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HARTZLER REPORT: Making Flying Easier

April 27, 2018

Making Flying Easier

On Friday the House passed a bipartisan bill to authorize funding for Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) programs for five years and improve the experience of air passengers everywhere. H.R. 4, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, passed the House by a vote of 393 to 13.

I am glad the House passed this important bill to modernize federal aviation systems! I am particularly pleased that the bill funds Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grants, which will benefit vital small airports in our district like Columbia and Fort Leonard Wood. 

The bill also makes several air travel safety improvements, like enhancing safety training for the FAA workforce, addressing alternative methods for tracking flights when they are over the ocean, and initiating a review of rest requirements for pilots. Additionally, the measure calls for more training for frontline flight personnel to better recognize the signs of human trafficking. When properly trained, flight attendants can play a major role in the fight against this horrific modern-day form of slavery.

Finally, the bill prioritizes customer service for passengers, so that we can easily connect air travelers to businesses in our state and nation. The bill has a provision to protect passengers who are bumped from their flights and another provision to protect passengers from noisy cell phone conversations during flights. 

“Columbia Regional Airport’s explosive growth over the past ten years is a direct result of our strong partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration’s AIP programs,” said Mike Matthes, City Manager of Columbia Missouri. “We also applaud the passage of this reauthorization legislation which will ensure Columbia Regional Airport is able to complete its FAA approved 10 year master plan.” 

At this point, the amount of travel our airports experience is only going to increase. The investments this bill makes to airports across the nation will help prepare our infrastructure for that growth, and I look forward to the Senate taking up H.R. 4 in a timely fashion.

We have a winner!

I had so much fun at the reception I held last Saturday, announcing the winners of my 2018 Congressional Art Competition and visiting with all the contest participants! (L-R): Bailey Brimer of Boonville High School, who won third place with “Home of the Brave,” and Ella Ann Bowles, who won first place with “There’s No Place Like Home.”


Last weekend I held a reception to showcase the outstanding talent of the students in our district and to announce the winners of my 2018 Congressional Art Competition. 


“American Hometown” by Ella Ann Hicks of Columbia High School.


First place went to Ella Ann Hicks of Columbia High School, whose painting captured this year’s Art Competition theme of “There’s No Place Like Home” with a depiction of a vintage red truck at a stop sign featuring a homemade “lemonade 25 cents” sign and a house in the background. Ella will receive a trip free from Southwest Airlines to Washington, D.C. to see her piece, “American Hometown,” hung in the underground corridor that connects the House office buildings to the U.S. Capitol. Her work will hang there alongside winning pieces from each congressional district and U.S. territory - each district and territory is only allowed one winner. Last year, 423 pieces were displayed.


“For King and County” by Rebecca Baker of Weaubleau High School.


Rebecca Baker of Weaubleau High School won second place with her mixed media portrayal of a pair of combat boots in front of a cross, titled “For King and Country.” Her artwork will hang in my Columbia office for the next year.


“Home of the Brave” by Bailey Brimer of Boonville High School.


The third place winner was Bailey Brimer of Boonville High School with her acrylic painting titled “Home of the Brave.” Bailey’s painting depicted her friend standing on the Katy Trail Bridge in Boonville, wrapped in the American flag. Katy’s painting will hang for one year in my Harrisonville office.


“A Prayer to Return” by Brittney Lea Kennedy of Wheatland High School.


Lastly, followers of my Facebook page voted on their favorite piece for the “People’s Choice Award” and chose “A Prayer to Return” a mixed media piece by Brittney Lea Kennedy of Wheatland High School. Brittney’s artwork will hang in my Washington office for the next year.


I am so proud of our winners this year! It was a pleasure to hold the reception last week and recognize the hard work and talent of all the students who participated in Missouri’s Fourth District. I look forward to seeing “American Hometown” displayed in Washington when I walk back and forth to the Capitol.


What France Had to Say

On Wednesday, Congress had the great pleasure of hearing from the President of France, Emmanuel Macron. He spoke to us about the value of freedom and fighting for it, reminding us that freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. He emphasized our joint responsibility to defend democracy, stating, “What we cherish is at stake. What we love is in danger.” 


I particularly appreciate President Macron’s praise for the relationship between the United States and France, as in his speech he cited our shared history and the “unbreakable bonds” between our two countries. 


I am grateful to have had the opportunity to hear him speak in this joint address to Congress and am thankful we have allies around the world partnering with us in the cause for freedom.

Putting a Stop to Human Trafficking

I have a Human Trafficking Summit coming up on Monday, April 30 in Columbia. The event will occur from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Battle High School Performing Arts Center and it is free and open to the public. 


At the summit, Nanette Ward, who is a founding member of the Central Missouri Stop Human Trafficking Coalition, will speak alongside Emily Russell, who is the Executive Director of the Human Trafficking Task Force for the Missouri Attorney General’s Office. Keaton Strong, the Human Trafficking Task Force Investigator for the Office of the Attorney General in Missouri, will also speak at the event, alongside Southern Boone County School District Superintendent Chris Felmlee and two trafficking survivors, Jessica Joy Neely and Tatianna Cruz. 


Human trafficking is a horrific crime. It is essential that all of us work with law enforcement, victim specialists, human trafficking survivors and others to combat this form of modern-day slavery. This summit is a call to action to raise awareness of this problem and discuss ways we can jointly work together to end this scourge on our society. 


I hope you can attend this program.


Photos of the Week

Last Saturday morning I was thrilled to honor this year’s military service academy appointees from Missouri’s Fourth District. (L-R): Devin Schwindt - U.S. Air Force Academy, Jay Thomas Griffin - U.S. Coast Guard Academy, George Ethan Gardner - U.S. Air Force Academy, Brandon M. Hodges - U.S. Military Academy West Point, and Branden D. Harder - U.S. Military Academy West Point. They are going to make us proud!



On Wednesday it was a pleasure to meet Shakira Cross (second from left), Missouri’s Poetry Out Loud winner! Shakira is from Columbia, is Missouri’s state winner, and advanced from more than 300,000 who participated nationwide to compete in the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest in Washington. Well done, Shakira! (L-R): Lashauna Guy (Moss), Shakira Cross, me, Janice Dawson-Threat, and Thelen Moss.



Last Saturday I held a Service Academy Information Day at Columbia College. Here, I am speaking with Nathan Kreher, a military academy appointee from our district. Nathan will graduate from West Point in 2019. We are so proud of him! Nathan was one of the representatives who made himself available to speak with students interested in a service academy.



This morning, my colleagues and I on the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee marked up HR 5515, the NDAA defense budget for 2019. Military readiness is the foundation of national defense. It is vital our armed forces have the tools & training they need to defend our country.



On Thursday it was an honor to meet again with Lieutenant General Leslie Smith, the Army’s new Inspector General and former commander of Fort Leonard Wood. I know LTG Smith will perform admirably in his new post. Thank you for dropping by!



Thursday was a beautiful day in DC! I love the #dogwoods on the #Capitol grounds outside of Longworth House Office Building! I snapped this photo on my way back from votes.



The Good News about Tax Reform





Select the image above or click here to see me speak about National Drug Take Back Day, happening this Saturday! 

Click here to see a list of drug drop-off locations in my district.


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