Visiting our Schools and Statehouse
My team and I were all over our district this week, and it has been wonderful!
With each stop over the past few days, it was encouraging to hear from our community leaders who continue to advance our state to new heights. I am so proud of all we have accomplished in Missouri — whether it’s defeating this pandemic, providing care to our elderly, teaching our youth, or producing food to feed our nation’s families.
Please see below for the complete rundown of my travels this week as well as my perspective on legislation being proposed by the White House.
President Biden’s Infrastructure Proposal
Last week, President Biden announced an “infrastructure” proposal with a price tag of another $2 trillion of federal spending. Unfortunately, the proposal has very little to do with building “infrastructure” and a lot to do with paying for Green New Deal schemes. In fact, only 5% of the bill covers money for roads and bridges! His administration said the bill will help modernize 20,000 miles of highways, roads, and main streets across our nation, but Missouri alone has over 33,000 miles of state highways! This is totally inadequate.
Sadly, the centerpiece of the president’s plan mandates costly Green New Deal pipedreams along with the largest tax increase since 1968, raising the corporate rate from 21 percent to 28 percent — a level that exceeds even Communist China. These hikes could end up targeting nearly one million small businesses and their workers, who will see their paychecks dwindle after years of wage growth thanks to the previous administration.
That is why I have joined my colleagues in multiple efforts to protect Missourians from tax increases from previous Biden initiatives, including urging President Biden to immediately suspend enforcement of the ban on state tax cuts included in the American Rescue Plan, which is unconstitutional. I’ve also joined an amicus brief against the Department of Treasury on the same subject.
As American families are just getting back on their feet from this generational pandemic, the last thing they need is the federal government knocking them back down again with burdensome taxes to pay for their partisan wish lists.
Our Health Care Heroes
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler visiting Cedar County Memorial Hospital in El Dorado Springs, MO; Cox Barton County Hospital in Lamar, MO; and Lake Regional Hospital in Osage Beach, MO.
Recently, I was able to travel around our district and meet with our health care heroes who have repeatedly answered the call during this pandemic.
One of these stops was to Heartland Behavioral Health Services in Nevada, MO, which is a 151-bed, pediatric trauma-focused inpatient hospital for ages 4-17. Heartland offers cutting-edge treatment options including a range of exceptional therapeutic amenities.
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler visiting Heartland Behavioral Health Services in Nevada, MO.
This health center is situated on a 50-acre campus which incorporates the outdoors in many components of each child's hospital experience. These components include an Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) program, an Equine Assisted Growth & Learning Association (EAGALA) certified therapist, and an Equine Specialist all housed within a 5,000 square foot Equestrian Center. Heartland is the only acute hospital in the nation to provide an opportunity like this to patients. I would like to thank CEO Alyson Wysong-Harder for giving me the opportunity to visit Heartland Behavioral Health Services and see all the great work they do for our state.
I also visited Cox Barton County Hospital in Lamar, MO, which has given around 1,000 vaccines so far to those in Barton County. The hospital has been able to purchase new equipment to administer the doses and discussed how they set up a temporary building outside for six months to perform COVID-19 screenings. I want to thank the CEO Chris Wyatt and VP of Public Affairs Teresa Coyan for giving me the opportunity to visit with dedicated staff and learn how Cox Barton is handling both COVID-19 and vaccine distribution.
In El Dorado Springs, MO, Cedar County Memorial Hospital (CCMH) has been busy vaccinating those in the community. They are receiving around 100 doses at a time, and 200 additional each month as a part of the Cedar County Health Department. The hospital has added new negative pressure rooms, and is working on upgrading their HVAC system to allow for better filtration of the air. We also discussed the importance of the swing-bed program and how helpful it has been during the pandemic. CCMH has an outstanding level of personal care and I want to thank CEO Jana Witt and her staff for their dedication to helping and caring for people during this time.
I also recently had the opportunity to meet with officials at Lake Regional Hospital. They have done a tremendous job addressing the needs of the Lake region during the coronavirus pandemic, with their network having administered over 16,000 vaccines. During the peak of the pandemic, the hospital had 30 COVID-19 patients but closed their COVID-19 unit last week due to the lack of patients. This is great news! I am so thrilled there is no longer a need for this unit.
As shown above, our health centers’ heroic efforts have been vital as we push forward through this pandemic.
Meeting with our Statehouse Leaders
Governor Mike Parson and Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler.
On Tuesday, I spent the afternoon meeting with Governor Parson, Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, and members of the Missouri State Assembly.
Conversing with our state elected officials is vital to addressing the needs of our state at both the federal and state level. I was also given the privilege of addressing the House Republican Caucus to share an update on some of the happenings in Washington and the impact that some of the legislation coming out our nation’s Capital will have on their communities. It is always a pleasure to visit Jefferson City where I had the honor of serving for six years. It is my privilege to partner with these dedicated public servants to serve the good people of Missouri.
Coffee with Congress
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler meets with Missouri farmers during “Coffee with Congress” event.
On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of participating in a “Coffee with Congress” event sponsored by the Missouri Farm Bureau in California, MO, where I visited with farmers and others involved in the agriculture industry. A major concern raised was how trade will be impacted under the Biden Administration and how this would affect agriculture in Missouri and the country as a whole.
We also discussed how policy on renewable fuels and biofuels will impact Missouri agriculture and the future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Much of the president’s agenda on trade and agriculture is not known, but farmers can rest assured that as a member of the House Agriculture Committee and a working farmer, I have fought hard for the interests of our agricultural producers and will continue to do so.
Many thanks to the Missouri Farm Bureau for making this event a reality and giving me the chance to discuss matters of great concern with members of our agriculture sector.
Visiting our Schools
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler presenting Stoutland High School teacher Thomas Wyatt with an American flag flown over the U.S. Capitol in honor of his class.
As a former teacher, it was so nice to return to the classroom and speak to high school students in Stoutland and elementary school students in Buffalo, MO.
In Stoutland, I presented Mr. Thomas Wyatt’s citizenship class with an American flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol Building in their honor. We discussed broadband access because of all the distance learning in public schools. Unfortunately, only six students in the entire class said they had good internet access in their homes. I was happy to answer their questions and share about legislation I helped pass in Congress to encourage more broadband and cooperatives to install fiber to rural homes. I appreciate these sharp young people and hope they continue to stay involved in making their voices heard to promote the best future for our country.
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler reading to students at Mallory Elementary School in Buffalo, MO.
In Buffalo, I read to elementary school students and answered some very fun questions, including what my schedule was like during a typical day in Washington, if my job was hard, and if I had ever met Justin Bieber! It was wonderful to see so many students back in the classroom and teachers having the opportunity to teach in-person again. My hope is that schools across the nation will follow Missouri’s example.
Missouri National Guard
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler with Major General Levon Cumpton, Adjutant General of the Missouri National Guard.
I had the honor of meeting with Major General Levon Cumpton, Adjutant General of the Missouri National Guard on Tuesday and received a tour of the National Guard’s Ike Skelton Training Site.
It was great to hear an update on National Guard efforts to support the fight against COVID-19. At the time of my visit, the Missouri National Guard has helped deal with the pandemic in all of our 114 Missouri counties and St. Louis. 2,115 service members had been activated for COVID-19 response, with 871 service members are still activated. These service members are truly providing a service to the people of our state, having given more than 221,000 vaccines at mass vaccination sites. Additionally, the National Guard has conducted more than 73,000 mobile tests and more than 615,000 screenings at state buildings.
The Missouri National Guard has also helped families in need of food during the pandemic, having served more than 81,000 families with 2.3 million pounds of food processed since February 1st. These kind and caring men and women in uniform are truly performing a great service for the people of our state.
Investing in Missouri
I am very excited to share some wonderful news regarding a major federal investment in Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District.
The Economic Development Administration has awarded a $4.5 million grant to the Southern Boone County R-I School District in Ashland as a major contribution toward a $7.3 million project to construct and open a Ranken Technical College campus. This facility, once completed, will spur job creation and attract private investment to southern Boone County, as the school will graduate more than 140 job-ready individuals each year.
I am a huge fan of two-year community colleges and technical schools that provide both young Missourians and older, career-changing individuals with the skills they need to be successful. I supported this effort from the outset and am proud of Superintendent Chris Felmlee and other officials in the county who have done so much to bring these federal dollars to southern Boone. Congratulations on a job well done!