Ann Wagner

Ann Wagner

MISSOURI's 2nd DISTRICT

Wagner Joins Foreign Affairs Committee

2017/01/13

WASHINGTON – Today, Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) announced that Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO) will join the House Foreign Affairs Committee for the 115th Congress. The Committee considers legislation that concerns the relations of the United States with foreign nations, and legislation that impacts the diplomatic community, which includes the Department of State, the Agency for International Development (USAID), the Peace Corps, the United Nations, and the enforcement of the Arms Export Control Act.

“I am thrilled to add my voice and experience to the Foreign Affairs Committee during this Congress as we confront the damage caused by eight years of failed Obama foreign policy. I am eager to work with my colleagues to rejuvenate American global leadership, fortify our alliances, and construct a credible political and security architecture that will deter aggression and promote U.S. values and interests,” said Congresswoman Wagner.  “The Obama Administration operated under the mistaken presumption that American timidity and compromise were prerequisites for international order. It proved time and again that this was not the case. My Committee work will be founded on the principle that it is in fact through American strength that the world becomes safer and more stable."

“Congresswoman Wagner’s previous experience as a U.S. Ambassador, in addition to her work in Congress to combat some of the toughest issues facing our nation, proves she will be an asset to our Committee as we work to ensure strong diplomatic ties across the globe,” added Chairman Royce.

Congresswoman Wagner’s role on the Foreign Affairs Committee will be in addition to her position as Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, which was announced last week

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Wagner Regulatory Reform Bill Passes U.S. House

2017/01/12

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. House passed the bipartisan SEC Regulatory Accountability Act, H.R. 78, sponsored by Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO-02) with a 243-184 vote. After the bill’s passage, Congresswoman Wagner released the following statement:

“Whether it is buying a car or choosing a college savings plan, every American family weighs the pros and cons before making major life decisions. The SEC Regulatory Accountability Act simply requires that the Commission engages in the same process and can justify that the benefits of a proposed regulation will outweigh its costs.

“Something our regulators should already be doing, this common-sense legislation will help drain the swamp that Washington bureaucrats have built over the past eight years, while better protecting American families from top-down, one-size-fits-all regulations that cost nearly $15,000 for every household.”

Background on the SEC Regulatory Accountability Act:

  • This legislation places statutory requirements on SEC rulemaking, ensuring the Commission identifies the issue, provides an appropriate cost/benefit analysis to justify the need for the regulation, and assess whether there are any available alternatives to rulemaking. 
  • Under this statue, the SEC will be prohibited from issuing a rule when it cannot make “a reasoned determination that the benefits of the intended regulation justify the costs of the regulation.”
  • The legislation also requires the SEC to review its existing regulations every five years to identify any outdated, ineffective, or excessively burdensome regulations. The Commission is then required to modify, streamline, repeal, or even expand regulations based on that review. 

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Wagner Introduces Bipartisan Trafficking Survivors Relief Act

2017/01/11

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO), along with Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), today introduced the bipartisan Trafficking Survivors Relief Act, which would allow victims of human trafficking to petition courts to have their criminal records cleared. This bill would apply to non-violent crimes committed by individuals as a direct result of human trafficking, and would allow for judicial discretion.

Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery affecting millions in the United States and abroad. This crime involves either the use of force, fraud, or coercion to exploit a person for labor or commercial sex, or the exploitation of a minor for commercial sex. As a result of being trafficked, victims are commonly charged with crimes such as conspiracy, prostitution, money laundering, drug trafficking, and related offenses that then follow them throughout the duration of their lives. These charges make it difficult for human trafficking victims to find jobs and housing, leaving them vulnerable to being exploited and trafficked again.

“We have a moral obligation to protect survivors of trafficking who were arrested or convicted for offenses that they were forced to commit,” said Congresswoman Ann Wagner. “No victims of trafficking should be criminalized for the horrific exploitation they have endured. I am proud that through the Trafficking Survivors Relief Act, we are giving survivors a fresh start and an opportunity to recover from trauma, social stigma, and discrimination.”

“Tens of thousands of men, women, and children are victims of human trafficking each year. Too often, they are charged as criminals, thrown in prison, and shackled with a criminal record the rest of their lives instead of being free to get the care and assistance they need. The Trafficking Survivors Relief Act will empower human trafficking victims to escape the chains of their past and move forward with their lives,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

“Holding victims of human trafficking  accountable for illegal acts committed while being victimized is unfair and diminishes their ability to find work, receive an education, and secure safe housing,” said Congressman Sensenbrenner. “These victims deserve a fresh start and a fair shot at rebuilding their lives, and the Trafficking Survivors Relief Act would help them do just that.”

Additional original co-sponsors of the legislation include Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA), Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA), Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA), Rep. Ron DeSantis (R- FL), Rep. Steve Knight (R-CA), Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN), Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN), Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD), Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL), Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX), Rep. David Joyce (R-OH), Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Rep. David Young (R-IA), Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), and Ryan Costello (R-PA).

The Trafficking Survivors Relief Act would require survivors to provide supporting documentation in order to get their non-violent criminal records vacated. These documents can include the following:

  • Certified criminal or immigration court proceedings or law enforcement records demonstrating that the individual was a victim of trafficking at the time they were charged with the trafficking-related offense(s);
  • Testimony or sworn statement from a trained professional staff member of a victim services organization, an attorney, member of the clergy, a health care professional, a therapist, or other professional from whom the person has sought assistance in addressing the trauma associated with being a victim of trafficking; or
  • An affidavit or sworn testimony of the movant indicating that they were a victim of human trafficking at the time of their arrest and that they engaged in or were otherwise accused of engaging in criminal activities as a direct result of being a victim of human trafficking.

 

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Wagner Selected as Chairman of Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee

2017/01/06

WASHINGTON – Today, Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) announced that Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO-02) will lead the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee in the 115th Congress.

“I am grateful for Chairman Hensarling's trust in me to lead the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee,” said Congresswoman Wagner. “The Obama years have seen a rise of imperial Washington, D.C., with the crushing weight of regulations harming small businesses and families from the coasts to the heartland. Over the next several months and years, we will expose the damage the old administration caused to our national economy while detailing what the new and hopeful administration will do to restore the American family."

"Congresswoman Wagner is a dedicated, principled member of our Conference and has a proven track record of success as a member of this Committee,” added Chairman Hensarling. “Her determination to end burdensome regulations forced on American families and ability to shed light on unaccountable federal agencies like the CFPB will be an asset to our Committee leadership team."

In this role, Congresswoman Wagner will provide oversight of several federal agencies, including the Federal Reserve, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Treasury, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and the Export-Import Bank.

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Wagner Applauds Passage of Continuing Resolution

2016/12/08

For Immediate Release

Contact: (202) 225-1621

 

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO-02) released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year 2017 Continuing Resolution:

“Working with President-elect Trump, the House today passed a Fiscal Year 2017 Continuing Resolution, which will fund our national defense, disaster relief, and the 21st Century Cures Act, among other critical investments, through April. I am looking forward to working with a Republican-led Senate and Trump Administration next year to ensure our conservative spending priorities are enacted through the remainder of the fiscal year, while removing government intrusion and providing American families with better opportunities for success.”

 

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Wagner Responds to Arrest of Backpage.com CEO For Sex Trafficking

2016/10/07

Ballwin, Mo – Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO-02) released the below statement following news of the arrest of Backpage.com’s CEO on felony charges of pimping a minor, pimping, and conspiracy to commit pimping:

“Three years ago, when I first arrived in Congress, we set our sights on Backpage.com and other marketers of the sex trafficking industry. We passed my legislation, the Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation (SAVE) Act last year with the goal to shut down marketplaces just like Backpage.com. 

“The arrest of the Backpage.com CEO is a great start, but there is so much more to be done. That’s why all week I have met with dozens of law enforcement officials, hospital and medical personnel, victim and survivor advocates, and visited safe houses in the St. Louis area to see what more we can do to end the scourge of modern day slavery in our own neighborhoods. This arrest marks the first step to permanently shutting down predators such as Backpage.com, and I encourage prosecutors to continue to use all of the tools at their disposal, including the SAVE Act. Let’s cheer this victory, yet resolve to do more and fight for these women, men and children who are still being victimized today.”

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Summary of the SAVE Act:

  • In May 2015, as part of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (S. 178), the SAVE Act was signed into law by President Obama.
  • Through easily accessible websites that advertise the victims of sex trafficking, predators can go online and have children sent to their hotel rooms as easily as if they were ordering a pizza.
  • Online classified services, such as Backpage.com, are the vehicles for advertising the victims of the child sex trade to the world.
  • The traffickers pay online classified websites like Backpage.com to display their messages, these websites accordingly reap enormous profits.
  • Companies that base their business models off of profits made by selling sex with children should not be allowed to operate.
  • The Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation (SAVE) Act criminalizes this behavior, thereby dramatically reducing the sexual victimization of vulnerable children in the United States.
  • The SAVE Act is designed to close Internet marketplaces that host advertisements for the commercial sexual exploitation of women and children.
  • The SAVE Act amends the federal criminal code’s “offenses” section to make it unlawful for Backpage.com and similar websites to knowingly distribute advertising that offers a commercial sex act in a manner prohibited under existing federal sex trafficking statutes.
  • The protections included in the SAVE Act apply to two classes of victim: underage children and those who are being forced to engage in commercial sex acts against their will.
  • This simple change has made it easier for law enforcement to prosecute those that facilitate sex trafficking by advertising the victims.

 

 

Backpage.com Raided, CEO Arrested for Sex-Trafficking¸ Associated Press

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/backpage-raided-ceo-arrested-texas-42630540

 

State agents raided the Dallas headquarters of adult classified ad portal Backpage and arrested Chief Executive Officer Carl Ferrer on Thursday following allegations that adult and child sex-trafficking victims had been forced into prostitution through escort ads posted on the site.

Ferrer, 55, was arrested on a California warrant after arriving at Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport on a flight from Amsterdam.

"Making money off the backs of innocent human beings by allowing them to be exploited for modern-day slavery is not acceptable in Texas," Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, said in a statement.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris said that Ferrer was arrested on felony charges of pimping a minor, pimping, and conspiracy to commit pimping. He is being held in lieu of $500,000 bond and will face an extradition hearing before he can be returned to California.

"Raking in millions of dollars from the trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable victims is outrageous, despicable and illegal," said Harris, a Democrat who is running for the U.S. Senate in next month's election. "Backpage and its executives purposefully and unlawfully designed Backpage to be the world's top online brothel."

An attorney representing Backpage, Liz McDougall, did not immediately respond to telephone and email messages left by The Associated Press.

The site's controlling shareholders, Michael Lacey, 68, and James Larkin, 67, have been charged with conspiracy to commit pimping, Harris said in a statement. Neither of them has been taken into custody by late Thursday although warrants have been issued for their arrest. Under California's law, felony pimping is defined as making money off of prostitutes or soliciting customers for prostitution.

Lacey and Larkin are former owners of the Village Voice and the Phoenix New Times. An attorney who previously represented the two men, Michael Manning, did not immediately respond to a telephone message from The AP.

Backpage advertises a wide range of services, but the California arrest warrant alleges that internal business records obtained through a search warrant show that 99 percent its revenue came from its adult services section between January 2013 and March 2015. California officials said the site collects fees from users who use coded language and nearly nude photos to offer sex for money.

Worldwide revenue from sex ads topped $3.1 million in just one week last year, according to a court affidavit. It says Ferrer expanded Backpage's share of online sex marketing by creating affiliated sites including EvilEmpire.com and BigCity.com with related content.

The site operates in hundreds of cities worldwide, authorities said, including more than 30 in California. It collected $2.5 million per month just from California, or more than $51 million during the 29 months covered by the internal revenue reports.

Larkin and Lacey each received $10 million bonuses from the website in September 2014, according to the court filing. It says Backpage was created in 2004, but since 2014 has been owned by a Netherlands-based company that has Ferrer as its only named partner.

California authorities said the state's three-year investigation found many of the ads include victims of sex trafficking including children under the age of 18.

One of the advertisers, identified only as 15-year-old "E.S.," ''was forced into prostitution at the age of 13 by her pimp," according to an affidavit filed with the complaint. She used other online advertising services until they were shut down, the court filing says, when she turned to Backpage.

"I mean really, coming from someone my age, there is too much access, like it's too easy for people to get on it and post an ad," she told California Special Agent Brian Fichtner, according to his affidavit.

California officials said their investigation was prompted in part by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which reported 2,900 instances to California authorities since 2012 when suspected child sex trafficking occurred using Backpage.

The criminal complaint includes allegations that five minors, three of them including "E.S." under age 16, paid to post advertisements on Backpage.

The charges against Ferrer could bring him nearly 22 years in prison, while Larkin and Lacey face a maximum six years.

 

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Wagner Statement on Officer Snyder

2016/10/06

Ballwin, Mo – Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO-02) released the below statement following news of the loss of St. Louis County Police Officer Blake Snyder:

“I am deeply heartbroken over the loss of Officer Blake Snyder of the St. Louis County Police Department. He was a true hero, who selflessly put his own life on the line to protect our families. Officer Snyder accepted a calling to serve a cause greater than himself, putting on his uniform every day with pure devotion, optimism and a willingness to do everything in his power to keep our neighborhoods safe.  We can never repay the family of Officer Snyder for his sacrifice, but through prayer and faith, I know our community will come together to support his wife and 2 year old son during this tragic time. I ask that you join me in continuing to pray for Officer Snyder’s family and all law enforcement in the greater St. Louis area.”

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Wagner Grills Wells Fargo CEO on Fraud

2016/09/29

WASHINGTON - Today, during a full House Financial Services Committee hearing, Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO-02) questioned John Stumpf, the Chairman and CEO of Wells Fargo, on the appalling actions taken by employees at the company who opened more than 2 million fraudulent customer accounts.

“Placing one's money and wealth in the custody of an organization like Wells Fargo is one of the biggest displays of public trust. And you sir, and your company, have betrayed that trust and taken advantage of consumers in order to meet sales performance goals and fraudulently improve earnings and share prices,” the Congresswoman said during the hearing. “This is wrong. This is immoral. This may even be criminal.”

During Congresswoman Wagner’s questioning, Mr. Stumpf admitted that more than 1,100 of these fraudulent accounts were created in Missouri. Watch the Congresswoman’s full line of questioning here

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Wagner Introduces Bipartisan Trafficking Survivors Relief Act of 2016

2016/09/28

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO), along with Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), and U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Rob Portman (R-OH), today introduced new bipartisan legislation, the Trafficking Survivors Relief Act of 2016, which would clear criminal records of victims of human trafficking. This bill would apply to non-violent crimes committed by individuals as a direct result of human trafficking.

Human trafficking is a modern day form of slavery affecting millions in the United States and abroad. This crime involves either the use of force, fraud, or coercion to exploit a person for labor or commercial sex, or the exploitation of a minor for commercial sex. As a result of being trafficked, victims are commonly charged with crimes such as conspiracy, money laundering, drug trafficking, and related offenses that then follow them throughout the duration of their lives. These charges make it difficult for human trafficking victims to find jobs and housing, leaving them vulnerable to being exploited and trafficked again.

“We have a moral obligation to protect survivors of trafficking who were arrested or convicted for offenses that they were forced to commit,” said Congresswoman Ann Wagner. “No victims of trafficking should be criminalized for the horrific exploitation they have endured. I am proud that with this legislation we are giving survivors a fresh start and an opportunity to recover from trauma, social stigma, and discrimination.”

“Tens of thousands of men, women, and children are victims of human trafficking each year. Too often, they are charged as criminals, thrown in prison, and trailed by a criminal history the rest of their lives instead of getting the care and help they need. The Trafficking Survivors Relief Act will empower human trafficking victims to escape the chains of their past and move forward with their lives,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

“We need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to take care of human trafficking survivors who manage to escape from captivity,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “In many cases, when trafficked people – including children – are forced into slavery, they are tagged with criminal charges that stay with them for the rest of their lives, even though they have absolutely no freedom to say no to their captors, who force them to commit crimes. I urge all of my colleagues to support this legislation to clear non-violent criminal convictions of trafficking victims who were forced to break the law while in captivity. We all have a responsibility to take care of the most vulnerable Americans.”

“Thousands of innocent women and girls have been victimized by human traffickers across our country.  I’ve met with a number of brave survivors in Ohio who have told me that after they were forced into sex and raped by strangers, they were charged with prostitution. I think that’s outrageous. They’re not criminals; they’re victims, and these charges come at a time when they are suffering. It’s time to stop punishing these victims and instead help them get their lives back,” said Senator Rob Portman.

The Trafficking Survivors Relief Act of 2016 would require victims to provide supporting documentation in order to get their non-violent criminal records vacated. These documents can include the following:

  • Certified criminal or immigration court proceedings or law enforcement records demonstrating that the individual was a victim of trafficking at the time they were charged with the trafficking-related offense(s);
  • Testimony or sworn statement from a trained professional staff member of a victim services organization, an attorney, member of the clergy, a health care professional, a therapist, or other professional from whom the person has sought assistance in addressing the trauma associated with being a victim of trafficking; or
  • An affidavit or sworn testimony of the movant indicating that they were a victim of human trafficking at the time of their arrest and that they engaged in or were otherwise accused of engaging in criminal activities as a direct result of being a victim of human trafficking.

 

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Wagner: Cash Payment to Iran was Ransom

2016/09/27

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO-02) attended a classified briefing held by representatives of the U.S. Departments of State, Justice and Treasury following the Obama Administration’s inability to publicly answer Congressional questions in regard to the recent ransom deal with Iran. After the classified briefing, Congresswoman Wagner released the following statement:

“After a near two-hour classified briefing, I am more certain than ever that the Obama Administration paid a cash ransom to Iran for the release of American hostages. This was a negotiated deal where our leaders caved to the world’s leading state sponsor of terror, despite a long-standing national policy to never pay ransom for hostages. The Administration engaged in a reckless transaction, which sets a dangerous precedent for the future of our country, further weakens relations with our allies, emboldens our enemies, and most importantly, puts American lives in danger around the world.”

Congresswoman Wagner recently questioned officials from the U.S. Departments of State, Justice, and Treasury during a Financial Services Committee Oversight and Investigations hearing focused on the Obama Administration’s deal with Iran.

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Contact Information

435 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-1621
Fax 202-225-2563
wagner.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Financial Services

Ann Wagner’s career is both deep and broad in service to her hometown, state and nation with over 25 years of work in the private sector, community and public service, and the political arena.

The 2nd District means family for Ann. It is where she and her husband of twenty-five years, Ray, grew up, went to school, raised their children, work, volunteer and go to church. This community has given her extraordinary opportunities to make a difference.

At an early age, Ann started working in the family business, a retail carpet store called Carpetime in Manchester. Working beside her parents she learned the value of a dollar, a strong work ethic, honesty, integrity, and that government ought not be in the way and on the backs of hard-working Americans trying to make a living.

Ann then took her firsthand experience to the University of Missouri-Columbia and received her BSBA from the Business School with an emphasis in Logistics.  After college, Ann went to work in the private sector and held management positions at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City and Ralston Purina in St. Louis.

Ann’s most important jobs, however, have always been as a wife and mother. Ann and Ray have three children: Raymond, a recent West Point graduate stationed at Fort Campbell with the 101st Airborne; Stephen, a Client Services Manager for a St. Louis area financial management company; and Mary Ruth, a freshmen at Miami University in Ohio.

Ann Wagner’s public service began at the grassroots level. She served for nine years as a local committeewoman in Lafayette Township and went on to Chair the Missouri Republican Party delivering historic Republican gains. She also served as Co-Chairman of the Republican National Committee during the first term of President George W. Bush.

In 2005, following nomination by President Bush and confirmation by the U.S. Senate, Ann was sworn in as the 19th U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. She served as U.S. Ambassador for four years before returning to her home in Ballwin, Missouri.

In 2010, Ann was asked to serve as the Chairman of Roy Blunt’s successful U.S. Senate campaign in Missouri. Bringing her high energy and political skills to the campaign, Ann helped unite existing and new conservative grassroots activists to produce a landslide victory.

Ann announced her first run for public office on April 26, 2011 and has attended hundreds of events including forums, debates, picnics, meetings and rallies.  Her signature grassroots “Table Tops” have been a listening and learning tour in homes all across the district. Her strong connection to her community has helped Ann recruit hundreds of volunteers from every corner of the 2nd Congressional District.

Ann won her 2012 Congressional race with over 60% of the vote and received more votes than any other Republican candidate for Congress in the State of Missouri this cycle.

Ann will serve on the House Financial Services Committee – a key committee for the 2nd District and St. Louis region.  St. Louis and its suburbs are national and regional centers for financial services activity.  Over 84,000 people in St. Louis and its suburbs are employed in the financial services industry with a total payroll of around $4.57 billion.

The St. Louis area is also home to national investment firms including Edward Jones, Scottrade, Stifel Financial and Wells Fargo Advisors, to name a few, making it one of the largest clusters of brokerage firms and personnel outside of New York.

Ann was also selected by the Freshman Class of the 113th Congress to be their representative on the Elected Leadership Committee.


Serving With

Blaine Luetkemeyer

MISSOURI's 3rd DISTRICT

Vicky Hartzler

MISSOURI's 4th DISTRICT

Sam Graves

MISSOURI's 6th DISTRICT

Billy Long

MISSOURI's 7th DISTRICT

Jason Smith

MISSOURI's 8th DISTRICT

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