PRESS REPORT: ROBERTS SKIPPED AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE HEARINGS 65% OF THE TIME OVER THE PAST 15 YEARS

PRESS REPORT: ROBERTS SKIPPED AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE HEARINGS 65% OF THE TIME OVER THE PAST 15 YEARS

Despite Actually Living In Washington DC, Senator Roberts Barely Managed to Show Up For His Job A Third of the Time

SHAWNEE (Oct. 13) – A story published today in the Topeka Capital Journal reports that Sen. Pat Roberts has only “attended slightly more than one-third of Senate Agriculture Committee meetings during the past 15 years of his political career in Washington, D.C.," said Jim Jonas, campaign manager for the Orman campaign.

The paper, citing documents from the U.S. Government Printing Office related to committee attendance, calculated Sen. Roberts’ attendance rate at a measly 35.5 percent, having shown up for just 71 of 201 hearings of the Agriculture Committee from 2000 to 2014.

“Washington is broken because career politicians like Senator Roberts go there and look out for their own interests, rather than working for the people who sent them there,” Jonas said. “It’s bad enough that Senator Roberts doesn’t live in Kansas, and barely visits, but the fact that he isn’t even showing up for the job Kansans are paying for him to do in Washington, DC – where he lives – shows that Senator Roberts has forgotten the people of Kansas and is failing to represent their interests.”

Citing government records, the Capital Journal documented that over the past 15 years Sen. Roberts:

  • Failed to attend a 2008 committee hearing on the unfolding financial crisis – on the same day the Treasury Department announced it needed to buy up $250 billion in troubled assets from failing U.S. financial institutions to prevent an economic meltdown.
  • Skipped committee hearings on avian flu in both 2005 and 2006, though he found time to pen a newspaper op-ed declaring he was taking “the threat of bird flu seriously.”
  • Ditched a committee hearing on drought at the same time the Kansas Geological Survey reported southwest Kansas was suffering conditions "more severe than the peak year of the Dust Bowl."
  • Was a no-show in both 2002 and 2008 when the committee held hearings on disaster assistance.

This record is just flat out unacceptable, Jonas said.

“Every hard-working Kansan knows that if you skip work 65 percent of the time, you are going to be fired,” Jonas said. “It’s as simple as that. Agriculture is crucial to the Kansas economy, and Senator Roberts' miserable attendance record proves he felt he had better things to do than show up for the job the taxpayers are paying him to do.”

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