View From the Capitol - Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler's Newsletter for the Week of October 8-12, 2012
With Election Day drawing closer, I want to reach out to our men and women in uniform who have concerns about exercising their right to vote.
Thanks to federal and state laws, members of the armed forces, their spouses, and dependents can access required forms online, receive ballots securely by email, and track ballots to ensure they are received back home.
In fact, absentee ballots can still be requested, with ballots sent by mail, fax, or email. But time is running out and action must be taken soon. Any Missourian covered by the laws must get in touch with his or her county clerk’s office by October 31st.
Anyone having trouble can contact the Secretary of State’s Missouri Elections Division, which will work with Local Election Authorities to help military voters. The Division can be contacted by phone at 800-669-8683 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) encourages those who have registered or requested a ballot but not yet received the state ballot to use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) as a back-up. If the state ballot is received after submitting the FWAB, the voter should still vote and send in the state ballot. The local election official will only count one. More information on the Federal Voting Assistance Program can be found at www.FVAP.gov.
Voting is a right that must not be denied to our men and women in uniform. I am committed to ensuring their votes count.
On another matter, it is concerning to have to report to you that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released its final monthly budget review for the 2012 fiscal year and confirmed a $1.1 trillion dollar deficit for the year. With this, the United States deficit has exceeded $1 trillion for four consecutive years. In fact, the national debt has increased by $5.5 trillion since President Obama took office – up to an unbelievable total of $16 trillion. By comparison, our total national debt did not reach $5.5 trillion in the entire history of this country until 1997, during President Clinton’s second term.
House Republicans have passed the only credible plan to reduce our deficits. This plan cuts spending by $5.3 trillion over the next ten years relative to the President’s budget, reduces deficits by $3.3 trillion compared to the President’s budget over the next decade, and cuts government spending from its current level of 24 percent of the economy to below 20 percent by 2015.
Our plan charts a bright future by ensuring government spending remains on a sustainable path resulting from responsible spending cuts and structural reforms of government spending programs going forward. It is a plan that ensures future generations inherit a stronger America with greater opportunities than the ones their parents and grandparents were afforded. Even the CBO estimates that the budget passed by House Republicans will produce annual surpluses by 2040 and begin paying down the national debt after that.
It is time for the Senate to join the House in taking bold action to pay off America’s huge national debt. The Senate must help the House to tackle the drivers of our debt and avert the fiscal crisis ahead. We cannot allow our children and grandchildren to be saddled with insurmountable mountains of debt.
Have a good week.
Member of Congress