Newsletter: Vicky's Report from the Capitol
There is no doubt the American people want and deserve tax reform and this week Congress passed a budget resolution to allow for a tax reform plan to move forward. The Senate amendment to the FY 2018 Budget Resolution will open the door to providing middle-class tax relief and lower the burdens on families through the legislative process of reconciliation. This process allows the Senate to pass tax reform with a simple majority, avoiding a filibuster that would stand in the way of an up or down vote. Tax reform will provide a more efficient, fairer, and simpler process that will make it easier for Americans to file their income tax returns. In short, this bill starts the process of growing the economy through tax relief for hardworking Americans and for small businesses. We all benefit from a growing economy.
Also this week the House passed a series of bills addressing terrorism and increased sanctions on Iran and North Korea. The Iran Ballistic Missiles and International Sanctions Enforcement Act (H.R. 1698) and the Impeding North Korea’s Access to Finance Act (H.R. 3898) are designed to curb Iran and North Korea’s nuclear ambitions by restricting these nations’ sources of financing and foreign investment.
It is my view that the United States must counter every effort by Iran and North Korea to develop advanced nuclear capabilities. These sanctions will punish those who do business with Iran and North Korea, making it more difficult for these regimes to access capital and resources. H.R. 1698, which I co-sponsored, requires a comprehensive investigation of the entities that supply and finance Iran’s ballistic missile and conventional weapons programs. H.R. 3898 imposes restrictions on foreign banks that conduct business with North Korean companies and punishes entities that employ North Korean laborers, many of whom are sent abroad to generate revenue for the regime. I urge the Senate to quickly take up these common sense bills, pass them, and send them to President Trump.
This was a wonderful opportunity for the more than 150 students and staff from 36 high schools to hear presentations from speakers who have uniquely inspiring stories to share. The students were given an opportunity to interact with our speakers, who shared insights gained through their life experiences. This was our fourth Youth Leadership Summit, which has become one of the top annual events I look forward to each year.
In Ashland, I enjoyed a Youth Town Hall put on by three middle school students. Jacob Schelp, Claire Thurnau, and Zack Sample organized this event, which featured Jacob and Claire asking questions focused on various topics ranging from health care to my favorite flavor of ice cream. (It’s vanilla, by the way!) It was such a pleasure to spend time with these young people and to hear what is on their minds. I am sure that with their interest in current events we will hear quite a bit about their involvement in politics and other activities in the years to come.
In Columbia, I was honored to meet with many of the members of the Boone County Fire Protection District’s Missouri Task Force One, one of 28 Urban Search and Rescue teams in the United States. This unit is designed to assist local emergency agencies in Missouri and outside our state in the aftermath of hurricanes, tornadoes, and other disasters. Members of this unit were most recently sent to Texas, Virginia and Puerto Rico to assist in recovery efforts following the devastation from Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.
Also in Columbia, I visited the Truman VA Medical Center where I discussed two of my new bills designed to help our veterans as they receive medical attention. Specifically, my legislation addresses a hiring shortage at VA hospitals by banning enforcement of non-compete clauses for any physician, registered nurse, and other medical professional who wishes to leave a hospital to take a position with the VA. There is a serious need for medical professionals at VA hospitals, and these bills should help our veterans to obtain the best medical attention we can give them.
Once again thank you for taking the time to hear about what is going on in your nation’s Capitol. It is an honor to serve you in Congress!
Have a great week.
|Yours in service,
Member of Congress