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An early start


Sen. Sam Brownback is already vetting President Bush's Supreme Court nominee - before that nominee is even named.[The Hill reports today][1]: "Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), a conservative member of the Judiciary Committee, plans to meet this week with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who has been mentioned as a possible Supreme Court nominee."Asked whether Gonzales would be a good nominee, Brownback replied, 'I need to talk with him about his view of the Constitution to tell. That's what I hope to do this week.'"Brownback rejected the notion that the meeting is premature: 'If people are throwing names around, I think it's timely to talk with individuals in the process.' President Bush has defended Gonzales, whom he called a great friend, after conservative groups spoke out against his possible nomination to the high court."No word on when an actual nominee will be named.Other links:Pat Roberts links [(Kansas City Star) Senator tells of Guantanamo trip:][2] A weekend trip to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, convinced Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas that some suspected terrorist detainees there are better off than some Kansans. For well-behaved detainees, there is outdoor volleyball, soccer and pingpong amid the soft tropical breezes. Prayers five times a day. "Very humane" interrogations, Roberts said, one of which he witnessed.[(AP) London Police Searching Surveillance Tapes:][3] Since last week's attack, authorities have been collecting such tapes from traffic and transportation agencies, local authorities and businesses. Thousands of cameras monitor London's streets, trains and buses. A key U.S. senator said he was sure al-Qaida was behind the attack. ``There is no question in my mind personally that this is an al-Qaida operation,'' said Senate Intelligence Chairman Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican. [(Wisconsin Ag Connection) Senators Appeal to Taiwan and Egypt to Keep Beef Trade:][4] The American Meat Institute said that Senator Pat Roberts led the effort to encourage Egypt to continue beef trade with the United States, while asking Taiwan to resume beef trade that has been temporarily suspended since 25 June following the discovery of a second case of BSE in the United States. "We greatly appreciate the positive bilateral trading relationship our countries enjoy," the senators said. Sam Brownback links [(AP) Mayor Argues Against Expanding Voucher Program:][5] Mayor Anthony Williams is opposing a plan from Congress to let D.C. students use school vouchers at private high schools in the suburbs. ... Kansas Senator Sam Brownback proposed to expand the program to schools outside the city because of a shortage of space for high school students at private schools in D.. His proposal could be attached to the D.C. budget bill.[(Family News in Focus) Senate Poised to Vote on Funding Embryonic Stem Cell Research:][6] Federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research is scheduled for a Senate vote sometime this week. The legislation, which has already passed the House, would reverse the Bush administration policy. Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., would like to make sure taxpayers are not forced to support the destruction of human life. "Some people say, 'Well, this is no more than medical waste,' " Brownback said, "But it's actually young human life. Biologically, these are young humans that we would be paying to do research on and destroying to research and that's just a barrier to which we should not go as a country."[(The Hill) Healthcare providers look to dodge new mandates:][7] After a series of behind-the-scenes talks with key senators, companies that supply medical devices, drugs and other products appear to have dodged an onerous regulatory bullet. The suppliers, known as hospital group-purchasing organizations (GPOs), received a boost when three senators and the hospital industry backed new voluntary ethical guidelines for the industry. The Judiciary Committee has scrutinized the potentially anti-competitive practices of these GPOs. But today Sens. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz), Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), all members of the judiciary panel, plan to offer their support of the GPOs' guidelines. Jim Ryun links [(AP) Roberts says no evidence of mistreatment at Guantanamo Bay:][8] Kansas Rep. Jim Ryun, who traveled to Guantanamo on Monday with a delegation of about a dozen members of Congress, said it would be "a huge mistake" to close the camp. "It was an opportunity to confirm what our reports provided before, that the enemy combatants are well taken care of at the same time they are being interrogated," Ryun said of his trip.How to contact As always, you can find information to contact members of the Kansas congressional delegation [here.][9] [1]: http://www.thehill.com/thehill/export/TheHill/News/Frontpage/071205/brownback.html [2]: http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/local/12109562.htm [3]: http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-5134025,00.html [4]: http://www.wisconsinagconnection.com/story-national.cfm?Id=696&yr=2005 [5]: http://www.wjla.com/news/stories/0705/242593.html [6]: http://www.family.org/cforum/fnif/news/a0037156.cfm [7]: http://www.thehill.com/thehill/export/TheHill/News/Frontpage/071205/healthcare.html [8]: http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/news/nation/12107666.htm [9]: http://ljworld.com/extra/where_to_write.html#fed


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