It’s great to be back in Missouri for a full week of district work! Please keep reading to learn more about the issues I’ve been working on here and in Washington, and as always, thank you for taking the time to read my newsletter and for the privilege of representing you.
Strong Neighbors, Strong Communities
Speaking at the Strong Neighbors, Strong Communities event at Ray-Pec High School.
Last Saturday, I had the honor of addressing parents, teachers, school board members, and other community leaders at the Strong Neighbors, Strong Communities event held at Ray-Pec High School in Peculiar. General Manager of the Kansas City Royals, Dayton Moore, was the keynote speaker. I shared with the audience the staggering statistics about kids who have died from drug abuse. From 2014 to 2016, we saw a 33% increase in the number of drug overdose deaths that occur each day. Additionally, nearly 50% of Missouri children in foster care are there because their parents are drug-abusers. We need to address this crisis which is hurting lives and stifling potential.
I explained to attendees the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which Congress passed in 2016, that established a comprehensive coordinated strategy to address drug abuse while promoting treatment and recovery. Additionally, the Bipartisan Budget Act we passed last week included funding at $6 billion over two years to fight opioid addiction. It funds grants, prevention programs, and law enforcement efforts in vulnerable communities across the country.
After the main address, I led a break out group discussing mental health and drug abuse, and how participants could find help for people who struggle with these issues. There are several federal grants and educational resources now to address this problem. I encourage anyone wanting more information to contact Adam Timmerman in my Harrisonville office at 816-884-3411. We’re here to help and want to do all we can to help see everyone live up to their full potential.
Moberly’s Favorite Son
Dedicating the new room in the Moberly Library to General of the Army Omar Nelson Bradley.
On Monday, I participated in the dedication of a new room in the library honoring General of the Army Omar Nelson Bradley— also known as Moberly’s favorite son.
Omar Bradley was born in rural Randolph County and claimed Moberly as home. He started with humble beginnings, working for 17 cents an hour to save money at a local boiler to go to college. His faith was a central part of his life, and he was baptized at the Central Christian Church in 1909.
When it came time for Omar to choose a college, his Sunday School superintendent encouraged him to apply to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and Omar did just that.
Omar obtained an appointment and steadily moved up through the ranks, becoming lifelong best friends with President Dwight D. Eisenhower and eventually becoming the first member of his class to achieve the rank of general.
In my speech at the museum dedication, I focused on the humble beginnings from which Omar started and how, like him, we should never let life’s setbacks keep us from moving forward. Omar also established faith as the foundation of his life and listened to wise counsel—the reason he applied to West Point in the first place. He also led his troops with humility. President Ronald Reagan said of him, “humility never left his side,” and Jim Defelice, one of Bradley’s biographers said Bradley “risked his life but didn’t call attention to it.”
I hope that this museum will remind our future leaders of the importance of the traits General Bradley displayed: humility, persistence, and integrity. These virtues are not promoted as often today, but they are the traits of quality, lasting leadership. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to recognize General Bradley and to be inspired anew at the life of one of us. May we follow in his footsteps.
Good News about Tax Reform
There has been so much good news about tax reform! If you got paid on the 1st or the 15th of February, you should have seen an increase in your net pay (as compared to your last January pay stub). Additionally, because of tax reform, many employers in Missouri’s 4th Congressional District are offering their employees bonuses, increased benefits, or new learning opportunities. Here’s the list of employers in Missouri’s Fourth District whom we’ve heard are passing along tax savings to their employees:
- Kansas City Southern is giving $1,000 bonuses to all of its non-executive employees.
- Waste Management is giving $2,000 bonuses to its employees.
- Walmart is raising its minimum wage to $11/hr and expanding maternity and paternity leave.
- Commerce Banks is giving $1,000 and $250 bonuses to full-time and part-time employees, respectively, and it made a $32 million donation to charity.
- U.S. Bank is raising its minimum wage to $15/hour and giving $1,000 bonuses to 60,000 employees.
- Bank of America is handing out $1,000 bonuses to 145,000 employees.
- Great Southern Bank is giving $1,000 bonuses to full-time employees and $500 to part-time employees.
- Hawthorn Bank is giving $1000 and $500 bonuses to full-time and part-time employees, respectively.
- CVS is raising its hourly pay to $11/hour and will begin offering paid paternity leave to full-time workers.
- U-Haul is giving $1,200 and $500 bonuses to its full-time and part-time employees, respectively, and it will invest $200 million into personnel, tools, and facilities.
- Fidelity is sending 600 of its employees to a team building seminar in Springfield.
- Bryant Motors is hiring additional employees.
- Tyson Foods is giving $1,000 and $500 bonuses to it full time and part time employees, respectively; it will also provide leadership and development training to its employees.
I can’t wait to hear even more good news result about tax reform — I’m thrilled to see more money going into the pockets of hard-working Missourians. To learn more about tax reform, visit fairandsimple.gop or text “tax reform” to 50589.
Photos of the Week
On Wednesday, U.S. Navy Admiral Harry Harris testified at the House Armed Services Committee on the United States’ posture towards the Asian-Pacific region. The threat posed by North Korea has not diminished, and neither has the threat posed by China, which continues to rapidly transform its military & expand its presence.
Later on Wednesday, I chaired an Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee briefing on reforming the security clearance process and learning about the progress and challenges we face in this area. We’ve got to address the backlog of security clearances in a timely manner to ensure that quality individuals are placed in these important positions.
On Wednesday I had the pleasure of meeting with the physician members of the Missouri State Medical Association to discuss rural health.
Thursday morning, I was honored to receive the True Blue Award from the Family Research Council. The Council reserves this award for federal lawmakers who show consistent support in their voting record for faith, family, and freedom. I’m pleased to report that I scored 100%!
Have a good week!
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