WASHINGTON– U.S. Representative Ann Wagner (MO-02) is joining U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), and U.S. Representative Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12.) on a Congressional delegation led by U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) to Korea, Japan and China. The lawmakers plan to meet with elected leaders, military and government officials, energy and technology companies, and many others to discuss the threat from North Korea to the region, security issues, diplomatic partnerships, and economic development opportunities amongst the countries. The delegation will visit the China-North Korea border, as well as the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) to receive a briefing and meet with personnel.
"North Korea is a destabilizing force that is threatening both our national security and the security of some our nation's staunchest allies. The cooperation and partnerships with South Korea, China, and Japan will be vital in working toward an end to North Korea's ongoing aggression. I look forward to meeting with officials from these countries as well as our U.S. representatives in the region to increase diplomatic engagement, expand and enforce sanctions, and enhance military cooperation in the region," said Rep. Wagner.
“The unity of purpose between the United States and our allies in South Korea, Japan, and China is critical in the face of Pyongyang’s increasing nuclear threat,” said Senator Markey. “By deepening our diplomatic, military, and economic cooperation, the United States and the nations of Japan, China, and South Korea will strengthen an alliance that remains a cornerstone of peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region. I look forward to meeting with officials and leaders in these nations to reaffirm our friendship and bolster cooperation.”
“As a Senator from a Pacific-rim state, I am particularly concerned about the escalating rhetoric and dangerous actions of the Kim regime,” said Senator Merkley. “The solution to manage the growing threats and military capabilities of North Korea won’t be found in bluster and saber-rattling. It is critical for the United States to join with our allies and others in the region to encourage diplomatic, thoughtful solutions and I look forward to expanding our dialogue with leaders in South Korea, Japan and China in pursuit of our shared security.”
“The North Korean regime poses a grave threat to international security. The United States must engage in rigorous diplomacy, paired with tough sanctions, to resolve the nuclear threat,” said Senator Van Hollen. “I look forward to meeting with our regional allies and partners – South Korea, Japan, and China – who are on the front lines of the threat and key to our ability to solve it. Together, we must quickly ramp up pressure to drive North Korea to the nuclear negotiating table.”
“In light of North Korea’s provocative actions to advance its nuclear capability and escalating tensions, it is important to reaffirm our alliances with Japan, South Korea, and China,” said Rep. Maloney. “I’m grateful for this timely opportunity to visit with our allies in Asia to help strengthen all diplomatic lines of communication to resolve any issues affecting security in the region.”Read More
WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO-02) released the below statement following House passage of H.R. 3219, the Make America Secure Appropriations Act.
“The Make America Secure Appropriations Act fulfills many of our conservative priorities while strengthening our national defense and spending taxpayer dollars wisely. It ensures military preparedness, takes care of our veterans, fully funds President Trump’s request for the border wall, and provides the largest pay raise for our troops in over 8 years,” said Rep. Ann Wagner. “I am particularly pleased that projects I advocated for heavily are being fully funded, including the production of 24 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, doubled funding for the Fisher House Foundation, and full support for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s new headquarters in St. Louis. Supporting these local priorities will take care of our military families, stimulate the local St. Louis economy for years to come, and strengthen our national defense,” she added.
WASHINGTON—Today, Congresswomen Ann Wagner (R-MO) and Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) sent a joint letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions calling on the Department of Justice to open an immediate criminal investigation into Backpage.com’s knowing advertisement and facilitation of online sex trafficking.
“New revelations reported by The Washington Post show that Backpage.com has employed Avion, a contractor in the Philippines, to solicit and create sex ads,” states the Congresswomen’s letter. “In Congress, we have introduced the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017, which would amend Section 230 to clarify that the law does not provide protection to websites that facilitate sex trafficking. Despite this, we believe that the U.S. Department of Justice already has the tools it needs to bring a strong criminal case against Backpage.com.”
The full text of the Congresswomen’s letter is below:
July 13, 2017
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions
Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Dear Attorney General Sessions,
We write to urge the U.S. Department of Justice to immediately investigate Backpage.com and bring the website to justice under 18 U.S. Code § 1591 for knowingly advertising and financially benefiting from participation in sex trafficking. We call your attention to new revelations, first reported by The Washington Post, that Backpage.com has employed Avion, a contractor in the Philippines, to solicit and create sex ads. Among other activities, the contractor’s employees created fake sex ads that indicated the sale of child sex trafficking victims in order to lure potential customers to Backpage.com to purchase illegal sex. According to The Washington Post story, when a potential customer expressed interest in a phony sex ad, “an email directed that person to Backpage.com, where they would find authentic ads.” Backpage.com pushed Avion to “get as many new listings as possible,” a task that involved Avion drafting free ads for users.
Backpage.com has long argued that it is a mere third-party platform with no responsibility for the sex trafficking ads that are posted on its website. This is an utter lie, as has been made clear by both the new revelations from The Washington Post and a January 2017 Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations report on Backpage.com that exposed the website for actively facilitating illegal ads. Despite this evidence, Backpage.com continues to hide behind a misinterpretation of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 in state cases and civil suits, as it has done for years in response to these complaints about its criminal content.
In Congress, we have introduced the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017, which would amend Section 230 to clarify that the law does not provide protection to websites that facilitate sex trafficking. Despite this, we believe that the U.S. Department of Justice already has the tools it needs to bring a strong criminal case against Backpage.com. If there are additional legal tools or support required for this investigation, we request that you make these clear so we may work quickly to provide them to the Justice Department. Otherwise, we see no reason why a criminal case should not be brought against Backpage.com for its criminal role in sex trafficking in America.
We appreciate your leadership in combatting human trafficking, and we eagerly wait for this overdue investigation to begin. We stand ready to assist your efforts.
Ann Wagner Carolyn B. Maloney
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Co-Chair of the Human Trafficking Task Force Co-Chair of the Human Trafficking Task ForceRead More
WASHINGTON—Today, in light of The Washington Post’s monstrous revelation that Backpage.com has employed a contractor to aggressively solicit and create illegal sex ads, Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO) called on the U.S. House of Representatives to immediately take up her bipartisan Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017.
“Congress must act immediately to hold sex trafficking advertisers like Backpage.com accountable and bring the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act up for a vote,” said Rep. Ann Wagner. “Everyone knows that Backpage.com is selling innocent women and children into sex slavery, yet we allow them to hide behind the false shield of a misinterpreted law. We cannot claim to be anti-trafficking advocates, then close our eyes and give a free pass to the websites that sell our children. Congressional inaction, and the internet industry’s defense of Backpage.com, are complicit in these horrible crimes.”
Congresswoman Wagner’s legislation is the only bill introduced in Congress that would finally hold Backpage.com responsible for its horrific modern-day slave market and give victims across America access to justice for the crimes committed against them. The House will bring three human trafficking bills to the floor this week, but has not moved forward the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act. A number of internet companies oppose the bill and continue to protect Backpage.com from the consequences of its unconscionable actions. Meanwhile, Backpage.com has been allowed to continue selling sex trafficking victims in the United States with impunity.
Backpage.com and other online slave markets can sell America’s children over and over again because courts have misinterpreted Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to shield websites from criminal liability for the sex trafficking advertisements that they facilitate. But Section 230, passed over 20 years ago—when the internet as we know it was still in formation—was never intended to create a lawless internet where people can commit sex crimes online that they cannot commit offline. As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit made clear last year, legislation must be the remedy to any conflict between Section 230 and America’s sex trafficking laws.
The Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act has the support of 29 bipartisan cosponsors, including Representatives Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Ted Poe (R-TX), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Ed Royce (R-CA), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Martha Roby (R-AL), and Lynn Jenkins (R-KS). Full details on the bill are available here.Read More
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO-02) praised the House Appropriations Committee for seriously addressing the strike fighter shortfall by providing funding for 24 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets. These Super Hornets, produced and maintained in St. Louis, Missouri, are critical in addressing America’s tactical aviation needs.
“I applaud Chairman Frelinghuysen, Chairman Granger, Chairman Thornberry, and their committees for addressing naval aviation readiness and joining me in supporting increased funding for the additional Super Hornets requested by the Navy. As I have highlighted throughout the appropriations process, these aircraft are not only critical in protecting our nation from rising foreign threats, but will have a lasting impact on our local economy, sustaining 5,000 jobs in the St. Louis area,” said Congresswoman Wagner. “The inclusion of the Super Hornets in the Defense Appropriations Bill and NDAA will protect Missouri jobs and put a local stamp on national defense, in addition to providing our men and women in uniform with the support and tools they need.”
The Administration requested funding for 14 Super Hornets in its FY18 Budget Request, and the Navy placed an additional 10 Super Hornets at the top of its FY18 Unfunded Priorities List (UPL). Congresswoman Wagner has worked tirelessly to secure funding for the full 24 Super Hornets requested by the Navy to address the strike fighter shortfall. On Thursday, June 29, the House Appropriations Committee marked up the FY18 Defense Appropriations bill, appropriating funding for both the 14 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets in the Budget Request and the additional 10 Super Hornets from the Navy’s UPL.
Wagner recently testified before the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee in support of a robust number of Super Hornets in FY18 legislation. Wagner also led a letter to House appropriators with the regional congressional delegation articulating the need to address readiness, capability, and the strike fighter shortfall by funding at least 24 Super Hornets.
Naval aviation is at a crossroads with its capacity to execute critical warfighting missions, and the strike fighter shortfall is increasing as the naval fleet ages. The Super Hornet continues to evolve to meet adversarial threats and best complement the entire aircraft carrier air wing as they operate together into the 2040s. Super Hornets are the operational and cost-effective solution to America’s near-term strike fighter shortfall challenge.
WASHINGTON –Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO-02) released the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s affirmation of commonsense religious freedom in its landmark 7-2 decision in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer:
“The Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ discrimination against Trinity Lutheran Church Child Learning Center—solely because of the center’s religious affiliation—is a clear infringement on the free exercise of religion in Missouri. I applaud the Supreme Court for siding with religious freedom and Trinity Lutheran Church, and I stand with the many faith-based organizations across Missouri that provide valuable services to the community. As stated in Chief Justice John Roberts’ opinion of the Court, ‘the exclusion of Trinity Lutheran from a public benefit for which it is otherwise qualified, solely because it is a church, is odious to our Constitution…and cannot stand.’”
WASHINGTON—Today, Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO-02), along with lead cosponsor Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY-14) and 26 other cosponsors, introduced the bipartisan Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act of 2017 to improve U.S. efforts to prevent mass atrocity crimes. Named after the courageous Auschwitz survivor, the legislation honors the legacy of Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel and his life work to fight evil around the world.
“From the Holocaust to South Sudan, from Burma to Syria, the world has witnessed far too many genocides and mass atrocity crimes,” said Rep. Ann Wagner. “The true horror is that most of these devastating crises are preventable. My heart aches for those whose lives are being torn apart, and the fact that over 65 million people are currently fleeing preventable crises makes clear that the U.S. Government must improve its response to these conflicts.”
“Atrocities and violence committed over the last century and today, make it all the more important that our government and leaders take steps to detect and prevent atrocities before they start in the first place,” said Chairman Joe Crowley. “Once major conflict breaks out it becomes much more difficult to address so developing the structures needed to prevent conflict is essential. We need a framework to stop violence before it spirals out of control and leads to more suffering.”
The Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act of 2017, companion legislation to S. 1158, would establish an interagency Mass Atrocities Task Force to strengthen the U.S. Government’s atrocity prevention and response efforts. The legislation encourages the Director of National Intelligence to include atrocity crime information in his or her annual report to Congress; authorizes training for U.S. Foreign Service Officers on early signs of atrocities and transitional justice measures; and authorizes the Complex Crises Fund to support programs to prevent emerging or unforeseen crises overseas.
Genocide and atrocity crimes—including war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing—include shocking acts of violence perpetrated by governments and non-state actors, resulting in the murders of millions of civilians and other innocent persons across the globe. The legislation establishes that the official policy of the United States is to regard the prevention of genocide and other atrocity crimes as a core national security interest and moral responsibility, and to develop a government-wide prevention strategy.
Rep. Ann Wagner is joined by the following cosponsors: Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY), Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX), Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN), Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL), Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY), Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Rep. William Keating (D-MA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN), Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA), Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA), Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL), Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL), Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL), Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA), Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH), Rep. Bonnie Coleman (D-NJ), Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), Rep. Jack Rosen (D-NV), and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD).
WASHINGTON, D.C.- Today, Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO) and Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX) introduced H.R. 2803, the Abolish Human Trafficking Act. The bill is a companion to legislation filed today in the Senate by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX).
The legislation reauthorizes programs established and modified under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.
“In order to combat human trafficking, we need to get serious about equipping our health care providers, judges, and law enforcement officials with the tools they need to effectively identify and investigate cases,” said Congresswoman Wagner. “The Abolish Human Trafficking Act reauthorizes important victim services and allows law enforcement to better address organized human trafficking. Together, we can educate stakeholders on the realities of the commercial sex industry and break the cycle of sexual exploitation in America.”
“Congress must take a stand for victims of sex trafficking by reauthorizing these important programs that provide support to human trafficking victims,” said Congressman Poe. “Our goal is to break the cycle of exploitation while restoring the lives of these innocent women and children. Our law enforcement must have the proper tools to prevent dastardly criminals from exploiting others, whether they be the buyer or seller. Modern day slavery has no place in America.”
The Abolish Human Trafficking Act is a continuation of the work done with Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act co-sponsored by Congresswoman Wagner and signed into law in 2015.
Specifically, The Abolish Human Trafficking Act:
Permanently authorizes the Human Trafficking Advisory Council.Read More
WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Wagner issued the following statement after her meeting with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and the reintroduction of legislation regarding the West Lake Landfill.
“Yesterday I had a very positive meeting with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and was pleased to hear that cleanup of the West Lake Landfill is a top priority. I trust Administrator Pruitt’s commitment and look forward to working with him. I welcome his efforts to regain the respect of a community neglected by previous administrations. Administrator Pruitt told me:
“Getting to a decision and finally concluding the long saga of the West Lake Superfund site is a top priority for the EPA. We are working with a sense of urgency at an accelerated pace to create an efficient and cost effective solution which protects human health and the environment in West Lake.”
The safety of those living near the West Lake Landfill must come first. I will continue to pursue all avenues, including legislation, to get this community a fix. However it gets done, West Lake must be cleaned up and made safe for everyone in the community."Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO) and Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX) held a Special Order on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in recognition of Combatting Trafficking and Child Protection Week. They were joined by their House colleagues Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL), and Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI).
Human trafficking has invaded communities and neighborhoods across America. It is currently one of the most profitable crimes in the world—after the drug trade—and its victims have endured horrific trauma, violence, and abuse. Congress must continue to provide tools to empower the fight against this egregious crime, ensure full implementation of anti-trafficking legislation, conduct sustained oversight, and enact victim-centered practices and procedures. It is the most precious duty of Congress to safeguard human rights and protections for the most vulnerable members of our society.
To watch the special order, click HERE.Read More
435 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Ann Wagner’s career is both deep and broad in service to her hometown, state and nation with over 25 years of work in the private sector, community and public service, and the political arena.
The 2nd District means family for Ann. It is where she and her husband of twenty-five years, Ray, grew up, went to school, raised their children, work, volunteer and go to church. This community has given her extraordinary opportunities to make a difference.
At an early age, Ann started working in the family business, a retail carpet store called Carpetime in Manchester. Working beside her parents she learned the value of a dollar, a strong work ethic, honesty, integrity, and that government ought not be in the way and on the backs of hard-working Americans trying to make a living.
Ann then took her firsthand experience to the University of Missouri-Columbia and received her BSBA from the Business School with an emphasis in Logistics. After college, Ann went to work in the private sector and held management positions at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City and Ralston Purina in St. Louis.
Ann’s most important jobs, however, have always been as a wife and mother. Ann and Ray have three children: Raymond, a recent West Point graduate stationed at Fort Campbell with the 101st Airborne; Stephen, a Client Services Manager for a St. Louis area financial management company; and Mary Ruth, a freshmen at Miami University in Ohio.
Ann Wagner’s public service began at the grassroots level. She served for nine years as a local committeewoman in Lafayette Township and went on to Chair the Missouri Republican Party delivering historic Republican gains. She also served as Co-Chairman of the Republican National Committee during the first term of President George W. Bush.
In 2005, following nomination by President Bush and confirmation by the U.S. Senate, Ann was sworn in as the 19th U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. She served as U.S. Ambassador for four years before returning to her home in Ballwin, Missouri.
In 2010, Ann was asked to serve as the Chairman of Roy Blunt’s successful U.S. Senate campaign in Missouri. Bringing her high energy and political skills to the campaign, Ann helped unite existing and new conservative grassroots activists to produce a landslide victory.
Ann announced her first run for public office on April 26, 2011 and has attended hundreds of events including forums, debates, picnics, meetings and rallies. Her signature grassroots “Table Tops” have been a listening and learning tour in homes all across the district. Her strong connection to her community has helped Ann recruit hundreds of volunteers from every corner of the 2nd Congressional District.
Ann won her 2012 Congressional race with over 60% of the vote and received more votes than any other Republican candidate for Congress in the State of Missouri this cycle.
Ann will serve on the House Financial Services Committee – a key committee for the 2nd District and St. Louis region. St. Louis and its suburbs are national and regional centers for financial services activity. Over 84,000 people in St. Louis and its suburbs are employed in the financial services industry with a total payroll of around $4.57 billion.
The St. Louis area is also home to national investment firms including Edward Jones, Scottrade, Stifel Financial and Wells Fargo Advisors, to name a few, making it one of the largest clusters of brokerage firms and personnel outside of New York.
Ann was also selected by the Freshman Class of the 113th Congress to be their representative on the Elected Leadership Committee.
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