Vicky Hartzler

Vicky Hartzler

MISSOURI's 4th DISTRICT

Rep. Vicky Hartzler Highlights Veterans Affairs Initiatives at VA Committee Hearing

2019/09/10

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) spoke at the Veterans Affairs Committee’s Member Day about a series of bills she has co-sponsored to mitigate lapses in quality healthcare provided to our veterans.

  1. H.R. 1163, The VA Hiring Enhancement Act, introduced by Hartzler earlier this year, is a bipartisan bill that will help the VA fill some of the 40,000 vacancies in its facilities. The bill, co-sponsored by Reps. Correa, Wilson, Mooney, Rouzer, Lesko, and Bost, has three main provisions.

The bill would allow physicians to be released from non-compete agreements for the purpose of serving in the VA for at least one year. Additionally, it updates the minimum training requirements for VA physicians. Completion of a medical residency is widely accepted as standard comprehensive training for clinical physicians. Finally, it would place veterans’ hospitals on a level playing field with the private sector when it comes to recruiting timelines.

“We’ve worked closely with this committee’s staff, VA recruiters, and VSOs on this bill, and I’m pleased to report that it has garnered wide support and formal endorsement from 10 veterans’ service organizations including the American Legion, Blinded Veterans Association, AMVETS, Disabled American Veterans and Paralyzed Veterans of America,” Hartzler said.

“This measure is currently slated to be discussed at an upcoming Health Subcommittee hearing and it’s my hope we can work together to move this bill to the House floor soon.”

  1. H.R. 3350, The VA Emergency Transportation Act, introduced by Hartzler in June, fixes the shortfall in the VA’s statutory authority to reimburse certain veterans for emergency transportation. By clarifying that these medical transfers are reimbursable, the bill fixes a large, costly hole in the safety net the original law was intended to provide.

“Rep Cunningham and I are joined by over 40 Members in supporting this critical measure.  Additionally, 13 veterans’ service organizations, including all of the Big Six have voiced strong support for this necessary reform,” Hartzler said.

“Far too many of our veterans continue to face this unnecessary burden at their most vulnerable time, creating financial hardships and jeopardizing their health.  We must act now to move this bill forward and protect our veterans.”

  1. H.R. 2433, The Veterans’ Preference Parity Act, introduced by Hartzler in May, reforms outdated federal hiring rules to allow all retired service members and a greater number of National Guard and Reservists to qualify for veterans’ preference.

“Outdated federal hiring rules prevent too many patriots from being recognized when competing for federal positions,” Hartzler said. “The Veterans’ Preference Parity Act rights this wrong by modernizing the archaic federal hiring process and recognizing those who have served our nation.”

“We are forever indebted to the brave men and women who serve in uniform and we owe them our continued support as veterans.  The current federal hiring preference statutes must be updated to reflect the way we utilize our reserve component forces and need to reward those who retire upon completion of their military career – not punish them.”

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August 23, 2019 Vicky's View from the District

2019/08/26

Down on the Farm

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I kicked off my #MO4 Farm Tour on Monday at the Lenz Brothers dairy farm outside Bunceton, MO.

Agriculture is Missouri’s predominant industry and MO-4 is one of the most rural districts in our state and country. With that as a backdrop, I set out on my annual Farm Tour to highlight agricultural operations throughout our district.

Day 1 launched my 15-stop Farm Tour at the Lenz Brothers Dairy Farm near Bunceton. The owners currently have 80 cows providing milk for the school lunch program in the region. Expansion plans are in the works with the goal to eventually have 400 cows. In September they will begin construction on a facility to modernize and provide even more nutritious milk to area families.

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My second stop was with some great cattlemen in Howard County.

After that, a visit to the Weiker Angus Ranch in rural Howard County gave me the chance to talk to farmers about the need to pass the USMCA (United States, Mexico, Canada) trade agreement. We also discussed tariffs and the need to ensure U.S. producers have access to all markets.

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A special thanks to the Missouri College of Agriculture for letting me visit their Bradford Research Center.

Then, at a roundtable at the University of Missouri’s Bradford Research Center in Columbia, we heard from presenters who talked about the facility and the great work being done there to improve the lives of animals and humans. One animal science project studied how improving animal reproductive health is helping them discover how to improve human reproductive health. The cutting-edge research occurring at Bradford will benefit the whole country and the world.

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I visited Moberly Area Community College in Mexico, MO to provide a forum to discuss the wide array of resources available to rural areas for infrastructure and community enhancements.

Later, I led the first of three resource sessions conducted on my Farm Tour. We heard from the USDA, USDA Rural Development, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Missouri Department of Economic Development, and Missouri Department of Agriculture on how smaller communities with less funding can apply for government loans and grants. Many communities are facing challenges upgrading wastewater and drinking water systems and can benefit from monies coming from the federal government to assist them in complying with current regulations.  In addition, participants learned of other grants and loans available to assist with energy projects, businesses growth, rural broadband expansion, and new community facility construction.

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I had a great finish to the day spending time with the Randolph County Farm Bureau.

The final event of our first day was the Randolph County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Cairo. In addition to enjoying a wonderful delicious meal, I spoke to attendees about a number of important agricultural accomplishments, including the Farm Bill that we passed last year.

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The second day of my Farm Tour started with little chicks at the Cackle Hatchery in Lebanon.

Day 2 began at the Cackle Hatchery in Lebanon. This family-owned operation, which has been up and running since 1936, offers more than 200 varieties of poultry which they ship throughout the United States.

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I enjoyed visiting the Swank Lavender Farm outside Seymour, MO.

My next stop, Swank Lavender Farm, opened in 2017 not long after its owners moved to Missouri from Illinois. Lavender oil not only is popular due to its wonderful, calming aroma, but is also in demand for bug bites, burns, and stings among other things. The lavender field is made up of 850 plants and rests on a half-acre site. They have plans to expand in the near future.  I was excited to learn about this family-owned business and wish them the best as they grow and expand.

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I got to stop by the C-Highway Produce Auction and visit with attendees when I passed through Webster County.

While in Seymour, I dropped into the C-Highway Produce Auction. This auction house was established in 2008 with the purpose of selling produce and providing a market for interested growers. The auction is aimed primarily at wholesale buyers that include roadside stands, area restaurants, and farm markets. Auction days vary from month to month, with the site open on Tuesdays and Fridays through October.

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It was great meeting with Missouri Farm Bureau members while I was in Webster County.

While in Webster County, I enjoyed a luncheon hosted by members of the Webster, Dallas, and Laclede County Farm Bureau offices. We discussed trade, implementation of the Farm Bill, and how important it is that Congress pass the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).  Not only does it open new agriculture markets for our farmers and ranchers, but also is anticipated to create 176,000 new jobs and bring $68 billion of additional revenue into our economy.  It is my hope Speaker Pelosi will bring this up for a vote soon.

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I hosted a resource session in Buffalo to connect MO-4 rural communities to funding opportunities through federal and state resources.

Next I made a visit to Buffalo and hosted the second of my three USDA Rural Development information sessions. Once again, USDA and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources teamed up to masterfully offer important information to small businesses and communities trying to meet their infrastructure needs in such areas as water and wastewater systems.

The day ended with a dinner at the Cass County Farm Bureau’s Annual Meeting, where I spoke to attendees about some of the accomplishments Congress has made on behalf of agriculture and some of the challenges that remain.

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I enjoyed visiting Osage Valley Electric Cooperative in Butler, MO.

Day 3 started with our third and final USDA Rural Development roundtable in Butler, MO, and more sharing of important information on loans and grants available to address such important issues as water and wastewater systems and the availability of broadband Internet in rural communities. These information sessions have been valuable to the stakeholders who were able to attend. Knowledge is power and it was great to be able to host a forum for USDA and Rural Development and Missouri DNR to communicate this information.

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It was great to meet with poultry producers, growers, and processors in Cole Camp.

The poultry industry took center stage at our next stop in Cole Camp as I met with growers and processors to discuss trade issues and their impact on business. Like our beef, dairy, pork, and other industries, poultry producers are keeping a close watch on trade agreements and other developments in Washington. We also discussed the need for immigration reform in the agriculture sector.

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I toured the State Fair Community College agriculture program and met with students there.

Next stop: onto Sedalia and an Agribusiness Roundtable with members and agribusiness students taking part in this discussion. The students were from State Fair Community College’s agribusiness program. While at SFCC, I toured their Potter-Ewing Agriculture Building, where students engage in a combination of classroom hours and occupational internships designed to teach them skills they will need to succeed.  It was encouraging to see so many young people interested in careers in agriculture and to visit with agribusinesses in the district.

The finale of this year’s Farm Tour was a Farm Service Agency (FSA) event in Harrisonville with House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson from Minnesota. This was a roundtable event at which we discussed Market Facilitation Program (MFP), Farm Bill implementation, trade, disaster assistance, conservation, and other issues of importance to those involved in agriculture.

This was a very comprehensive tour of some of the best MO-4 agriculture has to offer. I shared information with my constituents and, in turn, received some great information to take with me when I return to Washington in September. I am already looking forward to next year’s tour.

 

The Gift of Reading

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It was a joy to read to the kids at the Cass County Library earlier this week.

I was happy to visit the Cass County Public Library to deliver a boxload of books from the Library of Congress in Washington. While making the delivery, I did something I enjoy so much - reading to children at the library. We read “Clifford goes to Washington” and “House Mouse, Senate Mouse” among others! Reading is critical to success, and it was a privilege to read to these young children to encourage them to continue reading throughout their life.

 

Service Academy Information Day

I want to remind everyone about the upcoming Service Academy Information Day scheduled for September 7th in Lebanon. This event is for students who are considering one of the United States Military Academies, allowing them to meet representatives of the various service academies and to ask any questions they may have. The event takes place at the Lebanon-Laclede County Library on Saturday, September 7, 2019 between 2:00 and 4:00 pm. I look forward to seeing our promising young students at this information session.

 

Weekly Dose of Good News

Sedalia will soon be welcoming about 100 jobs through Exam One, a new technology business that will open a call center there this month. Exam One, whose primary function is laboratory testing and pharmaceutical collection, has offices throughout North America. The Sedalia call center will collect health history information from consumers applying for life insurance and connect them with insurance companies. The decision to locate this important facility in Sedalia is yet another example of the quality work force we have throughout MO-4. Welcome to our district! 

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President Signs Hartzler Legislation Supporting Missouri Task Force 1 into Law

2019/08/22

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler’s (MO-04) legislation supporting Missouri Task Force 1 was signed into law. Hartzler’s bill, the National Urban Search and Rescue Parity Act (H.R. 639), which passed the House in April and the Senate in July, establishes clear policy allowing federal employees to serve on FEMA Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Task Forces. Hartzler’s bill clarifies a 2016 law which has prevented long-time Missouri task force members from serving on these vital search and rescue teams.

 

“With this bill now law, more Missouri Task Force 1 members can be deployed to disaster areas both in Missouri and nation-wide,” said Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, who introduced this legislation after meeting with task force members to hear about their concerns. “This dedicated group of volunteers puts their lives on the line to help others, and this law reforms the system so all dedicated volunteers can be deployed.  This was a team effort and I am grateful for Senator Blunt and Hawley’s assistance in moving this bill through the Senate. The President’s support today completes this process,” added Hartzler, who noted that Senator Hawley’s companion legislation to H.R. 639 was introduced in the Senate this summer.

 

Hartzler added that this bill establishes a clear policy that FEMA may not preclude federal employees from serving on US&R teams, noting that Missouri Task Force 1 has been hindered by misinterpretations in the law which made it difficult for federal employees to volunteer their service. She noted that FEMA’s misinterpretation of current law is preventing dedicated Missouri Task Force 1 members from deploying to disaster areas where they actively save lives. This goes against congressional intent and this bill resolves this problem.

 

The FEMA National Urban Search and Rescue Response System consists of 28 task force teams across the country that utilize the unique skills and resources of local volunteers to respond to disaster missions. Missouri Task Force 1 is based in Columbia, Missouri and is sponsored by the Boone County Fire Protection District. This task force, along with others across the country, have been impacted by FEMA’s decision to preclude federal employees from serving.

 

In 2016, Congress passed the National Urban Search and Rescue Response System Act, which provides non-federal employees various federal liability protections due to their participation on US&R teams. FEMA has interpreted this law to mean that federal employees are prohibited from serving on these task forces. Hartzler’s bill addresses this omission and has received broad support from stakeholders such as the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

 

“I thank Representative Hartzler and Senator Hawley for addressing this pressing issue. Federal firefighters and other employees can provide necessary skills to the federal US&R teams. I’m glad Congress has clarified that they can be US&R team members,” said Chief Dan Eggleston, President and Chairman of the Board, International Association of Fire Chiefs.

 

Boone County Fire Protection District Fire Chief Scott Olsen, who is the Sponsoring Agency Chief and Program Manager for Missouri Task Force 1 (MO-TF1), one of 28 FEMA Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Task Forces, commented, "The passage of H.R. 639 was very important to MO-TF1 and the other 27 FEMA US&R Task Forces in the National Urban Search and Rescue Response System. It will allow 4 of our own team members who are federal employees and approximately 50 other additional federal employees who are members of the other 27 teams to deploy to future federal disasters. Those members affected by the National Urban Search and Rescue Response System statute enacted in December 2016, have not been able to deploy to federal disasters for three years due to a section of the statute that prohibited federal employees from responding to federal disasters as members of a FEMA US&R Task Force. Some of those affected by this prohibition have previously deployed to some of the most significant national and international disasters in the past 29 years. MO-TF1 would like to thank Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler for introducing H.R. 639 and leading the fight to fix the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Response System statute which will now allow federal employees to again respond to federal disasters as members of a FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Task Force."

 

This is the second bill dealing with disaster recovery and assistance that Hartzler has had signed into law. In 2017, President Trump signed into law Hartzler’s FEMA Relief Improvement Act (H.R. 1117), a measure aimed at increasing the reliability of FEMA’s services following disasters. The law ensures disaster victims receive better guidance, more accurate information and greater service from FEMA during emergencies and natural disasters.

 

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

 

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For the latest official portrait of Congresswoman Hartzler, please click here.

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August 9, 2019 Vicky's View from the District

2019/08/09

Hartzler Missouri Task Force 1 Bill Heads to White House

At the end of July, the Senate passed my legislation supporting Missouri Task Force 1, H.R. 639 the National Urban Search and Rescue Parity Act. This bill passed the House in April and establishes clear policy allowing federal employees to serve on FEMA Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Task Forces. Specifically, my bill clarifies a 2016 law which has prevented long-time Missouri task force members from serving on these vital search and rescue teams.

The 2016 law provided non-federal employees various federal liability protections due to their participation on Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) teams, and FEMA interpreted this provision to mean that federal employees are prohibited from serving on these teams.

This misinterpretation prevented dedicated Missouri Task Force 1 members from deploying to disaster areas where they actively save lives. This goes against congressional intent, so my bill establishes a clear policy that FEMA may not preclude federal employees from serving on US&R teams.

The bill is now on its way to the President’s desk where it awaits signature. I am glad that, soon, more Missouri Task Force 1 members can be deployed to disaster areas both in Missouri and nation-wide. 

 

A New I-70 Bridge

Missouri’s Fourth District and the entire state received welcome news in July: the federal Department of Transportation awarded Missouri with an $81.2 million Infrastructure For Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant to replace the aging I-70 bridge in Rocheport. This is an extremely positive development, as merely repairing the bridge (instead of replacing it) would have caused extensive traffic delays which would have not only caused headaches for traveling families but also impacted the local economy. The INFRA grant also triggers a state bonding proposal that will allow MoDOT to make repairs to another 214 bridges in our state.

The I-70 bridge links two MO-4 counties - Boone and Cooper Counties. That is why I took the lead in getting our state’s Congressional delegation on board to petition Transportation Secretary Elaine Chau for the grant. I led a letter of support, spoke personally to Secretary Chau, and visited with the Undersecretary of Transportation on the phone about the urgent need for this bridge replacement. Senator Roy Blunt wrote a separate letter of support and visited with Sec. Chao, also, and Governor Parson also advocated strongly for the grant. It was truly a Missouri-team effort. And while this is a major project for our district, let us never forget the importance of Interstate 70 and the Rocheport Bridge to our entire nation’s transportation needs, with about 100 million tons of freight, worth more than $154 billion, crossing the bridge each year. Boone County and Columbia each pledged $2 million for this project while Cooper County and Boonville, with much smaller populations, each offered $200,000. I want to thank Boone and Cooper Counties, as well as Columbia and Boonville, for having contributed to this cause and showing they have “skin in the game.” I look forward to work starting on this ambitious project.

 

Tearing Down Drug Tunnels on the Border

At the end of July, I introduced legislation to expedite the approval process that U.S. Customs & Border Patrol agents must undergo to destroy border tunnels used for illegal crossings and for transporting narcotics into our country. The Eradicate Crossing of Illegal Tunnels (EXIT) Act will ensure our border patrol agents have the tools they need to address the illegal entry of individuals and dangerous drugs into our country - regardless of other considerations. Currently, border patrol agents must wait for environmental reviews of drug tunnels and seek bids for contractors to do the work each time there is a new tunnel before action can be taken. This delays action and hamstrings our agents. The EXIT act will allow the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive environmental reviews that hinder the process of protecting our homeland and allow contracts to be issued for multiple remediations to expedite the process.

 

Great Bills on the Floor

We all know what it’s like to be sitting at home, eating dinner or relaxing with the family, and being bothered by those annoying robocalls - many of which promote fraud and border on harassment. I was pleased to vote in July for the Stop Bad Robocalls Act, H.R. 3375, which will further protect Americans from illegal robocalls. Specifically, this legislation will support new technology to ensure the authentication of calls and the blocking of illegal calls without an extra line-item charge to consumers. Illegal robocalls are not only a nuisance, but they prey on the most vulnerable among us, including senior citizens. Statistics indicate Americans have experienced 29.3 billion illegal robocalls so far this year, marking a 64 percent increase since 2016. Enough! It is time to end these malicious calls.

Last month I was also proud to support three bills backing Israel, our strongest ally in the Middle East. The United States-Israel Cooperation Enhancement and Regional Security Act, H.R. 1837; the Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevent Act of 2019, H.R. 1850; and House Resolution 246 to oppose the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. H.R. 1837 authorizes an annual $3.3 billion in security assistance to Israel through fiscal year 2024, supporting a variety of programs with Israel, including cybersecurity. H.R. 1850 imposes sanctions on foreign persons, entities, and governments that support Palestinian terrorist groups such as Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Finally, House Resolution 246 opposes the BDS movement that seeks to delegitimize and isolate the State of Israel. The U.S. partnership with Israel is crucial to protecting our national interests and strengthening our long-term security. I stand with Israel in advancing that country’s safety and security while imposing sanctions on those supporting Palestinian terrorist groups. It is the right thing for America to do.

 

Getting to See Naval Operations Up Close

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I recently joined other Members of Congress on a mission to learn more about aircraft carrier operations and Carrier Strike Group capabilities. On board the USS Harry S. Truman we witnessed day and night flight operations, flight control, weapons capabilities, the navigation bridge, medical and dental facilities, and living conditions. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee and Ranking Member on the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee, which oversees naval aviation acquisitions, I believe it is imperative that I see firsthand the workings of our military and learn everything I can. Being on the carrier was an experience I will never forget. I was so impressed with the precision and skill employed to carry out the modern naval operations. We are in good hands with these dedicated patriots working day and night on our behalf.

 

Service Academy Information Day Reminder

I want to remind you about our Service Academy Information Day which is coming up early in September. This event is for students considering attending a United States Service Academy, giving them a chance to meet some of the representatives of the various academies to ask questions and to discuss whether this opportunity might suit their future plans.

The information session is scheduled to take place at the Lebanon-Laclede County Library on Saturday, September 7th from 2:00-4:00 p.m.

The application process for students considering applying to one of the U.S. Service Academies for the 2020-2021 academic year is open through October 4th. Anyone wanting to attend one of these fine schools must apply through their Congressional offices as well as directly through the service academies. A link to the application can be found on my website here.

I look forward to seeing some future officers at this information session.

 

Photos to Share

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I was pleased to host Air Force Gen. Timothy M. Ray, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, at our Long Range Strike Caucus luncheon.

 

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It was an honor to host Farm Credit women leaders from across the country and provide an update on what I'm doing to ensure agriculture and food policy works for our industry.

 

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Congratulations to Knob Noster Public Schools for receiving the Pete Taylor Partnership of Excellence Award from the Military Child Education Coalition! Knob Noster Public Schools have been recognized for several initiatives including the GEAR UP 2 LEAD STEM program and the amazing work of the Knob Noster High School robotics team in manufacturing a protective switch cover used in the cockpit of the B-2 bomber. Each panel costs only $1.25 and is now being used inside all twenty B-2s, saving the Air Force money. These and several other initiatives led to Knob Noster High School being recognized by US News and World Report as Missouri's #1 small and #1 rural school for 2019.

 

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It was great to meet with University of Missouri psychology students and discuss the Minority Fellowship program.

 

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I love having the FFA groups visit me in D.C. during the summer. This group hailed from El Dorado Springs.

 

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I loved getting to drop off and donate books from the Library of Congress to the Morgan County Library in Versailles this week and then reading to the kids!

 

 

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This week I enjoyed my visit to Tipton, dropping by Tipton Latham Bank, Gokey Co, Mid-America Testing, and the Tipton Area Veterans' Memorial.

 

Weekly Dose of Good News

I was happy to hear that veterans who are housed at the Tipton Correctional Center are benefitting from a new program that helps them while they serve their sentences and will give them a boost as they prepare to get back into society. The program is an extension of one that began at the Moberly Correctional Center two years ago. It includes a housing wing specifically for veterans, counseling, and getting offender-veterans connected with resources for education and employment. The facility’s veterans’ wing has room for 50 offenders. It is visited regularly by a representative from the Missouri Job Center who talks to the veterans about employment opportunities when they get out. It is also visited by American Red Cross volunteers who discuss such topics as PTSD and anger management. These veterans made mistakes, but they served their country. It is the least we can do, as a society, to help them get back on their feet again. 

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Hartzler Statement on Weekend Shootings

2019/08/05

“The murders in Texas and Ohio this weekend are symptoms of a culture of violence and anger that is gripping America. From entertainment and video games that consume the attention of our young people to murder in our cities, violence is pervasive in America and must be addressed. We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the glorification of violence and murder in our society today, and our efforts to address mental health issues have just begun. My husband and I are deeply saddened at the loss of life and grieve for the families of the victims.”

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Hartzler Legislation Supporting Missouri Task Force 1 Heads to White House

2019/07/31

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler’s (MO-04) legislation supporting Missouri Task Force 1 was cleared through the Senate and sent on its way to the White House. Hartzler’s bill, the National Urban Search and Rescue Parity Act (H.R. 639), which passed the House in April, establishes clear policy allowing federal employees to serve on FEMA Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Task Forces. Hartzler’s bill clarifies a 2016 law which has prevented long-time Missouri task force members from serving on these vital search and rescue teams.

 

“This bill will enable more Missouri Task Force 1 members to be deployed,” said Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, who introduced this legislation after meeting with Missouri Task Force 1 members to hear about their concerns. “I am so proud of this dedicated group of volunteers who put their lives on the line in times of disaster to help others.  It was imperative we fix this glitch in federal law so all dedicated volunteers can be deployed.  I am grateful for Senator Blunt and Hawley’s assistance in moving this bill through the Senate and I look forward to the President signing it into law,” added Hartzler, who noted that Senator Hawley’s companion legislation to H.R. 639 passed the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee this summer.

 

Hartzler added that this bill establishes clear policy that FEMA may not preclude federal employees from serving on US&R teams, noting that Missouri Task Force 1 has been hindered by misinterpretations in the law which made it difficult for federal employees to volunteer their service. She noted that FEMA’s misinterpretation of current law is preventing dedicated Missouri Task Force 1 members from deploying to disaster areas where they actively save lives. This goes against congressional intent and this bill resolves this problem.

 

The FEMA National Urban Search and Rescue Response System consists of 28 task force teams across the country that utilize the unique skills and resources of local volunteers to respond to disaster missions. Missouri Task Force 1 is based in Columbia, Missouri and sponsored by the Boone County Fire Protection District. This task force, along with others across the country, has been impacted by FEMA’s decision to preclude federal employees from serving.

 

In 2016, Congress passed the National Urban Search and Rescue Response System Act, which provides non-federal employees various federal liability protections due to their participation on US&R teams. FEMA has interpreted this law to mean that federal employees are prohibited from serving on these task forces. Hartzler’s bill addresses this omission and has received broad support from stakeholders such as the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

 

“The IAFC is proud to support H.R. 639. We’re glad that Congress is acting to clarify that federal firefighters and other civil servants can join federal Urban Search and Rescue teams,” said Chief Dan Eggleston, President and Chairman of the Board of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. “Federal employees provide important lifesaving skills that can help their neighbors in times of crisis.”

 

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

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Hartzler Introduces “Eradicate Crossing of Illegal Tunnels Act”

2019/07/25

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) introduced the “Eradicate Crossing of Illegal Tunnels Act.”  This bill expedites the approval process that U.S. Customs & Border Patrol (CBP) agents must undergo to destroy tunnels at the border used for illegal crossings and the transportation of narcotics.

 

“We need to ensure our border patrol agents have the tools necessary to efficiently and effectively remove illegal access to our country,” said Hartzler. “Waiting for environmental reviews of drug tunnels that have already disturbed the ground and will ultimately be filled with concrete is unnecessary and threatens our national security.”

 

“Last October, I visited the Southern Border and spoke directly with CBP agents in Nogales, Arizona. The burdensome process for filling illegal tunnels was a top concern. An agent explained that once a tunnel was found, it could take months to get through the environmental reviews necessary to block it.”

 

For example, a tunnel was found in the Rio Grande Valley on January 5, 2019 and was not filled until nearly four months later on April 22, 2019, Hartzler added.

 

Hartzler’s EXIT Act allows the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive environmental reviews and permits and allows CBP to enter into certain contracts to allow for faster processing. Additionally, the bill clarifies that CBP has the authority to search for and remediate unlawful border crossing tunnels when patrolling the border.

 

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For the latest official portrait of Congresswoman Hartzler, please click here.

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Hartzler Supports Bills Backing Israel

2019/07/25

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) supported three bills backing Israel: H.R. 1837, the United States-Israel Cooperation Enhancement and Regional Security Act, H.R. 1850, the Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevent Act of 2019, and H. Res. 246, a resolution opposing the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

 

“The United States partnership with Israel is crucial to protecting our national interests and strengthening our long-term security,” said Hartzler, top Republican on the House Armed Services Tactical Air & Land Forces Subcommittee. “I am pleased to support legislation that advances the safety and security of our friend and ally Israel by imposing sanctions on those who support Palestinian terrorist groups, authorizing more security assistance to Israel and condemning an anti-Semitic movement that seeks to undercut Israel’s sovereignty.”

 

“I am alarmed by the statements of some Members of Congress who promote and endorse the BDS movement. The United States must be a leader in opposing this discriminatory economic warfare against Israel.”  

 

Specifically, H.R. 1837, the United States-Israel Cooperation Enhancement and Regional Security Act, authorizes an annual $3.3 billion in security assistance to Israel through fiscal year 2024. It supports a variety of cooperative programs with Israel including cybersecurity, directed energy and agriculture technologies.

 

H.R. 1850, the Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act, imposes sanctions on foreign persons, entities, and governments that support Palestinian terrorist groups such as Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

 

Finally, H. Res. 246 is a resolution opposing the BDS movement, a movement that seeks to delegitimize and isolate the State of Israel. All three bills passed the House this week with Hartzler’s support.

 

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For an audio version of this statement, please see the attached MP3 file. For the latest official portrait of Congresswoman Hartzler, please click here.

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Hartzler Supports Bipartisan “Stopping Bad Robocalls Act”

2019/07/24

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) today supported H.R. 3375, the Stop Bad Robocalls Act, which further protects Americans from illegal robocalls that often promote fraud and jeopardize personal privacy. This bipartisan legislation passed the House 429-3 and will be sent to the Senate for further consideration.

 

“Illegal robocalls are insidious in nature and prey on seniors and other groups with dishonest and fraudulent claims,” said Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler. “They violate our privacy and are an unsolicited burden to many of my constituents. This legislation helps rein these calls in,” added Hartzler, who noted that there have been 29.3 billion illegal robocalls in 2019 alone and a 64% increase since 2016.

 

Specifically, the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act will support new technology to ensure the authentication of calls and the blocking of illegal calls without an extra line-item charge to consumers. It also implements new procedures for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to rapidly fine first-time offenders and catch illegal callers. The FCC will also be able to implement new consumer protections and report to Congress on the status of illegal robocalls. Finally, the act will give protection to the healthcare system, which is undermined by malicious calls to providers, hospitals and patients.

 

“The inconvenience and burden of illegal robocalls is something that everyone can empathize with,” said Hartzler. “It is time to protect citizens from these attacks and bolster our capability to block illegal robocalls,” added Hartzler.

 

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For the latest official portrait of Congresswoman Hartzler, please click here.

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July 19, 2019 Vicky's View from the Capitol

2019/07/19

A Non-Realistic Minimum Wage
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I enjoyed speaking to MO Employment Supports and Advocacy clients and families about my support of them, sheltered workshops, and the need to preserve choices for disabled workers and their families.

Recently in Missouri, voters voted on the state level to increase the minimum wage to $8.60 in 2019. The change in minimum wage will be gradually phased in, eventually reaching $12 in 2023. The people of Missouri spoke on this as was their right.

However, when the federal government comes in and tries to pass down a one-size-fits-all solution, for every single state - the outcome is often not so good. 

This week, House Democrats passed a bill to mandate a one-size-fits-all federal minimum wage. This bill is yet another overreaching power grab from Washington. Missouri voters already decided to raise their minimum wage last year. Now the federal government believes it knows better than the states and wants to force its solution on all Americans. Unfortunately, this policy will:

  • Cost up to 3.7 million jobs nationwide (CBO);
  • Cause nearly half of families with a minimum wage earner to see a reduction in household income (CBO); and
  • Cause Missouri to possibly lose over 48,000 jobs (Employment Policies Institute).

Additionally, this bill would decrease work choices for families of disabled individuals by phasing out sheltered workshops. Sheltered workshops provide the necessary tools for those with disabilities to succeed in their jobs and can help these individuals acclimate to the workforce, and even learn and hone their life and social skills. I offered an amendment to preserve these spaces which offer valuable training and support, but House Democrats refused to let my amendment come to the floor for a vote. I am disappointed that we couldn’t at least come together on this common-sense amendment.

“This sheltered workshop provision would have assisted individuals and families by continuing a broad selection of available options to individuals with disabilities as they seek employment,” said Kit Brewer, Legislative Chair of the Missouri Employment Supports and Advocacy (MESA). “Elimination of such options places additional barriers to the employment success of some men and women with disabilities, and additional burdens on they and their families. We support open communication and information on an array of employment choices.”

House Democrats’ minimum wage bill, H.R. 582, passed the House by a vote of 231-199. It now heads to the Senate for further consideration.

 

Advocating for Disaster Aid

President Trump’s recent formal disaster declaration for Missouri listed 20 counties that are eligible for individual assistance. Among the MO-4 counties not yet on the list and needing assistance are Barton, Cooper, Dallas, Hickory, Howard, and Laclede. Several of these counties were seriously impacted by the recent flooding and storms, including Barton County, which saw three of its citizens killed in a devastating tornado that tore through our state.

This week I petitioned President Trump and the Acting Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), asking that FEMA complete a thorough review of the counties not initially selected for individual assistance (IA). I will continue to advocate for aid to residents of these counties who are trying to get their lives back on track following the severe weather.

 

Protecting Christians in China

This week I was pleased to join one of my Democrat colleagues, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), to introduce a bipartisan resolution condemning the persecution of Christians in China. The fact is that Christians in China are being targeted simply because of their faith. The Chinese government is closing and destroying churches, detaining those who practice their faith, and restricting minors from attending services. This resolution calls on the U.S. government, international community, and faith leaders to support those who are being targeted for their faith. It also encourages the President to impose sanctions on Chinese officials accountable for their complicity in the egregious violations of human rights.

On a related note, I am pleased to share that I have been selected to serve as a commissioner on the Congressional Executive Commission on China (CECC). The CECC was created by Congress in October 2000 with the legislative mandate to monitor human rights and the development of the rule of law in China, and to submit an annual report to the President and Congress. The CECC works to encourage the Chinese government to respect the human rights outlined in its own constitution as well as international human rights standards. The Commission consists of nine Senators, nine Members of the House of Representatives, and five senior Administration officials appointed by the President.

 

Learn about Service Academies

Previously, I shared that the application process for students considering attending a U.S. Service Academies is open and runs through October 4th for the 2020-2021 academic year. Those wanting to attend one of these fine schools must apply through their Congressional offices as well as directly through the service academies. The application form and information can be found on my website here.

If you would like to meet some of the representatives of the various academies to ask questions, I will be holding an information session at the Lebanon-Laclede County Library on Saturday, September 7th - mark your calendar and stay tuned for the exact time of day we will meet. I look forward to seeing many future officers at this information session!

 

Photos to Share


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I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the Fourth of July than celebrating the 150th Anniversary of a wonderful community in MO-4 named after one of our nation’s great leaders. Happy Sesquicentennial Anniversary to the City of Lincoln!




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I enjoyed meeting with two of my constituents, Cailin and Kristen Carnahan from St. Robert, who are in D.C. for a leadership conference. It is exciting to see future leaders like them working hard and making the effort to visit our nation’s capital to learn more about leadership.

 

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I attended the CCAI Institute Foster Youth Internship Program Congressional lunch this week with one of my interns, Ria Esteves. I am so proud of her work this summer in my office and her strides to improve foster care policy.

 
 
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Last week I was proud of Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst's testimony to the House Agriculture Committee & his leadership on rural broadband. Rural broadband access is a priority of mine so EVERY child can access best education, EVERY patient can access expert medical advice & EVERY community can attract business & grow jobs.  


 
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I was blessed with a great group of young leaders as my DC interns this summer. I appreciate all their help and hard work! (L-R) Ria Esteves, who interned with my office through the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute; Emily Gustafson, who is from Cass County; myself; Janna Davis, who is a student at the University of Missouri; and Kyle Skopec, who grew up in Bolivar and attends the University of Central Missouri.



 
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Last week I was honored to meet Sergeant Trent Dirks, his wife Cheri, and his dog, Tracer, along with Governor Parson and First Lady Teresa Parson at an event celebrating “Retrieving Freedom.” This amazing organization provides service dogs to our military members and children with autism.

 

Weekly Dose of Good News

Great news - the Open Door Food Pantry in Sedalia has been given a large freezer valued at about $100,000 to aid the organization in its goal of feeding hungry people of the Sedalia area. The 12 X 24 foot freezer was a gift from CSC Steel of Sedalia. Refrigeration equipment and installation have been provided by other interested members of the community who wanted to be a part of this gesture. Open Door was established in 1972 as a Christian faith-based ministry and has served the Sedalia area ever since. The freezer will be of great benefit to Open Door as it continues to achieve its goal of supplying food to hungry families and individuals in Pettis County. 

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(May 10, 2019) Rev. Dr. Tom Leuther Opens US House Floor in Prayer

2019-05-20 16:03:02


(March 13, 2019) Hartzler Questions General Curtis Scaparrotti on Chinese influence in Europe

2019-03-14 13:09:28


(March 8, 2019) Hartzler speaks against H.R. 1, "For the People" Act

2019-03-08 15:41:09


(February 27, 2019) Hartzler Speaks with Sonny Perdue on SNAP Program at Ag Committee Hearing

2019-03-01 19:27:20


(January 29, 2019) Hartzler Speaks on Drug Crisis at Our Southern Border

2019-01-29 20:04:19


(January 10, 2019) Hartzler Leads Special Order on Border Security

2019-01-17 00:20:00


(September 28, 2018) Rep. Hartzler Speaks on Drones Provision and FAA Reauthorization

2018-09-28 13:49:26


(August 17, 2018) Rep. Hartzler Discusses Veterans Issues

2018-08-17 17:51:53


(July 26, 2018) Rep. Hartzler Talks Supported Employment Centers

2018-08-02 15:12:37


(July 17, 2018) Hartzler Praises Pro-Life Provisions in Financial Services Appropriations Bill

2018-07-18 21:20:11


(July 16, 2018) Bill to Honor Spc. Sterling Wyatt

2018-07-16 21:41:36


(June 14, 2018) Hartzler Floor Speech on Samantha Huntley

2018-06-15 17:50:48


(June 12, 2018) Reaction to North Korea Summit

2018-06-14 19:39:52


(June 13, 2018) House Veterans Affairs Committee Legislative Hearing

2018-06-14 14:20:01


(June 11, 2018) Hartzler Meets with Governor Parson

2018-06-13 19:42:25


(May 22, 2018) Rep. Hartzler Speaks in Support of FY19 NDAA

2018-05-23 15:40:53


(April 17, 2018) Interview on the Farm Bill with RFDTV

2018-04-30 13:41:56


(March 14, 2018) Honoring Slain Clinton Police Officer Christopher Ryan Morton

2018-03-15 21:41:36


(Dec. 14, 2017) Hartzler Congratulates University of Central MIssouri Jennies on NCAA Div II Win

2017-12-15 21:59:23


(Dec. 6, 2017) Hartzler Supports Police Protecting Children Act

2017-12-08 18:36:38


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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