HARTZLER REPORT: What's for Dinner
Farm Bill: It’s What’s for Dinner
On Thursday, the 2018 Farm Bill was released. This important legislation will ensure America maintains the safest, most abundant food supply in the world, invests in rural communities by expanding access to rural broadband, and provides food assistance to those in poverty while making a historic investment in getting work capable working adults the skills they need to move out of poverty into self-sufficiency.
Farmers have been struggling with low commodity prices over the past few seasons, resulting in a 50% decrease in net farm income. It’s essential we get this bill done in time to continue a robust public-private partnership for our farmers through crop insurance, maintain a low-lying safety net for them in hard times, and improve existing trade and rural development programs to help our farmers feed the world.
This legislation modernizes Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligibility requirements and makes a historic investment in job training programs. I’m pleased that we’re well on our way to making this bill a reality in time for the September 30 deadline. The House Agriculture Committee, of which I am a member, is scheduled to mark it up on Wednesday, April 18.
Reining in Washington’s Out-of-Control Spending
Since I was elected to Congress, I have worked to rein in out-of-control federal spending. In 2011, my freshman year in the House, I was happy to vote in favor of an amendment to the Constitution that would prohibit Congress from spending more revenue than it receives.
This week I once again voted for a balanced budget amendment that would restrict Congress from running out of control deficits.
In 1995, the national debt was $4.9 trillion, and the Senate failed to pass a balanced budget amendment by a single vote. Today the debt is over $20 trillion. It is clear that we need a constitutional requirement to keep our financial house in order. 49 states have balanced budget amendments in their constitutions; the U.S. government should, as well.American families must balance their budgets and they face serious repercussions for out of control debt. Our nation should be no different. This balanced budget amendment would compel current and future elected officials to make the tough choices needed for our government to live within our means.
Progress Report: Winning the Battle Against Human Trafficking
This week, we took an important step forward in the battle against the despicable practice of human trafficking. On Wednesday, April 11, President Trump signed into law the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA). This legislation allows prosecutors to use both state sex trafficking laws and prostitution laws to prosecute websites that market trafficking victims. In addition, it makes it a federal crime for these bad actor websites to engage in the online sex trade. I’m a proud co-sponsor of this important legislation.
As you may know, I have also introduced legislation that will further enable the United States to prosecute sex traffickers and protect their victims.
Last May, I introduced H.R. 2480, the Empowering Law Enforcement to Fight Sex Trafficking Demand Act, which the House passed last July. This bill would expand grant funding from the Department of Justice so that law enforcement can address the demand side of this issue by arresting more of the men who purchase sexual acts from abused women and children.
In October, I also introduced H.R. 3942, the Housing for Survivors of Sex Trafficking Act. This bill, which remains under consideration in the House, expands the Transitional Housing Assistance Grant so that women who have been brutalized by this terrible industry can get the help they need.
Though human trafficking is a global issue, we must not forget that it happens right here in our own backyard, too. I will continue to work to protect the most vulnerable among us from this industry.
In fact, I soon have a Human Trafficking Summit occurring on Monday, April 30 in Columbia. The event will occur 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.
I hope you can attend this program.
Interested in a military service academy?
If you are a student considering attending one of our nation’s military service academies, or if you know a student who is interested, you’ll want to know about an event coming up on Saturday, April 21st. On this date, I will hold my annual Military Service Academy Information Day! At the event, students will have an opportunity to visit with representatives of all five service academies and learn about the schools, the application process, and the wonderful opportunity afforded by attending a Military Service Academy. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to receive a Harvard level education for free and to serve your country at the same time.
Any student who is thinking about applying to one of these prestigious institutions should consider attending this informational event. Again: it is scheduled for Saturday, April 21stfrom 10:30 am CT to 12:00 noon CT in Columbia College’s Lee Room, at 1001 Rogers Street in Columbia. The Lee Room is located in the cafeteria complex. All are welcome.
I look forward to seeing you there!
Missouri’s Got Talent!
On Saturday, April 21st, I will also be hosting my annual Congressional Art Competition Reception on the Columbia College campus. This reception recognizes and encourages the students who have entered their art work in this year’s Congressional Art Competition. This year we received more than two dozen entries!
At the reception, I will announce our first, second and third place winners. The first place winner’s artwork will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year and the winner will receive a trip to Washington to witness the unveiling. The second and third place winners, along with the People’s Choice Winner, will have the opportunity to have their works displayed in my D.C. and district offices.
This reception is open to the public and scheduled from 1:00 pm CT to 3:00 pm CT at Columbia College’s Sidney Larson Gallery in Brown Hall, located at 608 Cougar Drive in Columbia. I hope you can make it!
Missouri Comes to Washington
Wednesday morning it was great to meet with representatives from the Missouri Pork Association and discuss the issues facing them. Thank you for stopping by!
Missouri members of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association came by Wednesday to discuss how to improve rural Missourians’ supply of electricity. Thank you for visiting!
The Missouri Cattlemen Association visited my office in Washington Wednesday afternoon to discuss how they're helping meet the needs of American consumers. It was great seeing you all again!
It was wonderful to talk with the Senior Class of Heartland Christian School Thursday morning! These young men and women are exceptionally talented with a great future ahead of them.
I had the privilege to speak with the board of trustees from Ozarks Technical Community College Thursday afternoon. We spoke about their new Center of Advanced Manufacturing and avenues through which students can obtain funding for higher education.
Later Thursday afternoon, I had the honor to meet this year’s Congressional App Challenge winner, Siddhant Chaurasia. He is a senior at Rock Bridge High School. Siddhant’s app helps individuals remember what medicine to take and when to take it. Congratulations, Siddhant!
The Good News About Tax Reform