Kansas Senate Candidates Clash Over Missed Ebola Hearing

Kansas Senate Candidates Clash Over Missed Ebola Hearing

Michael Mahoney
KMBC

KANSAS CITY, Mo. —The candidates in the Kansas race for U.S. Senate are arguing over whether a hearing on Ebola that incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts missed last month is a big deal or not. Roberts missed the Senate Health Committee hearing Sept. 16 on the threat of the Ebola outbreak in western Africa and the testimony of top government health experts. 

Roberts said the U.S. should stop anyone from western Africa from entering the country for now.

Roberts and Independent challenger Greg Orman discussed the missed hearing during a debate between the two candidates Wednesday in Wichita.

"When you had an opportunity to do something about (Ebola), Senator, you chose to skip the hearing," said Orman. "I think that's a real problem for Kansas."

"The hearing was held out of session, during September," Roberts said.

The Senate was in session on the day of the hearing. Roberts even cast two roll call votes on the Senate floor that day. When KMBC first reported the story earlier this week, Roberts' campaign manager said the senator's Washington staff monitored the hearing for him.

During the debate, Orman said he also believes the United States should suspend air travel with western Africa while the crisis is being dealt with.

The debate was the final face-to-face showdown between the two candidates before Election Day.

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