Published February 22, 2017 | FoxNews.com
“If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”
Many Americans well remember that promise made by President Barack Obama. Many Americans also know that pledge turned out to be a broken promise. Not only did millions find themselves looking for new coverage after their pre-ObamaCare plan was canceled, each year since more Missourians have been forced to search for a new insurer as providers have left the marketplaces.
We were also told health care prices would come down under ObamaCare – $2,500 a year for a typical family. Instead, we have seen premiums skyrocket across the country, by double digits in many states, and outrageous deductibles most families simply can’t afford. A small business owner from Pleasant Hill, in Cass County, is facing premiums for her family totaling $1,463.36 per month in 2017. That is $17,556 per year and more than one-third of the family’s projected income. Compare that with their $624.21 per month premium in 2008, or 10 percent of the family’s income. Again, the claim that ObamaCare is affordable is not supported by the facts.
Further, we heard ObamaCare “means more choice, more competition, lower costs for millions of Americans.” Another broken promise. Insurers have left the marketplace each year since ObamaCare was put into effect, leaving a third of the country, including 96 of Missouri’s 114 counties, with only one provider to ‘choose’ from. So much for choice.
The fact is, while we may have seen more Americans buy health insurance, exploding deductibles have left many middle- and low-income families unable to use this coverage due to drastically increased out-of-pocket costs. Far too many Missourians can’t afford it and 80 percent of Americans want some sort of major change to the law. ObamaCare has charted an unsustainable spending path, leaving hardworking families with fewer options or control of their health care than ever before.
ObamaCare has failed. How do we fix it?
At its core, ObamaCare does nothing to address the true problems that have caused costs to soar. This is evidenced by the fact that costs have continued to rise under ObamaCare, even after forcing people to buy coverage they don’t want or need to cover the costs of those who need and want it.
The people have made it clear they do not want a return to the pre-ObamaCare status quo. Congressional Republicans agree. We are working to repair our broken health care system with patient-centered solutions that give Americans more choices and lower costs. Instead of forcing people to buy health insurance they cannot afford with provisions they do not need, we believe it is our job to create an atmosphere in which people can buy health insurance that meets their needs at a price they can afford from the provider of their choice.
Despite all the rhetoric and fear mongering from opponents of our plans, it must be noted that, as we work to bring relief to the scores of families who are being hurt by ObamaCare, we understand it needs to be done in a thoughtful and deliberate manner.
For the Americans who have found coverage for the first time under ObamaCare, there will be a stable transition period and coverage will not be instantaneously dropped or denied while a replacement is being implemented. Furthermore, our plan includes those ideas that worked and provide real protections and peace of mind to Missourians -- regardless of age, income, medical conditions, or circumstances -- while giving patients the right tools, like Health Savings Accounts, to make health insurance more portable and affordable.
We want every American to have access to affordable, quality health insurance that meets their needs. A government mandate such as that under ObamaCare, however, does not achieve this goal. We will be presenting solutions that offer Missourians more choices and lower costs; defend against health care coverage being denied or taken away; eliminate red tape to accelerate the development of life-saving devices and therapies; and protect Medicare for current retirees and preserving it for future generations.
In the coming months, much will be said about our efforts. But one thing is for certain: there is a better way. Republicans are intent on instituting that better way, fulfilling a promise made to the American people, ensuring greater access to affordable, quality health care.
Rep. Vicky Hartzler represents Missouri’s 4th district and serves on the House Agriculture and Armed Services Committees.
Rep. Sam Graves represents Missouri’s 6th district and serves on the House Armed Services and Transportation and Infrastructure Committees.
Rep. Billy Long represents Missouri’s 7th district and serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer represents Missouri’s 3rd district and serves on the House Financial Services Committee.
Rep. Jason Smith represents Missouri’s 8th district and serves on the House Ways and Means Committee.
Rep. Ann Wagner represents Missouri’s 2nd district and serves on the House Financial Services Committee.Read More
WASHINGTON—Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) this week introduced, H.R. 1117, the FEMA Relief Improvement Act (FRIA), a bill to foster more open communications between the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) disaster response operations and those communities struggling with the aftermath of a major disaster by providing more transparency, increased consistency, and ultimately, better assistance during the recovery phase.
“Following a major disaster, like the recent tornadoes in Louisiana or the flooding in Missouri in 2015 and 2013, people need accurate information regarding recovery efforts and where to turn for help,” Hartzler stated. “Though FEMA was there to assist after such disasters, many Missourians were left in the dark when it came to things like the status of their applications and grants, what was being done to help, and which agency or person they should speak with at any given time.”
Stemming from concerns raised about FEMA’s response to the record-setting flood in 2013 in southern Missouri, Hartzler’s bill makes sure FEMA is providing the information and assistance needed to our communities during its response to a major disaster.
“FRIA will make sure that not only Missourians, but all Americans going through an emergency, know what is going on and are confident that relief is on its way,” Hartzler said of the bill.
Using lessons learned from previous recoveries, the FEMA Relief Improvement Act requires FEMA to implement processes to provide consistent guidance for disaster relief, maintain accurate and appropriate records of recovery efforts, and use the technology available to best disseminate information to those affected.
Congresswoman Hartzler represents Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. She serves on the House Agriculture, Armed Services, and Budget Committees.
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WASHINGTON—Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), Chairwoman of the House Values Action Team, voted on Thursday to overturn an Obama Administration rule that strips states’ authority over distribution of Title X funds.
The bill, House Joint Resolution 43, uses the Congressional Review Act to return power to state governments to decide which healthcare providers are eligible for Title X funding awards.
“There are number of reasons this rule needs to be overturned,” Hartzler said. “Chief among them is that the rule forces states to send taxpayer funds to abortion providers.” The rule, which was finalized in the “midnight hour” of the Obama Administration, stripped states of their right to direct funds to healthcare providers that do not provide abortion.
“This rule is nothing but a veiled attempt to funnel taxpayer dollars to abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. That’s not healthcare. State governments should be able to distribute funds to meet the needs of their constituents. They should be able to decide to not use these funds for abortion providers.”
Overturning the rule doesn’t cut funding for Title X services. Funds are still allocated to the states as they have been, but states would now be able to direct those funds that were previously mandated to go to abortion providers to other Title X providers.
Hartzler represents Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
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In a day and age where reliable, quick internet access in America has become the norm, many living in rural areas find themselves without this essential connection.
Roughly one-fifth of Missourians are unable to purchase high-speed internet which puts them at a disadvantage in everything from education to entertainment to healthcare. The internet is a powerful tool. At the same time it keeps families and friends connected and provides entertainment, it also serves as a conduit for valuable information. For all of the businesses and corporations that rely on this information, there are farmers and ranchers searching for information as well. Educational materials, agricultural efficiency, and access to telemedicine are all aspects of rural life that are being deprived as a result of the lack of high speed internet in these communities.
Recently, along with 70 of my colleagues in the House, I signed a letter to President Trump urging his infrastructure proposal to Congress to include investments to increase high-speed internet access for our rural communities. The desire for this updated internet access is no longer a want, but a need. To flourish both personally and professionally in the 21st century requires a reliable and fast connection to the information that can only be achieved through broadband. I was happy to sign onto this letter because hardworking Missourians – whether they are surrounded by skyscrapers or pasture – need high-speed access.
In the past, I have voted for a number of bills to bring reliable internet to our rural areas such as the Small Business Broadband Deployment Act. This bill aimed to remove some of the federal burdens from our smaller broadband providers, allowing them the freedom to expand into less populated areas. With this strain lifted, these providers could spend more time and energy deploying broadband services, something rural communities require.
The accessibility of rural internet access can no longer be overlooked. I am committed to helping these communities find a sustainable and affordable answer to this rural and urban divide, and I will continue working to bring high-speed internet to our country’s rural areas.Read More
WASHINGTON—The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday passed the WINGMAN Act, a bill Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) co-sponsored, to better serve veterans by giving Congress tools to help process VA benefits claims.
“When a veteran comes to my office looking for help, my staff and I do all we can to make the process as quick and helpful as possible,” Hartzler said. “Currently, our caseworkers and those advocating on behalf of the veterans must go through the already-overburdened Department of Veterans Affairs to access the veteran’s records. This bill allows select Congressional staffers to have read-only access to necessary information so long as the veteran consents. This gives an advocate the information needed to advance a case without having to use the VA as a middleman, hopefully allowing a resolution to be found quicker. I am proud to co-sponsor this legislation that helps us serve those who selflessly served our country.”
Under the WINGMAN Act, constituent advocates would be able to access the status of a pending claim, medical records, comp and pen records, rating decisions, statement of the case, supplementary statement of the case, notice of disagreement, and Form-9 files within a reasonable amount of time, without having to go through a middle-man to get the answers the veteran needs and deserves.
Congresswoman Hartzler represents Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District - home to Fort Leonard Wood, Whiteman Air Force Base, and over 60,000 veterans.
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Myth: America is shutting its doors to those who seek refuge from other countries.
Fact: The order temporarily halts refugee admissions for 120 days while appropriate agencies work to improve the vetting process, then caps refugee admissions at 50,000 per year. As David French of National Review puts it, “Before 2016, when Obama dramatically ramped up refugee admissions, Trump’s 50,000 stands roughly in between a typical year of refugee admissions in George W. Bush’s two terms and a typical year in Obama’s two terms.”
As the Executive Order states: The Secretary of State shall suspend the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days. During the 120-day period, the Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Secretary of Homeland Security and in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, shall review the USRAP application and adjudication process to determine what additional procedures should be taken to ensure that those approved for refugee admission do not pose a threat to the security and welfare of the United States, and shall implement such additional procedures. Refugee applicants who are already in the USRAP process may be admitted upon the initiation and completion of these revised procedures.
Myth: This order bans Muslims from entering the United States.
Fact: The order imposes a temporary, 90-day ban on people entering the U.S. from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. These are countries that were initially identified as "countries of concern" under the Obama administration. The temporary ban has been put in place to identify and ensure we are able to get all the information needed about those wishing to enter our country to ensure the safety of Americans.
Further, this provision contains an exception allowing the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security to issue visas on a case-by-case basis when in the interest of the United States. This could allow already-vetted allies, such as interpreters, to enter during the 90-day period.
The Heritage Foundation has put together a good timeline of terror threats in the United States. Given the escalation in frequency of planned and executed attacks, a prudent examination of security measures is warranted.
At its base, this is a short-term pause on the immigrant entry from “countries of concern” in order to complete a review of our security procedures in order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of Americans.
Myth: This order imposes a religious test on those wishing to enter the United States.
Fact: This order merely allows religious minorities – those more likely to be persecuted – to be prioritized for entry. This does not bar Muslims from entry, nor does it require an immigrant to subscribe to one religion or another. In fact, Muslims in some countries may be the religious minority.
As the Executive Order states: “Upon the resumption of USRAP admissions, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, is further directed to make changes, to the extent permitted by law, to prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual's country of nationality.”
Moreover, in a 2015 piece, Andrew McCarthy adeptly points out that, “to qualify for asylum in the United States, the applicant must be a “refugee” as defined by federal law. That definition (set forth in Section 1101(a)(42)(A) of Title 8, U.S. Code) also requires the executive branch to take account of the alien’s religion.”
An immigrant, under established U.S. law, when seeking to come to the United States because of persecution, must then establish their religion as a central reason for seeking asylum. This policy is already codified in U.S. law and President Trump’s order has no bearing on this.
Myth: This order prevents Iraqi interpreters from coming to America.
Fact: This order provided for a case-by-case assessment of those impacted by the order and allowed the Secretaries of Homeland Security and State to provide an exception to admit those who have already been vetted such as interpreters and green card holders.
I understand and appreciate the inconvenience and stress felt by those affected by this order; but I also appreciate the underlying goal of ensuring the safety of American families that propelled this order. I trust we can move forward and achieve both goals: homeland security and compassion for those wanting to come to our shores.
While the executive order may require clarification to address concerns about green card holders and those with visas caught in transit, I appreciate President Trump’s steps to ensure the safety of American families. There is no higher priority. It is imperative we thoroughly vet those who are coming into our country. The Obama Administration implemented a similar policy in 2011 amid concerns of terrorist entry into our country, and Congress has passed legislation to address these concerns. We must prioritize Americans’ safety and wellbeing above all else.Read More
When I first ran for Congress, a reporter asked me what was on my to-do list if I was elected. I said, "I am not going to Washington with a 'to-do' list. I am going with an 'Undo' list. Washington has inflicted bad policies onto the American people, hurting them economically, stifling individual opportunity, and infringing on their freedoms. It is time to roll back those policies and move forward."
Over the years, the American people have been subjected to an executive branch that would stop at nearly nothing to exert control over our lives.
Some of the most egregious offenders include the EPA's "Waters of the U.S." rule, which is nothing more than a massive federal land grab that could see over 99% of Missouri land regulated by the agency; Obamacare, which is continuing to prove itself to be unaffordable and unsustainable; and the Department of Labor's "Overtime Rule," which will cause many people’s hours and wages to be reduced all while increasing the cost of hiring employees.
As I have traveled the district, I have heard from many of my constituents about how these rules and regulations have been hurting them. My colleagues and I in Congress have tried, through numerous pieces of legislation, official correspondence, and a host of other channels available to us, to make these stories known—to show our president—just how these one-size-fits-all mandates are affecting hardworking Americans. Unfortunately, with the former administration, these efforts fell on deaf ears.
With a new administration in place now, I decided to compile a list of the most offensive rules, regulations, and mandates that have been affecting my constituents. Instead of simply listing the policies my constituents want to see undone, I wanted to let their voices be heard. So I asked my constituents to submit their stories. I asked them, “What are the burdensome rules, regulations, policies, and laws YOU would like to see undone? How have they affected you? How would you remedy this?”
The stories poured in. They are real; they are impactful; and one thing was very clear: overregulation from our federal government is having a profound and detrimental effect on the people of Missouri’s Fourth District.
From these submissions, I put together the “MO-4 Undo List,” compiling the stories and quotes that seemed to best summarize the feelings of my constituents. I presented it to President Trump so he could hear from the people themselves, and I was encouraged when he told me he would look at it. It is my hope he will use the list to prioritize his administration’s efforts to undo the burdens imposed by previous administrations.
This goes well beyond my district’s borders. I am certain people all across the country are struggling to manage with the crush of rules and regulations that have been forced on them from Washington. People from all walks of life, from all regions of our great country, are dealing with this, and they are tired of it.
It’s these differences—that communities and people are not the same from state to state or city to city—that one-size-fits-all mandates fail to address. Dodd-Frank, for instance was meant to address the actions of Wall Street banks after the financial crisis. Instead, it has been ravishing local and community banks, reducing access to much-needed capital in our towns and cities. It is foolish to think a bank in Buffalo, Missouri, with a population of just over 3,000, would have the same customers, needs, or requirements as Goldman Sachs, which employs approximately 34,000 people.
Regulations are important. They help protect our health, safety, and well-being, and provide firm rules for us to live by. But taken beyond their initial purpose—and to an extreme—regulations can stifle innovation and make everyday life more expensive and difficult to manage. Subsequently, they also foster a dependency on government that strips away from individual liberties, economic freedom, and personal opportunity.
We need to reverse course. We need to help Americans, not hurt them. And we need to remember that what may be good for one does not make it good for all. We need to undo Washington’s harmful policies, and, more importantly, we need to undo Washington’s intrusion into those areas of our lives better left to state and local governments…or left alone completely. Restoring freedom and local control by “undoing” Washington’s overreach is truly the best thing we could do.Read More
WASHINGTON—Capping off months of collecting responses from our local community to the question “What would you like to see undone in Washington?” Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) personally presented her “MO-4 Undo List” to President Donald Trump.
“The people are tired of the endless stream of rules and regulations that flowed out of Washington over the last eight years. I think that is what we heard, loud and clear, last November,” said Hartzler, who personally delivered the list to President Trump in a recent meeting.
Hartzler recalls after initially winning her seat in Congress a reporter asked what topped her “to-do” list when arriving in Washington. She responded with, "I am not going to Washington with a 'to-do' list. I am going with an 'un-do' list. Washington has inflicted bad policies onto the American people, hurting them economically, stifling individual opportunity, and infringing on their freedoms. It is time to roll back those policies and move forward.”
“I want to show the administration the common sense ideas of Missouri’s Fourth District,” Hartzler continued. “There are numerous regulations and rules out there that are hurting Missourians. The ‘MO-4 Undo List’ is a collection of stories from our friends and neighbors – their words – about just how an overbearing executive and one-size-fits-all regulatory bureaucracy can really harm the American dream.”
The “MO-4 Undo List” outlines a number of policy areas, from Obamacare to Labor, and describes some of the rules and regulations that have had a negative effect on Missouri families and livelihoods. Each includes stories and quotes from constituents about how they have been hurt by a particular rule or regulation.
According to the list, some of the most egregious offenders include the EPA's "Waters of the U.S." rule, which is nothing more than a massive federal land grab that could see over 99% of Missouri land regulated by the agency; Obamacare, which is continuing to prove itself to be unaffordable and unsustainable; and the Department of Labor's "Overtime Rule," which will cause many people’s hours and wages to be reduced all while increasing the cost of hiring employees.
“President Trump said he would take a look at it, and I am hopeful this will be used by the administration as an outline for undoing some of the most burdensome policies,” Hartzler added. “As we get started with the new administration, many of my colleagues and I are willing and ready to do what we can in Congress to help undo these items and return power back to the people.”
Hartzler continues to collect “undo” suggestions through her website, hartzler.house.gov, and will continue collecting stories and quotes, to amplify the need to reverse burdensome policies.
An online version of the “MO-4 Undo List” can be found here.
Hartzler represents Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
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WASHINGTON—Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) issued the following statement on President Trump’s executive order directing the Labor Secretary to rescind the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule:”
“I applaud the Trump Administration’s executive order to undo the previous administration’s fiduciary rule. This regulation threatened to stand between Americans and their retirement advisors, cutting off investment options and making it more difficult to plan for the future. I am hopeful today’s action will restore the client-investor relationship and bring certainty for millions of Americans planning for their retirement.”
Hartzler represents Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
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Washington, D.C. (February 2, 2017) - Twelve members of Congress joined pro-life organization Live Action in front of the Capitol today to call for the end of taxpayer funding of abortion giant Planned Parenthood.
Link to recording of today’s news conference: https://www.facebook.com/liveaction/videos/10154946191643728/
Speakers: Live Action President and Founder Lila Rose and Reps. Diane Black (R, TN-6), Ann Wagner (R, MO-2), Trent Franks (R, AZ-8), Steve King (R, IA-4), Jody Hice (R, GA-10), Vicky Hartzler (R, MO-4), Robert Pittenger (R, NC-9), Ralph Abraham (R, LA-5), and House Pro-Life Caucus Chairman Chris Smith (R, NJ-4).
Reps. Steve Pearce (R, NM-2), Jim Banks (R, IN-3), and Doug LaMalfa (R, CA-1) were also present to show their support.
Statements prepared before the news conference:
“Congress has woken up to the demand of the American people to end the forced taxpayer funding of America’s largest abortion corporation.
“For too long, Planned Parenthood has received hundreds of millions of dollars a year from taxpayers based on a lie that it’s the go-to reproductive health care provider for women. The problem is, Live Action’s latest investigation shows Planned Parenthood offers virtually no help to women who want to keep their babies. Planned Parenthood centers all over the country are turning away pregnant women seeking critical prenatal care.
“Planned Parenthood is not real health care for women. If we’re going to fund women’s health care, we need to be funding places that actually provide it -- and places that don’t dismember, poison, and starve to death 887 children a day in the process. For every Planned Parenthood, there are 20 local health centers that provide more comprehensive care for women and their children, especially for low-income women. That’s where the funding needs to go.”
Rep. Vicky Hartzler:
“Our goal is to help women, not harm expectant mothers or their unborn babies. There is an alternative to channeling over $500 million in taxpayer dollars every year to Planned Parenthood, an entity that fails to provide women’s healthcare, does not offer vital services such as prenatal care and ultrasounds, and is fraught with allegations of Medicaid fraud. Expectant mothers facing unplanned pregnancy need comprehensive care, the kind provided in Federally Qualified Health Centers, which greatly outnumber Planned Parenthood clinics and which do not provide abortions. There is absolutely no reason Planned Parenthood or any other abortion manufacturer should receive one more dime of taxpayer funding.”
Rep. Ann Wagner:
“Fighting for the sanctity of life is my most precious responsibility as a member of Congress. Each year Planned Parenthood commits more than 320,000 abortions – one every 97 seconds – and I thank Live Action for their work to highlight the severe physical and emotional consequences of abortion for both the unborn and their mothers. While Congress has made great strides in limiting this horrific practice, I will not stop fighting until abortion is not only illegal, but unthinkable.”
Rep. Steve King:
“Every year, Planned Parenthood performs over 30% of all abortions, killing over 320,000 babies, all the while claiming to be a leader in women’s healthcare. Thanks to Live Action’s relentless efforts and the videos they have produced, we know the truth regarding this organization and the lies they continue to sell to the public. Human life, beginning at the moment of conception, is sacred in all of its forms, and I commend Live Action for fighting for all to have that right.”
Rep. Jim Banks:
“I commend Live Action’s efforts to expose the misleading and deceptive claims made by Planned Parenthood. I strongly support efforts to fully defund Planned Parenthood and ensure taxpayer dollars are not supporting the inhumane practices of our nation’s largest abortion provider. We must stand for the protection of innocent human life and end federal funding for this morally bankrupt organization.”Read More
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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96 of Missouri’s 114 counties have only one provider to ‘choose’ from. We can do better. https://t.co/6IetZRWNDF
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This is about making sure students are protected; schools & local leaders know what’s best for their students: https://t.co/jGka5lBwVo
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We are working to repair our broken health care system with patient-centered solutions that give Americans more choices and lower costs. Instead
Talking with Gary Nolan from 93.9 the Eagle before the Financial Services Roundtable this morning.
Following a major disaster, like the recent tornadoes in Louisiana or the flooding in Missouri in 2015 and 2013, people need accurate information
Today the House passed a bill I was proud to co-sponsor to overturn an Obama Administration rule that strips states’ authority over distribution
Today the House passed the WINGMAN Act, a bill I was proud to co-sponsor to better serve veterans by giving Congress tools to help process VA