Vicky Hartzler

Vicky Hartzler

MISSOURI's 4th DISTRICT

Hartzler Supports Election Security Sanctions

2018/09/12

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) today released the following statement regarding the President’s executive order to sanction nations that have interfered with U.S elections.

 

“Today’s actions by the White House are a necessary step to address foreign tampering in our elections. Election security is paramount to a strong and well-functioning democracy, and securing elections is fundamental if we are to guarantee the integrity of the election process. Fair elections are a hallmark of our republic and this executive order will help address this issue.”

 

Hartzler noted that in 2015, Russia’s disinformation campaign against the United States impacted Missouri directly. Research conducted by U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jared Pier found that the same Russian trolls involved in the 2016 presidential election interjected themselves in the 2015 protests at the University of Missouri with the goal of inciting further unrest and spreading discord and fear. Congresswoman spoke on the House floor in April about this interference.

 

BACKGROUND: The President signed an executive order Wednesday afternoon directing U.S. agencies to report after each federal election whether foreign interference has occurred. The order then authorizes the U.S. government to take action against any individual or entity who is determined to have committed such interference. The President’s order also establishes a universal definition for election infrastructure and foreign interference.

  

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Interested members of the media may contact Anna Swick at anna.swick@mail.house.gov

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Hartzler Praises $2.7M Anti-Drug Grant Award to Southwest Missouri

2018/09/12

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Hartzler (MO-4) praised the announcement that a $2.7 million federal grant would be awarded to Burrell Behavioral Health, a not for profit organization that provides mental health services to multiple counties, including Webster and Dallas counties, in Missouri’s Fourth District. Congresswoman Hartzler provided a letter of support to help Burrell receive this grant so it could expand its services to Missourians.

 

“Burrell Behavioral Health deserves this grant,” Hartzler said. “This organization provides crucial services in southwest Missouri to those suffering from an addiction to drugs and other mental health issues. The grant will help Burrell get the resources it needs so it can help more Missourians.”

 

The grant Burrell received is part of the federal Enhancement and Expansion of Treatment and Recovery Services for Adolescents, Transitional Aged Youth, and their Families program, also known as Youth and Family TREE. As part of the grant, Burrell will receive $541,350 annually over a five-year span to enhance and expand treatment, intervention and recovery services for youth and young adults suffering from substance use disorders and mental disorders.

 

Congresswoman Hartzler established a Drug-Free Missouri initiative several years ago to take action against the drug crisis in Missouri. In her initiative, she helped counties establish Drug Recovery Courts, supported local law enforcement, worked with community leaders to shore up local anti-drug efforts, visited local drug recovery programs and hosted 13 high school assemblies about the seriousness of drug addiction. In conjunction with her high school assemblies, she created a packet of local resources that are available to individuals or their loved ones who are suffering from drug addiction. Congresswoman Hartzler has also supported multiple bipartisan efforts to combat the crisis, including the 21st Century Cures Act, which directed $20 million to the Show Me State to respond to the opioid crisis. This summer, she voted for a total of more than 45 pieces of legislation to address the opioid crisis.

 

To learn more about Congresswoman Hartzler’s efforts to combat the drug crisis, visit hartzler.house.gov/drug-free-mo.

 

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Interested members of the media may contact Anna Swick at anna.swick@mail.house.gov

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VICKY'S VIEW: Back to the Books

2018/09/07

Back to the Books

Over the past several weeks students across Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District have returned to school. As our young people restart old routines, cheer at football games, get to know new classmates and teachers, and experience the first hints of fall, I wanted to share some important education-related items that Congress has been working on.

Promoting Career and Technical Education

This summer the President signed into law H.R. 2353, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, on July 31st. Currently, there are 6.7 million unfilled, in-demand jobs throughout the United States for which employers can’t find skilled workers. Thanks to this new law, which I supported, American students will be better prepared to fill in-demand jobs in their local communities and businesses will have access to trained workers. Specifically, the law gives state leaders the flexibility to direct more federal funds to CTE programs and allows them to create their own measurements for CTE program success. It also encourages stronger partnerships between local employers, business leaders, and schools to develop CTE education and performance goals to match workforce needs in the community.

Making our School Lunches Better

Recently, I introduced H.R. 6541, the Local Control of School Lunch Act. My bill ensures school lunch decisions are made at the local level so that parents, teachers, and administrators can work together to decide what is best for their children. Current federal rules for the National School Lunch Program require schools to use a one-size-fits-all formula that either leaves kids hungry because they don’t have enough, or throwing away large quantities of food they don’t like or want. This has got to stop. Local school officials and parents - not Washington bureaucrats - know what is best to serve our kids.

Helping Alleviate Student Debt

This week the House took up and passed the Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act, H.R. 3179, to strengthen financial literacy by improving counseling for federal student loan recipients. Many students are simply not aware of how much take home pay they can expect at a first job, how much monthly payments will be for their debt, or even what the job market is for jobs related to their major. This is a massive problem. I am pleased to have authored a provision in the bill that I believe would help fix the problem, by encouraging colleges and universities to conduct face-to-face counseling (instead of an online notification) for any student who takes out a student loan. The impending economic crisis caused by waves of students defaulting on their student loans is a bipartisan issue, and we must work together to make sure our students are informed.

Fighting for Rural America

Negotiations between the House and Senate on the 2018 Farm Bill are underway. As one of the few working farmers serving in Congress, I am pleased to serve as a conferee where I will help iron out differences between the two versions of this important bill. Our first public conference meeting was Wednesday, and I am hopeful we will continue to move forward in an efficient manner to ensure all Americans have access to a safe, affordable food supply.

Currently the bill prioritizes a strong safety net and crop insurance programs for our farmers, fully funds the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) vaccine bank, increases access to rural broadband, and makes common sense reforms to conservation programs. Additionally, it empowers states with more flexibility so they can make decisions closer to the local farmers, ranchers, and landowners involved in federal programs.

It is imperative that able-bodied adults (without young dependents) who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, or food stamps, work or actively look for employment. We want every SNAP recipient to feel the pride of bringing home a paycheck and supporting their family, which is why the House version of the Farm Bill makes historic investments to provide out-of-work Missourians and other Americans with the job training skills they need to gain meaningful employment. Additionally, our bill would allow SNAP recipients to train for 20 hours a week in lieu of working if they cannot find a job. I will update you as this negotiation process moves forward.

 

Photos of the Week

I was excited on Wednesday morning to get to work on resolving differences between the House and Senate 2018 Farm Bill. This bill will help farmers feed our nation’s families, and it will match unemployed and underemployed recipients with open jobs (through work training) so they can find work to support themselves and their families. 

 

This week I had the opportunity to put together special United Service Organizations (USO) care packages for service members’ spouses. We owe these selfless patriots our gratitude for the sacrifices their family goes through for our nation.

 

The Torchbearer Award is awarded by the Chaplains Alliance to individuals who have carried the high torch of religious liberty for military personnel. I was honored on Wednesday evening to receive this year’s award.

 

How Tax Reform is Working for You

Tax reform continues to have positive results across America. Debbie McFarland, the owner of McFarland Interiors, wrote in The Kansas City Star about how tax reform is helping her business and employees. She writes about the tax deduction, “With these added funds, I am able to upgrade my equipment, invest in new product lines and hire more contractors. According to a list compiled by Americans for Tax Reform, I am one of just hundreds of businesses across the country to reinvest its tax code savings into its employees. No wonder small business and consumer sentiment are pivoting around all-time highs as both groups have more cash on hand because of these tax cuts.”

 

 

Weekly Dose of Good News

As I drove through Harrisonville Tuesday morning, I saw four “Now Hiring” advertisements within two blocks of each other. These are great signs of the times; more jobs are being created as a result of our booming economy! America added 201,000 jobs in August and 4 million since November 2016! Wage growth has also risen, with a 2.9% increase in average hourly earnings for the year. These are all signs that America is on its ways up and that we’re on the right track.

 

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House Passes Hartzler Provision to Address Student Loan Crisis

2018/09/06

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last night the House passed H.R. 1635, the Empowering Students Through Financial Counseling Act, which included a provision by Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) that encourages schools to offer in-person counseling to students when they take out federal loans.

 

The Empowering Students Through Financial Counseling Act ensures borrowers of a federal student loan receive interactive counseling and consent anew each year before they accept their loan. Currently, recipients of federal student loans must only receive one-time entrance counseling, and it can occur after they have already signed up for a loan - leaving them potentially unaware of their responsibility. Additionally, this bill would require loan recipients to receive comprehensive information on the terms, conditions, and responsibilities of a loan plus general information on a typical student budget, the right to request an annual credit report, average income and employment data, and anticipated monthly payments under available repayment plans.

 

“The typical American student graduates with about $22,000 in debt, and default rates are alarmingly high,” Hartzler, a former school teacher for 11 years, said. “What’s worse is that many students report not even remembering their student loan counseling. We need to change that.”

 

Hartzler authored a provision in the bill that would encourage schools to conduct student loan counseling in person. “Face-to-face counseling can increase students’ awareness of the financial obligations they are accumulating and salary levels for their career path so realistic expectations can be developed regarding loan payback timelines. Students should know what they’re getting into,” Hartzler added.

 

Congresswoman Hartzler’s amendment aims to improve the quality of student loan counseling and therefore decrease the chance of a student defaulting later on.

 

Hartzler noted that the House passed her provision and the larger bill with bipartisan support.  “The student loan crisis should not be a partisan issue,” Hartzler said. “We must work together to address this looming economic disaster and make our students aware of the financial obligations they are incurring. I believe personalized, face-to-face counseling can be an effective tool to address this crisis.”

 

This bill has now been referred to the Senate where it awaits further consideration.

 

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Interested members of the media may contact Anna Swick at anna.swick@mail.house.gov

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Hartzler Supports Bill to Protect Americans from Terrorist Drones

2018/09/05

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) applauded the passage of H.R. 6438, the DHS Countering Unmanned Aircraft Systems Coordinator Act, which would help protect U.S. citizens from dangerous and rogue drones.

 

“This bill is a good first step to countering criminal drones,” said Hartzler, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. “On the other side of the globe, terrorist groups have weaponized drones to target our troops and coalition partners, and we must equip our federal agencies to deal with this potential threat on U.S. soil.”

 

At the same time, Hartzler believes the federal government must go further to protect Americans from terrorist drones.

 

“While the bill we passed last night creates a position at the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate all of our counter-drone threat planning efforts, DHS still does not even have the authority to engage a rogue drone,” said Hartzler, who introduced a bill earlier this year to give federal agencies this authority. “My bill, the Safeguarding America’s Skies Act, would allow DHS and the Department of Justice to use counter drone technology to intercept unauthorized drones. Without relief from the current federal prohibition on intercepting criminal drones, federal agencies will continue to have their hands tied when it comes to protecting U.S. citizens from a potential drone attack.”

 

Specifically, the bill the House passed last night, H.R. 6438, would establish an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Coordinator at the Department of Homeland Security to centralize all of the Department’s counter-drone threat efforts. The Coordinator would be responsible for working with the relevant components of DHS to develop plans for countering threats posed by drones. But as Rep. Hartzler mentioned, DHS currently does not even have the authority to engage with rogue drones.

 

Hartzler introduced her bill, H.R. 5366, the Safeguarding America’s Skies Act, in March. It has been referred to the following House Committees, where it awaits further review: Transportation & Infrastructure, Judiciary, and Homeland Security.

 

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Interested members of the media may contact Anna Swick at anna.swick@mail.house.gov

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Hartzler Celebrates St. Louis Selection as MQ-25 Manufacturer

2018/09/04

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) made the following statement following the Navy’s announcement that the MQ-25, the first carrier-based unmanned aerial refueler, would be developed and manufactured in St. Louis.

 

“I am so pleased to hear the MQ-25 will be manufactured in the Show Me State,” House Armed Services Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee Chairwoman Hartzler said. “For decades, our military has turned to the hardworking people of Missouri to manufacture its most advancing equipment. The Navy’s selection of Boeing in St. Louis to develop this groundbreaking refueler, which will be based on an aircraft carrier and can refuel our aircraft mid-air, shows the Navy’s confidence in our aerospace workers. I was proud to support funding for the MQ-25 in this year’s NDAA and I look forward to ensuring this program continues to receive adequate funding.”

 

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Interested members of the media may contact Anna Swick at anna.swick@mail.house.gov

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VICKY'S VIEW: At the Fair!

2018/09/01

At the Fair!

In late August I had the pleasure of visiting the Missouri State Fair and hosting an Advisory Roundtable. A big thank you to USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey for being my special guest!

Every year the famous Missouri State Fair is held right here in Sedalia. It began in 1901, and every year it lasts about two weeks. It features Missouri agriculture's best, including livestock judging, FFA and 4-H displays, tractor-pulling contests, butter cow carving, local music artists, concerts, a canned good art competition, and contests for the largest watermelon and pumpkin.

These little beekeepers enjoyed showing me their protection clothing!

I started the day by attending Governor Parson’s ham breakfast along with other Missouri office holders and community leaders. It was the 66th annual ham breakfast and Governor Parson’s first as governor! We also had a ham auction.

 

I was pleased to have United States Department of Agriculture Under Secretary Bill Northey as my special guest for the day. Under Secretary Northey oversees risk management and conservation management programs for USDA.  He is no stranger to state fairs as he was Iowa's Secretary of Agriculture for 11 years before being named Under Secretary! It was a pleasure introducing him to Missouri farmers and agriculture leaders and showing him "The Show Me State's Best in Agriculture.” I also appreciated the opportunity to visit with him about our efforts to relocate the Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) (both of which the USDA announced it will soon move out of Washington) to Kansas City.  I shared with Under Secretary Northey how Kansas City provides the best place to move these important agencies due to its proximity to the farmer and six land grant universities whose graduates would be a perfect fit for the agencies’  high-paying, advanced jobs, and how so many supporting agencies and agriculture headquarters make their home here, in the center of the United States.

 


USDA Under Secretary Northey and me at the State Fair in Sedalia.

 

It was an honor to speak alongside Governor Mike Parson, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, and Congressman Jason Smith at the Missouri Farm Bureau press conference about infrastructure. I highlighted my work to expand rural broadband in the Farm Bill and how important it is for rural communities.

 

Due to Senator Blunt being in session in Washington, he asked me to moderate his agriculture panel with (L-R) Under Secretary Northey, MO Attorney General Josh Hawley, U.S. Rep. Sam Smith, and MO Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, where we discussed the Farm Bill, the need for broadband in rural areas, and the status of the Missouri drought.

 

The rest of the day at the State Fair was a delight, as I relived memories from my days as a child, tasting special treats like candied bacon and ribs at the MO Pork Building, ice cream at the MO Dairy Building, and fresh lemonade outside the Agriculture Building. It was a good day!


 



I got to enjoy some delicious ice cream at the Gerken Dairy Center at the Missouri State Fair - yum!

 

Missouri Department of Agriculture Business Development Director David Althoff showed me the Agriculture Building.

Hitting the Road for Agriculture – Missouri’s Leading Industry

This week I held my annual Farm Tour.  Agriculture is Missouri’s leading industry. I am one of the few farmers serving in Congress, and I love coming home to visit our agricultural operations and meet the men and women behind them.This year’s stops included Nevada High School with the MO Beef Industry Council, the Missouri Northern Pecan Growers in Nevada, a lunch meeting with members of the Missouri Farm Bureau in Stockton, DairiConcepts (an El Dorado Springs-based industry leader in organic production of cheese and dairy products), Red Tail Ranch (a seller of locally raised meats in Archie), and Dragonfly Dreams Flower Farm in Lamar.  It was great seeing the latest in Missouri agriculture and visiting with those who produce our food.


I had the chance to recognize Nevada High School for instituting the MO Beef for MO Kids program.


At Nevada High School, the Missouri Cattlemen's Association along with the Vernon County Cattleman, the MO Beef Industry Council, the Missouri Department of Agriculture, and the Nevada School District announced that Nevada Public Schools was going to be the site of the MO Beef for MO Kids initiative. This innovative program enables local children to receive more high-quality protein in their school lunches thanks to the generosity of local cattlemen who donate their beef to the school.  Students learn in the classroom about where their food comes from through a curriculum taught that the MO Department of Agriculture designed.


At the event I attended, which highlighted the extra beef that would be part of the school lunch menus, I was able to share about the school lunch reforms I recently introduced. My bill, the Local School Lunch Act, protects our school lunch programs by allowing nutritional decisions to be made at the local level so parents, teachers, and administrators can have input on what is best for our children.  Local parents and school officials know what is best to serve our kids; not bureaucrats in Washington!  I will keep you informed as this bill makes its way through the legislative process. 

 


Kalena and Billy Bruce and the Missouri Farm Bureau hosted a stop on my Farm Tour where I had the chance to discuss the 2018 Farm Bill with my constituents. During this visit, I also heard from Chris Chinn of the Missouri Department of Agriculture and Missouri Department of Natural Resources Ag Liaison Kurt Boeckmann about resources available to help farmers dealing with Missouri's drought. The FFA students at the stop were so much fun to talk to, too. These kids are our future! I know that Missouri agriculture is in good hands.
 

I had a great tour of Missouri Northern Pecan Growers in Nevada, MO! They are the nation’s largest organic grower of native pecans.  It's great to know these yummy pecans shipped all over the world are grown right here in Missouri's 4th District.
 


 


It was fascinating to tour DairiConcepts in El Dorado Springs on my Farm Tour. This facility produces cheese and dairy powders that are used on fan favorite foods such as Doritos!

 


What a beautiful array of plants at Dragonfly Dreams Flower Farm in Lamar. I love the diversity of agricultural products right here in Missouri!


Much of the discussion on my tour focused on Missouri’s drought and the 2018 Farm Bill. I have been coordinating with Governor Mike Parson, the USDA, and other officials to obtain maximum assistance for our farmers in Missouri during this difficult drought. Many of our counties have received a disaster declaration from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the USDA has been releasing Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land for emergency haying and grazing. I have advocated for quicker release of these lands to help free up more feed for cattle. 

 

It was fitting to close out my 2018 Farm Tour by riding on the combine with my husband while he picked some of our corn. It’s fun to watch the golden kernels go into hopper and grain cart!

Photos of the Week


 

Earlier this month, I had the chance to visit with Morgan County officials to see firsthand the regulatory issues they are facing.  
 

I enjoyed a tour of the Ivy Bend Food Pantry in southern Morgan County, where I heard about all the wonderful services they’re providing to the community.
 

Orvis-Gokey Manufacturing in Tipton hand makes quality shoes that are sold all over the world.  These craftsmen do an amazing job turning leather into custom-fit shoes that last for years. It’s wonderful to have such high quality goods produced right here Missouri’s Fourth District.
 

Koechner Manufacturing in Tipton is a family-owned business that has been providing jobs and quality products for decades. I enjoyed seeing how their turkey coops are made.
 

In California, I had a great opportunity to speak to chamber members about tax reform, health care and the Farm Bill.
 

I also had the chance to stop by Advanced Chimney in Jamestown and visit with Omie Johnson and Dawn Cassil (pictured second and third from the left, respectively). They sell beautiful home furnaces and provide chimney cleaning services in the mid-Missouri area.  It was great to see State Rep. Sara Walsh there, too (pictured first from left).  Thanks for meeting with me and showing me your beautiful showroom! 

 


On Thursday, I enjoyed attending Osage Valley Electric Coop’s 80th Annual Meeting. We had some great entertainment by Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road, and President Ron Steuck and GM Jarrod Campbell led a great meeting. I am so proud to be a lifetime member of this coop!

How Tax Reform is Working for You

A recent Reuters article announced that spending is likely to remain strong this year because of lower taxes that have increased take-home pay. Lucia Mutikani writes: “With savings at lofty levels and lower taxes increasing take home pay for some workers, spending is likely to remain strong this year. Accelerating home prices, which are boosting wealth for some households, should also underpin consumption.”

Weekly Dose of Good News

Finally, we have some good news for middle-class American families that have been struggling with health care costs. The federal government recently issued a rule allowing U.S. consumers to buy short-term insurance plans that last less than one year and can be renewed for up to three years. These consumers will be able to shop for plans better suited to their families’ needs and can avoid paying for benefits they don’t want and cannot afford – and they’ll have access to a broader array of providers. The introduction of these short-term policies is expected to result in savings of 50-80% percent off the cost of comprehensive health insurance. While these plans are not for everyone, they are now a viable option for millions of American who are priced out of the current market. This is great news!

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Hartzler Supports FCC Broadband Funding in Rural Missouri

2018/08/31

HARRISONVILLE, MO – Today Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler praised the announcement by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that a majority of counties in Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District will see funding for broadband internet service coming to their communities. The FCC announced that 11 companies – that were winners in a competitive bidding process in the Connect America Fund Phase II Reverse Auction – will receive over $254 million to deploy high-speed internet service to communities across the state.

“This announcement helps ensure that a majority of counties within Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District will receive federal aid to help with the deployment of high-speech broadband internet service,” Hartzler said. “Rural Missouri towns need high-speed internet to attract even more high-paying jobs and to aid in their children’s education. With over half of rural Missourians lacking access to this vital resource, it’s time to level the playing field.”

Hartzler, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, has continuously advocated for deploying broadband internet service to rural communities. The House version of the 2018 Farm Bill includes a provision by Hartzler to set a minimum speed for internet deployed through the USDA Rural Utilities Services (RUS) broadband programs, to ensure the services being provided to rural communities can adequately meet their demands. The Farm Bill also includes a provision she authored to increase private investment in rural broadband by allowing loan guarantees to be issued through RUS programs.

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VICKY'S VIEW: The Best & Worst

2018/08/29

Dear Friend,

Last week I had the chance to see the best and worst of humanity when I traveled to Poland as part of a Congressional delegation.

 

 

Enjoying my visit with the Battle Group Poland in Orzysz, Poland.

 

 

Some of the best of humanity came in seeing our U.S. troops stationed in Poland, partnering with a multinational group called the “Battle Group Poland” to act as a deterrent to regional aggression.

 

 

 

I met with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, which is leading multinational exercises with our allies in Poland to act as a deterrent against regional aggression.

 

  

I had the opportunity to meet with U.S. troops from Missouri, too, while I was in Poland. On the left, I am pictured with Captain Woolery.

 

I met with Mission Commanders and Poland’s Deputy Minister of Defense Tomasz Szatkowski, visited with troops from Missouri, and saw some of the equipment they use in their training.

 

A Stryker that has been newly outfitted with a 30mm gun turret that Congress recently approved.

 

The 2nd Cavalry Regiment is currently leading the multinational exercises, and they are the only U.S. Army unit with Strykers (eight-wheeled armored fighting vehicles) outfitted with new 30mm gun turrets that Congress recently approved. This new equipment will give them the more firepower when confronted by an aggressor.

 

The Battle Group is located in Orzysz, near the Suwalki Gap, a land strip that touches Northeastern Poland, Belarus, Lithuania and Kaliningrad, Russia. Its locale sends a powerful message to those nearby who might want to invade Poland’s borders: that we and our allies stand strong with Poland against invasion.

 

In World War II, Poland was invaded by not one, but two of its neighbors within 16 days: the Germans from the west and the Russians from the east. As a result, its people were overrun by Hitler’s Nazis who moved to exterminate the Jews in concentration camps and systematically carry out unspeakable horrors - an example of the worst of humanity.

 

As we arrived to Auschwitz - Birkenau, we approached this sign describing what happened there.

 

I had the opportunity to visit two of these concentration camps at Auschwitz, which is comprised of three separate camps within a span of a few miles. The original camp was like a small city with rows of 2-3 story brick barracks and headquarter buildings. Prisoners were worked to death or tortured for minor infractions here. Birkenau, the second camp, was mainly for extermination. Here, trains brought in thousands of innocent people who were marched off to the gas chambers within minutes of their arrival. Thirty percent of them were given work assignments and housed in squalid conditions in barracks. This complex held over 100,000 people.  We did not tour the third site.

 

The famous sign at the entrance of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, featuring the deceptive German phrase, “Work sets you free.”

 

The barbed wire at the edge of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp that contained the prisoners.

 

One of the train cars that would transport Jews to the Birkenau extermination camp. Jews from as far as Greece and Hungary were shipped here to die.

 

One of the guard stands where Nazis could survey the camp to ensure no one was allowed to escape.

 

 

The entrance to Birkenau. Nearly half of the 6 million European Jews who died in WWII died in Poland.

 

 

What's left of one of the gas chambers at Auschwitz, which was blown up and burned by the Germans before they fled at the end of the war.

 

 

A Hall of Remembrance to commemorate the innocent Jewish lives that were murdered by an evil regime.

 

The Congressional delegation that visited Auschwitz (L-R): Congressman Brian Babin, Congressman John Moolenaar, me, Holocaust survivor Ed Mosberg, From the Depths Founder Jonny Daniels, Congressman Steve King, and Congressman Barry Loudermilk.

 

Auschwitz-Birkenau was one of many concentration camps that Nazis designed to provide forced labor for Hitler’s projects and to exterminate Jews, Pols, Russian prisoners of war, gypsies and the many Polish Christians who sheltered endangered Jews. In total, 6 million Jews were killed in Europe during the war. Conservative estimates show that almost half of them, nearly 3 million, were slaughtered in Poland. One person we met while there shared that you cannot go 2 kilometers in Poland without finding the site of a mass grave.  It’s hard to imagine such an injustice, but it happened.

 

The stories from this dark time were made all the more personal by the meetings I had with individuals who were personally affected by the Holocaust.

 

I met Edward Mosberg, a 92-year-old Polish-born American citizen who was sent to the Plaszow concentration camp as a boy with his parents and sisters. Edward was the only one in his family to survive, losing a total of 60 relatives to the gas chambers. Edward’s wife, who was sent to Auschwitz, was the only one in her family (besides her father) to survive the camp and two brutal death marches. Edward and his wife eventually moved to America, established a business, raised three children and now enjoy seven grandchildren. They represent the best of humanity in their determination to survive as they share their story and carry on despite the trials they have endured.

 

I also visited Sister Franciszkanki (pictured above), who belongs to a Warsaw convent which saved over 500 children during the War. Parents smuggled their children out of a Jewish ghetto into the convent, where the nuns connected them to an underground system where they escaped out of Poland. In addition, I met Julian Kulski, son of the Mayor of Warsaw during the German occupation, who helped forge thousands of documents for Jews so they could safely escape the country. He risked his life, and the life of his family, so others might live.

 

The Warsaw Zoo, where over 300 Jews were saved during the war. The secret tunnel (above) connected to the house basement with a nearby bird cage so children could escape during Nazi raids on the house. They were never discovered.

 

I also heard the story of Jan and Antonina Zabinski, a couple who directed the Warsaw Zoo and saved hundreds of Jewish citizens by hiding them in their home and the zoo itself and then getting them to safety outside of Poland. They were raided by Nazis many times, never caught, and successfully rescued many. Their story is the basis for the 2017 movie, “The Zookeeper’s Wife.”

 

Individuals like the nuns, the Warsaw Mayor’s son, and the Zabinskis are called “the righteous” in Poland now. They are an example of the best in humanity. They risked their lives to protect others - the purest example of the Golden Rule.

 

The witnessing of their memory and the rebirth of their nation, Poland, was inspiring to see. The countryside is beautiful, their military is strong, and its leadership is committed to democracy, free enterprise, and investing in national defense. The nation’s businesses are growing, the economy is thriving, and the people are charting a new course for their nation based on freedom, capitalism, and education. Poland is one of our closest allies and a strong example of what can happen when a resilient people dedicates itself to a renewal of freedom, respect, and appreciation for all its citizens.

 

I am thankful for the opportunity to experience this rebirth of a nation and strengthen relationships with military and civilians of this most important ally to the United States. I look forward to a continued strong partnership with this important nation.

 

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Hartzler: Preliminary NAFTA Deal with Mexico Positive for Missouri Farmers

2018/08/27

MISSOURI – Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) today issued a statement following the White House’s announcement that it reached a preliminary agreement with Mexico on North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations.

 

“Today’s announcement of a preliminary bilateral trade agreement between the U.S. and Mexico signifies progress and improved trade relationships with a key trading partner,” said Hartzler, a member of the House Agriculture Committee. “I appreciate the Mexican government’s good faith efforts, and I am optimistic that progress with our Canadian trading partners will follow. Mexico and Canada are our top two trading partners, and modernizing NAFTA is incredibly important for Missouri farmers, consumers, and businesses,” added Hartzler, who has discussed with President Trump and his cabinet the need to finalize outstanding trade negotiations and resolve bilateral trade disputes with our trading partners.

 

“Free trade is key to a healthy economy, but trade must be fair.  I am cautiously optimistic that we can finalize NAFTA text this fall to allow members of Congress time to vet it and vote before the end of the year. Missouri farmers need the certainty of trade deals that maximize the opportunity to get their product into the hands of the world’s consumers at a fair price as soon as possible.”

 

“I look forward to thoroughly reviewing this preliminary deal to ensure it is good for the American farmer before casting a final vote,” added Hartzler.

 

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Interested members of the media may contact Anna Swick at anna.swick@mail.house.gov

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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

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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