Congress

Brendan Smialowski / AFP/Getty Images

The reaction to U.S. President Donald Trump's Helsinki summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin from both Republicans and Democrats has been largely, although not exclusively, negative. The same goes for Kansas members of and candidates for Congress. Here's what some of them are saying:

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Under former President George W. Bush, the highest ceiling on the number of refugees admitted into the U.S. was 80,000. Under Barack Obama, it was 110,000. President Donald Trump set this year's cap at 45,000.

“And based on the numbers so far, we're looking at less than half that many that we were told would be allowed into the country," says Harold Schlechtweg, the advocacy coordinator with the International Rescue Committee in Kansas.

U.S. Senate

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas urged his colleagues to pass the 2018 Farm Bill during a speech on the U.S. Senate floor Tuesday.

"Our nation’s food and fiber capability with regards to production hang in the balance with what we do here on this legislation," said Roberts, the Republican chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee.

The committee passed the Farm Bill with bipartisan support two weeks ago.

Thursday had all the makings of deja vu for the U.S. House’s farm bill draft: immigration concerns, uncertain Republican votes and a wall of Democratic opposition to changes in the main federal food aid program.

In the end, the chamber avoided a repeat of May’s failure, when members of the conservative Freedom Caucus wanted to deal with immigration first. But the farm bill passed Thursday — narrowly, 213-211. Still, 20 Republicans voted against it, as did every Democrat in the chamber.

marshall.house.gov

Kansas Republican Rep. Roger Marshall says that despite the Farm Bill failing to pass in the House last week, he still expects it to pass.

No Democrats voted for the bill, and the Freedom Caucus, a small group of conservative Republicans, also withdrew their support until after immigration is discussed.

Marshall is on the House Agriculture committee. He says there are no plans to win over Democrats by backtracking on stricter work requirements for federal food aid.

Some conservative House Republicans made it clear Friday in voting down the 2018 farm bill: They’re not interested in a farm bill without working on immigration first.

Thirty Republicans and every Democrat voted against the farm bill, which failed 198-213 in the full House.

Liam James Doyle / NPR

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is testifying on Capitol Hill to answer questions about protecting user data.

usgs.gov

Watershed conservation groups in Wichita made their pitch Wednesday for more money from the federal farm bill.

But for two Kansas congressmen, conservation falls a bit lower on the wishlist.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

Congress has passed a $1.3 trillion spending bill that’ll keep the federal government running. In that package, which President Donald Trump signed on Friday, is a fix for a troublesome provision for some grain businesses.

Passed in last year’s tax overhaul, the provision allows farmers to deduct up to 20 percent of their earnings from selling crops — but only to cooperatives. That threatens businesses that aren’t co-ops but also buy and sell commodities like corn, soybeans and wheat, including large companies like Cargill and Bunge to small, local grain elevators.

Frank Morris / KCUR and NPR

One year ago Thursday, the national news media turned its attention to Olathe, Kansas, where Adam Purinton allegedly screamed racist taunts before shooting two Indian tech workers and another man who tried to defend them at Austin’s Bar and Grill.

One of the Indian men was killed, and the United States Department of Justice labeled it a hate crime.

The shooting sparked a discussion about xenophobia in the age of Trump, but it also drew attention to what some consider a broken visa system for high-tech workers.

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