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March 15, 2019 Vicky's View from the Capitol

March 15, 2019
Newsletter

 

 
     
 
 

Protecting Our Kids in School

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Here I am pictured with Kenny Goth, who gave me the idea for the Police Officers Protecting Children Act, and his wife. (L-R): myself, Cathie Goth, and Kenny Goth.

I am excited to reintroduce my bill that the House passed last year – the Police Officers Protecting Children Act. This common-sense piece of legislation would let schools make the decision whether to allow off-duty and retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed firearms to protect schoolchildren on campus. Current federal law prohibits decision-making at the local level, even though local districts are in a better position to decide whether the change in policy might be better for safety concerns. In fact, the idea for this legislation came from one of my constituents - Kenny Goth, a retired 36-year veteran police officer with the Clinton Police Department. He and I believe that a police officer who has spent a lifetime protecting citizens should be able to continue to protect our children, if needed. The bottom line is that a one-size-fits-all Washington-based law regarding school safety is not the best option, and we should let local schools tap into the experience and bravery of trained off-duty and retired police officers who want to protect our children.

 

Rejecting the Swamp

 

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Click here or on the image above to see my floor speech on the perils of H.R. 1.

It is wrong for the federal government to finance political campaigns - especially campaigns with which many citizens disagree. H.R. 1, a bill introduced and passed in the House last week, requires that government money be used to enhance many small campaign contributions by providing the candidates with a matching amount. For instance, if Politician Joe Smith receives a $100 donation, he will turn around and get another $600 from the federal government to fund his campaign or more robocalls! Additionally, the bill would award vouchers to certain voters to donate to a candidate of his or her choosing. Adding insult to injury, this legislation would obliterate local and state oversight of elections by imposing federal regulations that require states to allow automatic, online, and same-day voter registration with no safeguards. And, believe it or not, the legislation would allow convicted felons to vote. Despite its name, this bill is not a “For the People Act,” which is why I voted against it. It is an assault on freedom of speech and hampers our democracy. Scarce federal dollars should be spent on needs such as repairs to roads and bridges – not political campaigns.

 

Ensuring Gold Star Families Receive Benefits They Are Due

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You might recall that I introduced legislation last Congress to ensure that families of service members killed in the line of duty would receive full life insurance benefits. Previously, service members had to fill out paperwork authorizing family members to receive the full $400,000 to which they are entitled. If a service member just checked one box incorrectly, while filling out the paperwork, the family would not receive the full benefit. I learned of this issue through a constituent, Teresa Stark, who lost her son, Christopher, in Afghanistan. Christopher, who enlisted in the U.S. Army in August of 2008, served as part of the 705th Unit with the 63rd Explosive Ordinance Disposal Battalion 20th Support Command. He was killed by an IED blast in COP Tangi, Afghanistan, on February 28, 2011.

Prior to Chris’s deployment, he had mistakenly opted out of the full amount of coverage available to his family. As a result, when Chris was tragically killed, his family did not receive the appropriate benefits. The legislation I introduced to ensure this never happens again became law as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in 2018. But we need to do more.

This week, I introduced the “Restoration for the Families of the Fallen Act” to build on last year’s progress. If passed and signed by the President, my bill will make last year’s law retroactive to 2006, helping more families of lost heroes obtain the full benefit they deserve. These brave individuals gave their all for our country; providing their families with appropriate compensation is the least we can do.

 

Addressing Anti-Israel Bias in Congress

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For the second time in 64 days, the House voted to support a resolution that condemns anti-Semitism associated with comments made by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a freshman Democrat from Minnesota. It’s sad that a resolution of this kind should even be necessary – yet, apparently it is.

We should be standing strong with our greatest ally and the only democracy in the Middle East. Israel and the United States have a longstanding and beneficial friendship that allows us to share technology, training, and the development and production of military systems and weapons to keep our citizens safe. The sentiments expressed by Rep. Ilhan Omar undermine these shared values and our friendship.

Unfortunately, the resolution that passed was a watered-down resolution rather than a specific rebuke to Rep. Omar. More needs to be done including removing Rep. Omar from the House Foreign Relations Committee. Speaker Nancy Pelosi should not let her continue to serve on this important committee with Rep. Omar’s dangerous views and inability to stop spewing hate.

 

Photos to Share

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When I was teaching in Lebanon, my classes were often small on Open Day for MO Trout Season at Bennett Spring. Now I have experienced Opening Day for myself! I had a great first catch. So much fun!

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I enjoyed meeting with Mizzou Extension and Engagement to discuss the great work Mizzou Extension is doing by taking ag research to the citizens of the state.

 

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It was a pleasure meeting with the Central Missouri Area Agency on Aging and Care Connection for Aging Services. Thanks for stopping by!

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I had a great meeting with the MO Alliance for Arts Education.

 

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A big thank you to Ambassador of Hungary László Szabó and his staff for stopping by my office to discuss international cooperation on pro-family and pro-life issues.

 

 

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Last week I had the opportunity to meet with Audrain County Commissioners to discuss health insurance, transportation funding and cyber security issues in rural areas.

 

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I had an informative meeting today with Judy Krtek from the Kansas City Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to discuss the impact Type 1 Diabetes has on Missouri's 4th District.
 

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I enjoyed meeting with the National Association of Postal Supervisors to discuss postal reform.

 

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We have had several important House Armed Services Committee hearings in the last several weeks. This week, I questioned the Commander of U.S. European Command, General Scaparrotti, about China’s expanding military influence in Europe and the freedom of movement challenges faced by U.S. forces throughout the region. Last week, we had a hearing on the need to modernize our nuclear program. The ability to defend our country should be our utmost priority and our nuclear program is our nation’s primary deterrent.

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It was an honor to speak to MO Ag Leaders of Tomorrow about updates on the Farm Bill and my role on the House Agriculture Committee.

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It was a pleasure meeting (L-R): Mililca Jovanovic, Mariam Simonyan, and Luminita Chihai, who are part of the U.S. State Department’s Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Program. They are completing their exchange in Missouri’s Fourth District.

 

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Thank you Dennis Randolph, with the American Society of Engineers, for stopping by my office to discuss the Federal Highway Trust Fund and infrastructure.

 

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I enjoyed visiting with Missouri PTA about the importance of family engagement in our education system. As a former teacher, I have seen how crucial it is for parents to be involved in their child’s education and I appreciate all that PTA is doing to advance that goal.

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I had an informative meeting with the Missouri Press Association about postal reform and its effect on the newspaper industry.

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It was encouraging on Wednesday to hear everything Dr. Randall Williams is doing with the MO Department of Health and Senior Services to make #MO4 the healthiest it can be!

 

 

Dose of Good News

There are a lot of good kids out there … and it always brings me great joy to talk about one in Missouri’s Fourth District. Eleven-year-old Evan Leiss, with Boy Scout Troop 54 in Sedalia, has been recognized by Mayor John Kehde and the Sedalia City Council with a certificate of appreciation for saving a woman’s life in February. Evan alerted his mom when he saw the woman lying in her front yard on a cold night. The woman, an Alzheimer’s patient, was given much-needed medical attention and taken to Bothwell Regional Health Center in Sedalia. Later, when young Evan was honored, a city official praised his quick thinking, saying the woman would likely have suffered hypothermia from lying in frozen grass had the 11-year-old failed to notice what was wrong and said something. I’m proud to have this thoughtful and caring young man as a resident of Missouri’s Fourth District.

 


Yours in service,

Vicky Hartzler
Member of Congress

 

  

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