VICKY'S VIEW: A Visit to Fort Leonard Wood
A Visit to Fort Leonard Wood
At Fort Leonard Wood I saw the various missions and learned how we’re providing for the common defense right here in Missouri.
This week, I had the opportunity to visit Fort Leonard Wood with members of my Military Advisory Council. We spent the day touring the installation, being briefed on various missions, and learning how this base develops our nation’s leaders and warriors. Our visit included a mission brief from command, observing basic training, K-9 restraining, forced cell extraction, an overview of engineer training and equipment demonstration, a tour of the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear School including a clandestine lab training facility and classroom, and a tour of the old barracks and base museum. It was an exceptional visit, and I was grateful to be reminded once again how important Fort Leonard Wood is to our national defense.
Tax Reform - Finishing the Job
As Americans reap the benefits of the tax reforms that were passed into law earlier this year, Congress is already looking to make those reforms even better. This week, the House unveiled Tax Reform 2.0, which would make the individual tax breaks permanent, preventing individuals from having to face an unwanted tax increase in eight years. Additionally, this plan would boost incentives for retirement savings and give more lenient tax treatment to start-ups and small businesses.
Locking in the individual and small business tax cuts is designed to unleash even more economic growth in America. It is projected that making the middle class tax and small business tax cuts permanent will create jobs while increasing wages. Congress will be working on this in the coming months.
Legislation Passed this Week
Taking Care of Our Seniors
We’ve also been hard at work this week protecting our seniors. We passed a bill to give elderly folks more time to choose a new Medicare Cost Plan plan if theirs gets canceled, and we are requiring the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) to finalize long overdue regulations for the Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). PACE is a special program that provides comprehensive medical and social services to certain frail, elderly people still living in the community, as opposed to those who live in an assisted living facility. The House also passed legislation requiring CMS to make their health coverage determination process more transparent, by requiring them to publicly post local coverage determinations, hold public meetings, and allow time for public comment.
Nearing the Finish Line: Government Funding
The end of the fiscal year is almost here, and Congress is steadily making its way toward the finish line. This week, the House sent a bill funding the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Energy, the legislative branch, and housing for military families to the President’s desk. I’m happy to report that the bill makes sure our veterans have what they need by providing the largest dollar amount to the VA in U.S. history, including $400 million to combat opioid abuse and provide addiction treatment. This legislative package marks the first time since 2007 that both chamber of Congress have sent multiple appropriations bills to the President’s desk on time, which is a great step in the right direction.
Rebuilding Our Nation’s Waterways
Our nation’s ports, dams, and waterways drive our economy, and the regulations ruling their operation must be updated every two years. This week, we took the first step with the House’s passage of The America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018. In this bill, we tackled a backlog of water projects, worked to reduce long-term costs, streamlined burdensome regulations, and enacted provisions to improve the safety of drinking water infrastructure for the American people. I look forward to the Senate taking up this piece of important legislation in a timely manner.
Photos of the Week
I was so thankful to be part of the Walk to End Alzheimer's in Sedalia on Saturday. It was such an honor to walk alongside so many others fighting the same fight for the white flower, which symbolizes the first survivor of Alzheimer’s. I held a purple flower symbolizing the loved ones I have personally lost to this devastating disease: my mother, grandfather, and mother-in-law. Since going to Washington, I have worked hard to increase research dollars going to Alzheimer's research. We have successfully increased funding several years now. I will continue to advocate for a cure and stand alongside others in our district who are advocating, as well.
I enjoyed getting to meet with the Missouri Pork Association on Wednesday to discuss trade and the Farm Bill.
Thanks Growth Energy for dropping by Thursday to present me with the 2018 Fueling Growth Award! What an honor.
Thursday morning I met with the Missouri Bison Association to discuss the Farm Bill and the bison industry in Missouri. As a former teacher, I was interested to learn that children are asking to learn more and more about bison products and, as a farmer and rancher, I was interested to hear about this growing agriculture industry in our state.
Later Thursday I had the opportunity to participate in an important Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee hearing on the new Army Futures Command, the most significant restructuring of the Army since the 1970s. This new command’s purpose will be to streamline the Army’s modernization process.
How Tax Reform is Working for You
The U.S. Department of Labor reports that the economy added an impressive 201,000 jobs in August and that the unemployment rate remains steady at 3.9 percent. It is also important to note that average hourly private-sector earnings were up 2.9 percent over the previous year. Job growth and higher wages are direct results of the tax reform package passed by Congress and signed by President Trump earlier this year. Lower taxes and pro-growth policies are paying off for Americans all across the country!
Weekly Dose of Good News
If optimism is the fuel that moves the economy, then these boom times will continue. According to a Zogby Poll from Zogby Analytics, published in the Washington Examiner, 83 percent of executives polled believe business is better than it was two years ago. Almost that many executives also expect further growth next year. Additionally, the survey found that both big and small businesses see the economic climate as being in great shape.
Click here to recieve my enewsletter in your inbox!