Vicky Hartzler

Vicky Hartzler

MISSOURI's 4th DISTRICT

Hartzler Nixes Iran’s Access to U.S. Dollar

2016/07/14

WASHINGTON—One year after President Obama signed the Nuclear Deal with Iran, Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) on Wednesday voted in favor of H.R. 4992, the United States Financial System Protection Act of 2016, a bill she co-sponsored aimed at safeguarding the American people and the global economy from Iran’s potential access to the U.S. dollar.

“We have capitulated to Iran’s continued provocations long enough,” Hartzler said. “With growing and intensifying threats around the globe, now is not the time to needlessly prop up another potential threat. Opening Iran to the international market is an unprecedented step that only emboldens an already repressive regime and a state sponsor of terrorism.”

The United States Financial System Protection Act of 2016 will prohibit the administration from allowing Iran access to the U.S. dollar in trade transactions and maintains Iran’s designation as a “primary money laundering concern.” It further maintains these restrictions until the President certifies that Iran is no longer supporting terrorism, developing ballistic missiles, abusing human rights, or laundering money in support of its illicit activities.

Hartzler stressed the threat posed to the global financial system, should Iran be able to access the dollar, pointing to the continued Iranian support for proliferation, terrorism, and other illicit activity. Since 2011, the U.S. Treasury Department lists Iran as a “primary money laundering concern,” which recognizes any financial transaction with the regime risks supporting its ongoing illicit activities.

Thursday marks the one year anniversary of the P5+1 and the Islamic Republic of Iran concluding their talks and announcing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Since President Obama signed the “deal” a year ago, the Iranian regime has increased its ballistic missile testing, increased its military activity in Iraq and Syria, and increased access to capital to continue its drive towards nuclear capability. Since the lifting of sanctions prescribed in the deal, the Iranian government has received tens of billions in funds from abroad and has signed deals worth over 100 billion dollars in foreign investment.

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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You're right, Mr. President.

2016/07/14

President Obama in a speech at Notre Dame in 2009 said, “Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion.” 

And yet, as Democrats prepare for their convention in Philadelphia in a few weeks, party leaders are acting in direct contrast to this statement by including in their national platform a repeal of the Hyde Amendment, a decades-old bipartisan amendment to ban federal dollars from paying for abortions directly.

Not only is the Hyde Amendment sound policy, polling also suggests it overwhelmingly represents the will of the American people. A recent Marist poll found 68 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding for abortion, including 51 percent of respondents who identified as pro-choice.

Similar to the Hyde Amendment, the Weldon Amendment protects the individual consciences of all Americans by prohibiting federal, state, and local governments from discriminating against health care entities that decline to provide, perform, or refer a patient for an abortion. This provision has been attached to annual appropriations bills and signed into law since 1976.

Recently, however, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department of Health and Human Services refused to enforce this law. OCR has allowed the State of California to require elective abortion coverage in all health insurance plans under their authority. This means churches and universities that object to abortion are being forced to cover abortion through the insurance plans they offer to employees. New York has followed suit, implementing a similar abortion mandate. The federal government has neglected its responsibility, denying these victims any relief from this injustice.

America is built on the liberty to choose one’s own beliefs. Why, then, is the “pro-choice" agenda trampling on the right of men and women to choose not to perform or be complicit in an abortion? “Choice” means the absence of coercion. This is hypocrisy in the worst form. A person’s views on abortion should be respected, not punished.

Congress has a long history of providing bipartisan freedom and conscience protections. It’s a cornerstone of our governing document – the Constitution – which is built upon individual rights and liberties. But, where Americans are being forced by the government to act against their deeply held beliefs, Congress must act to protect their rights.

Currently, the only recourse against this discrimination is to file a complaint with OCR. In light of its extremely slow response to straightforward complaints or its outright refusal to execute the law, something had to be done. The House this week passed the Conscience Protection Act, a bill I proudly co-sponsored.

This bill stops the federal government, and any state or local government that receives Federal funds from penalizing, retaliating against, or otherwise discriminating against a health care provider on the basis that the provider does not participate in abortion.

Further, this bill provides a civil right to action for those discriminated against, including physicians, health professionals, hospitals, health systems, insurance issuers, insurance plans, and administrators of health plans, among others. They deserve a choice. They deserve their day in court.

So, the president is right. We should honor the conscience of those who don’t agree with abortion.

Conscience protections are important for all of us. We enjoy the freedom to differ in opinion from one another. But, whatever view you may hold on this, or any other issue, I think we can all agree the government should not make our choices for us.

 

Republican Vicky Hartzler represents Missouri's Fourth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. She serves on the House Select Investigative Panel for Infant Lives and co-chairs the House Values Action Team.

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Hartzler Fights for Americans’ Freedom to Believe

2016/07/13

WASHINGTON— Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), a member of the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives and co-chair of the House Values Action Team, voted Wednesday for S. 304, the Conscience Protection Act. The bill stops the federal government, and any state or local government that receives Federal funds from penalizing, retaliating against, or otherwise discriminating against a health care provider for not participating in abortion.  The Conscience Protection Act, originally co-sponsored by Hartzler, passed in the House of Representatives on a vote of 245-182.

“No one should be told by the government what to believe or forced to do something that violates their deeply held beliefs,” Hartzler said. “That goes for all Americans. Since this administration is refusing to execute the law, effectively coercing people to participate in abortion, we have acted to give these victims a legal protection against these injustices.”

Hartzler stressed the civil right to action provided by this bill for those discriminated against, including physicians, health professionals, hospitals, health systems, insurance issuers, insurance plans, and administrators of health plans, among others.

This legislation was introduced following a California incident in which the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department of Health and Human Services refused to enforce current law. OCR allowed the State of California to require all health insurance plans under their authority to cover elective abortion, effectively forcing churches and universities that object to abortion to cover abortion through the insurance plans they offer to employees. New York has followed suit, implementing a similar abortion mandate.

Earlier in the day Hartzler spoke in support of the bill during floor debate. Her remarks can be watched here.

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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VIDEO: Hartzler Stands for Conscience Protections

2016/07/13

WASHINGTON—Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), a member of the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives and co-chair of the House Values Action Team,  today spoke on the House floor about the Conscience Protection Act, a bill she co-sponsored to protect all Americans’ deeply held beliefs and the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution.  Watch her remarks below:


(click to play) Congresswoman Hartzler speaks on the House floor.

Transcript (as prepared for delivery)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in firm support of the Conscience Protection Act.

The validity and timeliness of this legislation could not be more important.

In light of recent events in California in which religious employers are being forced to violate their beliefs by purchasing health coverage for their employees that includes elective abortion; and as stories surface of nurses being forced to participate in abortion procedures for fear of losing their job or worse, the time to correct this injustice is now.

It is unthinkable that the government could and would force a person to act against their personally held beliefs.  Yet that is what is happening.  In a speech at Notre Dame in 2009, President Obama said, “Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion.” But those words have rung hollow as his administration is siding with those who violate the first amendment. 

It doesn’t have to be like this. 

The Conscience Protection Act addresses this discrimination.  It just gives legal protection to those who choose not to participate in abortions and upholds our most fundamental rights. There is no more noble goal.

The government should not be picking and choosing our beliefs. Those who have had this happen to them deserve their day in court. This bill will give them that day.

I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of the Conscience Protection Act and against coerced complicity in abortion.

Background

The Conscience Protection Act stops the federal government, and any state or local government that receives Federal funds from penalizing, retaliating against, or otherwise discriminating against a health care provider on the basis that the provider does not participate in abortion.

Further, this bill provides a civil right to action for those discriminated against, including physicians, health professionals, hospitals, health systems, insurance issuers, insurance plans, and administrators of health plans, among others. They deserve a choice. They deserve their day in court.

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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Hartzler Selected to Negotiate Defense Authorization Bill

2016/07/08

WASHINGTON—Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) today was selected by her colleagues in the House to serve on the Conference Committee for the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). As part of the committee, made up of leaders from the House and Senate, Hartzler is charged with resolving differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill.

“Our national defense has been a top priority of mine in my time here in Congress,” Hartzler said. “Right now we face a serious readiness crisis in our military. We need to make sure we are addressing this head on, ensuring our troops have the resources, training, and capabilities they need to face the growing threats of today.”

Hartzler has served on the House Armed Services Committee since she was first elected to Congress in 2010. She currently 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. Hartzler also serves on the House Budget Committee where she has fought to prioritize Armed Services issues in budgetary considerations.

“The men and women currently training at Fort Leonard Wood and those working at Whiteman Air Force Base, who are preparing for their first, second,  third, or more deployments deserve to know they have our support,” Hartzler stressed. “My focus is on making sure they are strongly represented in the conference.”

Hartzler was a key leader as the House considered its version of the NDAA, underscoring the importance of this bill as world threats continue to expand while the military has suffered as a result of arbitrary and reckless cuts from sequestration.

The National Defense Authorization Act is the annual legislation that determines policies and funding levels for the U.S. Department of Defense and other national security entities. A summary of the bill can be found here. The full bill text can be found here.

A full list of FY2017 NDAA Conferees can be found here.

The bicameral Conference Committee will work in the coming weeks to settle differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. Once a singular bill, or conference report, is produced, the respective chambers will vote on it.

 

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Hartzler Supports Legislation to Address Widespread Opioid Abuse

2016/07/08

WASHINGTON—Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) today voted for the Conference Report to the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016, which addresses the widespread opioid crisis that has impacted Missouri and the nation.

“Addiction does not discriminate. It’s tentacles strangle the lives of our friends, neighbors, and families,” said Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, who is working with community and local leaders in her congressional district on anti-drug initiatives.

“With help, people can conquer addiction. This bill provides the resources needed to improve lives, empower communities, and rebuild neighborhoods,” added Hartzler, who in October of last year, launched her anti-drug initiative, “A Drug Free Missouri Future,” to raise awareness of the drug problem and promote entities answering the call to crisis, and spark new initiatives where needed throughout the state. The initiative spurs action to combat substance abuse and addiction by bringing together law enforcement, parents, school officials, community leaders, and citizens.

The Conference Report addresses opioid abuse through new grant programs administered by Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Attorney General; programs to prevent drug abuse in the Medicare program; and, programs at the Department of Veterans Affairs to enhance patient advocacy, increase integrative approaches to mental health care for veterans, and increase oversight for providers at the VA.

Hartzler represents Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. She serves on the House Armed Services, Agriculture, and Budget Committees.

 

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Hartzler amendment curbs wasteful spending at CFPB

2016/07/08

WASHINGTON—Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) applauded the adoption of her amendment to H.R.5485, the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act for FY2017. Hartzler’s amendment would allow Congress to exercise oversight over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s unchecked ability to enter into contracts with advertising firms.

“For their hard earned tax dollars, Americans deserve an efficient, accountable, and supportive government working for them. The CFPB has shown itself to be irresponsible with their spending and politically motivated with their choice of advertising firms. At the most basic level, our government should serve the people, not itself. These kinds of abuses necessitate that Congress increase its supervision and oversight of the CFPB. I am proud to put forward this amendment to ensure tens of millions of tax dollars are not being spent on frivolous or politically-motivated advertising.”

Hartzler stressed that following reports that the CFPB sent tens of millions to a politically-motivated advertising agency for a contract that may have been awarded because of political favoritism, it is past time to bring the agency into a more scrutinizing light. Her amendment brings much-needed transparency and accountability.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) contracts advertising almost exclusively through GMMB Inc., an advertising firm that worked with President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign. In 2016, the CFPB’s advertising purchase is already twice what the agency spent in fiscal year 2015, which represents 2.5 percent of its annual operating budget, according to research conducted by the Wall Street Journal. With the campaign, their research continues, the CFPB is devoting a larger portion of its budget to advertising than nearly every other federal agency, a review of government records shows.

In addition to curbing abusive federal agencies, the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill also makes vital investments in America’s job creators, prioritizes law enforcement agencies and anti-drug initiatives, and improves spending accountability across a number of government functions. Hartzler says House Republicans have made sure to focus investments on the things that make Americans prosperous—small businesses, rule of law, conservative values. She added that they are hard at work trying to reverse the effects of the last seven years of stifling policies.

Congresswoman Hartzler represents Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. She serves on the House Agriculture, Budget, and Armed Services Committees.

 

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Hartzler Questions Military Leaders on Aviation Readiness Issues

2016/07/07

WASHINGTON— Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, on Wednesday questioned military leaders about issues surrounding our Nation’s aviation readiness during a House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee hearing. Hartzler pointed to reduced pilot training hours as a result of the Navy’s strike fighter aircraft shortfall and encouraged greater forethought for the Air Force’s sustainment plan of the B-21 Long-Range Strike Bomber. These issues, relevant to Missouri’s defense communities, are parts of a larger recovery from the American military’s readiness crisis.

Watch Hartzler’s questioning below:

 

click to play
(click to play video)
Rep. Hartzler in House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee hearing

For more information on the hearing, the witnesses, and testimony, visit the House Armed Services Committee’s website here. To watch the hearing in its entirety, click here.

In addition to the Readiness Subcommittee, Hartzler is the Chairwoman of the Armed Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. She represents Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District, home to Fort Leonard Wood and Whiteman Air Force Base.

 

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Hartzler votes to Protect Patient Access to Durable Medical Equipment

2016/07/07

WASHINGTON—Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) this week voted to pass the Patient Access to Durable Medical Equipment (PADME) Act, a bipartisan solution that would preserve patient access to durable medical equipment (DME). The Hartzler co-sponsored bill passed the House on a voice vote.

Where one lives should not adversely affect one’s access to affordable medical equipment such as wheel chairs, oxygen tanks, blood sugar monitors, and other lifesaving equipment,” Hartzler said. “Missouri’s seniors every day rely on this equipment for their health and wellbeing. This bill aims to make sure equipment providers can continue to serve the rural and most affected populations so they can continue to receive the quality care they deserve.”

By preventing severe cuts to Medicare DME reimbursement rates, the Hartzler co-sponsored legislation will ensure that DME providers are able to continue to meet the needs of Medicare patients and ensure that beneficiaries have access to quality items and services in all parts of the country. Examples of DME include blood sugar monitors, canes, crutches, hospital beds, power wheel chairs, and oxygen tanks.

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.

Background

The Competitive Bidding Program (CBP) was created by the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003. The Congressional objective in requiring Medicare to use competitive bidding to establish payment amounts for DME was intended to reduce Medicare and beneficiary expenditures and ensure that beneficiaries have access to quality items and services. The CBP has failed patients, though, because it does not hold bidders accountable, does not ensure that bidders are qualified to provide the products in the bid markets, and produces bid rates that are financially unsustainable. More than 240 market auction experts and economists have warned that the Medicare competitive bidding program is unsustainable in its current form.

In January 2016, the competitive bidding program for DME began its nationwide rollout. As a result, many areas, including rural areas, saw significant cuts, jeopardizing access to DME for beneficiaries. For many rural providers, these new rates will not even cover the cost of delivery for the item.

An extension of the current DME rate is necessary to avert deep cuts in reimbursement following the rollout of Medicare’s competitive bid pricing into non-competitively bid areas.

The legislation approved by the House of Representatives today amends H.R. 5210, the Patient Access to Durable Medical Equipment Act, to provide a three month delay of the July 1st cuts to DME reimbursement rates in non-competitively bid areas. Additionally, it:

  • Requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to conduct a DME study over the course of the three months to identify issues related to patient access to DME.
  • Includes H.R. 3716, the Ensuring Access to Quality Medicaid Providers Act, introduced by Rep. Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-Ind.), which already passed the House unanimously by a vote of 406-0 on March 2nd and which requires states to report to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) within 21 business days any medical providers that have been terminated from participating in their Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); requires providers serving Medicaid beneficiaries to be enrolled with their state’s Medicaid agency; and requires CMS to recoup the federal portion of Medicaid/CHIP payments made to providers for services performed more than 60 days after the provider’s termination was included in the CMS Termination Notification Database.
  • Includes H.R. 3821, the Medicaid Directory of Caregivers Act, introduced by Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), which requires states to publish Medicaid provider directories.
  • Includes H.R. 2949, the Treatment of Certain Payments in Eugenics Compensation Act, introduced by Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), which states that payments made under a state eugenics compensation program cannot be considered as income in determining eligibility for, or the amount of, any federal public benefit. S. 1698 – a Senate companion bill to the McHenry legislation introduced by Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) – was passed by the Senate with unanimous consent in November 2015.

 

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Hartzler votes to fix broken mental health system

2016/07/07

WASHINGTON—Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) released the following statement on House passage of H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, a bill she co-sponsored:

“We have all experienced the pain and suffering that stems from mental illness, but none more so than the families of those afflicted. They are often left feeling too helpless and hopeless to act. Our current mental health system is outdated and offers no assistance to those going through mental health crises at home. It must be reformed. This bill takes us a step in the right direction to help patients get the treatment they need.”

In 2013, approximately 1 in 5 Americans experienced mental illness. That is about 43.8 million, or 18.5% of the population. Further, approximately 1 in 25 adults experience a serious mental illness each year that substantially interferes with one or more major life activities.

This legislation makes significant reforms to our nation’s mental health system including increasing the number of psychiatric hospital beds available to treat patients, increasing mental healthcare in small and rural communities, and utilizing innovation to improve the care provided to patients. Additionally, the bill would create an appointed Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Abuse as well as authorize a Medicaid reimbursement for institutional care of mentally ill patients. For safety, the bill would change HIPAA to allow health care professionals to communicate with the caregivers of a mentally ill person when necessary. To ensure a limited federal government, the bill would also give block grants to states for mental health treatment.  

Congresswoman Hartzler represents the people of 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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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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