Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Instagram icon
YouTube icon
Click to go to mail form
Click to get search form

View from the Capitol – Week of February 8, 2016

February 12, 2016
The President's Never-Balancing Budget

This week President Obama sent his final budget proposal to Congress. And, instead of taking advantage of an opportunity to put forward common sense proposals, the President sounded a call for more government, more taxes, more spending, and more debt. It is a budget proposal that never balances and continues the out-of-control government spending that has become a characteristic of this Administration. While the Obama budget is irresponsible, I can assure you that I will be working with my colleagues on the House Budget Committee to release a budget that addresses the huge debt racked up in the last seven years and puts America on a road to responsible spending. We will deliver a budget that highlights your priorities and does not add even more to the massive $19 trillion debt that threatens our children and grandchildren.

There was some very good news from the United States Supreme Court this week as it issued a stay on the Obama Administration’s regulatory assault on coal. With this ruling, the Supreme Court has validated the concerns expressed from states like Missouri, who would see energy prices skyrocket as a result of the President’s war on coal. The American people must be protected from spiraling energy costs. I applaud the Supreme Court for standing up for mainstream America against the Obama Administration’s executive orders and the overreach of his Environmental Protection Agency.

Before leaving Missouri to fly to Washington this week, I had an opportunity to do a little bit of traveling in Missouri’s Fourth District, visiting a senior center, a sheltered workshop, and two schools.

It is always great talking with senior citizens and I did just that at the Marshfield Community Center where I updated a group of seniors on some of the initiatives in Washington and listened to the seniors’ concerns. Senior citizens have contributed a lot to this country and they are rightly concerned about the direction in which this country is going. It was a pleasure to hear their thoughts and ideas and take some of their Midwestern, common sense wisdom back to the Nation’s Capital.

Vicky speaks with seniors at the Marshfield Senior Center
Vicky speaks with seniors at the Marshfield Senior Center

My visit to Marshfield included a stop at Web-Co Custom Industries – a sheltered workshop that provides employment for 85 special needs individuals who package and label goods in addition to recycling products. Among the items Web-Co produces are impermeable aprons that are used to protect workers during chemical disposal. Recently, these aprons were used by the Department of Defense to keep workers safe while combating the Ebola virus in Africa. I am heartened by what this company does to provide training and meaningful employment opportunities for those with disabilities.

Vicky with General manager Michael Frazier (left) and Board President Robert Ahrens (right) of Web-Co Custom Industries
Vicky with General manager Michael Frazier (left) and Board President Robert Ahrens (right) of Web-Co Custom Industries

Before leaving Marshfield, I met with administrators and staff at Shook Elementary School, where I toured the school and read to fourth grade students. The students in Ms. Pollard’s class were very receptive to what I read and asked a number of very good questions. As a former school teacher I always get a great deal of pleasure out of visiting with students.

Vicky reading to Ms. Pollards Fourth Grade class
Vicky reading to Ms. Pollards Fourth Grade class

The issues were considerably more serious when I met with Lebanon High School students who are involved in the effort to combat drug use in their school and their community. It was so encouraging to hear the students discussing their concerns about fellow students who are involved with drugs or who are at risk of drug use. It was particularly sad to hear that while illegal drugs like marijuana and heroin remain a threat, much of today’s drug abuse involved the use of prescription drugs. There is much to learn from these students who are on the right track in trying to address this important issue and to offer help to the community’s young people who are headed down a dangerous path.

Vicky visits with Lebanon High School’s Anti-Drug group
Vicky visits with Lebanon High School’s Anti-Drug group

Finally, I want to remind all residents of Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District who are in need of legal advice as a result of the recent storms and flooding that free legal assistance is available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its Disaster Legal Services program. The number to call for questions or advice is 800-829-4128. Again, this service is free with lawyers available to help with just about any legal issue that arises from the recent storms and flooding.

FEMA has also set up an information line for those seeking assistance. Missourians impacted by the recent severe storms and floods can dial 2-1-1, a free telephone service that helps people find the local resources they need before, during and after a disaster. All calls are private and confidential. This is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Further, can also call 800-427-4626 to speak with a trained resource specialist. TTY (866-385-6525) and multilingual services are also available.

Have a great week,


Vicky Hartzler
Member of Congress


# # #