(Washington, DC) – The House Armed Services Committee early this morning moved out of committee the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), annual legislation that determines policies and funding levels for the U.S. Department of Defense and other national security entities. Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler played a key role in advancing policies to strengthen our military.
“The defense of our nation continues to be my top priority, and the 2018 National Defense Authorization bill takes significant steps to address the serious readiness crisis in our country, ensuring our troops have the resources, training, and capabilities needed to face the growing threats of today,” said Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, who serves as the Chairwoman of the committee’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee which oversees the Administration’s defense policies and ensures accountability within the Department of Defense. “I am proud that Missouri’s bases and defense industrial base will continue to be a leader in our national security efforts as evidenced by several provisions within this bill I advocated for,” added Hartzler, who this year entered her fourth term on the defense committee.
Missouri specific provisions within the NDAA include:
“The defense authorization bill now moves to the House floor for consideration and I am confident that we will be able to move this legislation forward in a bi-partisan manner,” added Hartzler.Read More
(Washington, DC) — Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler made the following statement after the House Armed Services Committee markup of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. Hartzler offered an amendment for discussion repealing the policy instituted during the Obama Administration which allows transgender individuals to serve and be recruited in the military. Following debate Hartzler withdrew the amendment to give the DoD an opportunity to address this problem internally, reserving the right to proceed with this effort on the House floor in July.
“The Obama transgender policy, which was implemented without input from Members of Congress, is ill-conceived and contrary to our goals of increasing troop readiness and investing defense dollars into addressing budget shortfalls of the past,” said Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. “By recruiting and allowing transgender individuals to serve in our military we are subjecting taxpayers to high medical costs including up to $130,000 per transition surgery, lifetime hormone treatments, and additional surgeries to address the high percentage of individuals who experience complications,” added Hartzler. She noted surgeries alone could cost $1.35 billion over the next 10 years. For perspective, examples of other things the DoD could spend $1.35 billion on include 13 F-35's, 14 Super Hornet F-18’s, 2 B-21 long-range strike bombers, 8 KC-46's, all A-10 wing replacements or increased end strength of our troops.
“This policy is costly and a threat to our readiness. The deployability of individuals going through the sex transition process is highly problematic, requiring 210 to 238 work days where a soldier is non-deployable after surgery. This recovery time equates to 1.4 million manpower days where transgender personnel cannot deploy and fight our nation’s wars, therefore relying on an already stressed force to pick up the burden. It makes no sense to purposely recruit individuals who cannot serve. Transgendered individuals undergoing treatment are not eligible for special duties like flying status, personnel reliability program, and jobs requiring certain Security Clearances.”
“This is also an issue of fairness. Currently we refuse entrance into our armed forces for lesser physical issues, such as flat feet, bunions, asthma, and sleep walking. I had a constituent denied entrance into the JAG program because she had a bunion, yet accession standards are set to be modified to allow transgendered individuals into a military where they will be unable to fully serve. This is a senseless and highly unfair double standard.”
“Military service is a privilege — not a right — predicated on the singular goal of fighting and winning our nation’s wars. All decisions on personnel and funding should be made with this in mind. High entry and retention standards are required because failure in the job costs lives. Last year's transgender decision is costly in dollars and short on common sense.”Read More
Washington, D.C. – The Empowering Law Enforcement to Fight Sex Trafficking Demand Act (H.R. 2480), legislation offered by Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler to combat the spread of human trafficking, passed the House Judiciary Committee today. Committee approval of HR 2480 moves the bill closer to full consideration on the House floor in July.
“Sex trafficking crimes are a rising epidemic in America, but our federal grant system has not kept pace with the seriousness of this issue. We must empower our police in fighting this nationwide epidemic. When the law enforcement community says there is an opportunity to rescue sex slavery victims — which sadly includes children — then there is no excuse for ignoring it. This legislation provides us an opportunity to rescue countless lives from the sex trafficking industry and move one step closer to ending this evil forever,” said Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, who has been a staunch advocate of increasing tools for law enforcement to combat trafficking. Last month Hartzler met at the White House with the Department of Justice, State Department officials, and Ivanka Trump, who is assisting the president on this issue, to discuss ways to more aggressively combat the rising tide of sex trafficking crimes both in the United States and abroad.
Specifically HR 2480 expands the ability of the Department of Justice’s Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grants Program (Byrne JAG) to enable law enforcement agencies to compete for federal funding, specifically to develop and carry out programs that fight sex trafficking demand. Demand reduction programs pose police officers as women engaged in street-level prostitution to capture buyers seeking to exploit these victims. The average support team consists of about six officers for each decoy. Police may also post decoy advertisements online, and set up reverse stings at a hotel or apartment. All of these strategies drain precious law enforcement budgets.
“Every life matters and has inherent worth, and we must do all we can to fight human trafficking. The Empowering Law Enforcement to Fight Sex Trafficking Demand Act ensures that state and local law enforcement officials have access to additional tools needed to fight this heinous crime in their communities. I thank Congresswoman Hartzler for her work to fight human trafficking and look forward to her bill being voted on by the House of Representatives in the coming weeks,” said Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) released the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court announced their ruling in favor of Trinity Lutheran’s preschool in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer:
"I am pleased the High Court has ruled on the side of our constitutionally protected religious liberties in today’s Trinity Lutheran case," said Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, who represents the district where the learning center resides. "A ruling against this preschool would have had far-reaching consequences for Americans. When one freedom is threatened, they are all in jeopardy.
"This case was about whether Trinity Lutheran, like all other schools in the state, could competitively apply for and receive grant funding to provide recycled tires that are used to improve playground safety for Missouri’s children,” added Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, who led an amicus brief in the House supporting Trinity Lutheran Church Child Learning Center. “Religious discrimination has no place in America, and I'm glad to see the U.S. Supreme Court agreed, reinforcing our First Amendment freedoms.”Read More
WASHINGTON—Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) today expressed optimism following President Trump’s decision to provide the Secretary of Defense authority to set force management levels in Iraq and Syria. Hartzler, in a January 2017 letter to then President-elect Trump, petitioned the incoming president to, “revise the way force management levels, or ‘troop caps,’ are formulated” following a series of investigations she spearheaded as the Chairwoman of the House Armed Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.
“President Trump’s decision to provide Secretary Mattis authority over troop caps in both Iraq and Syria signals a desire to reform the process and represents a new approach to improving military readiness,” said Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, Chairwoman of the House Armed Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. “It is my hope that Secretary Mattis will address the misguided practices of using troop caps as a political tool. This allows commanders to build a coherent strategy and request forces to support that strategy—instead of the other way around,” added Hartzler.
In Hartzler’s letter to Trump, she noted her 2016 hearing uncovered the negative impacts force management levels in Iraq and Afghanistan have on military readiness. In that hearing, testimony revealed that in order to stay under the Obama Administration’s prescribed troop caps, combat units were forced to leave critical support functions stateside and contract maintenance services once deployed overseas. “In other words, the taxpayers are paying twice for capabilities already housed within the military units. It’s backwards, wasteful, and above all, ineffective when it comes to achieving the ultimate mission,” said Chairwoman Hartzler.
Additionally, Hartzler’s letter urged the incoming Trump Administration to work with military leadership to consider the military strategy, mission, and objectives first when establishing troop caps—a reversal of the Obama Administration’s policy.
The text of Hartzler’s letter can be found below.
January 13, 2017
Mr. Donald J. Trump
President-elect of the United States
c/o Trump Organization
725 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10022
Dear President-elect Trump,
As you are aware, United States military personnel currently serve in a broad range of functions in the Central Command Area of Responsibility (AOR). The Executive Branch establishes a force management level (FML), or “troop cap,” to limit the number of service members deployed in certain AORs. President Obama’s Administration most recently set the troop cap in Afghanistan to 8,448 for the beginning of 2017, and 5,262 troops in Iraq - numbers which, as you’ll see from below, are too low given the military force necessary to achieve our Nation’s strategic aims.
Last month, I led a hearing in my role as Chairwoman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations to hear testimony on the readiness and strategic considerations of force management levels in Iraq and Afghanistan. Retired senior Army officers and outside experts confirmed concerns I held in regards to second order effects of the way in which the current Administration has imposed these troop caps.
To meet troop cap levels that the Administration imposed, the Department of the Army implemented costly, counterintuitive “solutions” that deleteriously affect our military’s readiness. Combat Aviation Brigades deploy without their aircraft maintainers to remain below FML, and instead contract for this service overseas. Our military pays twice for a capability already organic to the Armed Forces.
This practice causes a number of other problems as well. For over $100 million dollars a year, the Army sends contractors to the CENTCOM AOR while their active-duty counterparts stay home and let their skills atrophy. Units are broken apart, adversely impacting their cohesion and morale. Contractors in turn can only fulfill a specific task delineated by arduously negotiated contracts, limiting the flexibility and responsiveness that could have benefitted deployed Commanders. United States military readiness downgrades from already dangerously low levels.
I urge your incoming Administration, in conjunction with military leadership, to mindfully make force management level decisions with a clear understanding of resources needed to achieve the desired end result. Deliberate civil-military discussions about that desired end result at the beginning of setting force management levels should then inform the subsequent FML imposed on our military, not the other way around.
Setting arbitrary troop caps not only hinders the military planning process, it has severe consequences that could easily be ameliorated. As your incoming Administration considers opportunities to more efficiently spend taxpayer dollars, I strongly encourage you to reverse the policy of setting troop caps first and forcing the military to plan and operate within that construct.
I stand ready to work with you on these issues as an active member of Congress and leader on the House Armed Services Committee.
Chairwoman, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
Following the Trump Administration’s implementation of the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy, the House Values Action Team (VAT) leadership, Chair Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), and Co-Chairs Reps. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.), and Jody Hice (R-Ga.), jointly released the following statement.
“It is essential that U.S. foreign assistance is life affirming. The State Department’s implementation of the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy, formerly known as the Mexico City Policy, solidifies that U.S. taxpayer dollars will not be used for abortions or the promotion of abortions overseas.”
“This expanded policy reinforces our commitment to the health of mothers and babies, born and unborn, ensuring that American partnership with foreign NGOs upholds human dignity and integrity.”Read More
For Individuals Impacted by Flooding:
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CLIFTON HILL, Mo.—Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) on Thursday welcomed EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to the Thomas Hill Energy Center in Clifton Hill, Mo.
“It was a pleasure and an honor to welcome Mr. Pruitt to Missouri and tour the Thomas Hill Co-op, with him to see firsthand the facilities that supply electricity for so many Missourians” Hartzler said. “It was refreshing to hear the head of the EPA talk about prioritizing both the environment and job growth. As he said, 'It's a false choice to force our country to choose between the two.' I look forward to working with him to keep electricity affordable for Missourian's under the new paradigm of shared leadership between federal state, and local entities.”
Thomas Hill Energy Center, an Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. site, employs about 230 people and is an important resource for providing members reliable, around-the-clock electricity at an affordable cost. The plant also has received national recognition for its efficiency and successful conversion to low-sulfur coal that reduced sulfur dioxide emissions 90 percent.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, more coal is consumed for electricity generation in Missouri than in all but three other states in the nation; only Texas, Illinois, and Indiana use more. Coal fuels about three-fourths of Missouri's net electricity generation.
Hartzler represents Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District, home to Thomas Hill Energy Center, in the U.S. House of Representatives.
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WASHINGTON—Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), Chairwoman of the House Armed Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, on Monday led a bipartisan Congressional fact-finding trip to Guantanamo Bay to tour the base and receive briefings on the missions being conducted at the facility.
“It was an honor to be able to lead this trip and to allow members to see, firsthand, the important mission our guardsmen are conducting at Guantanamo Bay,” Hartzler said. “Guantanamo plays an extremely important role in keeping Americans safe through the detention of enemy combatants in the war on terrorism. I am deeply appreciative of the professionalism the Joint Task Force personnel display, day-in and day-out, in carrying out their mission of safe, humane, legal and transparent care and custody of detainees.”
Hartzler led the Congressional Delegation (CODEL) to provide Members of Congress, particularly freshmen, and professional staff from the House Armed Services Committee an opportunity to observe detention operations at Joint Task Force – Guantanamo (GTMO). The delegation observed camp operations, received a briefing from GTMO senior leaders about the mission and current operations, and received tours of active detention camps and support facilities.
“These enemy combatants represent the worst of the worst, planning, carrying out, or participating in attacks against Americans,” Hartzler continued. There are currently 41 detainees being held at GTMO, awaiting trial for their actions.
At different times since 9-11 there have been as many as 714 terrorists in detention at Guantanamo Bay. Many were transferred against strong objections from Members of Congress. “With almost 30 percent of those transferred confirmed or suspected of reengaging in the fight, it is imperative we keep these terrorists off the battlefield and ensure justice is served,” Hartzler concluded.
Joining Hartzler on the CODEL were Reps. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), Jim Banks (R-Ind.), Trent Kelly (R-Miss.), Stephen Knight (R-Calif.), Don Bacon (R-Neb.), Anthony Brown (D-Md.), Donald McEachin (D-Va.), Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.), and Salud Carbajal (R-Calif.). This is Hartzler’s third CODEL trip to Guantanamo.
Hartzler represents Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
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WASHINGTON—A bill introduced by Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) to ensure residents receive better guidance, more accurate information, and greater certainty from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) following a disaster passed in the U.S. House of Representatives with overwhelmingly bipartisan support by a vote of 408-0.
“This bill requires FEMA to focus efforts on its core mission – helping people recover from disasters,” Hartzler said. “When people go through a disaster, such as floods and tornadoes, the people need to know that relief is on the way. From past disasters in Missouri, there have been repeated incidents of lost or misplaced paperwork, poor coordination between state and federal agencies, and general lack of information from FEMA officials. There are still pending cases from 2013 following the floods in my district! The people deserve better, and this bill delivers.”
Hartzler spoke on the House floor during debate of her bill. Her remarks can be seen here.
This legislation passed unanimously in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in February. Members of the committee from both sides of the aisle expressed support for this bill.
The FEMA Relief Improvement Act requires FEMA to create a plan that will provide consistent guidance and accurate information following a disaster. Specifically, it requires FEMA to create an action plan to improve field transition by:
Congresswoman Hartzler represents Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. She serves on the House Agriculture and Armed Services 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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Just finished marking up the NDAA in record time, this is the first step in rebuilding our military, and I'm proud… https://t.co/tD1zVX8BgR
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Today, my bill, the Empowering Law Enforcement to Fight Sex Trafficking Demand Act (H.R. 2480), to combat the spread of human trafficking, passed
Today’s EPA announcement rolling back a major federal land grab is a huge win for Missouri farmers, builders, businesses, land owners, and
I am pleased the High Court has ruled on the side of our constitutionally protected religious liberties in today’s Trinity Lutheran case. A
This week, I took to the House floor to express my support for the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act. This
A group of Missourians from the Fourth District met with myself and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price in Washington, D.C. to share