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Fighting against political theater and partisan politics
Estes Congressional Chronicle
Ron Estes.jpg
Rep. Ron Estes (R-Kansas)

Each month I want to provide you with regular updates about what’s going on in our nation’s capital and throughout the 4th District of Kansas. Here’s what has happened in July.

Robert Mueller Hearing

House Democrats on the Oversight and Judiciary Committees capped off July with a hearing featuring Special Counsel Robert Mueller about his report into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Mueller’s investigation lasted 675 days, cost taxpayers $35 million and involved 19 lawyers, 40 FBI agents, 2,800 subpoenas, and 500 search warrants. Following this massive effort, in April Mueller finally ended his investigation, closed his office and found no evidence of collusion. The Department of Justice also found no evidence of obstruction of justice based on Mueller’s investigation. 

This case should have been closed that day. But instead, Democrats have remained obsessed with more rounds of investigations and hearings, all as part of their underlying goal to impeach the president.

We have a massive crisis on our southern border, rising health care costs and the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement needing approval from Congress. However, House Democrats continued to waste another day and more tax dollars on a hearing instead of accomplishing results for the American people. Americans deserve better and I hope Congress and our country can move on to focusing on priorities for our country.

A Partisan National Defense Authorization Act

Many Kansans and Americans throughout our country agree that we must support our Armed Forces, and for nearly 60 years, Congress has come together in a bipartisan manner to pass the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Sadly, that spirit of working together to keep America safe ended this year.

Unlike last year’s NDAA, which passed in the House 359-54, this year’s partisan bill includes cuts to troop funding, cuts to essential programs, and closes GITMO, creating an opportunity to move imprisoned terrorists to American soil. That’s not the kind of treatment our troops deserve, and that’s why I couldn’t support such a divisive bill.

My colleagues and I tried to make the NDAA stronger, but once again, Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic majority limited our ability to work together. When Republicans oversaw the previous two NDAAs, the then-minority Democratic party was able to make more or nearly the same amount of floor amendments as the then-Republican majority. Last year, it was 155 Democrat amendments and 116 Republican amendments. The year before that it was 106 and 104. This year, House Democrats made 283 amendments on the floor, while Republicans could only make 62.

This extreme number of amendments, made by extreme members of the Democratic party, has made for an extremely partisan and out-of-touch NDAA that is not what’s best for our men and women in uniform and the entire Department of Defense.

I’m urging my colleagues on the left to drop the partisanship and work with us to fund our military, support our troops and protect our country. The Senate was able to pass a bipartisan NDAA 86-8. Surely House Republicans and Democrats can do the same.

Minimum Wage Cost/Benefit Analysis

The Congressional Budget Office recently released a report on the effect of raising the minimum wage to $15. While the policy would boost wages for some, it might only lift 1.3 million workers out of poverty at the cost of eliminating 1.3 to 3.7 million jobs and raising prices for consumers.

Unfortunately, House Democrats ignored this warning and pushed through the Raise the Wage Act, which passed 231-199.

Increasing wages for families is critical, and I’m proud that under pro-growth policies we enacted last Congress, wages are growing at their fastest rate in a decade. Yet while there is more to do, this analysis should be a clear indicator that workers should be paid fairly without a top-down, government approach that mandates benefits for some at the expense of others.

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Update

New data from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation shows that thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, total tax liability fell for every income group last year except people making more than $1 million.

Despite doomsday rhetoric from opponents to the law, I’m glad our tax cuts are helping middle-class Americans keep more money in their pockets.

Repealing the Cadillac Tax

The U.S. House voted to repeal the Cadillac Tax recently, a 40% tax originally included as a way to help pay for Obamacare by targeting expensive employer health insurance plans.

However, in practice, it would have been middle-class workers bearing the real burden to pay for it through higher income and payroll taxes. I’m glad my colleagues realized the bad implications of this tax and worked in a bipartisan way to repeal it.

Instead of propping up the failed Obamacare through higher taxes and reduced choices, we must get serious about improving health care and our economy.

Standing with Israel

Israel is the United States’ strongest ally in the Middle East. For decades, we’ve had a close, mutual bond with our Israeli friends across party lines.

Recently, there’s been a growing coalition of radical Members of Congress who despise our relationship with this ally, fueled by a dangerous global campaign against Israel called the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

Like most Kansans, I believe the United States should stand firm with our Middle Eastern partner and Jewish friends. The Senate passed meaningful, bipartisan legislation to take actions against the BDS movement earlier this year. In a stark contrast, the House voted recently on a non-binding, anti-BDS resolution. The vote exposed two truths: the Democratic party is fractured and their leadership is unwilling to bring forth meaningful legislation in fear of retaliation from the extreme left.

Despite the political theater, I’m glad the resolution overwhelmingly passed with bipartisan support – 398 to 17 with 5 Members voting Present. I’ll continue to press for common sense legislation that protects the United States and our global allies.


Connect with Me

Interested in getting regular updates about what’s going on in Congress? Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter at and please don’t hesitate to reach out to my District Office in Wichita at 316-262-8992 if you have questions or concerns.

Ron Estes is a 5th generation Kansan and represents Kansas’ 4th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means.

Rep. Estes Releases Statement on Budget Vote


WASHINGTON, D.C. —Congressman Ron Estes (R-Kansas) released the following statement on today’s vote to increase budget caps and suspend the debt ceiling until July 31, 2021:

“Today’s spending bill will add $2 trillion to the federal debt over the next decade, increasing our nation’s debt to 97% of GDP by 2029. By raising budget caps $322 billion and suspending the debt ceiling until 2021, this deal gives Washington free reign to increase government spending at will for the next two years while kicking the can down the road. Despite the Trump administration proposing $574 billion in cost offsets, the final deal includes just $77 billion in offsets; not enough to justify this massive increase in spending,” said Rep. Estes.

“Although I am glad this bill includes important investments in our military and protections for pro-life policies, the overall spending levels are dangerous and irresponsible,” continued Rep. Estes. “While I voted against today’s budget, I am committed to working with President Trump to cut government spending and grow our economy to protect future generations of Kansans and Americans.”   

Ron Estes is a 5th generation Kansan and represents Kansas’ 4th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means.