., the U.S. House of Representatives passed unanimously on May 14 the American Veterans Disabled for Life Commemorative Coin Act. This requires the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins to help finance construction of the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial. The bill awaits Senate approval. The bill, cosponsored by Representatives Dennis Moore, R-Kan., and Mark Kirk, R-Ill., would mean the production of 350,000 silver dollars to honor the estimated 3 million living disabled American veterans and all those throughout U.S. military history.
Rep. Nancy Boyda (D)
(LJW) Boyda: Time to tell Bush no more war: U.S. Rep. Nancy Boyda on Monday criticized President Bush's handling of the war in Iraq, and touted a record $6.7 billion appropriations bill for medical services for veterans. "I think it's time to say 'President Bush, Congress no longer authorizes you to take this war in the direction we're going,'" said Boyda, a Democrat from Topeka whose district includes west Lawrence. Boyda had a news conference at a Veterans of Foreign Wars post to promote the House-approved veterans bill aimed at improving medical services at Veterans Affairs hospitals -- especially for soldiers suffering mental health illnesses -- and processing medical claims more rapidly.
(Washington Times) Democrats have own immigration problems: Clear divisions exist on the House side, where several freshman Democrats, such as Rep. Nancy Boyda of Kansas, a member of the Immigration Reform Caucus, oppose the current Senate plan. "Congress needs to prove to the American people that it can control the borders, and that comes with addressing border security first and only until that trust can be restored," said Boyda spokeswoman Shanan Guinn. "Until you take care of that problem, talking about anything else is not going to satisfy rebuilding that trust."
Rep. Jerry Moran (R)
(The Hill) Intern of the Week: Moran intern is not in Kansas anymore: He may feel more comfortable driving a tractor than riding the Metro, but Taylor Calcara, 20, likes his job on the Hill. Calcara comes from Great Bend, Kan., a town of 15,000, where he grew up working on a wheat farm. Now he is interning with Rep. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), having arrived in D.C. May 21. The Kansas State junior had never been to the East Coast before. "It's kind of different here; you can't just go fishing," he said. He is surprised at how young Hill staff seems to be. Do they get things done? "Definitely in Congressman Moran's office," he said.
Congressional briefing appears semi-regularly, Monday through Friday. If you've seen a news story or other blog entry about the Kansas Congressional delegation that we've missed, do let us know.