Protecting the Sanctity of Life
Less than two weeks after promising unity, President Biden has unilaterally destroyed over 10,000 American jobs, handcuffed American energy which will raise costs for hardworking families, and reversed pro-life protections — all with a few strokes of a pen as he signed 22 Executive Orders. It has been a disappointing past few days to say the least.
I have fought back by introducing my own pro-life legislation and advocated with regional EPA officials for the Lake of the Ozarks. More about these initiatives, and others, are below.
Protecting the Sanctity of Life
Fighting for life has been an issue I’ve long championed in Washington. Never has it been as meaningful or critically important as it is now.
As we work with the new administration, we must be clear that the American people support strengthening protections for the unborn – not weakening them. To accomplish this, we have introduced legislation, requested up-to-date funding information from the Government Accountability Office on abortion organizations, and worked intensely alongside our House colleagues to find solutions.
Recently, we learned that over the course of three years (2016-2018), nearly $2 billion in taxpayer dollars went to three abortion advocacy groups: Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Marie Stopes International, and International Planned Parenthood Federation. There is a disturbing and shameful trend where our federal government spends its taxpayer money funding and subsidizing Planned Parenthood and other abortion giants, all while destroying human dignity with every life lost.
To combat this assault on the most vulnerable, I’ve introduced the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2021 which would place a one-year moratorium on all federal funding for the organization while increasing money for community healthcare centers that focus on comprehensive care for women and their babies.
Through these critical steps, we will end this horrific misuse of taxpayer funds and find real, equitable opportunities benefiting women and children that the American people actually support.
Missouri’s COVID-19 Vaccine Update
Many Missourians have been eagerly waiting for their opportunity to get vaccinated. The federal government has shipped approximately 661,400 doses of the FDA-approved Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to our state. Although the CDC has issued guidelines on vaccine administration, Governor Parson’s office is managing the distribution and administration process of these vaccines. A vaccine administration protocol has also been established by his team to determine the order of eligibility. Currently, anyone in Phase 1B - Tier 2 and above can get vaccinated now.
Additionally, Missouri has developed a comprehensive plan to establish vaccine administration sites throughout the state. Please keep in mind that some have not been completed and further questions regarding where and when you can receive your vaccination can be directed to your county health department.
Ensuring Success for the Lake of the Ozarks
Every two years, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) submits a list of impaired waters to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for approval under the Clean Water Act. This list is based on significant data and approved by the MO Clean Water Commission. Recently, the EPA partially disapproved DNR’s submission, meaning the EPA suggests the Lake of the Ozarks and Truman Lake be listed as impaired bodies of water. This triggers a 60-day comment period for DNR, community leaders, and stakeholders to submit comments to the EPA regarding their proposed decision. The listing of these additional water bodies should not be taken lightly and necessitates thorough and analytical consideration as it would have significant impacts on Missouri’s families, landowners, small businesses, and economy.
I personally contacted the EPA regarding their decision to request a 45-day extension to provide more time for our community to provide feedback to the EPA. This request was granted and you may submit any comments to R7-WaterDivision@epa.gov on or before March 22, 2021.
Last summer showed record growth for the Lake region and I will continue to work with stakeholders to ensure Camden County’s continued success.
Scholarship Opportunities Through the Community Foundation of the Ozarks
As a former teacher, I’m very aware of how vitally important education is to the success of Missouri Fourth’s families. Unfortunately, high costs may be a barrier for our children’s success in the classroom.
On February 1, I’m pleased to announce the Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO) will begin accepting applications for 1,000 scholarships to hundreds of local southwest Missouri students. Each fund is unique to recipients and designated by trade, geography, association membership, gender, parental employment, volunteer work, and whether the student is an undergraduate or graduate.
Last year, CFO provided almost $1.75 million in private scholarships. Be sure to carefully examine the CFO database in order to determine eligibility and application requirements.