Dear Friends,

Thanks so much for taking the time to read my enewsletter. It’s a pleasure to provide you this update on what’s happening in Washington and neighborhoods near you

As you know, late last week the federal government was temporarily shut down as the Senate failed to pass a spending bill before the Jan. 19 deadline. I want you to know that I voted twice for a continuing resolution to fund the government, reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and provide for our military. Finally, after a three-day government shutdown, Democrats joined us and provided the necessary votes to end this senseless standoff.

Although the government is back open, we face another fiscal deadline on Feb. 6. Americans deserve better than the petty politics that played such a strong role in this shutdown. I am hopeful that we will be able to reach, in a bipartisan manner, a final resolution in the coming weeks that is reflective of the priorities of the American people.

It’s time to unite and take action on the drug epidemic in Missouri

It was wonderful to meet up with old colleague from Belton High School, Tom Krause, and Julie Oziah-Gideon to collaborate on my drug free Missouri efforts.

The numbers are disturbing. Drug abuse and addiction are rapidly tearing communities and families apart in Missouri and across America. I’ve heard from job creators who tell me that too many potential new hires cannot pass a drug test. Military recruiters have told me they have to turn away good recruits due to drug use. Law enforcement reports most crime in our communities is related to drug use. And, sadly, 25% of children in Missouri’s foster care are there due to their parent’s drug abuse. This has got to stop.

This spring, I traveled around the district visiting with high school students to get feedback on how we can put an end to this devastating practice. I held seven high school assemblies bringing in speakers to share stories on how drug use has impacted their lives and why students should choose to be drug-free. My office put together a toolkit which includes resources on how families can assist their loved ones to get the help they need, federal grants which communities can utilize to help make them drug free, and firsthand testimonials from people and communities on how to combat drug use. To find more information on our anti-drug initiative and the toolkit, please feel free to visit my website here or click on this toolkit to find valuable information.

On Thursday I had the blessing to meet with Julie Oziah-Gideon, who lost her 20-year-old daughter to a heroin overdose, and my old colleague at Belton High School, Tom Krause, to discuss what we can do to make Missouri drug-free. They agreed to help me hold more high school assemblies where they can encourage tomorrow’s leaders to live drug-free now. It’s time to unite and take action against this menace to set a new path for individuals and families in our district — one that is drug-free.

Fighting at home and abroad

Speaking at the Education Policy Conference in St. Louis about the wars we are fighting domestically and abroad.

On Friday I had the pleasure of addressing the Education Policy Conference, hosted by the Constitutional Coalition in St. Louis, about the wars we are fighting on the home front and abroad. Specifically, I spoke to them about the emerging threat of North Korea, Iran, and Eastern Europe. We must have a military that is ready to confront these forces head on, not one constrained by lack of proper equipment, training, and funding. In this past year, we had 80 readiness-related deaths in our armed services. Those deaths were completely preventable. Additionally, I spoke about the fight we face here at home to undo the work of a President who, for eight years, apologized for America’s greatness instead of fighting for it. It was an honor to speak at this Conference.

Around and about: Photos from this week’s travels throughout the district

Speaking to members of the Rotary Club of Columbia Northwest about tax reform and ways to achieve a drug-free Missouri.

I had the chance to sit down with ABC 17 News in Columbia to discuss tax reform and last week’s #SchumerShutdown. Learn more about tax reform by vising or by texting “tax reform” to 50589.

I also met with the Southern Boone County Chamber of Commerce in Ashland to answer constituents’ questions about tax reform, immigration, infrastructure, and health care.

Tuesday afternoon I visited with University of Missouri leadership and the faculty at the College of Health and Environmental Sciences to learn about the College’s exciting developments in programming and research. When I majored in Home Economics Education at Mizzou, I was president of the Student Council and spent a lot of time taking classes in this very building. My mom, Ginny Zellmer, got her degree here when she attended the College in the 1950’s. It was fun to “come home” and hear about the cutting edge research the College is conducting in nutrition science and its graduates’ high job placement rate across the world.

It was a pleasure to address such a great crowd on Tuesday night at the Audrain County Farm Bureau Legislative Appreciation Dinner in Mexico.

Congratulations were in order for the Fort Leonard Wood-Sustainable Ozark Partnership for being awarded one of only seven Army Community Partnership Awards earlier this year. This award is quite an honor, and I was glad for the opportunity to commend them and to share an update on current military events. Fort Leonard Wood is blessed to have so many caring community members supporting their efforts.

Thank you again for your interest, and enjoy your weekend.

Yours in service,

Vicky Hartzler

Member of Congress