Sen. Jerry Moran

Grain donations help starving and farmers

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack and U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Gayle Smith today to prioritize donations of wheat in U.S. food aid to reduce food insecurity across the globe and the oversupply of wheat that is contributing to low prices.

“As I’ve been traveling across Kansas, I’ve witnessed the historic wheat harvest, surplus of high-quality wheat and resulting low wheat prices,” Sen. Moran said. “I’m hopeful we can utilize the current abundance of wheat stocks to provide even greater assistance to those in need to reduce food insecurity and support wheat farmers in Kansas and across the country.”

The Senate Fiscal Year 2017 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill supports food aid by providing additional funding for the Food for Peace program and maintaining elevated funding levels for the McGovern-Dole Food For Education Program.

GITMO transfers not OK

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), member of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, issued a statement following the Obama Administration’s largest single release of detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba:

“The White House is yet again displaying a disturbing lack of judgment and transparency with the largest single release of GITMO detainees during President Obama’s time in office,” Sen. Moran said. “I have pushed to strengthen oversight of the Periodic Review Board — which determines the transfer of GITMO detainees — and to bolster congressional authorization before releasing detainee terrorists who pose a threat to the security of the United States and its citizens. This administration and foreign countries have lost track of numerous detainees, which escalates the risk for our military men and women if the detainees return to the battlefield. I am staunchly opposed to closing the detention facility and will continue working to keep the remaining 61 detainees at GITMO.”

The Obama Administration has been rapidly transferring detainees from GITMO since 2010. GITMO detainees, such as Ibrahim al-Qosi who is a spokesman and recruiter for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and Muhammad Salih Husayn al-Shaykh, who has pledged to kill as many Americans as possible, continue to return to terrorism. The total reengagement rate of GITMO detainees returning to the battlefield is now at more than 30 percent.

Sen. Moran has long advocated against relocating Guantanamo Bay detainees, works to uphold current law by sponsoring multiple amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act, and sponsors the following legislation:

The Protections Against Terrorist Transfer Act of 2016 (S. 2780) to strengthen the certification requirements relating to the transfer or release of detainees at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba The Detainee Transfer Transparency Act (S. 2788) to make available to the public the intended transfer or release of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, at least 21 days in advance The Detaining Terrorists to Protect America Act (S. 165) to prohibit the transfer to the United States of detainees designated medium- or high-risk for two years and ban transfers to Yemen, where dozens of the remaining Guantanamo detainees are from S. 2559 to prevent President Obama from giving GITMO back to Cuba without proper Congressional approval

Additionally, Sen. Moran introduced a Senate Resolution to detain Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant fighters at GITMO.

Congressman Mike Pompeo

Fuel fraud provision flawed

Congressman Mike Pompeo (KS-04) commended the Government Accountability Office for the release of its study on the fuel fraud provision, which has been diverting non-commercial jet fuel tax revenue, paid for by business and general aviation, to the Highway Trust Fund.

Congressman Pompeo’s amendment to last year’s Highway Bill required the GAO to conduct a study to assess the relevance of the fuel fraud provision and quantify the revenue losses associated with the diversion. The report found that general aviation and the Airport and Airway Trust Fund have lost an estimated total of $1 to $2 billion since fiscal year 2006, following the fuel fraud provision’s enactment.

“This GAO report not only confirms that the fuel fraud provision is deeply flawed and misguided, it demonstrates that the impact on general aviation is far worse than we originally thought. This policy serves no practical purpose in the real world and has accomplished nothing short of robbing the aviation industry of billions of dollars over the past decade. Now that we have the facts, it’s time for Congress to fix this problem that it created.”

“Kansas and my hometown of Wichita, the Air Capital of the World, is home to thousands of hardworking engineers, machinists, Fixed Base Operators, pilots, flight instructors, and families who depend on a healthy general aviation industry. A tax on general aviation is a tax on them, especially when those tax dollars aren’t reinvested in aviation. I appreciate the GAO’s work on this report and look forward to working with my friends in Congress to correct this incredibly misguided fuel fraud provision in a manner that supports the general aviation industry.”

ISIS intelligence manipulated

Congressman Mike Pompeo (KS-04) commented on a report from a congressional joint task force investigating allegations of intelligence manipulation at U.S. Central Command regarding the fight against ISIS. This report comes after a several months investigation by the task force, which comprised Congressman Pompeo, Congressman Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) and Congressman Ken Calvert (R-CA).

“After months of investigation, this much is very clear: from the middle of 2014 to the middle of 2015, U.S. Central Command’s most senior intelligence leaders manipulated the command’s intelligence products to downplay the threat from ISIS in Iraq. The result: consumers of those intelligence products were provided a consistently ‘rosy’ view of U.S. operational success against ISIS. That may well have resulted in putting American troops at risk as policymakers relied on this intelligence when formulating policy and allocating resources for the fight.

“The cultural breakdown in Central Command’s intelligence process resulted from an administration-wide understanding that bad news from Iraq and Syria was not welcomed. Claims that ISIS was the ‘JV team’ and that al-Qaeda was ‘on the run’ were both a result — and a cause — of the politicization of intelligence at CENTCOM. This intelligence manipulation provided space for both ISIS and al-Qaeda to grow and it put America at risk.

“Intelligence products always contain some level of uncertainty. But during this period, nearly every error was in one direction: downplaying the threat from radical Islamic terror consistent with the administration’s narrative that this threat was not significant. I urge the Department of Defense Inspector General to hold accountable the intelligence leaders that failed our service members fighting our wars on the ground.”

We need answers on Iran payments

Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS) released the following statement regarding his letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew seeking answers regarding the lawfulness of the United States’ $400 million cash transfer to Iran, which occurred as American hostages were released.

“Since January, I and many others in Congress have been trying to get details about the $1.7 billion President Obama announced he was paying Iran. As the Obama administration stays silent on the matter, news reports have given us quite a bit of frightening information — specifically that the U.S. sent $400 million in pallets of cash to the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.

“Yet again, we are pounding the Obama administration for information. My letter asks the Treasury Department how and why it circumvented, or broke, U.S. law. The American people deserve to know the truth about how their taxpayer dollars are being used and if our country paid a ransom.”