I hope you had a good first week of the Christmas season. I was busy in Washington fighting for you. The House took up a bill that will help provide some comfort to members of our military and their families who are spending time in airports. The TSA Loose Change Act, H.R. 1095, which I co-sponsored, would require the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to turn over all loose change collected from airport checkpoints and airport facilities to fund lounges for members of the military and their families.
Under current law, money collected from security checkpoints is spent on civilian aviation security. That loose change, according to the House Homeland Security Committee, adds up to an average of $465,000 per year. As things currently stand, airport lounges for members of the military and their families are operated only by the United Services Organizations (USO). Our bill will have the TSA use loose change to have additional groups provide these lounges for our service members. Members of our military and their loved ones deserve a place to spend a few minutes of precious family time. This loose change, small though it may be, adds up, and can provide our men and women in uniform with a rest zone they have earned. I urge the Senate to quickly take up this legislation and pass it.
This week I also attended a classified briefing with Ambassador Wendy Sherman, Under Secretary of Political Affairs at the State Department, on the Iran “deal.” I am highly concerned that this “deal” is no deal at all, but allows Iran to continue enriching uranium as sanctions are loosened. Additionally, the deal does not address Iran’s imprisonment of American pastor Saeed Abedini. I strongly believe that any deal with Iran must demand the immediate release of Pastor Abedini and other Americans being held in Iranian prisons because of their religious beliefs. I remain undeterred in my opposition to this deal and the Administration’s call to not pass more sanctions. I co-sponsored the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013, H.R. 850. This bill passed the House this July in an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote. This week, I signed onto a letter urging the Senate to take action on this vital piece of legislation. It is my hope that the Senate will take action, and we can force Iran to the table to craft a true deal that frees Pastor Abedini and prevents a nuclear Iran.
Another bill passed by the House this week addresses some of the excessive and unnecessary regulations that hurt our economy, increase costs, and restrict access to private sector capital needed by job creators in their effort to hire American workers and grow the economy.
The Small Business Capital Access and Job Preservation Act, H.R. 1105, changes a regulatory burden imposed by the Dodd-Frank Act, requiring advisers to private equity funds, which are private projects supported by private investors with no government funds, with more than $150 million under management, to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These new registration requirements have forced advisers to private equity to undergo a process that costs millions of dollars in initial and annual compliance costs, imposing an undue burden on small and mid-sized private equity firms. Our fix to this problem exempts many of these advisers from registration requirements – allowing them to spend less time on red tape and more time and effort investing in small businesses across the country. Dodd-Frank was a response to the financial crisis of the last decade – but went too far. The simple truth is that private equity funds neither caused nor contributed to the financial crisis and are not a source of systemic risk. Furthermore, private equity-backed companies employ more than 7.5 million people nationwide in more than 17,700 U.S. companies and have invested more than $3.6 trillion in companies over ten years. The federal government should be helping job creators to put Americans back to work – not standing in the way.
Tale of two Tigers
MIZZOU-AUBURN FANS – Congresswoman Hartzler and Congressman Mike Rogers of Alabama display their true colors prior to Auburn’s win over Mizzou in Saturday’s SEC Championship Game
“We got together this week to talk football, among other things, and made a friendly “bragging rights” wager on the outcome of the game,” Hartzler said.
On another matter, as we head into the final weeks of the year, I want to share an update on the progress of the Farm Bill. Negotiators for the House and Senate are still huddling to iron out the differences in the two chambers’ versions of this important legislation. As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, I remain committed to producing a Farm Bill that is fair for both consumers and farmers, and ensures a safe, plentiful, and affordable supply of food for our country. I am in daily contact with Conferees, urging progress and exploring solutions.
Finally, this was a huge week for Mizzou football as our Missouri Tigers Took on Auburn in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta. My colleague, Congressman Mike Rogers of Alabama, represents the district that is home to Auburn. I am proud to represent my alma mater, Mizzou.
Have a great week.