Clay Center, Kan. — US Representative Tracey Mann made a stop in Clay Center Monday as part of his 41 town hall visits across the State of Kansas in his district.
Rep. Mann started off the conversation with area residents by discussing what he has accomplished so far in office.
He continued by saying there were efforts last year to do away with in regards to the tax provision that has been in place for decades. They have fought and fought to keep it in place, he added, and so far, they have been successful, but efforts are underway again to get rid of the provision.
Other things he mentioned was regulations they’re working to push back against, including Waters of the US or WOTUS, the lesser Prairie Chicken, and 30×30 land grab.
Later Rep. Mann discussed the past two years and how COVID has impacted the national debt.
Ongoing efforts, he added, is working on the farm bill for next year.
Other efforts involve supply chain and inflation issues. He said there are some tariffs we could lift that could help, like those on fertilizer. He said some regulations for truckers is another topic that should be looked at.
One of the first questions received after opening the floor to questions involved the 30×30 act and an update on where the initiative is, where Rep. Mann said there’s all kinds of questions about what is going on.
After a report came out this past summer titled, America the Beautiful, Rep. Mann said he introduced legislation to completely nix the executive order.
The next question involved the immigration process and what hope there is to solving the issue. Rep. Mann said the problem is the border which has been such a loud issue.
When he made a trip down to the border, he said he went to a hotspot at McAllen, Texas. Once he arrived, he was surprised by how the border patrol acted towards them.
The problem, Rep. Mann said, is it has been a problem for awhile and new policies from the Biden Administration have made it worse.
He said while that sounds compassionate, much of the Mexican side of the border is controlled by the cartels who are charging people $3-5,000 to be trafficked across the border into the United States.
Rep. Mann said back during the Trump Administration funds were approved for constructing the wall but construction was stopped and now the materials were sitting their waiting to be built.
Another issue is the cartels know where the border patrol is overwhelmed and avoid those areas while trafficking drugs like fentanyl into the U.S.
Next month, Title 42 is also set to end. The rule made it so individuals over 17-years-old from Mexico could not seek asylum in the U.S without having a negative COVID test. Rep. Mann believes that is just going to exacerbate the issue.
Another question surrounded the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) vaccine mandate. The mandate isn’t being enforced in Kansas, but federally it’s still enforced putting the mandate in limbo.
That brought up a whole other issue when it comes to staffing at hospitals. One person in attendance described what they saw in the hospital when a family member was admitted.
While staying at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, Kansas, they said, the empty beds she saw was shocking and they were told the family member got the last room available.
Rep. Mann then was asked about Ukraine. He said he doesn’t support having troops on the ground in Ukraine or enforcing a No-Fly Zone, but does support providing equipment.
The congressman continued there is a connection between Ukraine and Kansas.
He continued and stated that roughly 40 million people live in the country, but they feed 400 million in the surrounding countries.
The big question though for Ukraine, Rep. Mann said, is are they able to get their seeds in the ground. While an exact number isn’t known, the representative said what he’s heard is estimated production will drop to roughly 50%.
At the end of the discussion, Rep. Mann said to reach out if you have issues with federal government whether that be a crop insurance, visa or VA benefit problem. While he can’t promise they can help, they can get you in touch with those who might be able to.
KFRM covers news from across the state of Kansas, the Northern part of Oklahoma, and Southern part of Nebraska.
KCLY coverage area includes the nine counties of Clay, Cloud, Dickinson, Geary, Marshall, Ottawa, Riley, Republic, and Washington.