At the beginning of each session of Congress members of both parties will meet with their colleagues in the party to discuss their legislative priorities and set out an agenda for the year.
Speaker Ryan has started the work to rebuild a Confident America, reiterating on Fox News, “2016 is going to be about the Republican party being the party of ideas and solutions, taking our conservative principles, reapplying them to the problems of the day, like persistent poverty, lack of economic growth, national security, unsecure borders, all of these things that are giving us a less prosperous and less secure country and giving these ideas to the country. I’m looking forward in 2016 about how do we help save this country and put it back on the right track and fix these problems."
I am optimistic after some really good progress at the end of the last session of Congress, but there is more to be done. I am looking forward to working with my Republican colleagues to advance your priorities—a conservative agenda that strengthens our country and grows opportunity for all.
As always, I want to hear from you. As we get started in 2016, what are the issues most important to you?
Question of the week: What issues facing the country do feel are the most important/pressing? (Check up to three)
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), along with U.S. Representatives Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), Pete Olson (R-TX), and Lamar Smith (R-TX), led a broad Congressional coalition filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Texas HB 2, which establishes standards for abortion providers and facilities. The Supreme Court will hear arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt later this Spring.
Sen. Cornyn: “By requiring abortion clinics to be held to the same standards as other medical facilities, the Texas law protects the health of both the mother and child. Upholding this law is important not just for the well-being of women and children in Texas, but to preserve the right of states to pass laws that are in the best interests of its citizens.”
Sen. Cruz: “Those who advocate for abortion often claim that it should be ‘safe, legal, and rare.’ Unfortunately, abortion is not always ‘safe’ for women. Not long ago, we saw just how dangerous an unscrupulous abortionist can be. Kermit Gosnell, who ran a Philadelphia abortion mill, treated his women patients little better than the unborn babies he slaughtered. He subjected the women in his care to unsanitary, degrading, and inhumane treatment, undermining their dignity and health, and even taking one of their lives. In response to this horror, the Texas Legislature enacted H.B. 2, just like other state legislatures across the country, to ensure that abortion clinics are held to the same medical standards as other medical facilities. But even this commonsense regulation for the protection of women is too much for the abortion lobby, which has challenged the regulation all the way to the Supreme Court. For the most zealous abortion advocates, nothing—not even women’s health—can be allowed to stand in the way of abortion-on-demand. Today, a bipartisan group of 174 members of Congress have filed an amicus brief in defense of the right of legislatures across the country to enact medical protections for women. I am honored to have worked with my fellow senator from Texas, John Cornyn, and with Reps. Vicky Hartzler, Pete Olson, and Lamar Smith to bring this mighty coalition together.”
Rep. Hartzler: “The potential impacts of this case are staggering. Upholding this law ensures that the abortion facilities don’t get a free pass on health and safety standards at the expense of women’s health, and it could serve as a template for other states. Overturning it endangers women’s health and could place other reasonable regulations on abortion in jeopardy. The infamous abortionist Kermit Gosnell was not an outlier—we must protect women and children from other Gosnells.”
Rep. Olson: “Texas has a sacred duty to protect the health of our residents, which is why physicians performing abortions must practice the same safety standards as every other medical practitioner. Our Constitution gives states the autonomy to determine the best laws to protect public health. I was proud to join both of our Texas Senators, every Texas US House Republican and a bipartisan group of 147 other Senators and House members in urging the US Supreme Court to uphold this life saving Texas state law. Women seeking an abortion and the unborn babies who may survive an abortion attempt deserve quality care in the event of an emergency. The Supreme Court should give deference to states like Texas on matters of life and health.”
Rep. Smith: “States like Texas have both the right and the responsibility to ensure the highest health and safety standards for their citizens. This bill includes practical, common-sense measures that protect lives and prioritize women’s health. I hope that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of life and states’ rights to regulate within their own borders.”
In total, 34 Senators and 140 Members of the House Representatives have signed onto the brief, which can be found here.
WASHINGTON—Representative Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) released the following statement in regards to the House vote to override the President’s veto of the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015:
“Today we stood up for the American people by voting to override his veto. While we didn’t reach the two-thirds vote necessary, all is not lost. We have shown there is a clear path to repealing this broken law through reconciliation. There is a path to an affordable healthcare system the people want and deserve. We will continue to work towards patient-centered reform and I am hopeful we can send a repeal bill next year to a president who listens to the people and will sign this into law. The American people deserve more.
Obamacare is hurting Americans. It is causing families to lose coverage they want and forcing them to buy coverage they don’t want and can’t afford. It has increased the costs of healthcare and caused people to lose jobs or have their hours cut. The President is not listening to these hurting families, and, sadly, he has again blocked our efforts to bring them relief. We can do better.”
Rep Hartzler spoke at today’s House Leadership “stakeout,” a weekly press conference highlighting the House Republicans’ efforts. See her remarks below:
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WASHINGTON, D.C., January 22, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The blizzard snows are falling on the nation's capital, layering the city in a blanket of frost that could be two to three feet thick by tomorrow morning. But for awhile this afternoon, the 43rdannual March for Light brought an inner warmth to the city.
Numerous speakers made reference to the snow storm, which may dump up to two inches of snow an hour on Washington this evening.
“It's inspiring to see you all out here even with Snowmageddon barreling down on us,” said keynote speaker Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO and 2016 Republican presidential hopeful.
The weather references began with the first speaker, March for Life Chairman Patrick Kelly, who commended persevering pro-lifers determined to “make your voices heard when we have a major storm barreling down on Washington, D.C.”Marching past the capital
“A little snow couldn't keep you away, could it?” she continued to the half-frozen sea of resolute attendees.
Although D.C. police no longer record the size of crowds, several observers said about half as many people came to the 2016 March for Life as came to the predecessor, with weather playing a decisive role.
But those who came lit up the afternoon.
After introductory music and the pledge of allegiance, the march began with a prayer offered by Metropolitan Evangelos of the Greek Orthodox Church. He was joined by Ukrainian, Antiochian, and OCA Orthodox Christian bishops, as well as Roman Catholic bishops – and by the Little Sisters of the Poor, who are suing to prevent the Obama administration from forcing them to violate their conscience on the matter of contraception.
Later, Jim Daly of Focus on the Family thanked “the Catholic community” for “leading the way” in the fight for life – a fight he says evangelicals are joining wholeheartedly. “It has taken us awhile to get to the party, but we are with you,” he said.
This year's theme – “Pro-life and pro-woman go hand in hand” – was evident, as the speakers fought largely over reclaiming the mantle of mass protest movements of the past, from women's suffragettes to civil rights freedom riders.
Patrick Kelly, the chairman of the March for Life, called the march the “important human rights movement in the 21st century.”
Congressman Chris Smith, R-NJ, recounted pro-life legislative victories – some 282 laws protecting life and restricting abortion since 2010 – and said, “Someday soon, America will protect the weakest and most vulnerable. And into eternity, each and every one of you will have played a crucial part in that all-important human rights struggle.”
Numerous speakers tried to reclaim the title “feminist,” as well.
Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List hailed women's suffrage leaders who decried abortion as barbaric and unthinkable.
Former Cosmopolitan magazine writer Sue Ellen Browder said she once “promoted abortion as the royal road to empowerment.” But now, she told attendees, she sees that “you – not Planned Parenthood, not NARAL Pro-Choice America, represent the authentic women's movement of the 21st century!”
“We are the new feminists of the 21st century,” she said. “We are not afraid, and we are not going away.”
And 2016 Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina said secular progressive elites “have perverted feminism into a left-leaning political ideology, where women are pitted against men and used as a political weapon to win elections.”A unique panorama shot of the marchers
Feminism does worse things than contribute to the politics of division and polarization. It hurts, and sometimes kills, women, March for Life President Jeanne Monahan-Mancini said.
“Abortion is not good for women, psychologically or physically,” Mancini said. Numerous studies show that post-abortive women may be at an elevated risk for a future premature birth, and a botched abortion may cause infertility.
And sometimes, it leaves liberated women dead on the table, like 18-year-old “Holly Patterson, who died of a 'safe, legal' abortion inside a Planned Parenthood.”
Or it may be the guilt of the abortion that leaves women dead or wounded. Jewels Green, a post-abortive woman who went on to work in the abortion industry in Pennsylvania, remembered how she attempted suicide just weeks after her abortion. “I spent a month in a psyhiatric unit to recover,” she said, flanked by members of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign.
“I don't want any woman to ever have to go through that,” Mancini said in her speech.”The fact is, pro-life is pro-woman, and that is why we march.”
Numerous speakers also dismissed the alleged “war on women,” noting the high percentage of women who choose, cherish, and support life.
Senator Joni Ernst, R-IA, said she would “reject” the notion that pro-life policies “constitute a war on women.”
“I will remind them that I am a woman, and I have been to war,” Ernst, a veteran, said, “and let me be clear, this is no war on women.”
This year, the march highlighted pro-life female legislators – like Ernst, Virginia Foxx, Vicky Hartzler, Marsha Blackburn, and many others – and they highlighted other march for life events in Canada, Ireland, Italy, Peru, and Mexico.
They hope this year's snow-drenched march will start a fire that spreads all over the world.
WASHINGTON—Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) today voted in support of a Joint Resolution that would stop the Administration’s controversial “Waters of the U.S.,” or “WOTUS” rule.
“Since its inception, the WOTUS rule has been nothing more than a federal land grab,” Hartzler asserted. “Congress, representing the will of the American people has, on many occasions, voted to repeal this onerous misinterpretation of the law. The Administration, however, insists on pushing Washington-centric, top-down rules and regulations on everyday Americans, placing undue burden and restrictions on them. A workable partnership between federal regulators and local authorities to implement clean water standards has existed for years. Changing the rule now to increase the federal presence shows it is nothing more than a land grab.”
“In Missouri, the WOTUS rule could effectively allow the federal government to dictate property rights on over 99 percent of Missouri land,” Hartzler exclaimed. “Ninety-nine percent! It is no wonder 32 states and hosts of public officials, local governments, business owners, and farmers have come out against this flawed rule. Those closest to the land—farmers, homeowners, small businesses, county and city governments—are best equipped to manage it. We owe it to them to do everything we can to stop this unnecessary land grab. Though President Obama is expected to again ignore the will of the people and veto this Joint Resolution, Congress needs to stand firm for our constituents and exhaust all options to restore personal property rights and local control.”
In May 2015, the House passed H.R. 1732, The Regulatory Integrity Protection Act which would nullify the EPA’s proposed rule and require the EPA and the Corps to develop a new rule, working with local governments and citizens, to classify Waters of the United States and clarify who has jurisdiction.
The Senate passed a motion to block he rule under the Congressional Review Act in November of 2015, which would have nullified the Waters of the United States rule and set strict parameters for the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers in rewriting the rule.
EPA’s jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act is expanded immensely under the final Waters of the U.S. Rule. Among the numerous questionable provisions, the rule would define “navigable waters” so as to regulate countless ephemeral drains, ditches and “wetlands” that only contain water when it rains. But whether they are wet or dry on any given day, farming, home building, business expansions, commercial development and countless other land uses in or near these land features will require a federal permit. Permits might take years, or might never be issued. The result amounts to nothing short of federal zoning authority.
Congresswoman Hartzler, who lives on a working farm in Cass County, serves on the House Agriculture, Armed Services, and Budget Committees.
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WASHIGNTON – Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) released the following video statement in response to President Obama’s final State of the Union address:
Congresswoman Hartzler represents Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. She serves on the House Budget, Armed Services, and Agriculture Committees.
WASHINGTON—Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) released the following statement after President Obama vetoed the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act, the first bill successfully passed by both chambers of Congress to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood:
“The representatives of the people’s will yesterday sent a bill to repeal key provisions of a law that is unaffordable, unworkable, and unsustainable. Sadly, the President has chosen to defend his namesake law instead of standing for what the people want.
All is not lost. We have shown there is a clear path to repealing this broken law. There is a path to an affordable healthcare system the people want and deserve. We will continue to work towards patient-centered reform and I am hopeful we can send a repeal bill next year to a President who respects the will of the people and will sign this into law.”
Rep. Hartzler, a co-chair of the House Values Action Team and member of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, is also a member of the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives. She represents the good people of Missouri’s 4th Congressional District, comprised of 24 counties in West-Central Missouri, and serves on the House Armed Services, Agriculture, and Budget Committees.
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WASHINGTON—Congressional Republicans today passed a bill to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood, marking the first time since taking the majority in 2010 that Republicans’ efforts to repeal the embattled healthcare law have delivered a repeal bill to the President.
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), in this week’s Weekly Republican Address outlined the House’s repeal and defund plans, touted Republicans’ efforts saying, “We were sent to Congress to fight for the American people. They do not want their healthcare dictated to them by Washington.” Since coming to Congress, Hartzler has voted over 50 times to repeal the onerous healthcare law, only to have her efforts blocked by Democrats in the Senate.
Still the need to repeal Obamacare remains. “I continue to hear stories from Missourians of premiums going through the roof and deductibles doubling and tripling,” Hartzler added. “People are now facing thousands of dollars in fines for not having a policy because they can’t afford the inflated costs of Obamacare plans. This is just wrong. People should be allowed to make their own choices based on their needs. They do not need or want exaggerated mandates based on whatever Washington deems necessary.”
Beyond spelling the end for Obama’s signature healthcare tax, the bill goes further to strip federal tax dollars from abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood.
“In the wake of the videos that surfaced showing the callous disregard for human life and the disturbing practices of Planned Parenthood officials such as harvesting and selling baby body parts, the calls have been stronger than ever for Congress to stop sending Americans’ tax dollars to this organization,” Hartzler emphasized. “This bill places a moratorium on taxpayer funding to abortion providers and redirects that money to community health centers which serve eight times more women patients than Planned Parenthood, and they provide much more comprehensive care.”
The Republicans’ efforts to repeal Obamacare will most likely face a veto from the President, but Hartzler asserted, “the President will have a choice, does he support the people and women’s health; or does he support Washington mandates and Planned Parenthood? The people now get to see where he stands.”
The House passed the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act, which both repealed Obamacare and defunded Planned Parenthood, in late 2015. The Senate amended the House version, expanding the scope of the bill. The House passed this Senate version by a vote of 240-181.
The bill passed under what is called reconciliation-a process that allows a budgetary bill to pass the Senate with a simple majority of 51 votes, thwarting efforts by Senate Democrats to filibuster the bill.
According to House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) the reconciliation measure “repeals the Obamacare coverage subsidies, credits, and the Medicaid expansion in 2018, and repeals the majority of the taxes in 2016. The measure defends life and promotes access to care by ending for one year taxpayer funding to abortion providers, such as Planned Parenthood, and investing in access to care through community health centers.”
Rep. Hartzler, a co-chair of the House Values Action Team and member of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, is also a member of the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives. She proudly represents the good people of Missouri’s 4th Congressional District, comprised of 24 counties in West-Central Missouri, and serves on the House Armed Services, Agriculture, and Budget Committees.
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1023 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Vicky Hartzler is the Representative for Missouri’s 4th Congressional District, having been elected to that position on November 2, 2010.
She was born October 13, 1960 in Cass County, was raised on a farm in Archie, and lives with her husband, Lowell and daughter, Tiffany, on a working farm in Cass County. She is a graduate of both the University of Missouri-Columbia and Central Missouri State University (now University of Central Missouri) graduating summa cum laude with a B.S. in Education from MU and a M.S. in Education from Central Missouri.
She was first elected to political office in November of 1994 as the State Representative from Missouri’s 124th District. She served three terms, leaving in January of 2001. Prior to her time in politics Vicky taught family and consumer sciences for 11 years in Lebanon and Belton.
In 2004, she served as spokesperson for the Coalition to Protect Marriage, a state constitutional amendment which passed resoundingly and led to Missouri recognizing traditional marriage as a union of a man and a woman. In 2005, she was appointed as Chair of the Missouri Women’s Council, serving for two years.
Vicky and Lowell Hartzler own a company with three farm equipment stores in the 4th District.
The Hartzler family lives near Harrisonville in Cass County.
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What is the cost of losing to the Chiefs in the playoffs? A bottle of barbecue sauce. Thank you to my colleague Rep. Pete Olson, who represents
This morning I joined our House Republican Leadership team to discuss our efforts this week and layout just why we need to repeal Obamacare.
Thousands of pro-life advocates march on Washington as part of the 43rd annual March for life, held on the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade
We have a lot of room to grow and we have a lot of opportunity ahead of us.
Tonight President’ Obama will deliver his final State of the Union address. As the minutes tick away in his “fourth quarter,” the President