SHAWNEE, Kan. – Questions over why Sen. Pat Roberts missed an important joint Senate committee on the Ebola virus arose again during an interview with KSNT News First Anchor Cristina Frank.
His answer to Frank that the hearing wasn’t “substantive” doesn’t match what his colleagues who attended the hearing said at the time – including fellow Kansas Senator Jerry Moran, who effusively praised the hearing.
“Sen. Roberts keeps changing his stories but they still don’t pass the truth test,” said Orman for Senate campaign manager Jim Jonas. “First he lied to Kansans and said the hearing was held out of session – even though he knew he voted twice on the Senate floor that day. Now he says it wasn’t ‘substantive,’ an assertion disputed by his own colleagues. And how would he know if it was substantive anyway if he wasn’t there? Kansans need to know why someone who lives in Virginia, and rarely returns to Kansas, should have so much trouble showing up in Washington for the job Kansans pay him for."
Frank asked Roberts the following question during a candidate profile interview: “Another question that came up on Twitter was about you missing the September 16 hearing about Ebola. Your reaction to people questioning that?
Roberts answered: “That was a committee hearing that was before the latest occurrence with Ebola. I did not find that substantive in regards to what the subject was.”
Here’s what his colleagues who attended the joint hearing of the Senate Health Education Labor and Pension Committee (HELP) and the Senate Finance Committee thought of the hearing titled: “Ebola in West Africa: A Global Challenge and Public Health Threat.”
Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas: “Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. I very much appreciate you and your leadership working with the Senator from Tennessee [Lamar Alexander] and I together to make certain that this hearing take place. . . . the encouraging thing to me is that this is an example of something where United States Senate, where the Congress and the President can come together and actually make a difference -- something that we ought to take some satisfaction in if we're able to accomplish that. And so I appreciate the leadership here today.”
Ranking HELP Committee Member Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee: “I'm pleased that on both sides of the aisle we have leaders who are beginning to recognize the severity of this epidemic. . . . We look forward to learning all we can about the severity of the epidemic and what we must do to control it. But I'll end where I started. We must take the deadly, dangerous threat of the Ebola epidemic as seriously as we take ISIS [the terrorist army that has overrun parts of Iraq and Syria]."
Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas: “Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you very much for having this hearing -- you and the rest of the leadership on both sides. This is so important."
Sen. Richard Burr of Georgia: (After hearing testimony from an American doctor who contracted Ebola while serving as a medial missionary in Liberia and survived): “. . . to see the human face behind the issue is absolutely crucial to those of us who sit on this committee and in this institution.”
Sen. Roberts’ attendance at Senate committee hearings has become an issue in this campaign since press reports have documented he missed 70 percent of the Finance Committee hearings, 88.5 percent of the Health Education Labor and Pension Committee hearings, and 65 percent of the Senate Agriculture Committee hearings.
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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