PITTSBURG, Kan. — Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) visited Pittsburg on Thursday, making stops at local businesses including Watco and Jake’s Fireworks.
“I’m getting ready to return to Washington, D.C., where we’ll have a number of votes related to the next step in COVID relief, and so I’ve been using this time to talk to Kansans — ‘here’s what I’m thinking, how do you respond to my thoughts?’” Moran said in an interview with the Morning Sun following his tour of Jake’s Fireworks.
Moran noted that Kansas has received more than $13 billion in COVID-19 relief, and said he is less interested in passing another huge stimulus bill than he is in “doing something that’s very targeted to try to take care of those who may have slipped through the cracks.”
Industries and types of businesses that could use additional help, Moran said, include aviation, restaurants, and hotels and motels. Helping those businesses would in turn allow people working for them to keep their jobs, he said, as the pandemic continues to impact the economy.
Moran also weighed in on issues including the start of school at both the K-12 and college level, and concerns about coronavirus outbreaks as a result, as has recently been seen in Pittsburg with a significant outbreak connected with Pittsburg State University students.
“We are not the same across the country,” Moran said. “One state from another is different, one community from another is different.”
Local control over decisions about education and options such as remote learning should be a priority, he said, but classroom experience is also important and often hard to replace with classes taught entirely online.
Moran also discussed the recent shootings by police and a teenage gunman in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and the protests and unrest that have followed them.
“It does seem to me that there is evidence of racial injustice, that people are treated differently,” Moran said, and there are actions the government can take to help resolve some of the issues that have sparked protests nationwide in recent months.
“I want to make sure that we’re encouraging good training, the right kind of people being police officers. None of this however says that it’s OK to destroy public property,” Moran said.
“A person is entitled to protest, and freedom of speech is hugely important in this country, but there’s no right to destroy property or harm other people.”