Five years ago on April 25, 2017, I was sworn in to the U.S. House of Representatives to represent Kansas’ 4th District. During my time in Congress, I’ve been pleased to lead on issues important to Kansans.
In 2019, I was honored to be selected to serve on the influential Ways and Means Committee – the oldest standing committee in the House. The committee has jurisdiction over taxes, trade, retirement security and health care – all critical components for Kansas families and industries like ag, manufacturing and medical services. In 2021 I was also appointed to the Joint Economic Committee to serve alongside members of both the House and Senate.
Over my five years in Congress, I’ve also worked on numerous pieces of legislation and supported common sense approaches to growing our economy, making government more efficient, reducing federal spending, keeping our country safe, and strengthening America. Below are just some of the things we’ve accomplished together in five years.
Jobs and the Economy
Preventing Tax Increases
Congressman Estes prevented massive tax increases for every American by killing the Biden administration’s so-called Build Back Better plan.
Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
Congressman Estes helped pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which is responsible for lowering taxes on almost all Americans and created a business-friendly environment that ushered in the best economy the world has ever known prior to the pandemic.
Coronavirus Pandemic Relief for Small Businesses and Workers
Congressman Estes championed the assistance of thousands of Kansas employers with PPP/EIDL loans, preserving many Kansas jobs. Kansas businesses received 74,634 PPP loans worth $2,384,522,529. Kansas businesses received 19,927EIDL loans valued at $1,838,492,100.
United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Ensured passage of USMCA, creating more opportunities for the manufacturing community in Wichita. USMCA is the largest trade deal ever for our country and can be a template for future trade deals. Congressman Estes served on the USMCA Whip Team and was very involved in its passage.
Kansas Farmers and Ranchers Knowing how critical the ag industry is to Kansas, Congressman Estes helped preserve stepped-up basis provision for farmers ensuring that this provision was removed from the House Democrat reconciliation package as it moved through the Ways and Means Committee.
Waters of the U.S.
The overreaching "Waters of the U.S." (WOTUS) rule expanded the federal government's ability to regulate and control excessive amounts of private property. Congressman Estes supports private property rights and believes in Kansas farmers' and ranchers' ability to steward their land.
He voted for the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 to repeal the burdensome regulations of WOTUS and paved the way for appropriate guidelines for navigable waters.
Recently, the Biden administration has attempted to reinstate WOTUS regulations. Congressman Estes has joined letters to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to halt all current rulemaking on the subject until the Supreme Court rules on the matter.
Congressman Ron Estes has been engaged in correspondence with Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the potential listing of the lesser prairie-chicken under the Endangered Species Act. He led a regional letter to Secretary Haaland on June 15, 2021, expressing grave concern that FWS is setting the stage to list the Northern DPS species from “threatened’ to “endangered” in the future—this has yet to happen (for now).
Congressman Estes also helped preserve tax laws for the oil and gas industry in the Ways and Means reconciliation markup. That means no changes to current law regarding intangible drilling costs, percentage depletion or deduction for oil and gas production from marginal wells passed through the House Ways and Means Committee during the Budget Reconciliation process.
Congressman Ron Estes has cosponsored legislation and signed onto letters pushing back on the Biden administration’s terrible energy executive orders (cancellation of Keystone XL Pipeline, moratorium on oil and gas drilling on public lands).
Energy Legislation Cosponsored
H.R. 519 – The Safeguarding Oil and Gas Leasing Act
H.R. 520 – The Safeguarding Coal Leasing Act
H.R. 692 – The Recognition of Local Interests in NEPA Decision Making
H.R. 684 – The Keystone XL Pipeline Construction and Jobs Act
H.R. 751 – Protecting American Energy Production Act
H.R. 859 – Protecting American Energy Jobs Act
H.R. 218 – Saving America’s Future Act
H.Res. 113 – Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the U.S. should formally withdraw from the Paris Agreement
Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Act
Congressman Estes helped preserve Wichita as the Air Capital of the World by introducing and helping pass the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Act in the House – enacted into law in March 2021. Congressman Estes worked diligently to ensure the AMJP Program was implemented in a timely fashion with the Department of Transportation. Kansas aviation manufacturers have been awarded more than $110 million to support over 4,700 employees.
Air Capital Commitment
Congressman Estes worked to assist the skilled workforce affected by production suspensions and aerospace layoffs through the Air Capital Commitment, a coordinated effort formed to support impacted workers and our aviation industry.
The 2018 FAA Reauthorization bill included two initiatives put forward by Congressman Estes. H.R. 3669 improves security procedures for general aviation and commercial charter air carriers. H.R. 4559 requires the TSA to conduct a global aviation security review to address improving aviation security standards worldwide and report back to Congress.
737 Max Recertification
Congressman Estes worked fastidiously with stakeholders, government leaders, and the Federal Aviation Administration in the wake of the grounding of the 737 MAX to define a clear process for recertification. Further, Congressman Estes and his office engaged in the Air Capital Commitment, a coordinated effort formed to connect impacted workers with resources and support the region’s aviation industry.
Congressman Estes has written numerous letters to officials calling for greater security along our southern border, support for the efforts of our border patrol agents, and answers and accountability for the crisis that the Biden Administration has caused. He's also worked to advance common sense border and immigration legislation.
SECURE Act and SECURE 2.0
Congressman Estes protected the retirement savings of all Americans through passage of the SECURE Act. He also introduced legislation increasing the age for a required minimum distribution, which is included in the SECURE 2.0 package – bipartisan legislation that passed the House on March 29, 2022.
Strengthening Social Security for Survivors Act
He introduced the Strengthening Social Security for Survivors Act that would allow a widow or widower to become eligible for Social Security benefits from the date their spouse passes away instead of the day the claim is filed. Under current law, widows are not eligible for survivor benefits until the date they apply-with a short 6-month grace period. When facing the devastating loss of a spouse, the first thing on a grieving individual’s mind should not be to call the Social Security Administration to receive the benefits they are already entitled to. Congressman Estes looks forward to working with his colleagues on the Social Security Subcommittee to implement meaningful reform to strengthen Social Security and create lasting change for future generations of Americans.
Congressman Estes led more than 150 members of Congress as the first to ask for pro-life changes to the Title X Family Planning Program. The Trump administration then agreed to the need for changes to the Title X program and required that the recipients of Title X funds be financially and physically separate from abortion providers. The result was that Planned Parenthood withdrew from the Title X program and lost $60 million in federal funds.
Protecting Individuals with Down Syndrome Act
As an advocate for life, Congressman Estes introduced the Protecting Individuals with Down Syndrome Act. This bill honors the rights of individuals with Down syndrome by federally banning doctors from knowingly performing an abortion because a baby received a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.
Congressman Estes sent a letter requesting that the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance be implemented and the expansion to subcontractors. This strengthened the Mexico City policy to ensure that funding for abortion in foreign countries was further eliminated. This letter included 110 Members and Senators.
In total, Congressman Estes has led five letters with hundreds of signers to protect life.
Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act
The first bill Congressman Estes cosponsored after joining the House was the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. This bill establishes a federal statutory framework to regulate the carry or possession of concealed firearms across state lines. Specifically, an individual eligible to carry a concealed firearm in one state may carry or possess a concealed handgun (other than a machine gun or destructive device) in another state that allows its residents to carry concealed firearms. It sets forth requirements for lawful concealed carry across state lines. The bill preempts most state and local laws related to concealed carry and establishes a private right of action for a person adversely affected by interference with a concealed-carry right established by this bill.
NYSRPA (New York State Rifle & Pistol Association) v. Corlett SCOTUS Amicus Brief
SCOTUS agreed to hear NYSRPA vs. Corlett. The case centers around the right to bear arms outside the home for self-defense. The NYSPRA and two New York men claim that New York's denials of most concealed-carry licenses for self-defense violate the second amendment.
The gun control measures challenged in this case amount to a blanket ban on the right to keep and bear arms outside the home. Success of the plaintiff will help end these false interpretations of our constitutional rights and be the first major pro-Second Amendment decision since Heller v. District of Columbia.
Education and Families
Advancing Technical Education
While serving on the Education and Workforce Committee, Congressman Estes played a significant role in the last reauthorization of the Carl Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. This legislation is critical to Kansas’ aerospace manufacturing industry as well as WSU Tech.
Congressman Estes supported the Families First Services Transition Act – critical legislation to aid states with the implementation process of Families First which was the first legislation that allowed child welfare funds to be used to prevent a child from entering the system rather than waiting until they were removed from their family. Through Congressman Estes’ work with the committee, Kansas received an additional $1 million for a total of $4 million by using a different formula to address foster care problems. This is critical given that the state lost over 80 children.
Surprise Medical Billing
As a Ways and Means Committee member, Congressman Estes played a role in the development, negotiation, and ultimate passage of legislation responsible for ending surprise medical billing. This went into effect on Jan. 1, 2022, and will protect Kansans from burdensome surprise bills often at no fault of their own.
Protecting Rural Hospitals
Through the Rural and Underserved Communities Taskforce, Congressman Estes advocated for and helped pass language that would allow Critical Access Hospitals to be designated as Rural Emergency Hospitals, removing regulatory barriers to providing the right care for their community. Kansas has 82 Critical Access Hospitals, and this program will prevent many of them from closing for good.
More Health Care Actions Through legislation and his work on Ways and Means, Congressman Estes advocated for tax reform that eliminated the Medical Device tax that would pass on arduous price increases to average Kansans who utilize lifesaving medical devices.
Along with his colleagues on the Ways and Means Committee, Congressman Estes co-led a letter to CMS to ensure that the reimbursement for PET Scans was set correctly. This ensured that cardiologists and doctors would continue to have access to this critical device that provides superior care to Kansans.
Recognizing South Central Kansas’ Unsung Hero M.S. “Mitch” Mitchell H.R. 3383 became law on Dec. 21, 2018. The bill to designate the Wichita-Valley Center Flood Control Project as the “M.S. ‘Mitch’ Mitchell Floodway” honors the life and contributions of Big Ditch Mitch to reduce floodwaters in Sedgwick County has saved lives, prevented millions of dollars of property damage, and allowed for expanded growth and opportunities.
Electric Vehicles Congressman Estes introduced H.R. 3303 – the Close the Double Subsidy Loophole for Electric Vehicles Act – in the 117th Congress to push back on the Biden administration’s effort to advance unnecessary government subsidies for EVs for the wealthy. The bill takes into account state-level subsidies when calculating the benefit of the federal Plug-In Electric Vehicle Tax Credit.
He also introduced H.R. 3302 – No Subsidies for Government Purchases of Electric Vehicles Act – in the 117th Congress to push back on the Biden administration’s efforts to electrify the federal fleet. The bill ensures that federal and state governments cannot claim the Plug-In EV Tax Credit when purchasing EVs.
North Junction Traffic Project Congressman Estes worked with Transportation Secretary Chao directly and wrote in support of the City of Wichita’s application for a BUILD grant for the North Junction Gold Project. The City was subsequently awarded a $21 million grant for the major construction project to improve traffic in a much-needed area.
Wichita’s Multimodal Facility Congressman Estes led a letter of support with his Senate colleagues for the City of Wichita’s application for a Department of Transportation grant for the Wichita Multimodal Facility. The City was awarded $14 million to improve many transportation services through a multimodal transportation facility.
Congressman Estes is the son of a veteran and has worked to give veterans and their families the care, respect and thanks they deserve following their dedicated service to our country.
PAWS for Veterans Therapy Act Congressman Estes was proud to be an original cosponsor of the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers (PAWS) for Veterans Therapy Act. This legislation implements a program to provide canine training to eligible veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as an element of a complementary and integrative health program.
This legislation was signed into law on August 25, 2021. The VA recently published a Federal Register Notice on March 30, 2022, on its plan for implementing the pilot program.
VA VACCINE Act Congressman Estes applauded passage of the VA VACCINE Act. The VA VACCINE Act expands the VA's authority to provide vaccines to veterans not currently enrolled in the VA health care system – including veterans without compensable service-connected disabilities and veterans who have incomes above a certain threshold, caregivers of veterans who are enrolled in various VA home-based and long-term care programs, and veterans living abroad who rely on the Foreign Medical Program. The VA will still prioritize veterans in the Veterans Health Administration, but the bill allows more veterans to receive the vaccine when supplies are available.
This legislation passed the House in March 2021 and was signed into law on March 24, 2021.
VA MISSION Act of 2018 In the 116th Congress, Congressman Estes supported the passage of the VA MISSION Act – legislation that revolutionized health care for veterans by streamlining services and ensuring veterans receive the care they deserve from the VA or their private doctor closer to home. This landmark legislation empowers our veteran community by providing them with more health care options.
The VA MISSION Act was signed into law by President Trump on June 6, 2018.
Congressman Estes also cosponsored legislation to support homeless veterans and their families, protect against VA testing on dogs, and prevent veteran suicide.
Congressman Estes has worked to support and protect our allies overseas. Specifically, Congressman Estes has cosponsored numerous letters and bills in support of our ally, Israel.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) An initiative by Congressman Estes was included in the FY2022 National Defense Authorization Bill report. As the representative of the Air Capital of the World, his amendment requested a briefing on expanded small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) capabilities and prospects for expanded scope.
Supporting Our Armed Forces
Congressman Estes has been a strong supporter of our military and service members. He has supported pay raises for our military, stopping dishonorable discharges for our service members who refuse the COVID-19 vaccine, legislation prohibiting critical race theory from being taught in the military, and has even spent holidays overseas with our troops.
Congressman Estes has continued to support the procurement and delivery of the KC-46, which is an integral part of the mission at McConnell Air Force Base, through annual appropriations, authorization, letters, and engagement with the Department of Defense, McConnell Air Force Base, and other stakeholders.