1-on-1 with Tracey Mann: Congressman takes questions on key issues concerning Kansans

Updated: May. 21, 2021 at 9:20 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - From the 30 by 30 deal to federal unemployment dollars, there are several key issues affecting Kansans that leave many with questions. On Friday, May 21, Eyewitness News Anchor and Right Now Host Michael Schwanke sat down with U.S. Representative Tracey Mann, R-Kan., bringing up some of the commonly asked questions from viewers.

Michael Schwanke: I’m pleased to be joined today by Representative Tracy Mann back in Kansas here doing a little work and we wanted to catch up with the Congressman. Congressman, I want to start with the 30 by 30 plan. Do you think that there was any miscommunication from the administration that led to some of the fears, and is it still a concern you have?

Tracey Mann: It’s still definitely a concern that I had. What happened here President Biden issue this executive order in late January and it’s said that 30% of American lands would be put in conservation by the year 2030. That’s a big problem for Kansas because today only 2% of our land is in conservation. The executive order referenced an eventual report that would come out, the initial overlying report came out a few days ago. It lacked specifics so it still is concerning and that’s why I released legislation this week along with Senators Marshall and Moran to do away with the executive order altogether.

Michael Schwanke: Quick follow up on that, would you support it, if, if there are federal programs in there like, for example the CRP program that would pay farmers if they hold their land, it’s still their private land, and the federal government rewards them for conservation efforts.

Tracey Mann: Well, that should be part of the farm bill not part of this 30 by 30 executive order and that should be propagated through Congress, so no I would not... I’m for doing away with executive order.

Michael Schwanke: I want to talk about economic growth here in Kansas, I know a lot of businesses, restaurants especially having trouble hiring. Where do you think the extended unemployment benefits from the federal government, how big of a role do you think they have in this?

Tracey Mann: This is the single biggest thing holding back our economy right now as a reopening. I talked to you know, employers, every day that are struggling to find workers we all know that this misguided policy that I voted against earlier this year that pays people to stay home and not return to work it needs to go away. I’d like to see Governor Kelly opt out of it.

Michael Schwanke: Have you had a conversation with the governor?

Tracey Mann: we have not we sent her letter and had some correspondence back and forth but but I’d like to see her do that as her decision. That’s what the state needs to do is we reopen.

Michael Schwanke: She has said she’s waiting for some more data. Do you think the data points are there to back it up?

Tracey Mann: I absolutely do. You know, the data says that we’ve got to reopen and it’s just time to do that. Our job creators are hurting people are ready to move past this pandemic and that’s the next step.

Michael Schwanke: Before we get to the VA bill that I want to touch on before we let you go. When we talk about economic growth, Congressman, every night, it seems we’re doing a story on a shortage of supplies, one kind of a supply or another that’s affecting our, not only our growth here in Kansas but nationwide, what kinds of conversations are happening there in DC to try to try to ease some of these backlogs in that supply chain?

Tracey Mann: Yeah, what’s happening is you know when we’ve injected this much money in the economy to get on our hands which I’ve opposed, you know the $2 trillion, this year and then we’re talking another $2 trillion for infrastructure, and another $2 trillion, Michael. In more relief, you can inject that kind of money into the economy and not see inflation and that’s what we’re seeing right now, so we need to stop spending all this money and let the market work, and that’s the way we do away with the rising prices.

Michael Schwanke: Before we go, let’s talk about the VA bill that you’re sponsoring. And this essentially helping some of those in the VA who may fall through the cracks. We know homelessness is such a big problem with veterans who have served this country.

Tracey Mann: I’m on the ag and the VA committee legislation I authored the past this week bipartisan, basically it would make it easier for homeless veterans to receive a home so if someone has a home through the VA loan program they default on that goes back to the VA. The VA could more easily get it to a homeless veteran. That’s a win for our veterans. I think a win for the country.

Michael Schwanke: in any sense, can you give the viewers here a sense, what kind of impact you think you would have here in Kansas. Do we have a lot of homeless vets here?

Tracey Mann: We don’t have a lot of the exact data you know now that there’s problems in place, we’ll go to get that data know how many, but I’ll tell you if we get one veteran off the street, it’s more than worth it but it’ll be, it’ll be many veterans that this will help in Kansas and around the country.

Michael Schwanke: Finish up with this, as we are slowly coming out of this pandemic. How do you see the next three to six months going as far as the economy?

Tracey Mann: Yes, well economy’s doing well, if we make the right decisions today, I think will be a pretty good spot later this year, right decisions being, you know, doing away with some of these federal employment programs. We need to not spend way more money than we have a concern of is out of control spending. If we let the market take over Michael, I think this economy and Kansas will be a great spot here moving forward.

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