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VICKY'S VIEW: Holding the Federal Government to a Higher Standard

October 5, 2018

Holding the Federal Government to a Higher Standard

It recently came to my attention that the Food & Drug Administration was contracting with a company called Advanced Bioscience Resources, which admitted in a 2016 Congressional investigation that it harvested aborted fetuses from abortion clinics for a low price and then sold their components at more than 500% mark-up. Selling any sort of human body part for profit is prohibited by federal law. We must ensure that our government engages in research that is ethical, and because of this, I led a Congressional inquiry (and was joined by 85 of my colleagues) into the FDA’s contract with this company. I also spoke personally with Health & Human Services Secretary Alex Azar about my concerns that research dollars were being used illegally and that this funding should go to alternative forms of research that advance cures and are life-affirming.


I’m pleased to announce that following my conversation, Secretary Azar publicly stated the FDA would cancel its contract with Advanced Biomedical Resources and HHS would conduct an agency-wide review of all research involving human fetal tissue and will explore alternative options. I’m thankful HHS is taking steps to make sure its research meets the highest of ethical standards,  We need to find cures without devaluing or destroying human life.


Leveling the Playing Field with Canada, Creating a New NAFTA

This is an important week in America’s trade dealings with its neighbors. On Sunday night, Canada agreed to join the United States and Mexico in a deal to update the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Mexico previously agreed to a new arrangement with the United States, but Canada had not come to the table until this week.


The United States and Canada have long been friendly trading partners. In recent years however, Canada has not been dealing on a level playing field with our country. For instance, Canada had imposed a 241 percent tariff on American fluid milk while the U.S. imposed NO tariff on Canadian liquid milk. Thankfully, Canada is willing to negotiate this trade imbalance. Free trade must be fair trade – for the three countries involved in the new agreement.


I have been a vocal advocate for finalizing fair trade deals in an expeditious manner and am pleased with the priority the Trump Administration has given to getting good deals for the American people. I look forward to studying this agreement further and appreciate the President fighting for American interests across the world stage.


What’s the Hold Up?

In this Congress, we’re still waiting for important federal nominees to be confirmed. We still have unfilled positions throughout the government and multiple district judges who have yet to be confirmed. In fact, this Senate has confirmed the fewest nominees of the past four Administrations. Even Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) stated, “Enough is enough. We need people who are qualified to filled these important positions in our government.” I agree. It’s time for the Senate to finish confirming these important positions.


Missouri Task Force 1 Heroes Come Home

Missouri Task Force 1 comes to the aid of a vehicle in Brunswick County, NC, in the wake of Hurricane Florence.

The Boone County Fire District’s Missouri Task Force 1 has returned home after yet another successful operation protecting Americans in the wake of natural disaster. Task Force 1 got back to Columbia on Saturday after two weeks of searching for and rescuing victims of Hurricane Florence in North Carolina. During its mission, the task force rescued and evacuated 394 residents and 33 pets. In addition, the teams provided wellness checks on 1,374 residents who remained in their homes and provided assistance to 155 residents. The teams also performed damage assessments on 381 structures. I am so proud of their hard work.


How Tax Reform is Working for You

The tax reform package passed almost a year ago continues to bear fruit. AP reports a Kentucky-based home appliances business plans to add 400 jobs as part of a $200 million investment to expand production at its Louisville operation. Since May, GE Appliances has announced more than $475 million of investment in products, manufacturing, and distribution. GE Appliances President and CEO Kevin Nolan said the tax package played “a big role” in the company’s expansion plans.

There is no doubt that tax reform is still providing wonderful benefits for hard-working Americans.


Weekly Dose of Good News

Confidence and optimism create success – and Americans are experiencing a sense of confidence not seen in a long time. In September, the Conference Board’s measurement of Americans’ confidence reached its highest level in 18 years.

Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at the Conference Board, points to a couple of very strong reasons for that confidence: “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions remains extremely favorable, bolstered by a strong economy and robust job growth … These historically high confidence levels should continue to support healthy consumer spending, and should be welcome news for retailers as they begin gearing up for the holiday season.”





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