Monitoring the Missouri River
I am pleased to share that more than two dozen stakeholders joined me recently in Boonville for a Missouri River Roundtable to discuss the recent flooding and how to better prepare for the next time the Missouri River overflows its banks. Attendees included officials from the four MO-4 counties that border the Missouri River: Howard, Cooper, Moniteau, and Boone. While so many of us are saddened that the flooding took a serious toll on counties in northwestern Missouri, we are thankful that the damage in MO-4 was limited. There is still a chance of more flooding this year as melting snow from northern mountains and precipitation make their way into the tributaries that flow into the Missouri River. While a lot of good information was exchanged during this meeting, our most important takeaway was our agreement that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers should prioritize flood control in its management of the river. Unfortunately, it currently does not; in fact, environmental concerns are on an equal footing with flood control. Those gathered in Boonville believe this should change.
In the meantime, county emergency teams are hard at work as they prepare for more possible flooding. I thank them for their hard work and pray they will have no need to put their plans into action.
Coming to the Aid of Task Force 1
Missouri Task Force 1, managed by the Boone County Fire Protection District, is one of just over two dozen Urban Search and Rescue teams in the entire country, assisting local emergency agencies as they respond to disasters in Missouri and elsewhere. This highly-trained unit has helped countless individuals coping with tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, and other disasters throughout the country. I am pleased that the U.S. House has passed my bill to come to the aid of Task Force 1 as it deals with a bureaucratic dilemma. FEMA’s misinterpretation of the current law prevents many dedicated Task Force 1 members from active deployment to areas where they can save lives. My National Urban Search and Rescue Parity Act, H.R. 639, clarifies the 2016 law to allow federal employees to serve on FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces. Under my bill, FEMA would no longer prevent federal employees from being part of these teams that are vital to rescue efforts during tragedies. The House passed this common sense legislation, and it now heads to the Senate where I hope it will be taken up quickly, passed, and sent to the President.
And the Winners Are...
The first prize winner of my 2019 Art Competition was Gabe Greis of Boonville.
Congratulations to the winners of my 2019 Congressional Art Competition! In all, 29 works of art were submitted by students in schools throughout Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District. The winners were announced at a reception I held at State Fair Community College’s Daum Museum of Contemporary Art last Saturday.
“Home of the Immigrants” by Gabe Greis of Boonville High School.
With this year’s theme being “Made in America,” our first prize winner was Gabe Greis of Boonville High School whose submission was “Home of the Immigrants,” a painting of his great grandfather and two siblings whose family came to the U.S. from Germany. Greg and a guest of his choosing will be flown to Washington for the unveiling of his artwork, which will hang in the main hallway tunnel connecting the House office buildings and the Capitol in Washington for one year. His piece will be displayed alongside artwork from other Congressional districts from across the country.
“Artificial Stars” by Sean Hughes of Missouri Military Academy in Mexico.
The second place winner was Sean Hughes of Missouri Military Academy in Mexico, with his water color painting, “Artificial Stars.” Sean describes his work as “a painting I was inspired to make when I saw how beautiful[ly] the tree’s frozen branches captured the street-lights’ glow, twinkling like a star as I walked by.”
“We Are Made in America” by Maura Drew of Glasgow High School.
Our third place winner was Maura Drew of Glasgow, whose work, “We Are Made in America,” is a collage of individuals fitting this year’s theme: a Native American, President Washington, and people from the 1920s, 1950s, 1980s, and modern day.
“Eye of the American” by Melody Claunch of Wheatland High School.
Finally, the People’s Vote Award, selected by those who voted on Facebook, was “Eye of the American,” a painting from Melody Claunch of Wheatland High School. Congratulations to all our winners!
Learning... and Enjoying It
Thank you Moberly Area Technical Center for a fantastic tour!
It is so wonderful to see young people enjoying themselves as they learn in school. This is what I saw as I toured the Moberly Area Technical Center, which is adjacent to Moberly High School. This facility includes work areas for automotive painting and repairs, automotive technology, woodworking, welding, machine technology, architecture & engineering design, business classes, computer systems classes, and design & drafting. Moberly is one of the only schools in the region with vocational learning opportunities. It opens its doors to students from 11 other high schools whose students spend parts of their week at the Moberly Area Technical Center as part of the educational curriculum. For some of the students taking these courses, this is a chance to work at a skill which could come in handy at home or elsewhere. For others, this is a golden opportunity to begin learning a skill which can lead to a rewarding career. This mix of academic and vocational courses is education at its best.
JROTC Comes to Camdenton
For the past decade, the Camdenton School District has been hoping to implement an Army Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) program. I am very pleased to share that their dream will finally come true in the 2019-2020 school year! My office has worked with state, local and school district officials to help make this goal a reality.
JROTC programs were first established at public and private educational institutions as part of the National Defense Act (NDAA) of 1916 with the mission, “To Motivate Young People to be Better Citizens.” JROTC programs are commissioned to teach and instill “the values of citizenship, service to the United States, and personal responsibility and a sense of accomplishment.”
I am happy for the Camdenton School District and wish it the best with this exciting new venture.
Saving the Lives of those Born-Alive
I am proud to have joined so many of my colleagues in signing a discharge petition for the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act to require medical providers to give an appropriate level of care to a baby born following an attempted abortion. So far, Democratic leadership has refused 32 times to vote on this bill on the House floor.
At a press conference, I spoke of how all newborn babies - even those who are born alive after an attempted abortion - have the right to proper medical care. It seems like a common sense issue to me: since we already have laws on the books recognizing infants as persons, it is unacceptable for a born-alive infant to be killed or allowed to die. Many people who are supportive of abortion even agree that a certain degree of care must be given a born-alive infant. To do otherwise would be infanticide. This bill would require any health care professional present at a live birth to exercise skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child. Furthermore, all violations of this policy would be reported to law enforcement. A born-alive infant, even a child born after an attempted abortion, is a living human being and must be given all the rights of a human being.
So far, our petition to force a vote on this vital bill has received 199 signatures. We need a total of 218 signatures for it to reach the House floor.
The Internet Isn’t Broken
I am pleased to have voted this week against legislation that would have hindered broadband access in rural areas. This Democrat-led bill would impose new government restrictions on the internet, stifling investment and innovation, and making it more difficult to expand broadband into rural areas. If this bad bill were to become law, unelected members of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) would set prices, sanction investments, and dictate how broadband companies interact with customers. I support a free and open internet that encourages competition and innovation. Government regulations like the ones proposed have a history of decreasing investment. When they were in effect, previously, 80 percent of providers in rural areas incurred additional expenses in complying with costly regulations, leading to delayed or reduced network expansion. The internet is not broken and we do not need unelected bureaucrats placing more government control over it.
VAWA - No Protections for Women
The reauthorization and expansion of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) could have been an extension of law enforcement’s ability to help women who have suffered from domestic violence, but the entire issue has been politicized to the point that VAWA is no longer about addressing the needs of women. The current VAWA legislation is little more than a partisan bill hijacked by ideologues who are using it to promote transgender politics instead of protecting women. I voted “no” on this legislation because I believe women deserve better.
Photos to Share
I helped move cows from one pasture to another on an early Saturday morning earlier this month. The first picture is me guarding the road as the cows started coming out the pasture gate. Good thing I was there to block it - the cows came the wrong way and decided to visit me close up. I got them turned around (in picture three) and headed back up the road, past the tractor, to their new pasture. They were glad to be in their new home and to receive some fresh hay and range cubes as a welcome treat!
I had an informative meeting with Alliance for Childhood Cancer. Thanks for all the work you do!
I am grateful for groups like MO Primary Care Association that are providing advocacy and support for Community Health Centers. Thanks for stopping by my Washington office.
Mark and Abby on Fox 4 Kansas City invited me on air to talk about Missouri issues and my visit to the Greater Kansas City Jewish Community Center.
It was great to visit The J of Kansas City. I am proud to stand against anti-Semitism and to support Israel.
Thank you to Ron Walker and Sandra Karsten of Missouri State Emergency Management Agency for meeting with me to update me on disaster relief projects in in Missouri’s Fourth District.
I had a great meeting with (L-R): Ray Patrick, Jerry Cochran and Kevin Sadlin of the Missouri Association of Rural Education to discuss issues important to our rural schools.
The Kansas City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce stopped by and we had a productive meeting to discuss issues facing our nation.
A beautiful shot of the Cherry Blossoms and the Capitol!
I had fun spending some time with our interns, Lydia and Andrew. They are amazing young leaders who have worked hard to serve the good people of Missouri’s Fourth District with grace & excellence. I wish them the best as they continue pursuing their dreams and life goals!
It was great to start my morning with the Sedalia Chamber of Commerce! I appreciated the opportunity to share what I’m working on in Congress.
I hosted a Missouri River Roundtable in Boonville discussing the devastating flooding in our state and across the Midwest. It’s essential that flood control is prioritized when managing our waterways. Our communities and economy depend on it.
On Day 1 of my Tactical Air & Land Forces (TAL) tour, I enjoyed touring the Boeing Apache helicopter plant in Mesa, AZ, with TAL Subcommittee Chairman Donald Norcross and Boeing officials. As TAL Ranking Member, it is a privilege to learn more about this vital aircraft.
On the second day of our TAL Tour, seeing the F-35 fighter was impressive. This 5th Gen aircraft has unmatched capabilities that will protect us for years to come. (L-R) TAL Chairman Donald Norcross, myself, Lockheed Martin VP Greg Ulmer, and test pilot “Brick.”
On Day 3 of our Tactical Air & Land Forces (TAL) Tour, we saw Tactical Air assets up close. We saw the F-15, F-18, and the TX trainer at Boeing. The F-15 was the first aircraft to break the sound barrier climbing vertically and can carry an amazing amount of ordnance.
On the last day of our Tactical Air & Land Forces (TAL) tour, we came to Missouri where I had the privilege of showing TAL Chairman Norcross the missions of Whiteman Air Force Base, including the amazing capabilities of the B-2 Bomber, A-10 Thunderbolt, and MQ-9 Reaper. I am proud to represent this incredible installation right here in Missouri’s Fourth District!
Weekly Dose of Good News
There is some wonderful news from the recent 4-H Feeding Missouri initiative. The University of Missouri Extension 4-H partnered with the state’s six major food banks to raise more than 103,000 meals for needy Missourians. The various 4-H groups from throughout the state made the effort a competition to see who could contribute the most food, volunteer hours, and monetary donations. Barton County in Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District brought in the most food at 3,044 pounds, while Webster County, also in MO-4, donated the most volunteer hours and most meals overall. The young citizens of MO-4 have demonstrated, once again, that can-do attitude when it comes to meeting a challenge. And, they are making a difference in the lives of their fellow Missourians. Congratulations to all the 4-H’ers who took part in the initiative.