U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) released the following statement after voting to confirm retired Gen. James Mattis for Defense Secretary and retired Gen. John Kelly for Homeland Security Secretary:
“On the same historic day where our great democracy peacefully transferred power from one president to another, my colleagues and I headed in from the East Front of the Capitol Building to the Senate floor and got to work confirming two of the president’s cabinet nominees. Swiftly confirming both secretaries in charge of our national security is critical to keeping Kansans and Americans safe as we face threats at home and abroad. Foreign adversaries looking to challenge the United States will be rethinking their plans with General James Mattis and General John Kelly at the helm.”
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai
Moran (R-Kan.) released the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s choice to designate Ajit Pai as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission:
“My fellow Kansan Ajit Pai is an excellent choice to lead the FCC. I have worked with him over the years through my role on the Senate Commerce Committee, traveled with him throughout our state, and gotten to know him on a personal level. I know him to be a capable and talented leader and one of the smartest people I have ever met when it comes to public policy. Ajit understands the importance of quality access to broadband and wireless connectivity, and I believe growing up in Kansas makes him uniquely qualified to advocate for rural America. I look forward to continuing to work with him to make certain we can improve connectivity and bring critical updates not only to our homes and businesses but also to our hospitals and schools.”
Senate’s confirmation of Mike Pompeo as CIA director
Moran (R-Kan.) released the following statement after voting to confirm Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) as Central Intelligence Agency Director:
“The CIA is a critical component of our intelligence community, and Kansans are proud to have Congressman Pompeo leading intelligence officers and analysts across the globe in this new role.”
Lesser Prairie Chicken Status Review
In a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Moran (R-Kan.) requested an extension of their deadline for comments and information relevant to the latest 90-day petition funding and status review of the lesser prairie chicken.
“Kansans are concerned about conserving the lesser prairie chicken and are interested in providing comments based on the most up-to-date information regarding the bird’s population and habitat area,” said Sen. Moran. “With results from WAFWA’s 2016 annual progress report expected to be finalized and made public in the near future, I urge the FWS to extend the deadline for comments to be submitted on the 90-day petition finding and species status review. Closing the comment period before the progress report regarding ongoing conservation efforts in the habitat area is finalized undercuts the ability of stakeholders to provide meaningful comments.”
On Nov. 30, 2016, the FWS issued a notice in the Federal Register regarding its 90-day finding that a petition to list the LPC as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act had presented substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that a listing may be warranted. The deadline for submitting comments was set for Jan. 30, 2017, before the completion of the 2016 LPC Range-wide Conservation Plan Annual Progress Report developed by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.
To stakeholders requesting a deadline extension in order to accommodate the best possible scientific information, the FWS has indicated an extension was unnecessary because it was open to receiving relevant information past the deadline. Sen. Moran today requested that the FWS reconsider their refusal to extend the deadline in order to help erase any confusion on when information may be provided to the FWS, and to grant stakeholders ample opportunity to provide comments.
The previous listing of the LPC as a threatened species was vacated by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit because the FWS failed to adequately take into account the impact of local, voluntary conservation efforts in the habitat areas to conserve the bird.