Kan. senator removed from health committee chair

Posted at 1:16 PM, Feb 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-13 14:16:14-05

Kansas Senator (R) Mary Pilcher-Cook of Shawnee was removed from the Chair of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee for violating senate rules by adding an anti-Obamacare amendment to an unrelated bill. 

Senate President Susan Wagle said in a release that the amendment placed senators in a position to either maintain the rules of the senate or be seen as supporting Obamacare. 

"Breaking the rules of the Senate and putting senators unnecessarily in a position of choosing between upholding the rules of the body or being seen as supporting Obamacare is unacceptable for any committee chair," said Wagle. "It showed complete disrespect for the body and its rules. I hope that Senator Pilcher-Cook’s removal makes that point very clear."

Wagle says every senator is expected to follow the rules that govern the senate, and committee chairs are expected to lead by example in understanding these rules and following them.

"Finally, despite Senator Pilcher-Cook’s statement to the contrary, I firmly oppose Obamacare and the last thing Kansans need is a budget-busting expansion of the disaster that is Obamacare," said Wagle. "Many members of the Kansas Senate have made similar statements over the past few years."

The senate will take up the question of KanCare expansion under ObamaCare for a vote in the next few weeks. Wagle says it will be clear that a majority of the Kansas Senate firmly oppose expansion of KanCare under Obamacare. 

Senator Michael O’Donnell (R-Wichita) has been named the interim chair of the Committee pending a final decision on a new chair.


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