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Seeing the Future of Our Armed Forces

March 12, 2021
Newsletter
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Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler and Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01) alongside U.S. Marines.

Whenever I get the chance to visit with our service members, it is always a great opportunity to express our gratitude for their efforts protecting our nation. This week, I visited both the Pentagon and Marine Corps Base Quantico to get an overview of their operations and see the future of our Armed Forces.

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Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler visited the Pentagon on March 8, 2021. The caption of this touching painting reads, “Whom shall I send and who will go for us?...Hear am I: Send me.” Isaiah 6:8.

In Quantico, I had the chance to ride in the Marines’ new amphibious combat vehicle, which remarkably weighs 2.5 tons yet travels 55mph on land and 7 nautical mph on water. This design is a great improvement on past models, enhancing both safety and reliability. This tour truly showcased our military’s great future!

Please see below for additional events, stories, and happenings from this past week in Missouri and Washington.

Senator Blunt’s Distinguished Career

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On Monday, Senator Roy Blunt announced he will not be seeking reelection at the conclusion of his term in 2022.

Over the course of nearly 50 years in various elected offices, Roy has served the great people of Missouri admirably as a true statesman who championed our state like few before him.

Whether it was long ago as Greene County Clerk or today as a United States Senator, Roy truly cares about the issues facing everyday Missourians and fights valiantly on their behalf. It has been a privilege to call him a congressional colleague for a decade and I have gained much from his unrivaled experience and knowledge.

It cannot be said enough that our state’s families and communities have benefited greatly from his vast leadership and dedication to all Missourians. Roy will be sorely missed not only in the Show Me State, but across our nation.

I wish my friend nothing but the best in his future endeavors and am thankful for his service to Missouri. I look forward to continuing our work together as he finishes his term in the United States Senate.

Gambling With Our Children’s Future

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On Thursday, President Biden signed into law the $1.9 trillion spending package passed in a party-line vote by Congress – one of the largest spending measures in American history. While some facets of this bill do provide relief, the vast majority pertains to unrelated items which should have had more scrutiny and review.

Only 9% of the legislation’s funding was allocated to COVID relief, leaving 91% directed to special interests. This includes:

  • $50 million for Planned Parenthood
  • $200 million for Museum and Library Services
  • $135 million for the National Endowment for the Arts
  • $135 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities
  • $12 billion in foreign aid
  • $400 billion in loan forgiveness for certain farmers based on race and ethnicity
  • $362 billion to bail out states who have kept their economies and schools closed
  • Multiple provisions discouraging work – making it more profitable to stay home than to return to work

These exorbitant allocations will take years to be doled out – long after this pandemic is behind us. For more information on this legislation and its impacts, please reach out to my office.

Protecting the 2nd Amendment

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On the House floor this week were two pieces of legislation I opposed which were designed to marginalize our 2nd Amendment rights. While stopping gun violence is an issue I take very seriously, these bills do nothing to decrease gun violence; instead, they infringe on law-abiding citizens’ right to bear arms by creating unnecessary delays and restrictions on gun ownership.

H.R. 1446 would cause extended and unnecessary delays in the background check process for Americans, while H.R. 8 would deem innocent citizens as criminals if they handed a firearm to a family member. These bills are not the solution to mass shootings and would have done nothing to stop the killings we have witnessed across our nation in recent years.

There are better ideas. This year I am once again introducing the Police Officers Protecting Children Act to allow off-duty and retired law enforcement officers to protect our children on school grounds if the local school board wants them to. This need was presented to me by a retired law enforcement officer whose granddaughter goes to a rural elementary school in our district. He is concerned for her safety and, as a fully-qualified retired officer, would like to be able to provide protection for her school. Unfortunately, federal law currently prohibits that. My bill would change this measure, giving local schools more options for school safety. In addition, in past Congresses, I have supported other bills designed to prevent shootings such as the Fix NICS Act and the STOP School Violence Act which address gun violence and mental health. These are the solutions we should be focusing on—not infringing upon our 2nd Amendment rights.

Congressional Art Competition

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There is still time for high school students in our district to participate in the annual Congressional Art Competition, celebrating Missouri’s bicentennial.

Students across the congressional district will compete for the opportunity to display their work in the main tunnel connecting the U.S. Capitol Building to the House Office Buildings. A winner from each of the House’s 435 districts will be selected and have their artwork prominently shown for one year. The submission deadline is April 1, 2021.

Please contact my Harrisonville office at (816) 884-3411 or visit our website for additional information and requirements for participants. I hope you will consider participating in this fun event showcasing the incredible talent of America’s youth.

Collaboration During This Pandemic

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Constituents receiving COVID-19 vaccinations at the Cowan Civic Center in Lebanon.

I want to commend and highlight all of the hard work our first responders, health care providers, local health agencies, and the Missouri National Guard have been doing to administer vaccines throughout our district.

One COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic for Region I, South Central Missouri is administering the Moderna vaccine at the Cowan Civic Center in Lebanon. Joint command was established between the Laclede County Health Department, Laclede County Office of Emergency Management (OEM), State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), and Jordan Valley Health Clinic. Vaccinations were given inside the Cowan Center so patients could drive their vehicles inside and receive vaccines without leaving their car.

At the time of creation, it was the first covered drive-through vaccination clinic in the state. The 131st Bomb Wing from the Missouri Air National Guard also came from Whiteman Air Force Base to help local officials. They were assisted by Troop I officers from the Missouri Highway Patrol.