Vicky Hartzler2-2016

Mourning a Tragedy

We are reminded, sadly, this week that terrorism has reached our shores. I have been praying for the victims and their families in the wake of the tragedy in Orlando. The act of terrorism that was witnessed this past weekend is an unnerving reminder of the devastation extremist ideologies can bring and the urgent need to confront this threat head on. Radical ideologies behind these types of senseless acts of terror threaten citizens across our nation and the neighborhoods and communities they live in.

Terrorist groups like ISIS, to which the killer pledged his loyalty, actively promote violence and espouse hatred. It is imperative to stop this evil and keep America safe.

Taking action to stop terrorism

On the heels of the Orlando massacre, America’s deadliest terrorist attack since 9/11, the House moved quickly and aggressively on legislation that will better protect our communities and the homeland. The Countering Terrorist Radicalization Act responds to the heightened threat environment. This legislation includes measures to enhance security and prevent radical Islamist extremism from luring more people down the path of radicalization and terrorism here at home.

This legislation package includes measures to allow the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to better bring together law enforcement agencies, intelligence representatives, first responders, and other state and local organizations to help communities with spotting signs of radicalization and disrupting potential attacks; require DHS to do more to counter-message terrorist organization like ISIS that are using social media propaganda to recruit and radicalize potential operatives within our own communities; and establish a Counterterrorism Advisory Board ensure DHS is effectively integrating intelligence, operations, and policy to fight terrorism.

A better way to keep America safe

One of the issues we face as a nation in the fight against ISIS is the lack of leadership. We still have yet to see a definitive plan from President Obama to defeat ISIS and protect Americans against terrorism both at home and abroad. That is why I am grateful for the leadership of Speaker Paul Ryan and many other members in the House in introducing “A Better Way.”

As you saw from last week’s newsletter, A Better Way brings new ideas to the table while championing principles that are integral to our nation’s heritage. Part of this new agenda focuses on our national security and keeping our country safe from the kind of threats we endured over the weekend. This plan acknowledges our nation’s failing foreign policy and offers several new ideas to address the most pressing and critical security needs of our nation. These ideas focus on:

– Defeating the terrorists.

– Protecting the homeland.

– Tackling new threats.

– Defending our freedoms.

I believe these ideas redirect our attention to meaningful reforms such as prioritizing the war against radical Islamic extremism, securing our borders, improving readiness to respond to threats and restoring America’s influence throughout the world. I encourage you to visit the Speaker’s website and view the plan for yourself here.

The fight for justice

As a member of the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, I would like to take a moment and update you on some of our findings. This past week I spoke on the House floor explaining some of the egregious practices of abortion clinics and businesses that deal in the procurement of fetal tissue. Through extensive research the panel has determined these clinics and businesses have violated federal law by profiting from the sale of baby body parts and that federal privacy violations may have occurred.

One of the most shocking findings is an online order form from a business giving the user the ability to select the type of body parts – brains, tongues, reproductive organs – that are desired as well as preferred shipping methods. These operations are clearly in business to make money through the collection of tissues and organs from aborted babies. This is an abhorrent and unlawful practice, and it is unconscionable that an abortion clinic would end a baby’s life and proceed to profit from the sale of its body parts. The Select Panel continues its work to ensure Americans know the truth about these despicable practices, and I will be sure to keep you updated on our findings.

Congressional activity

Modernizing Crumbling Infrastructure – Our nation’s Army Ammunition Plants are currently in dire need of revitalization. These plants produce almost 90 percent of all small caliber ammo used by troops in every branch of our Armed Forces. Given today’s expansive and growing threats, it is clear we need to ensure these facilities can continue to operate and provide our troops the resources they need.

As Chairwoman of the House Armed Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, I offered an amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2017 to ensure that our nation’s Army Ammunitions Plants can continue to provide our men and women in uniform the ammunition and armaments needed as they combat the diverse threats facing our nation. I am happy my Amendment passed on the House floor. Feel free to watch my speech.

Combating abuse in federal bureaucracy – This week I supported an important piece of legislation aimed at stripping the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) ability to unfairly target political organizations. The Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act would eliminate the requirement for these organizations, whatever their political leaning, to disclose to the IRS the names, addresses and other identifying information of their contributors. The bill would eliminate the “IRS Schedule B,” the form used to disclose this confidential information. I am happy to have supported this legislation that reins in the unaccountable actions of the IRS and protects the freedoms of religious and political groups across America.

Missouri highlights

This week I had the pleasure of meeting with a number of visitors from Missouri’s Fourth District as well as other parts of the state. Special guests included Board members from MFA – a regional cooperative with 150 company-owned agri-service centers and many feed, farm supply and plant distribution facilities in Missouri and three other states. We discussed a number of issues that included the EPA’s overreach through the Waters of the United States rule, the challenge of labeling food products with GMO (genetically-modified organisms) information and trade.

Thank you for investing your time in reading my weekly newsletter. It is my goal to serve you and Missouri’s Fourth by providing accurate and timely updates from our nation’s Capital.

Have a great week.

Vicky Hartzler

Member of Congress