Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler

Representing the 4th District of Missouri
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Newsletter: Addressing the Human Trafficking Epidemic

May 27, 2017


(click to watch welcome video)  

In this edition:

  • Remembering Our Veterans
  • Addressing The Human Trafficking Epidemic
  • Foster Families


Remembering Our Veterans

Dear Friend,

Thank you for taking the time to read this update. It’s an honor to serve the fourth district of Missouri, the place I call home. As we commemorate Memorial Day, I am pleased to report that the House passed a number of bills to help improve the lives of our veterans. 

The bills to help veterans include:

  • The Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2017, H.R. 1329, which increases the amounts paid to veterans for disability compensation and to their survivors for dependency and indemnity compensation by the same cost-of-living adjustment that Social Security recipients receive.
  • The VA Scheduling Accountability Act, H.R. 467, which requires that each director of a VA medical center annually certify compliance with the scheduling directive and prohibits VA medical center leaders from receiving awards or bonuses if their facilities fail to certify compliance.
  • The No Hero Left Untreated Act, H.R. 1162, which requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to carry out a one-year pilot program to treat, through use of magnetic EEG/EKG-guided resonance therapy, a limited number of veterans with PTSD, brain injury, chronic pain, or opiate addiction.
  • The VA Prescription Data Accountability Act, H.R. 1545, which requires the VA to disclose information about any individual who is prescribed medication by a VA employee or authorized non-VA provider to any state-controlled substance monitoring program to prevent misuse.


Addressing The Human Trafficking Epidemic

This week, I was pleased to join fellow lawmakers in protecting individuals, particularly our young people, from human trafficking and other sex crimes. The House passed a number of bills aimed at addressing this tragic problem. They included:

  • The Put Trafficking Victims First Act of 2017, H.R. 2473, which directs the Attorney General to provide training to prosecutors on investigating and processing cases with a victim-centered approach. Furthermore, it encourages each state to provide appropriate services to victims of trafficking.
  • The Global Child Protection Act of 2017, H.R. 1862, which increases the coverage of current laws relating to unlawful sexual conduct with minors during foreign travel by including “sexual contact” under the definition of sexual conduct.
  •  The Strengthening Children’s Safety Act of 2017, H.R. 1842, which amends existing laws to include the failure of sex offenders to register or report certain information as crimes of violence and grounds for enhanced penalties.
  • The Targeting Child Predators Act of 2017, H.R. 883, which protects information used to prosecute and convict child predators by requiring Internet service providers to wait 180 days before notifying customers in child predator cases that law enforcement asked for information attached to a specific address.
  •  The TARGET Act, H.R. 1625, which authorizes the State Department and law enforcement agencies to target international human traffickers by offering financial rewards for their arrest and/or conviction.

Foster Families

I had the privilege of hosting fellow Missourian Tobey Wilkerson in my office as part of the 6th Annual Foster Youth Shadow Day. Wilkerson was a foster child herself and aged out of the system. Now, she is a foster parent and speaks on foster care issues. 

Her journey from foster child to foster parent is an inspiration, and it was great to meet Tobey and hear her insights and experiences. We must do all we can to help children have a supportive home so they get the care and support they need to reach their full potential. 

The American College of Physicians (pictured below) visited Washington as part of its Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill event. I met with several attendees to discuss everything from problems with the Affordable Care Act to concerns about the opioid epidemic to thoughts about the high cost of prescription drugs and its impact on healthcare expenses. I was particularly pleased to meet with Dr. Stephen Keithahn of Columbia, one of the residents of Missouri’s Fourth District who was part of this meeting. 

With the recent announcement that Aurora Organic Dairy is opening a processing plant in Boone County, I was happy to welcome members of the Organic Trade Association to Washington. This group represents more than 9,500 organic growers, shippers, producers, certifiers, distributors, and retailers across the country and is one of the fastest-growing sectors of agriculture.

Representatives of the community-based alternative education program, YouthBuild, were on Capitol Hill meeting with Members to request Congressional support for the Department of Labor’s competitive YouthBuild grant program. YouthBuild programs, such as the one run out of Job Point in Columbia, provide job training and education opportunities for at-risk youth ages 16-24. These young people can learn construction skills while building or rehabilitating affordable housing for low-income or homeless families. It was wonderful to meet with some of the directors who are involved in this very worthwhile program in Missouri.

I also had a great time at the ACLI Capital Challenge with my staff. It was great to exercise and raise money for the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, which provides guide dogs to blind veterans. It is an honorable cause that my team and I were glad to support.

Finally, I had the opportunity to enjoy a performance by the Central Methodist University Chorale at the National Cathedral in Washington. This group of talented students from Fayette spent a week visiting and performing at various locations throughout the Washington area. Congratulations to the performers on a series of fantastic concerts.

I had the honor of speaking at the rededication of the Missouri Monument in Vicksburg, Miss. on this historic occasion. Missourians on both sides of the war clashed at Vicksburg with about 15,000 Missouri men participating.

The National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Training Center and Vicksburg National Military Park just finished repairing the monument which had seen wear and damages over its 100-year history. I was honored to be a part of it.

Now, I’m looking forward to spending time with my family in the great state of Missouri, meeting with constituents to hear their thoughts and concerns, and working to address the issues that are most important to our district. 

I just snapped a picture of this beautiful fourth-district farm. It’s good to see the corn and soybeans coming up! And it’s good to be back in Missouri.

Have a great week!

Yours in service,
Vicky Hartzler
Member of Congress

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