This past week has been special for the Columbia community. Mizzou was named by the Princeton Review as part of “The Best 385 Colleges,” “The Best Midwestern” colleges and universities, and one of the nation’s top “Green Colleges.” I’m incredibly proud that Mizzou is leading the way preparing Missourians to succeed in the modern economy.
This week, the University of Missouri’s Chancellor Alexander Cartwright delivered encouraging news in the State of the University address.
Among the recent University of Missouri positives highlighted: 1) MU researchers achieved a 23 percent increase for grant awards – from $207 million in FY2018 to $255 million in FY2019; 2) Freshman enrollment grew by 31 percent over the last two years and a record-high retention rate of 87.9 percent; 3) Following graduation, approximately 90 percent of MU students say they have begun successful careers in their chosen fields.
MU’s value to Missouri and society in general is very evident. M-I-Z Z-O-U!
In more Columbia news, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs ranked Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital in Columbia, Missouri No. 1 for “Best Place to Work.”
The hospital has been at the forefront of optimizing patient-centered services to veterans in the area. I’m proud of all the staff at Truman VA!
D.C. Meeting Highlights
Earlier this week I attended a trade hearing with Ambassador Gregg Doud, the lead agriculture negotiator in the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office. At the briefing, we discussed our trade agreement with Japan and the progress of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
The trade agreement with Japan is a big win for Missouri agriculture. Japan imports a half-billion dollars’ worth of goods produced in Missouri and is the largest market in terms of value for U.S. pork exports. Missouri’s beef, poultry, and ethanol industries stand to make big gains with this new agreement.
The USMCA will help propel Missouri agriculture throughout the American continent. The agreement will bring 176,000 new jobs to America and spur over $60 billion in new economic activity.
I applaud President Trump and his team’s work on these agreements. I look forward to continue working with my colleagues and this administration to keep moving Missouri’s agriculture forward.
On Friday, I met with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Undersecretary Greg Ibach in my Washington, D.C. office. We discussed USDA’s ongoing investigation into beef pricing margins. This investigation began following the drastic market response that occurred after the August 9th meat packing plant fire in Holcomb, Kansas. This plant accounted for 6% of U.S. slaughter capacity, pushing through 6,000 head of cattle every day.
In the weeks following the fire, several of my cattle producers and sale barn owners in the district expressed concern over prices, reporting, and the market’s reaction in general. As a rancher himself, Undersecretary Ibach understood my constituents’ concerns and is dedicated to having results from this investigation available for both those who view the market from an in-the-weeds point of view and those on the farm who may be wanting a more general summary.
I am committed to ensuring that all of our agriculture concerns from Missouri are represented in Washington. I look forward to updates from Undersecretary Ibach as the investigation moves forward and sharing those updates with our farmers and ranchers in the district.
This week, Congressman John Garamendi (CA-3) and I introduced H.R. 4710, the Pharmaceutical Independent Long-Term Readiness Reform Act.
This bipartisan legislation requires the Department of Defense to identify the vulnerabilities faced by our country’s dependence on Chinese pharmaceuticals, and to only purchase American-made raw materials, medicines, and vaccines for the military.
Put simply, China having control over the production of our military’s medicine poses a grave national security threat. Not only does it open the possibility of them deliberately manipulating our servicemember’s medical regimens and cause physical harm, but the Chinese government’s lack of proper oversight and regulatory standards on prescription drugs is also deeply alarming to me. We need to ensure that our military’s medicine is American-made.
Correction: In last week’s newsletter, it said 18 Missouri counties had been designated disaster areas and qualified for federal assistance. The sentence should have said “18 counties within Missouri’s 4th congressional district have received the designation.”
I am thankful 18 of Missouri 4th’s 24 counties received this helpful designation so they can receive the needed funds.
Our casework office handles a lot of the everyday issues affecting constituents throughout our district. For instance, we have done a lot of work with passport problems – primarily helping to replace lost or stolen passports for constituents who are abroad or are heading to other countries. Passport problem solving is just one of the many issues that casework manager Janna Worsham handles on a regular basis. Feel free to give her a call at 573-442-9311 to see if she can help you.
Weeks like these only reaffirm what we already know – there is no place like Missouri’s 4th congressional district. It is such a high honor to represent all of you. I’m grateful for the opportunity to help keep moving our communities forward and humbled for the opportunity to represent you in the United States House of Representatives.
Yours in service,
Member of Congress