REPORT: SENATOR ROBERTS SKIPPED “MORE THAN 85 PERCENT OF SENATE HEALTH COMMITTEE SESSIONS” OVER THE PAST 15 YEARS

REPORT: SENATOR ROBERTS SKIPPED “MORE THAN 85 PERCENT OF SENATE HEALTH COMMITTEE SESSIONS” OVER THE PAST 15 YEARS

Senator Roberts Missed 65 percent of Agriculture Hearings Over the Same Time Period

Roberts Lives in Washington But Doesn’t Show Up For the Job We Pay Him to Do

SHAWNEE, KS– A story published yesterday by the Topeka Capital Journal reports that longtime Washington politician Senator Pat Roberts “missed 65 percent of Senate agriculture committee hearings over the past 15 years, while skipping more than 85 percent of Senate health committee sessions over that span.”

”Common folks who go to work each day for a paycheck have trouble comprehending how a system could develop in which public employees missed so much of the job without financial penalty,” the story said. The story also noted that “in the past, Roberts did weigh into the politics of committee attendance. In 2004, Roberts was critical of U.S. Sen. John Kerry because the Massachusetts Democrat and presidential candidate missed 75 percent of public Senate Intelligence Committee meetings from 1993 to 2000.”

“Senator Roberts lives in Washington, barely visits Kansas, and has consistently failed to show up for the job we’re paying him to do in Washington,” said Orman campaign manager Jim Jonas. “If any of us skipped work 85% of the time, we’d be fired. After 47 years in Washington, Senator Roberts has clearly lost touch with Kansas, and is failing to represent the people of this state.”

A review of hearings on the HELP committee that Senator Roberts skipped includes several meetings important to Kansans:

On the Ebola Virus:

Senator Roberts Skipped A Hearing On The Ebola Epidemic In September 2014. KSHB: “when Roberts had a chance, as a member of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, to attend a special joint hearing with top public health officials briefing lawmakers on the virus and the fight against it – he was a no-show…It remains unclear why Roberts chose not to attend the hearing, at which his Kansas counterpart Sen. Jerry Moran was an outspoken participant.” [KSHB, 10/14/14]

Then Senator Roberts Lied Directly to Kansans About It, Claiming The Hearing Was Held Out Of Session—When It Wasn’t. KMBC: “‘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.” [KMBC, 10/16/14]

Senator Roberts Also Said “Nothing Of Substance” Came Of The Hearing, An Opinion Directly Contradicted by Fellow Kansas Republican Jerry Moran. Referring to the missed hearing, Senator Roberts said “Nothing of substance came of it.” [CBS News, 10/15/14] Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) was described as an “outspoken participant” at the hearing [KSHB, 10/14/14], and he said “I very much appreciate you and your leadership working with the Senator from Tennessee and I together to make certain that this hearing take place.” [CQ Transcriptions, 9/16/14]. Republican Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) added “to see the human face behind the issue is absolutely crucial to those of us who sit on this committee and in this institution.” [Political Transcript Wire, 9/17/14]

On Important Medical Developments:

Senator Roberts Missed Hearings On Potentially Life-Saving Research. Senator Roberts missed a September 5, 2001 hearing on stem cell research. On September 23, 2003, Senator Roberts missed a hearing on a “Roundtable on Health Technology.” Senator Roberts missed a January 19, 2007 hearing on “Can Congress Help Fulfill the Promise of Stem Cell Research?” senator Roberts missed a March 8, 2007 hearing on “Follow-On Biologics.” Senator Roberts missed a May 8, 2008 hearing on “Cancer: Challenges and Opportunities in the 21st Century.” Senator Roberts missed a February 7, 2012 hearing on “The Promise of Accessible Technology: Challenges and Opportunities.” [Senate HELP Committee Transcripts, 2001-2013]

Senator Roberts Missed Hearings on Preventive Care. On December 10, 2008, Senator Roberts missed a hearing on “Prevention and Public Health: The Key to Transforming Our Sickcare System.” On January 27, 2009, Senator Roberts missed a hearing on “Access to Prevention and Public Health for High-Risk Populations.” [Senate HELP Committee Transcripts, 2001-2013]

Senator Roberts Missed Several Hearings On Prescription Drugs/Patient Safety. On February 12, 2002, Senator Roberts missed a hearing on “Oxycontin: Balancing Risks and Benefits.” On May 20, 2004, Senator Roberts missed a hearing on “Importation of Prescription Drugs.” In February 2005, Senator Roberts missed two hearings on Drug Importation (February 16 and 17, respectively). Then, in March 2005, Roberts missed hearings on “FDA’s Drug Approval Process” and “Ensuring Drug Safety.” Senator Roberts missed a April 14, 2005 hearing on “An Approach to Drug Importation.” (March 1 and March 3, respectively). Senator Roberts missed a November 16, 2006 hearing on “Building a 21stCentury FDA: Proposals to Improve Drug Safety.” Senator Roberts missed a March 14, 2007 hearing on “Drug User Fees: Enhancing Patient Access and Safety.” Senator Roberts missed a hearing on “Ensuring Safe Medicines and Medical Devices for Children” on March 27, 2007. On April 24, 2008, Senator Roberts missed a hearing on “Restoring FDA’s Ability to Keep America’s Families Safe.” On August 4, 2009, Senator Roberts missed a hearing on “Protecting Patients from Defective Medical Devices.” On May 5, 2011, Senator Roberts missed a hearing on “Improving Health Quality and Patient Safety.” On July 28, 2011, Senator Roberts missed a hearing on “FDA User Fees: Advancing Public Health.” On November 15, 2011, Senator Roberts missed a hearing on “Medical Devices: Protecting Patients and Promoting Innovation.” On December 15, 2011, Senator Roberts missed a hearing on “Prescription Drug Shortages: Examining a Public Health Concern and Potential Solutions.” [Senate HELP Committee Transcripts, 2001-2013]

On Other Important Health Matters:

Senator Roberts Missed Hearings On Women’s Health. Senator Roberts missed a September 10, 2001 hearing on “Improving Women’s Health: Why Contraceptive Insurance Coverage Matters.” Senator Roberts missed a September 26, 2013 hearing on “Newborn Screening Saves Lives: The Past, Present, and Future of the Newborn Screening System.” [Senate HELP Committee Transcripts, 2001-2013]

Senator Roberts Missed Hearings On HIV/AIDS. Senator Roberts missed a April 11, 2002 hearing on “Capacity to Care in a World Living With AIDS.” Senator Roberts missed a March 27, 2003 hearing on “AIDS Crisis in Africa: Health Care Transmissions.” He missed another hearing on health care transmissions of AIDS in Africa on July 31, 2003. On March 1, 2006, Senator Roberts missed a hearing on “Fighting the Epidemic of Today: Revitalizing the Ryan White Care Act.” [Senate HELP Committee Transcripts, 2001-2013]

Senator Roberts Missed Hearings on Key Nominations Related To Public Health. On April 30, 2002, Senator Roberts missed a hearing on the nomination of Elias Zerhouni to be director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). On July 9, 2002, Senator Roberts missed a hearing on the nomination of Richard Carmona to be Surgeon General of the United States. On October 7, 2002, Senator Roberts missed a hearing on the nomination of Mark McClellan to be Food and Drug Administration Commissioner. Senator Roberts missed a January 18, 2005 hearing on the nomination of Michael Leavitt to be Secretary of Health and Human Services. On July 12, 2007, Senator Roberts missed a hearing on the nomination of James Holsinger to be Surgeon General. On May 7, 2009, Senator Roberts missed a hearing on the nomination of Margaret Hamburg to be FDA Commissioner. [Senate HELP Committee Transcripts, 2001-2013]

Senator Roberts Missed HELP Hearings Related To National Security. On June 10, 2002, Senator Roberts missed a hearing on “Children of September 11: The Need for Mental Health Services.” Senator Roberts missed a July 24, 2003 hearing on “Federal Biodefense Readiness.” On July 22, 2004, Senator Roberts missed a hearing on “Terror Attacks: Are we prepared?” Senator Roberts missed an October 6, 2004 hearing on “Bioshield II: Responding to an Ever-Changing Threat.” On June 23, 2005, Senator Roberts missed a hearing on “Roundtable Discussion: When Terror Strikes.” Senator Roberts missed a March 21, 2007 hearing on “Long-Term Health Impacts from September 11.” [Senate HELP Committee Transcripts, 2001-2013]

Senator Roberts Missed HELP Hearings on Workforce Shortages. On July 15, 2002, Senator Roberts missed a hearing on “Who will care for us? The Looming Crisis of Health Workforce Shortages.” On February 12, 2008, Senator Roberts missed a hearing on “Addressing Healthcare Workforce Issues for the Future.” [Senate HELP Committee Transcripts, 2001-2013]

For more information about businessman Greg Orman and his Independent campaign for U.S. Senate, please visit the campaign online at www.OrmanForSenate.com. For media inquires, please contact our press office at Press@OrmanForSenate.com or call us at 913-353-5277.

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