Newsletter: Happy Independence Day!
In this edition:
I want to wish you a Happy Independence Day! I appreciate your engagement and input as we continue to grow our economy, strengthen our national defense, and protect the liberties that make our country great. I hope you enjoy celebrating those freedoms with friends and family this Fourth of July.
Missouri is Key to Rebuilding Our Military
(My seat at the House Armed Services markup of the NDAA)
House Armed Services moved out of committee the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), annual legislation that determines policies and funding levels for the U.S. Department of Defense and other national security entities.
The defense of our nation continues to be my top priority, and the 2018 National Defense Authorization bill takes significant steps to address the serious readiness crisis in our country, ensuring our troops have the resources, training, and capabilities needed to face the growing threats of today. I am proud that Missouri’s bases and defense industrial base will continue to be a leader in our national security efforts as evidenced by several provisions within this bill I advocated for:
The defense authorization bill now moves to the House floor for consideration, and I am confident that we will be able to move this legislation forward in a bi-partisan manner.
Hartzler Bill to Fight Sex Trafficking Advances
The Empowering Law Enforcement to Fight Sex Trafficking Demand Act (H.R. 2480)I introduced passed the House Judiciary Committee. The bill will combat the spread of human trafficking by giving law enforcement increased funding opportunities to combat the demand side of sex trafficking. The committee’s approval of HR 2480 moves the bill closer to full consideration on the House floor in July.
Sex trafficking crimes are a rising epidemic in America, but our federal grant system has not kept pace with the seriousness of this issue. We must empower our police to fight this nationwide epidemic. When the law enforcement community says there is an opportunity to rescue sex slavery victims — which sadly includes children — then there is no excuse for ignoring it. My bill provides us an opportunity to rescue countless lives from the sex trafficking industry and move one step closer to ending this evil forever.
Fighting for Religious Freedom
In a major win for religious freedom, the U.S. Supreme Court announced their ruling in favor of Trinity Lutheran’s preschool in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer with a 7-2 vote.
This case was about whether a church in Columbia, MO, Trinity Lutheran, could competitively apply for and receive grant funding to resurface the preschool playground with recycled tires like other nonprofits in the state for the safety of Missouri’s children. Even though the preschool’s application ranked 5th out of 44 applications, it was denied solely because it was a religiously-sponsored preschool.
I led an amicus brief in the House supporting Trinity Lutheran Church Child Learning Center, and I was very pleased the High Court ruled on the side of our constitutionally protected religious liberties in this case. The court said that religiously-affiliated entities could not be denied widely available public funding for a common good simply because they are religious. A ruling against this preschool would have had far-reaching consequences for Americans. When one freedom is threatened, they are all in jeopardy.
Religious discrimination has no place in America, and I'm glad to see the U.S. Supreme Court agreed, reinforcing our First Amendment freedoms.
Listening and Learning
I met with the American Heart Association to discuss ways to improve our healthcare system and America’s heart health. Now more than ever, we must have ongoing discussions about how our healthcare system can be improved. I appreciate their time and help in this endeavor.
(Left to Right: Dr. Scott Duff, Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, Judy Veach, Pam Heffern)
I always enjoy meeting with local students and hearing about their hopes and dreams to serve as the next generation of leaders in our country. As a former teacher, I can tell you Missouri certainly has the best students!
(Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler meets students and faculty from the Camdenton R-III FIRST LASER robotics afterschool program. Left to Right: Rep. Hartzler, Taylor McGowan, Melissa Stout, Alexandra Lordanou, Julie Dill, Sherry Comer)
(Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler with El Dorado Springs FFA students)
(Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler with Columbia FFA students)
Thank you for reading. We have important days ahead and much work to do. I look forward to the challenge and know that we can make significant progress together.
Have a Happy 4th of July!
Yours in service,