President Trump delivered on his promise to America’s farmers and to rural America. Building off of the year-round E-15 rule President Trump announced earlier this year, a new agreement between the USDA and EPA will not only work to expand renewable fuel volumes but bring transparency to the RINs process.
Under an agreement announced by the USDA and EPA, the two agencies will work together to expand biofuel requirements, including seeking comments on actions to ensure that more than 15 billion gallons of conventional ethanol be blended into the nation’s fuel supply beginning in 2020. The agencies will also confirm volume obligation for biomass-based diesel is met, including accounting for relief expected to be provided for small refineries.
Additionally, the EPA will continue to evaluate options for RIN market transparency and reform. And the USDA will look for opportunities to consider infrastructure projects to facilitate higher biofuel blends.
The renewable fuel industry is not only good for producers and consumers but good for Rural America and our environment. I applaud the work of President Trump and his administration to remove burdensome red tape and uphold the RFS.
Medicare Open Enrollment Tele-Town Hall Opportunities
It’s time to get ready for Medicare open enrollment. From October 15 to December 7, America’s seniors will have the opportunity to find a plan that best suits their needs. During this period, I will host three tele-town halls to connect seniors in the Big First with regional experts from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide a general overview of 2020 options and answer questions.
Tele-Town Hall Dates: (conference call information to follow)
- Wednesday, October 23, 2019 – 2:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, November 13, 2019 – 10:00 a.m.
- Wednesday, December 4, 2019 – 6:00 p.m.
For those that want to preview and compare 2020 health and drug plans, Click Here to get started with the newly updated Medicare Plan Finder.
NBAF Director Named
The United States Department of Agriculture announced the hiring of Dr. Alfonso Clavijo as the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility’s first permanent director. Dr. Clavijo brings international experience in animal research and diagnostic work that will help the new, state-of-the-art facility achieve its goal of protecting U.S. agriculture and consumers through cutting-edge research and the development of vaccines and countermeasures.
Since taking office, I have been a champion of the NBAF facility in Manhattan, doing my part to ensure it has the resources needed to meet its mission of protecting animal health. Congratulations to Dr. Clavijo, and if you would like more information on the appointment, Click Here.
National Manufacturing Day
Kansas is home to over 2,500 manufacturing companies, from Fuller Brush in Great Bend to AGCO in Beloit. These companies play an important role in growing local economies, contributing over $25 billion to the state economy annually.
Kansas manufacturers are constantly innovating, helping to maintain U.S. global leadership in the industry. I’m proud of all of the great manufacturing companies in Kansas and am happy to honor them.
Rural and Independent Innovators Conference
The Kansas Small Business Development Center will be hosting one of their Rural & Independent Innovators Conferences (RIIC) at Fort Hays University on October 15th. These conferences are modeled around supporting Kansan entrepreneurs and innovators with information and education, with the goal of fostering connections and business opportunities.
Executive Director of Grow Hays, Doug Williams, will be the keynote speaker at this upcoming RIIC and will be speaking on “Growth Through Innovation.” There will also be presentations on business growth, market access, and raising capital. This is a great opportunity to network and learn, and I hope many of you have a chance to attend. Additional information, along with registration details, can be found on their website Here.
Department of Labor Fighting for Workers
U.S. Department of Labor recently announced an update to its rules related to overtime pay eligibility under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
This rule gives hard-working American employees a much-needed opportunity to earn overtime pay. President Trump and his administration recognize the changing workforce climate and worked hard to deliver a rule that will deliver more income and prosperity for American workers.
The current rule was issued in 2004, and set the standard qualified salary level at $455 per week, or around $23,600 annually. Starting in 2020, that threshold will be raised to around $35,000 annually, which means that an additional 1.3 million American workers will now be eligible for overtime pay.
President’s Award for Distinguished Public Service
I was named the recipient of the American College of Cardiology’s (ACC) 2019 President’s Award for Distinguished Public Service.
ACC, which represents over 52,000 cardiovascular health care professionals across the US, recognized my efforts to advance legislation to streamline prior authorization in the Medicare Advantage program, advise the Trump Administration on various quality and access issues, and to address surprise billing. Having worked as a doctor for 25 years before coming to Congress, it has long been a goal of mine to advocate for policy issues that would best serve patients.
I will be honored to receive this award in person at ACC’s legislative conference next month.
Dr. Roger Marshall, R-Great Bend, is the First District Kansas Congressman.