Boyda lands on Armed Services Committee

December 13, 2006

Here are today's headlines from the Kansas congressional delegation:

Rep.-elect Nancy Boyda (D)

(AP) Boyda gets Armed Services Committee seat: Newly elected Kansas Rep. Nancy Boyda was tapped Tuesday to serve on the House Armed Services Committee. "It was my very first choice and something I've been advocating for since I got there," Boyda said. During her campaign, Boyda repeatedly called on the United States to establish a realistic plan for withdrawing from Iraq. Boyda, a Democrat, said she is eager to be part of the process to find "where are we going in Iraq and what's the way forward there." She said being on the committee also would help her make sure last year's federal military base realignment process is fully funded. The process affects each of the three military bases in her district: Fort Riley, Fort Leavenworth and Forbes Field, near Topeka. Boyda has requested a spot on two other panels, the House Agriculture and Veterans' Affairs committees. Those assignments may not be known for several more weeks.

Sen. Sam Brownback (R)

(AP) Brownback says room for gay rights backers among GOP: Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, among the most conservative of the potential Republican presidential candidates, said Tuesday there's room in the GOP for candidates who favor gay rights, but he warned that such politicians wouldn't be welcomed by the party's conservative base. "It's a big-tent party and has been for a long period of time, particularly since Ronald Reagan talked about this being a party of different viewpoints," said Brownback. "If somebody agrees with you 80 percent of the time, he's not your enemy."

(AP) Levin criticizes Brownback offer on judicial nomination: Democratic U-S Senator Carl Levin says it's "very inappropriate" for a Kansas senator to ask a federal judicial nominee to promise not to rule on gay marriage cases. Senator Sam Brownback says he'll lift his hold on the confirmation of Michigan Appeals Judge Janet Neff to the federal bench if she agrees to step aside from gay marriage matters. The Kansas Republican has stalled Neff's nomination to a federal judgeship in western Michigan because she attended a lesbian commitment ceremony of a family friend. Levin says the request undermines judicial integrity.

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