WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) today applauded the Senate passage of a bill she introduced earlier this year to name the downtown Columbia, MO post office in honor of Missouri-born Specialist Sterling William Wyatt.
“I’m pleased the Senate moved today to honor Missouri’s own hero, Sterling Wyatt,” Hartzler said. “I look forward to seeing this bill make its way to the President’s desk so that we can officially name our post office in Specialist Wyatt’s honor. Over the past year, I’ve gotten to know Sterling’s parents and I am deeply moved by their son’s sacrifice to protect our freedoms. Sterling was an amazing young man—worthy of honor and a source of inspiration to us all. Having his name is etched into the side of our post office will inspire future generations and allow us to commemorate his patriotism forever.”
Born and raised in Columbia, Spc. Wyatt was an active participant in his youth group and church. He was also quite accomplished: he earned the rank of Eagle Scout, a first-degree black belt in taekwondo, and certification as a Certified Nurse Attendant all before graduating from Rock Bridge High School in 2009.
Soon after graduating, he joined the U.S. Army and was assigned to the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McCord, Washington. He was later deployed abroad to serve his country. Tragically, at only 21-years old, Spc. Wyatt was killed on July 11, 2012 while on patrol in Kandahar, Afghanistan. His vehicle was attacked with an enemy improvised explosive device (IED).
Spc. Wyatt’s awards and decorations include the Medal of Valor, Bronze Star, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon, NATO Medal, Certificate of Achievement, and Combat Infantryman Badge.
After receiving letters from Columbia constituents requesting the Columbia post office be named in Wyatt’s honor, and after she met with Wyatt’s parents Randy and Sherry, Rep. Hartzler introduced this historic bill. It passed the House in July. With passage in the Senate, the bill now goes to the President’s desk, where it is expected to be signed into law.
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HARRISONVILLE, MO – Today Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) announced her support for the Trump administration’s finalization of rules to protect non-profits, religious groups, and small businesses that have a moral objection to providing employees health care coverage that includes abortion-inducing drugs.
“No entity should be forced to purchase employee health care plans which violate their beliefs,” Hartzler said. “The finalization of these conscience protection rules is a great victory. Catholic nuns like Little Sisters of the Poor and pro-life nonprofits won’t be forced to provide health care plans and pay for drugs that are in opposition to the beliefs that fuel their mission.”
HARRISONVILLE, MO – Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) today announced important USDA grant funding which will help rural Missouri communities connect with telemedicine networks. These networks help deliver healthcare services for families in remote areas that may not have direct access to clinics or hospitals. This grant funding, which totals over $1.06 million, stems from the FY2018 Omnibus bill which Hartzler supported.
“Telemedicine is an effective way to provide health care assistance and education to our rural communities. This grant funding will expand service and support to these areas,” said Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, who supported this funding in the FY2018 Omnibus bill. “Health care is one of the largest concerns facing families in Missouri, and although this is not the only solution to our health care challenges, telemedicine uses technology to help overcome barriers caused by distance or lack of access to health care facilities for those who can’t travel,” added Hartzler, who has been a long-time advocate for health care improvements in rural areas and for seniors.
The funding was awarded to the following groups:
Lester E. Cox Medical Centers, which include facilities in Barton and Laclede County, receive $235,472 in rural development funding to connect children in schools with a telemedicine network to deliver direct-to-patient care for rural communities. The project will equip 17 rural schools and eight rural clinics with telemedicine capabilities, increasing access to quality healthcare for 30,000 rural residents. The project will include improving tele-conferencing equipment to serve childhood illnesses and increasing access to opioid treatment in rural clinics. CoxHealth serves 24 mainly rural counties in southwest Missouri.
Lake Regional Health System, which has facilities in multiple counties including Laclede, Morgan, and Camden County, will receive $443,417 in rural development funding to establish the Lake Regional Mid-Missouri Telemedicine Program, which will provide specialty physician telemedicine care. The project will establish synchronous, tele-conferencing equipment with interactive medical devices within 13 facilities in five rural mid-Missouri counties serving over 35,000 rural residents. The network will also be used to keep healthcare providers aware of the latest innovations in healthcare and allow easier access to continuing education and other required training. A new and much needed facet of the telehealth resources will include behavioral and other counseling services, including opioid misuse treatment.
Great Circle, which serves multiples counties including Boone, Laclede, and Pulaski County, will receive $385,777 in rural development funding to purchase and install interactive telemedicine equipment. This project will implement mobile telehealth equipment that can deliver specialty telehealth services in several counties including Pulaski. Specialty care will include psychological services and behavioral therapy at seven health care facilities, benefiting over 2,600 patients. Great Circle will increase the number of youth and families receiving therapy by 41 percent and the number of youth served over two years by 56 percent.
“The use of technology has proven effective in advancing healthcare solutions and education in rural communities, and this funding will help advance efforts to improve quality of care in our rural communities,” added Hartzler.
Congresswoman Hartzler visits Austin Stanton, the 2018 FFA Star Farmer, in Centralia.
HARRISONVILLE, MO – Today Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) congratulated Centralia native Austin Stanton, who was chosen as the Future Farmers of America (FFA) 2018 Star Farmer.
“I am so proud of Austin,” Hartzler said. “When I last visited the Stanton Brothers operation, I was impressed with its size and scope, especially considering that Austin helped start this business when he was only a teenager. I hope his example will inspire other young people who are interested in agriculture to dream big and work hard.”
Austin is a member of the FFA chapter in Centralia Missouri, where he runs an agricultural operation called Stanton Brothers with his brother, Dustin. The main product Stanton Brothers produces is eggs, which it sells to neighbors, local restaurants, grocery chains, and the University of Missouri. Additionally, Austin has a field spraying service called AHS Services and he works on his family farm, which produces field crops and beef.
The FFA Star Farmer Award is given each year to the FFA member that demonstrates the top production agriculture supervised agricultural experience in the nation. The member must demonstrate outstanding achievement, active FFA participation and an exemplary scholastic record.
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HARRISONVILLE, MO – Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) applauded the Trump Administration’s actions to lower health care costs, citing new U.S. Departments of the Treasury, Health and Human Services, and Labor rule proposals expanding the usability of health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). HRAs allow employees to be reimbursed by their employers for healthcare expenses in a tax-advantaged way. The proposed rule would permit HRAs to reimburse employees for the cost of individual health insurance coverage, which was prohibited by the previous administration.
“Making HRAs more flexible and allowing them to be used to purchase insurance will lower the cost of healthcare services and empower Americans to choose health plans that work for them,” said Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, who has been an advocate for increasing transparency in medical costs. “The need for quality, affordable health care continues to be a leading issue with Missouri families, and this new flexibility will help make healthcare more affordable for the American people” added Hartzler.
The proposed rule is part of the Presidential Executive Order Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States, which was signed on October 12, 2017. This order has been the main tool the Administration has used to lower healthcare costs and increase provider options for the American people. In addition to HRAs, it prioritized expanded access to association health plans (AHPs) and short-term, limited duration insurance (STLDI) plans. Final rules were issued earlier this year on AHPs and STLDIs.
“The AHP rule allows small businesses to band together by geography or industry and create health plans as if they were a single large employer. As many as 4 million people could gain coverage under these new plan offerings in the coming years. Through the STLDI rule, Americans will also have access to short term plans, which will offer even greater flexibility and control over an individual’s healthcare options,” said Hartzler.
For more information on these rules and executive orders, the White House has provided additional details, which can be viewed here.
HARRISONVILLE, MO – Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler visited the Tucson Sector of the U.S.-Mexico border, working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and learning first-hand about the organized Mexican drug cartels which funnel deadly illegal drugs into the United States.
“Traveling to the Arizona-Mexico border allowed me to see first-hand the challenges facing our customs officers and Border Patrol agents on the front line,” said Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, who has been actively combatting the scourge of drug abuse in her Missouri district. “It is a warzone putting our dedicated agents against the highly funded, highly manned, and well-organized Mexican cartels. The cartels control the entire Mexican border and are consistently looking for lucrative opportunities, such as smuggling people and drugs into the United States,” added Hartzler, who toured the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales, Arizona. Hartzler saw cartel scouts conducting counter surveillance on the hills in Mexico overlooking the Port where they watch the border around the clock to find gaps in security. This allows them to smuggle people and drugs into the United States.
Hartzler noted that the Mexican cartels use a variety of methods to conduct their illicit activities along the U.S.-Mexico border. In Nogales, over 100 tunnels have been discovered since 1990 used primarily to smuggle drugs. Over the last several years, there has been a decline in marijuana seizures and an increase in hard drugs such as methamphetamine, heroine, and cocaine. Drug mules (people used to transport illicit drugs by foot across the border in remote areas) have become more violent and more likely to attack Border Patrol agents in order to protect their products. Hartzler added that consumer drones are used by the cartels to monitor and assess U.S. border activities in order to direct and plan movement into the United States. Earlier this year, Hartzler introduced legislation that allows the Department of Homeland Security to target and interdict these drones. This bill was incorporated into the FAA Reauthorization Act, which was signed into law this month.
“I am glad we were able to secure this important authorization to stop the drug drones from crossing our border, but this is just one of the steps needed to win this war on drugs. Mexican drug cartels are currently exploiting gaps in our border security and it is our responsibility to fill those gaps to keep their illicit activities out of the United States,” said Hartzler. “This includes investing in three key capabilities for a strong border – funding for a secure border wall, providing advanced technology such as sensors and cameras, and securing more customs officers and Border Patrol agents. There are many challenges along the U.S.-Mexico border, and these three investments will help to enhance U.S. border security. One of the ways to combat the flow of drugs into our local towns and communities is to stop them at the border, and this means supporting our customs officers and Border Patrol agents with the tools needed to win this battle,” added Hartzler.
Along the border in Nogales lies a border fence stretching to the rough mountainous terrain of Arizona. The rough terrain in Arizona makes it difficult and dangerous for Border Patrol agents to operate. The cartels encourage and exploit women and children to enter the United States in order to make a profit. Often, these individuals are left for dead in the desert with the false hope of reaching their destination. Border Patrol agents, with the help of the National Guard, frequently conduct life-saving rescue missions in the desert climate. The National Guard assists the Border Patrol by providing situational awareness and transportation for rapid deployment.
Congresswoman Hartzler toured the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales, Arizona. This port is responsible for checking cars, trucks, and pedestrians that cross into the United States. The customs officers are tasked with protecting the American public from harmful agricultural products, illegal drugs, and dangerous individuals entering the United States. The officers assigned to this port use advanced skills and technology to detect illegal drugs hidden in obscure locations. This photo shows objects intercepted by our customs agents, demonstrating the different methods used by the cartels to bring drugs across the border into America.
Hartzler and Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) viewed a storm drain under the city of Nogales which is sometimes used by the cartels to smuggle drugs across the border. Along with the Port of Entry, various tunnels are used to smuggle drugs into the United States. Our Border Patrol works hard to locate and stop this dangerous activity.
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HARRISONVILLE, MO – Today Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) made the following statement in response to President Trump’s announcement that he will allow the year-round sale of 15% ethanol gasoline, or E15.
“This is great news for Missouri corn growers suffering from low commodity prices and the effects of a drought earlier this year,” said Hartzler, who is a member of the House Agriculture Committee. “Allowing E15 to be sold year-round will give consumers more choices at the pump and farmers will have a broader market to sell their corn, which will result in higher farm income. As recently as two weeks ago, I advocated with the White House for this change to help Missouri corn growers, so I was particularly glad to hear the President’s announcement today.”
HARRISONVILLE, MO – Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) today made the following statement regarding the Senate’s confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court:
“The confirmation process of Judge Kavanaugh has been a divisive and politically difficult chapter in American politics. Accusations of sexual misconduct are very serious, and the Senate has done its due diligence in pausing and further investigating these claims. An additional FBI investigation was requested and has since occurred, once again finding no evidence of the claims against Judge Kavanaugh.
“What should have been a professional, non-partisan approach to investigating serious claims was turned into an embarrassing display of partisan vitriol by Senators determined to oppose any nominee of President Trump. Judge Kavanaugh has been a highly distinguished judge for decades, and his record has been thoroughly vetted and reviewed. The Supreme Court has reconvened for its fall session and is short one justice – it is time to make the court whole. I support the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh and am pleased the Senate has acted accordingly.”
Please see the attached file for an audio recording of Rep. Hartzler’s statement about Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Interested members of the media may contact Anna Swick at email@example.comRead More
It recently came to my attention that the Food & Drug Administration was contracting with a company called Advanced Bioscience Resources, which admitted in a 2016 Congressional investigation that it harvested aborted fetuses from abortion clinics for a low price and then sold their components at more than 500% mark-up. Selling any sort of human body part for profit is prohibited by federal law. We must ensure that our government engages in research that is ethical, and because of this, I led a Congressional inquiry (and was joined by 85 of my colleagues) into the FDA’s contract with this company. I also spoke personally with Health & Human Services Secretary Alex Azar about my concerns that research dollars were being used illegally and that this funding should go to alternative forms of research that advance cures and are life-affirming.
I’m pleased to announce that following my conversation, Secretary Azar publicly stated the FDA would cancel its contract with Advanced Biomedical Resources and HHS would conduct an agency-wide review of all research involving human fetal tissue and will explore alternative options. I’m thankful HHS is taking steps to make sure its research meets the highest of ethical standards, We need to find cures without devaluing or destroying human life.
This is an important week in America’s trade dealings with its neighbors. On Sunday night, Canada agreed to join the United States and Mexico in a deal to update the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Mexico previously agreed to a new arrangement with the United States, but Canada had not come to the table until this week.
The United States and Canada have long been friendly trading partners. In recent years however, Canada has not been dealing on a level playing field with our country. For instance, Canada had imposed a 241 percent tariff on American fluid milk while the U.S. imposed NO tariff on Canadian liquid milk. Thankfully, Canada is willing to negotiate this trade imbalance. Free trade must be fair trade – for the three countries involved in the new agreement.
I have been a vocal advocate for finalizing fair trade deals in an expeditious manner and am pleased with the priority the Trump Administration has given to getting good deals for the American people. I look forward to studying this agreement further and appreciate the President fighting for American interests across the world stage.
In this Congress, we’re still waiting for important federal nominees to be confirmed. We still have unfilled positions throughout the government and multiple district judges who have yet to be confirmed. In fact, this Senate has confirmed the fewest nominees of the past four Administrations. Even Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) stated, “Enough is enough. We need people who are qualified to filled these important positions in our government.” I agree. It’s time for the Senate to finish confirming these important positions.
Missouri Task Force 1 comes to the aid of a vehicle in Brunswick County, NC, in the wake of Hurricane Florence.
The Boone County Fire District’s Missouri Task Force 1 has returned home after yet another successful operation protecting Americans in the wake of natural disaster. Task Force 1 got back to Columbia on Saturday after two weeks of searching for and rescuing victims of Hurricane Florence in North Carolina. During its mission, the task force rescued and evacuated 394 residents and 33 pets. In addition, the teams provided wellness checks on 1,374 residents who remained in their homes and provided assistance to 155 residents. The teams also performed damage assessments on 381 structures. I am so proud of their hard work.
The tax reform package passed almost a year ago continues to bear fruit. AP reports a Kentucky-based home appliances business plans to add 400 jobs as part of a $200 million investment to expand production at its Louisville operation. Since May, GE Appliances has announced more than $475 million of investment in products, manufacturing, and distribution. GE Appliances President and CEO Kevin Nolan said the tax package played “a big role” in the company’s expansion plans.
There is no doubt that tax reform is still providing wonderful benefits for hard-working Americans.
Confidence and optimism create success – and Americans are experiencing a sense of confidence not seen in a long time. In September, the Conference Board’s measurement of Americans’ confidence reached its highest level in 18 years.
Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at the Conference Board, points to a couple of very strong reasons for that confidence: “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions remains extremely favorable, bolstered by a strong economy and robust job growth … These historically high confidence levels should continue to support healthy consumer spending, and should be welcome news for retailers as they begin gearing up for the holiday season.”
HARRISONVILLE, MO – Today Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) made the following statement about Canada’s decision to join the United States and Mexico in an agreement to update NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement), the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement.
“I am pleased we have come to an agreement with Canada on a new U.S-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement. Opening new markets for our agriculture products and leveling the playing field with our partners is key to growing our economy and keeping rural America strong. I am particularly pleased that Canada has been willing to finally open their dairy markets. The 241% tariff imposed on our fluid milk compared to the 0% tariff the United States imposed on Canadian milk was an unfair injustice that needed to be rectified.
"I have been a vocal advocate for finalizing fair trade deals in an expeditious manner and am pleased with the priority the Trump Administration has given to getting good deals for the American people.
"I look forward to studying this agreement further and appreciate President Trump fighting for American interests across the world stage.”
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1023 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Vicky Hartzler is the Representative for Missouri’s 4th Congressional District, having been elected to that position on November 2, 2010.
She was born October 13, 1960 in Cass County, was raised on a farm in Archie, and lives with her husband, Lowell and daughter, Tiffany, on a working farm in Cass County. She is a graduate of both the University of Missouri-Columbia and Central Missouri State University (now University of Central Missouri) graduating summa cum laude with a B.S. in Education from MU and a M.S. in Education from Central Missouri.
She was first elected to political office in November of 1994 as the State Representative from Missouri’s 124th District. She served three terms, leaving in January of 2001. Prior to her time in politics Vicky taught family and consumer sciences for 11 years in Lebanon and Belton.
In 2004, she served as spokesperson for the Coalition to Protect Marriage, a state constitutional amendment which passed resoundingly and led to Missouri recognizing traditional marriage as a union of a man and a woman. In 2005, she was appointed as Chair of the Missouri Women’s Council, serving for two years.
Vicky and Lowell Hartzler own a company with three farm equipment stores in the 4th District.
The Hartzler family lives near Harrisonville in Cass County.
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