Advertisement

Archive for Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Boyda undergoes House orientation

Rep.-elect aims for seat on Armed Services committee

November 14, 2006

Advertisement

— During a quick break between orientation meetings Monday on Capitol Hill, newly elected House member Nancy Boyda summed up her feelings in two words: "Overwhelming responsibility."

Boyda, a Democrat who defeated five-term Kansas Republican Rep. Jim Ryun last week, was among 50 incoming House freshmen learning the basics about being a federal lawmaker.

"We haven't broken ground on how we're going to solve health care yet," she joked.

Top priorities

Turning to more practical matters, she said her top priority in Congress will be to focus on constituent services, an area where she has criticized Ryun as weak.

She also is aiming for a seat on the House Armed Services Committee, given the strong military presence in her district, which includes Fort Riley, Fort Leavenworth and Forbes Field, near Topeka.

Under Democratic leadership next year, the Armed Services Committee is expected to take a more active role in questioning military strategy in Iraq.

Boyda has called the Iraq war a mistake and says the United States must establish a realistic timeline for withdrawal to encourage the Iraqis to form a functioning government.

Describing herself as a political moderate, Boyda stressed that she understands and respects conservative voters and grew up in a conservative family.

"Sometimes people make remarks about the right wing and I say, 'That's my family; they're good people,"' she said.

Boyda was in Washington with her husband and campaign manager, Steve Boyda, who said he is helping his wife set up offices and hire staff.

He said he doesn't plan to become part of her permanent staff.

"I'll certainly stay plugged into issues because it's in my own interest as well," Steve Boyda said. "When she's not able to make a presentation or speech in Kansas, on occasion, I'll speak on her behalf or make an appearance on her behalf."

Boyda and the other incoming freshmen attended meetings for most of the day before going to the White House for an evening reception with President Bush.

Seeking predecessor advice

Rep.-elect Nancy Boyda speaks with a reporter Monday during a break in the congressional orientation for new House members in Washington. Boyda said her top priority in Congress would be a focus on constituent services.

Rep.-elect Nancy Boyda speaks with a reporter Monday during a break in the congressional orientation for new House members in Washington. Boyda said her top priority in Congress would be a focus on constituent services.

Boyda said she intends to seek advice from Ryun, although the two have not spoken since she defeated him a week ago, 51 percent to 47 percent.

Ryun says he has left repeated messages with Boyda.

"He left a message," Boyda said Monday. "We've tried to contact his office, but we're having a real disconnect."

She insisted there is no animosity between the two and said her transition director has been in contact with Ryun's office.

She also will seek advice from Kansas Reps. Jerry Moran, a Republican, and Dennis Moore, a Democrat.

"They're both very well-respected for their constituent service," Boyda said.

Boyda made health care reform a key part of her election platform and said she plans to focus on discouraging policies that encourage consumers to purchase prescription drugs by mail instead of from local pharmacists.

"The money that used to stay in our communities is now being shipped to New Jersey," she said.

Meanwhile, Boyda said that she doesn't plan to move permanently to Washington.

She said that she was looking for a one-bedroom apartment and planned to commute home on the weekends, like many other congressional members do.

Comments

63BC 8 years ago

So, if we're lucky, Boyda will get the most junior seat on a committee that Ryun was already on with ten years seniority.

Or she might get squadoosh.

Genius move, voters.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years ago

Or she might actually do more work in her first year than Ryun did in ten years.

Ken Miller 8 years ago

Republicans are going to target KS-02 and come hard at her in 2008. This district is overwhelmingly GOP in its registered voter count, and the Republicans are not likely to sit home during a Presidential election year. If Boyda is smart, she will concentrate on getting as much district pork as possible from the defense and transportation budgets - because it will be a decade or more (if she survives) before she will see any committee leadership positions.

roger_o_thornhill 8 years ago

So, do congress people get free parking @ the Cap?

johnpaul8379 8 years ago

So, if we're lucky, Boyda will get the most junior seat on a committee that Ryun was already on with ten years seniority.

At least she'll be in the majority.

63BC 8 years ago

Ft. Riley/Ft. Leavenworth added more than 10,000 direct jobs in the last BRAC round, with the multiplier effect make that closer to 30,000. That's what Ryun got done on Armed Services. Now we 'hope' Boyda will be on the same committee.

Look, if folks voted for her that's their prerogative but don't imagine that we won't take a hit by throwing that seniority out the window.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.