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Roberts' spokeswoman defends drug company contributions


Here are today's headlines from the Kansas congressional delegation:Sen. Pat Roberts (R)![][1][(USA Today) Senators who weakened drug bill got millions from industry:][2] Senators who raised millions of dollars in campaign donations from pharmaceutical interests secured industry-friendly changes to a landmark drug-safety bill, according to public records and interviews. ... Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said he demanded removal of language that would have allowed the FDA to ban advertising of high-risk drugs for two years because it would restrict free speech. Roberts has raised $18,000 from drug interests so far this year, records show, and $66,000 since 2001. His spokeswoman, Sarah Little, said he "takes great pains to keep fundraising and official actions separate."Rep. Dennis Moore (D) ![][3][(Wall Street Journal) Freddie Krueger Mac:][4] Just when you think they're defeated, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac arise in Congress to kill any attempt to clean up their dangerous habits. This week's scary movie comes as an attempt by four Members to blow up a carefully negotiated deal between Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank. Their deal would give Fan and Fred's regulator the power to limit the size of the companies' portfolios of mortgage-backed securities (MBSs) -- currently $1.4 trillion combined -- in the interests of safety and soundness. The four Congresspersons from Fan and Fred plan to offer an amendment to specify that portfolio limits could only be imposed if the two companies were in business jeopardy. In other words, they propose to gut the reform. To have the clout to take on Freddie and Fannie, a regulator needs the broadest possible authority to protect the financial system from packing so much housing risk in just two companies. Fan and Fred's friends on the Hill know this, and the game they're playing is to make it all but impossible for a regulator to limit the MBSs that are the source of most of their growth and profits -- and systemic financial risk. The four Members fronting for the scandal-plagued companies are Democrats Melissa Bean (Illinois) and Dennis Moore (Kansas) and Republicans Gary Miller (California) and Randy Neugebauer (Texas). They prove that corporate socialism isn't partisan, and no doubt they'll be handsomely rewarded with campaign contributions if their amendment succeeds.Rep. Nancy Boyda (D) ![][5][(Wichita Eagle) Ryun: GOP must win back congressional seat:][6] Former U.S. Rep. Jim Ryun said Friday that he would support whoever won the 2nd Congressional District Republican primary in 2008, but the party must take the seat back. Ryun, who was ousted in November after five terms by Democrat Nancy Boyda, announced in early April that he would run again. "We absolutely need to regain this seat for the Republicans," Ryun told about 25 Wichita Pachyderm Club members Friday over lunch. "I am excited because I believe that seat can come back to the 2nd District and I can be in that seat." Ryun will face opposition from Republican state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins, and possibly other Republicans.Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R) ![][7][(CQPolitics.com) Looks Like Thumbs-Down on an Outside Policeman for Lawmakers:][8] The bipartisan task force weighing the idea of installing an independent group to police House member behavior is leaning against handing the job over to outsiders. ... Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., appointed the task force in January after campaigning successfully on a pledge to get tough on ethics issues. But her task force members, chief among them Capuano, are no fans of giving outside groups the power to charge lawmakers with ethics violations. "I have concerns about protecting members' integrity," acknowledged panel member Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan.Etc.[(AP) Bush talks of weather disaster farm bill veto:][9] The House has passed legislation that would provide $3.5 billion of dollars for farmers and ranchers hurt by weather-related disasters, the third time that chamber has approved the farm money in the last two months. But President Bush has threatened to veto the measure, which passed late Thursday on a 302-120 vote, calling it "unnecessary and unwarranted." ... Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., called passage of the House measure "a major step forward" but warned that it only covers crop losses through the end of February 2007. "With our recent spring weather in Kansas, there is a need to extend this timeline and I will work to see that more losses are covered as this bill makes its way through the legislative process," Moran said. Moran's sprawling western Kansas district would receive more assistance under the House bill than any congressional district in the country. Democratic Rep. Nancy Boyda, of Topeka, said she urged House leaders to pass the disaster relief legislation quickly to help ease the financial burden on farmers and ranchers affected by recent flooding. [1]: http://roberts.senate.gov/Roberts-020405-18060-080-CFFflipped.jpg [2]: http://www.kare11.com/news/national/national_article.aspx?storyid=253837 [3]: http://ljworld.com/specials/election04/primary/moore.jpg [4]: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB117876393331198058.html?mod=googlenews_wsj [5]: http://ljworld.com/specials/election04/primary/boyda.jpg [6]: http://www.kansas.com/212/story/68172.html [7]: http://bioguide.congress.gov/bioguide/photo/T/T000260.jpg [8]: http://www.nytimes.com/cq/2007/05/11/cq_2710.html [9]: http://www.hutchnews.com/news/regional/stories/Farmbill051207.shtml


Keith 10 years, 6 months ago

His spokeswoman, Sarah Little, said he "takes great pains to keep fundraising and official actions separate."

And I bet she said it with a straight face too.

bunnyhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

I'm STILL trying to figure out exactly what Kansas constituency Roberts represents!!!! How many pharmeceutical companies are headquartered in Kansas?????????

dagopman 10 years, 6 months ago

I'm trying to figure out what constituency Boyda represents, other than the Boyda family constituency.

dagopman 10 years, 6 months ago

Kansas doesn't have one independent voice in Congress. The Republicans are controlled by the Drug Companies and the Democrats by the Trial Lawyers and the ACLU. Not very tasteful on either side.

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