Ron Estes is a 5th generation Kansan.A champion for tax reform, free & fair trade, retirement security & lowering the price of health care, he serves on the House Committee on Ways & Means.
He helped pass landmark tax reform, rolled back burdensome regulations, fought to increase support for veterans & our military & defended Wichita’s aviation industry.He is the only former state treasurer & one of only several engineers in the U.S.House. Ron, his wife Susan, & their 3 children live in Wichita.
Tennessee Tech University, BS, Civil Engineering;
Tennessee Tech University, MBA
Kansas State Treasurer,
Sedgwick County Treasurer,
Former Airport Authority Board Member,
Holy Cross Lutheran Church,
American Legion Post 4,
Support numerous local causes and organizations (Honor Flight, Kansans for Life, Exploration Place, others)
The country, and DC in particular, is so polarized now. We need to encourage transparent dialogue and commonality of purpose required to work together to solve the grave problems we face today. The members of the House Ways and Means Committee on which I serve do a good job focusing on big issues like trade agreements, taxes, Social Security reform, and Medicare and working through them together for positive outcomes and results for all Americans.
Free and fair trade is an essential issue for Kansas to make certain that global markets are available for a free flow of trade to receive our agricultural and manufacturing products. We have successfully implemented the new USMCA agreement this past year and are continuing to work on other important regional and bilateral agreements.
We must continue to work hard to protect our regional jobs and workforce in the face of unprecedented crises affecting aviation manufacturing, supply chain businesses, workforce development, and all the community businesses and families they support. I recently introduced bipartisan legislation (“Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Act”) that will help keep workers on the payroll and solve the short-term unemployment issue to keep our skilled workforce here in Kansas long-term.
Obamacare broke the health care system that was working for most people while trying to fix a problem that affected only a small percentage of health care consumers. We need to allow the free market & private sector to do what they do best by removing burdensome and expensive regulations, encouraging the expansion of telehealth options, expanding affordable choices, protecting pre-existing conditions, ensuring transparency & efficiency in the health care delivery system while providing a safety net for the most vulnerable.I have led the effort to eliminate surprise medical bills & lower prescription drug prices.Mental health needs are a growing segment of concern. Congress has passed several pieces of legislation that address mental health issues. I Cosponsored H.R. 3495, the Improve Well-Being for Veterans Act now included in a larger mental health package in the Senate.Patients deserve improved access to critical mental health & drug treatment services.
The privacy and security of our election system is a foundational necessity in our representative republic. We must ensure that every registered voter has unimpeded access to their preferred method of voting (by mail, early in-person, election day at the polls) while making it difficult for those who want to meddle and illegally influence our elections to commit fraud through ballot harvesting, hacking, ballot-stuffing, intimidation or other wrongful actions. Congress has provided funds to each Secretary of State’s office to make provisions to protect voters in the era of COVID-19 that have enabled an increase in voters’ ability to vote by mail or to vote in-person in a safe, socially-distanced environment.
Campaigns and the resources needed to run them have evolved rapidly since the onset of social media and the 24-hour media cycles. The ability to contribute to campaigns is a form of protected First Amendment speech. Groups like ActBlue and WinRed (that involve millions of small contribution donors banding together to support candidates) have been created as a counterpoint to PACs and other groups that spend large amounts of advocacy money each campaign cycle. There should be a renewed focus on adherence to existing campaign finance rules and regulations and greater transparency in reporting.
The Second Amendment places no restrictions on the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
Our country is a nation of immigrants. However, our current immigration system is broken. Individuals who attempt to apply legally have difficulty navigating and completing the process, while others cross our borders illegally and stay for years. We need a revised process that considers the national security and free market needs of our country while allowing immigrants to complete the legal requirements of residency and citizenship in a timely, accountable manner.
1.Stabilizing our aviation manufacturing industry – Kansas has been devastated by the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX and then the coronavirus pandemic. That’s why I introduced the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Act, bipartisan legislation to help aviation workers in Wichita and across the country.
2.Expanding PPP for small businesses – small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities, whether in rural Kansas or in the heart of Wichita. The Paycheck Protection Program supported 525,000 jobs in Kansas, but forced shutdowns and slow openings continue to plague some small businesses. Expanding PPP will help companies & their employees weather this storm. I’m working with my colleagues on House Ways & Means to push this forward.
3.Bring critical medical manufacturing back to the U.S. The current crisis highlights our dependence on China for critical medicine & medical products.I introduced a bipartisan bill to bring back research, development & manufacturing to the U.S.
I am a 5th generation Kansan. I am an international trade professional and entrepreneur. And I am a brand-new mom.
I started an international business development organization in Washington, DC called MENA Consultants Association in 2012. More recently, I built an online workforce development company and consulted for the Clean Energy Business Council.
B.A. Political Science and International Studies, University of Kansas
M.A. International Relations and Economics, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
Board of Directors, Wichita Area Sister Cities (Current)
Advisory Board Member, Friends University Global MBA Program
Treasurer, Sedgwick County Democratic Women (Former)
753 N. Woodrow
Wichita, KS 67203
Even under the current divisive political environment, I am open to working across the aisle to accomplish legislation that will help Kansans and Americans. I hope that we can return to a time when the two parties can work together. In part, this is done through establishing relationships with Representatives in the other party – relationships that allow you to talk about issues and find common ground and compromises whenever possible.
Healthcare, education, international trade/economic development, and agriculture are the top four issues that impact our state. Healthcare must be addressed for our population. I am open to a public option that would ensure Americans have an affordable and accessible option and be the first step toward universal healthcare. The end goal, however, must be a universal healthcare system in the U.S. as we see in other developed nations. For education, we need to ensure higher education is affordable again. Students should not come out of school with the level of debt incurred in today’s system. We should look at making community college publicly funded for students and address the reasons tuition has risen exponentially at four-year universities. The last two issues – international trade and agriculture – are linked. We must address our international trade policy to encourage the opening of markets for our farmers and end the tariffs that have significantly hurt our agricultural sector.
As stated above, healthcare must be addressed for our population. I am open to a public option that would ensure Americans have an affordable and accessible option and be the first step toward universal healthcare. The end goal, however, must be a universal healthcare system in the U.S. as we see in other developed nations. We also need to deal with pharmaceutical costs. I propose we have a system in which our government negotiates prices with pharmaceutical companies to ensure that companies receive a fair profit, but the prices are also appropriate for consumers.
Mental health is healthcare and should be included in any healthcare plan. In the past, Kansas was a leader in mental healthcare, and we need to return to that status. We need to incentivize more mental healthcare workers and increase funding for mental healthcare programs.
Voting is a right for all citizens, and we need to ensure our policies ensure participation. I am for election day becoming a national holiday, ensuring that voters can vote from home with mail-in ballots, and participate in early voting. We need to ensure that we have paper ballots as backups to the electronic ballots for election security. This allows for auditing of elections when needed.
We need to overturn Citizens United. Full stop. The creation of Super PACs that allow for unreported and unlimited donations to this type of political entity has been extremely damaging to our political system. I would like to see the U.S. create a publicly funded campaign finance system whereby candidates receive a set amount of money based on their office to run their campaign. For example, as a Congressional candidate, I might receive $500,000 to run my campaign as would my competitor. That would even the playing field and allow candidates to show their ability to manage the funds relative to their opponent.
My generation was the generation of the Columbine shooting. Twenty-five years later, we have experienced a growing trend shooting in schools and public places. I am a MOMS Demand Action Gun Sense Distinction Candidate and follow their policies for gun sense laws. As a baseline, we must enact universal background checks, shoring up any loopholes. Disarming domestic abusers and red flag laws are also needed to help prevent these types of shootings and domestic abuse killings.
I am not supportive of the current immigration policy. We need to make our immigration system substantially more friendly and streamlined to allow immigrants to enter our borders legally. We should not incarcerate children and families in the horrific manner that we are currently on our southern border. That is a humanitarian crisis and should be stopped immediately. Many of these families were trying to enter the U.S. as asylum seekers, a legal form of entry.
Climate change, healthcare, and economic development are my top priorities. For both climate change and economic development, I would like to promote Kansas and the U.S. becoming leaders in clean energy technology manufacturing and the use of clean energy to power our economy. We need to deal with our aging infrastructure to stay competitive on the international market, and part of upgrading our infrastructure is making it “smarter” and more energy efficient. For healthcare, as noted before, I am open to a public option that would ensure Americans have an affordable and accessible option and be the first step toward universal healthcare. The end goal, however, must be a universal healthcare system in the U.S. as we see in other developed nations.