Vicky Hartzler

Vicky Hartzler

MISSOURI's 4th DISTRICT

View From the Capitol - Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler's Newsletter for the Week of July 28-August 1, 2014

2014/08/01

Good Day,

This week, the House approved the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014, H.R. 3230, important legislation to reform the Veterans Affairs Department and to provide veterans with the health benefits they have earned.

After the mistreatment, abuse, and secret waiting lists first reported at the VA facility in Phoenix, Congress acted. Above all, this bill provides access to quality, timely care that our veterans have earned. It allows veterans to receive non-VA care if they are unable to secure an appointment at a VA facility within the wait time goals of the Veterans Health Administration or, with a few exceptions, if they live more than 40 miles from the nearest VA facility.

This legislation will also help provide much-needed accountability by authorizing the VA to fire or demote Senior Executive Service and equivalent employees for poor performance or misconduct. Further, it reduces the funding for bonuses within the VA while allowing for the hiring of more doctors and the leasing of new medical facilities across the country. The bottom line is that this bill improves accountability in the VA and access to quality, timely care for our nation’s veterans.

I am pleased that Congress has passed this bill to address concerns centering on the VA. We have a responsibility to ensure all the brave men and women who have served our country are receiving the benefits they so justly deserve.

The House also approved a resolution this week to authorize the House of Representatives to launch legal action in opposition to President Obama’s attempts to bypass Congress and enact his own laws. Specifically, the resolution authorizes the filing of a lawsuit objecting to the President’s unilateral changes to the federal health care law.

The President has overreached by unilaterally changing certain aspects of the health law, such as the employer mandate, without going through Congress. The Constitution does not give the President the right to do that. It is the elected representatives of the people who make the laws.

The simple truth is that the Constitution requires the President to faithfully execute the laws legislated by Congress. President Obama has demonstrated time and time again that he believes he has the power to make his own laws, going so far as to say that if Congress won’t make the laws he wants, he’ll take action on his own. This is contrary to the Constitution.

The President and every member of Congress take an oath to uphold the Constitution. The House is obligated to respond to this challenge to the Constitutional balance of powers. This is not about politics – it is about respecting the Constitution.

I had an opportunity this week to join many of my energy-conscious colleagues who want to see an end to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) War on Coal. The EPA’s carbon regulation, which I oppose, would shut down coal plants throughout the United States, harming the economy, and destroying jobs. The requirement that carbon pollution be reduced by around 21 percent in Missouri by 2030 is unrealistic.

I am certainly not opposed to reducing emissions, but I believe it must be done in a common-sense way that does not harm the hard-working Americans who would have to pay much higher energy bills as a result of these EPA regulations. The simple truth is that someone is going to have to pay for this effort to curb the use of coal. And, in Missouri, where we get over 80 percent of our energy from coal, it will be consumers who will be hit particularly hard. The people are already having a difficult time making ends meet, it makes absolutely no sense to burden them with higher energy costs.

As I witnessed, firsthand, on my recent “all-of-the-above” energy tour of Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District, Missourians appreciate and welcome various alternative sources of energy such as wind and solar power, but they also want affordable power from the tried and true sources that include coal, hydro, nuclear. The goal for Missouri and the rest of our country must be to ensure we have access to an abundant and affordable supply of energy. We cannot allow coal-powered plants to be targeted by Washington bureaucrats. Common sense must prevail to allow hardworking families to keep the lights on as they stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It is the right thing to do.

Have a great week.

Vicky

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Cedar County staff listening post

2014/07/31

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) announces a 4th Congressional District listening post has been scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014 from 10 to 11 a.m. in El Dorado Springs City Hall’s City Council Chamber.

Each listening post held throughout the 4th District is hosted by a member of Congresswoman Hartzler’s staff and is intended to provide citizens the opportunity to discuss and share matters of importance to them. Hartzler staff member Cole Karr will meet with constituents and report back to the Congresswoman. All citizens are invited to attend.

What: Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler Staff Listening Post Where: El Dorado Springs City Hall, 135 West Spring St., El Dorado Springs, MO 64744 When: Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014 – 10-11 a.m.

For further information contact Congresswoman Hartzler’s office at (417) 532-5582.

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Hartzler and House approve move to respect our Constitution by stopping Presidential overreach

2014/07/30

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) and the House have approved a resolution authorizing the House of Representatives to launch legal action in opposition to President Obama’s attempts to bypass Congress and enact his own laws. Specifically, the resolution authorizes the filing of a lawsuit objecting to the President’s unilateral changes to the federal health care law.

“The President has overreached by unilaterally changing certain aspects of the health law, such as the employer mandate, without going through Congress,” said Hartzler. “The Constitution does not give the president the right to do that. It is the elected representatives of the people who make the laws.”

“The simple truth is that the Constitution requires the President to faithfully execute the laws legislated by Congress,” Hartzler continued. “President Obama has demonstrated time and time again that he believes he has the power to make his own laws, going so far as to say that if Congress won’t make the laws he wants, he’ll take action on his own. This is contrary to the Constitution.”

“The president and every member of Congress take an oath to uphold the Constitution,” Hartzler added. “The House is obligated to respond to this challenge to the Constitutional balance of powers. This is not about politics – it is about respecting the Constitution.”

Congresswoman Hartzler serves on the House Agriculture, Armed Services, and Budget Committees.

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Hartzler and House take action to improve access to and quality of health care for veterans

2014/07/30

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) and the House have approved important legislation to reform the Veterans Affairs (VA) Department and to provide veterans with the health benefits they have earned.

“After the mistreatment, abuse, and secret waiting lists first reported at the VA facility in Phoenix, Congress acted,” said Hartzler. “Above all, this bill provides access to quality, timely care that our veterans have earned. It allows veterans to receive non-VA care if they are unable to secure an appointment at a VA facility within the wait time goals of the Veterans Health Administration or, with a few exceptions, if they live more than 40 miles from the nearest VA facility.”

“This legislation will also help provide much-needed accountability by authorizing the VA to fire or demote Senior Executive Service and equivalent employees for poor performance or misconduct,” Hartzler continued. “Further, it reduces the funding for bonuses within the VA while allowing for the hiring of more doctors and the leasing of new medical facilities across the country. The bottom line is that this bill improves accountability in the VA and access to quality, timely care for our nation’s veterans.”

“I am pleased that Congress has passed this bill to address concerns centering on the VA,” added Hartzler. “We have a responsibility to ensure all the brave men and women who have served our country are receiving the benefits they so justly deserve.”

Congresswoman Hartzler serves on the House Armed Services, Agriculture, and Budget Committees.

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View From the Capitol - Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler's Newsletter for the Week of July 21-25, 2014

2014/07/25

Good Day,

This week, the House passed additional legislation to address the horrific crime of human trafficking, approving two bills I co-sponsored - the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthen Families Act, H.R. 4980, and the Human Trafficking Prioritization Act, H.R. 2283.

Passage of these bills builds on the recent Human Trafficking Summit I hosted in Columbia, in which a panel of survivors and experts helped raise awareness of this awful crime. The Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthen Families Act aims to protect youth at risk of sex trafficking and improve adoption incentives so these youths can find their forever homes. In 2013, 60 percent of child sex trafficking victims recovered in an FBI nationwide raid from over 70 cities were children that had been in foster care or group homes at some point. This bill aims to stem the tide of this atrocious crime by requiring the states to allow for proper services to be provided to those children in foster care who are victims or are at risk of becoming victims of sex trafficking. It goes further to promote normalcy in foster youth so that these kids can integrate more easily into society and into their permanent homes.

I am also pleased the House passed the Human Trafficking Prioritization Act which makes the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking more effective in carrying out its duties. Though human trafficking is a global issue, we must not forget that it happens right here in our own backyard. Just last November, in Jefferson City, a man was indicted for sex trafficking of a child under the age of 14. We must do all we can to end this. I urge the Senate to quickly take up and approve these important bills to address this heinous criminal activity.

In February, my colleagues from Missouri and I wrote a letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan outlining the concerns that our colleges and universities had about a newly proposed College Scorecard website. The proposed system is flawed and to fix it, the House approved the Strengthening Transparency in Higher Education Act, H.R. 4983, to require the Secretary of Education to replace the controversial scorecard system with a consumer-tested College Dashboard website that displays simple, understandable, and unbiased information for the most recent academic year on each institution of higher learning. The information will include the number of students enrolled at the institution, the student-faculty ratio, and the percentage of undergraduate students who received their degree or certificate within 100, 150, or 200 percent of the normal time of completion.

Despite attempts to enhance transparency in the higher education system, students and families still have difficulty accessing important information to assist them in choosing the right college or university to suit their needs. Higher education is expensive and is getting costlier. The Strengthening Transparency in Higher Education Act will give students and families greater access to the vital information they require when making wise higher education choices.

In recent weeks, I have shared with you my concerns for the people of Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District with the rising cost of electricity. Those concerns sparked my recent “all-of-the-above” energy tour and subsequent visits with energy producers in our state. I recently had the opportunity to visit with officials of Laclede Electric Cooperative as well as those from Show-Me Electric, Associated Electric Cooperative, and the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives. Our discussion focused on cybersecurity and keeping our electric grid safe from hackers and terrorists who could attack and set our nation back. In addition we discussed the threats of weapons using electromagnetic pulse (EMP) or coordinated attacks on power substations – putting us out of power for lengthy periods of time. As we have seen in the past, these possibilities are very real and we must do all we can to prevent it from happening.

The group also discussed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations and expansion of broadband services through electric cooperatives. While EPA has presented a threat to Missouri electric cooperatives through carbon regulations targeting coal - the primary source of Missouri energy - broadband expansion is an opportunity for cooperatives and is already bringing high-speed Internet to rural areas of our district. Co-Mo Electric in Tipton is a great example of how cooperatives are successfully taking the initiative to bring modern technology to areas where it is lacking. I support the initiative and believe it will be a catalyst for economic development in areas that have not seen the potential before. As a member of Osage Valley Electric Cooperative, I am a strong advocate for the electric cooperative mission to provide affordable and efficient power to rural America. I applaud the work these electric cooperatives are doing for the people of our state and I look forward to continuing to work with them to ensure electricity remains reliable and affordable for all MO-4 families.

Have a great week.

Vicky

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Hartzler and House approve legislation to combat human trafficking

2014/07/24

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) and the House have passed legislation to address the horrific crime of human trafficking, approving, among others, two bills she co-sponsors - the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthen Families Act, H.R. 4980, and the Human Trafficking Prioritization Act, H.R. 2283.

“Passage of these bills is a progression of the recent Human Trafficking Summit I hosted in Columbia, in which a panel of survivors and experts helped raise awareness of this awful crime,” said Hartzler. “The Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthen Families Act aims to protect youth at risk of sex trafficking and improve adoption incentives so these youths can find their forever homes.  In 2013, 60 percent of child sex trafficking victims recovered in an FBI nationwide raid from over 70 cities were children that had been in foster care or group homes at some point. This bill aims to stem the tide of this atrocious crime by requiring the states to allow for proper services to be provided to those children in foster care who are victims or are at risk of becoming victims of sex trafficking. It goes further to promote normalcy in foster youth so that these kids can integrate more easily into society and into their permanent homes.”

“I am also pleased the House passed the Human Trafficking Prioritization Act which makes the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking more effective in carrying out its duties,” added Hartzler. “Though human trafficking is a global issue, we must not forget that it happens right here in our own backyard. Just last November in Jefferson City, a man was indicted for sex trafficking of a child under the age of 14. We must do all we can to end this. I urge the Senate to quickly take up and approve these important bills to address this heinous criminal activity.”

Congresswoman Hartzler services on the House Agriculture, Armed Services, and Budget Committees.

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Standing up for Israel

2014/07/18

Israel is under siege by a radical faction that displays blatant disregard for its citizens. Hamas is using its citizens as human shields, building bombs in the basements of schools, and prohibiting families from evacuating areas where rockets are being launched.

Israel has shown tremendous restraint and has every right to defend itself against these unwarranted attacks. Over 1,350 rockets have been launched into Israel, reaching even Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Over 80% of the country's citizens have had to huddle in bomb shelters for parts of ten days now. Over 6 million men, women, and children are endangered, yet Israel has agreed to two ceasefires. Unfortunately, Hamas has not abided by these calls firing dozens of rockets into Israel even when Israel was ceasing its efforts to protect its citizens so that humanitarian assistance could arrive to the people in the Gaza Strip.

While Hamas is bent on killing innocent Israelis, Israel is intent on preserving their lives. As they seek to stop the rocket fire in the Gaza Strip, Israel goes to great lengths to save innocent lives. It drops leaflets into neighborhoods warning of an impending military action to take out the rocket launchers which are often strategically placed by Hamas in neighborhoods. It then calls residents of the  house to warn them, then sends texts to those in the house, then ‘knocks’ on the house by dropping a small, non-penetrating bomb on the roof to let people know they are serious. Unfortunately, Hamas has responded by stopping people from fleeing and even forcing them onto the rooftops as human shields. Thankfully, the Iron Dome missile defense system has stopped over 270 of Hamas's deadly rockets from reaching their targets.

As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, "Israel uses its missile defense system to save human lives. Hamas uses its people to save its missiles."

Yet, even with all these injustices, the UN and much of the world remains silent. Where are the human rights organizations decrying Hamas? Where is the UN?

Where is the U.S.? Hopefully, with Israel! We need to be standing strong for the only democracy and our greatest ally in the Middle East. We need to let other nations know we will never abandon Israel and they need to join us in speaking out against this affront to national sovereignty and to human decency. We need to be offering assistance to stop these attacks and help Israel stay safe.

Ultimately, we must stand by our friends. Please join me in praying for the peace of Jerusalem.

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View From the Capitol - Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler's Newsletter for the Week of July 14-18, 2014

2014/07/17

Good Day,

This week, the House passed a number of bills aimed at reining in the IRS, funding highway and road programs, keeping access to the Internet tax-free, improving our economy, and creating American jobs.

The Financial Services Appropriations Bill passed and is important because it prioritizes programs critical to enforcing laws, maintaining an effective judiciary system, and helping small businesses, while targeting lower-priority or poor-performing programs – such as the Internal Revenue Service – for reductions. This bill keeps the IRS in check when it comes to spending your tax dollars and fulfilling its key duties by cutting funding by $341 million, prohibiting funds for the targeting of individuals based on their political beliefs – including a proposed tax-exempt status regulation that could infringe on Americans’ First Amendment rights, prohibiting funds for inappropriate conferences or videos, and prohibiting funds for employee bonuses when no consideration of their performance has been given. This bill also helps small businesses create jobs and prosper by funding business loans, Small Business Centers, and Women’s Business Centers. Lastly, it prohibits funding for the Executive Office of the President to create Executive Orders that contradict existing law. By limiting the reach of federal agencies, we are increasing the transparency and accountability while reducing spending and streamlining the federal government.

Before this week, it was projected that the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) would go broke within the next 30 days unless Congress did something to address the problem. If the HTF were to become insolvent, the Department of Transportation will slow the reimbursement of money to states for transportation projects – and that would hurt Missourians, possibly leading to safety being compromised and construction jobs being placed in jeopardy as road and bridge construction projects are abandoned. Anyone who has ever had a flat tire due to a shoddy road or pothole understands the importance of these projects. While this bill will keep the HTF funded in the short term, it does not provide a long-term solution for our roads or the people who use them. Congress needs to use the time afforded to it by this bill to develop a feasible and sustainable solution to maintain the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund.

We also passed the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act which makes permanent the ban on taxation on Internet access. This legislation will help increase access to the Internet, growth of our digital economy, and opportunity for Americans of all walks. The last thing that Americans need is another bill on their doorsteps. A tax on Internet access would burden the millions of Americans who rely on the Internet to conduct business, communicate, educate, and live.

I also spoke on the floor of the House this week about the tensions between Israel and Hamas. Hamas continues launching rockets into Israel, putting millions of Israelis at risk, including innocent civilians. We must show that we stand with Israel against unprovoked rocket attacks. Hamas must immediately end the unprovoked attacks and agree to a ceasefire. Additionally, Israel finds itself under siege by the persistent threat of a nuclear Iran. While stringent economic sanctions are the only peaceful option we have left, we must also put forth a credible military threat in order to deter Iran from pursuing its program further. We are running out of time to provide stability in the Middle East by preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear state. We must stand with Israel.

On another matter, I had the pleasure of meeting this week with Brigadier General Glen VanHerck, Commander of the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, and a cast of stellar airmen from the 509th Bomb Wing. General VanHerck and I discussed issues surrounding Whiteman Air Force Base and the 509th. We spoke about the B-2 and the critical assurance and deterrence missions it performs, Air Force readiness issues, and the outstanding work of the airmen who accompanied him.

Lastly, I also met with the Missouri Corn Growers Association to discuss current issues facing corn farmers in Missouri. I appreciate all they do to feed a hungry world. 

Have a great week!

Vicky

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Hartzler and House approve bill to fund highways and keep Missouri families safe on the road

2014/07/15

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) and the House have approved the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014, H.R. 5021, to fund transportation projects and keep our highways safe.

“In 2013, Missouri received 45 percent of its transportation funding from the federal government,” said Hartzler. “It is projected that the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) will go broke within the next 30 days unless Congress takes action to address the problem. If the HTF becomes insolvent, the Department of Transportation will slow the reimbursement of money to states for transportation projects – and that would hurt Missouri, possibly leading to safety being compromised and construction jobs being placed in jeopardy as road and bridge construction projects are abandoned. We have a responsibility to make sure the roads are safe for Missouri families as we protect jobs.”

“The bill approved by the House is budget-neutral, achieved through offsets to keep the HTF funded for one year,” added Hartzler. “While this bill will keep the HTF funded in the short term, it does not provide a long-term solution for our roads or the people who use them. Congress needs to use the time afforded to it by this bill to develop a feasible and sustainable solution to maintain the solvency of the HTF.”

Congresswoman Hartzler serves on the House Armed Services, Agriculture, and Budget Committees.

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Pulaski County Staff Listening Post

2014/07/14

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) announces a 4th Congressional District Listening Post has been scheduled for Thursday, July 24, 2014 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Pulaski County Courthouse foyer. Each Listening Post held throughout the 4th District is hosted by a member of Congresswoman Hartzler’s staff and is intended to provide citizens the opportunity to discuss and share matters of importance to them. Hartzler staff member Cole Karr will meet with constituents and report back to the Congresswoman. All citizens are invited to attend and visit with Karr at any time during the time frame. What: Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler Staff Listening Post Where: Pulaski County Courthouse foyer, 301 Historic Rt. 66 E., Waynesville, MO 65583 When: Thursday, July 24, 2014 – 1-3 p.m. For further information contact Congresswoman Hartzler’s office at (417) 532-5582.

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Contact Information

1023 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-2876
Fax 202-225-2695
hartzler.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Budget

Agriculture

Armed Services

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.


Serving With

Ann Wagner

MISSOURI's 2nd DISTRICT

Blaine Luetkemeyer

MISSOURI's 3rd DISTRICT

Sam Graves

MISSOURI's 6th DISTRICT

Billy Long

MISSOURI's 7th DISTRICT

Jason Smith

MISSOURI's 8th DISTRICT

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