Mary Pilcher-Cook Statement on Being Removed as Chairman of the Senate Health and Public Welfare Committee

Kansas State Senator Mary Pilcher-Cook (R-Shawnee) issued the following statement upon learning she was removed as chairman of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee:

"Throughout my time as chairman of the Senate Public Health and Welfare committee, I have worked to find small government solutions to the healthcare needs of all Kansans. From giving oversight and finding improvements within KanCare to helping Kansans work their way out of poverty under the HOPE Act, I am very proud of what the committee has accomplished.

However, despite this progress, the Senate president has decided to play politics, similar to the days when we had establishment figures like former Kansas Senate President Steve Morris and former-U.S. House Speaker John Boehner. Instead of allowing members to stand on principle and vote their conscience, she seeks to push conservative principles aside and push her own political agenda.

This past Tuesday, I sought to have an open debate on the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare by offering a floor amendment to a bill under consideration. With special interest groups and Hillary Clinton pushing for this policy change, I felt it was an opportunity to have a debate in the open. Most observers of Kansas politics knew the amendment would likely not pass in the Kansas Senate because Obamacare has been a disaster. However, the Senate President knew her support for Obamacare expansion would have put her at odds with the vast majority of the Republican caucus and she did not want a recorded vote.

It is very difficult for conservatives to work as a team in caucus when your view on Obamacare is the same as Hillary Clinton's. Therefore, the Senate president is seeking to punish me for shedding sunlight on her views.

Though I have enjoyed working with the members of the committee, I do not regret standing on my principles. Just like President Morris and Speaker Boehner, the Senate president will soon learn that power plays of this scale against conservatives do not work."

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