Friday, January 31, 2014

Hartzler: Obama refuses to let the American Spirit to be unleashed

In her latest newsletter, Fourth District Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler expresses disappointment in President Obama's State of the Union address.

This was a busy week here in Washington. The President shared his vision for the nation over the next year in his State of the Union address, and the House was hard at work, fighting for you. The House passed the Farm Bill, giving farmers more certainty over the next five years. Additionally, the House passed the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, H.R. 7, ending taxpayer-funded abortions once and for all.

This past Tuesday, the President laid out his vision for the next year in his State of the Union Address. His speech reflected a clear difference of perspective. He believes government is the solution to our problems; I believe government is too often the problem. While the President did touch on many issues of concern to many Americans, he refuses to allow the American spirit to be unleashed, preferring instead to call for government-imposed solutions that have failed in the past and will undoubtedly fail in the future.

I believe America needs action that involves unleashing the American spirit and getting government out of the way of job growth; not one of taking power away from the people. I remain focused on growing the economy, empowering the American people, and removing the uncertainty that is stifling job growth. It is imperative to get excess government out of the way of our economy, not further entangle it in our private lives. Our Founding Fathers intended that governing be a partnership between the branches of government, and it is my hope that the President will work with Congress to promote these common-sense ideas to help all Americans.

Constituents from Missouri’s Fourth District have shared stories about the negative impact of the Administration’s actions, and House Republicans are working on solutions to get government out of the way:

- A substitute teacher will have her hours cut due to the President’s health care law, lowering her take home pay and making it difficult to provide for her family. I support the American Health Care Reform Act, which replaces Obamacare with market-driven solutions that increase access and lower the cost of health care;

- Community banks are being buried under a flood of regulations due to the Dodd-Frank financial reforms. I introduced the Small Business Credit Availability Act, which would help roll back this harmful legislation by freeing up equity small banks use to provide their customers with loans and working capital;

- Rural electric cooperatives have been negatively impacted by the President’s war on coal, which will shut down Missouri power plants and drive up the electricity bills of citizens across Missouri and the country. I continue to fight against overregulation by the EPA, and ensure America has a true ‘all of the above’ energy policy to secure energy independence and lower energy costs.

I assure you that I am committed to a year of positive action for the people. I, along with my colleagues, will continue to work to get Washington out of the way, lower healthcare costs, cut government waste, eliminate job-stifling red tape, and help Americans take home more of their paycheck each month.

On another matter, the House was successful in passing a five-year Farm Bill this week. This bill reforms farm policy, cuts waste and abuse from the food stamp program, and replaces direct payments to farmers with a safety net to protect them when they suffer significant losses. The farm bill makes significant reforms to farm and food programs, saving taxpayers $23 billion in mandatory federal spending. We have made major reforms to farm subsidies, streamlined conservation programs, and eliminated nutrition loopholes to make these programs more accountable to taxpayers.

Taxpayers will also benefit from reforms to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, by eliminating waste and abuse inherent in the system. We were able to do this without taking a morsel of food out of the mouth of somebody who truly needs this program. This is the first reform to the food stamp program since the welfare reforms that were signed in to law by President Clinton in 1996. The Farm Bill also saves taxpayer dollars by consolidating 23 duplicative and overlapping conservation programs into 13. The bill also includes a panel to review Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actions, ensuring that government red tape and overregulation doesn’t negatively impact agriculture.

While I am overall pleased with the Farm Bill and the assurances it gives farmers and families, I am disappointed it does not contain all the savings I sought for Missouri’s Fourth District. For instance, the provision I championed to repeal a duplicative and wasteful catfish inspection scheme was not included in the final bill. However, I will continue to pursue this bipartisan, common-sense effort to rein in wasteful government spending. Overall, the Farm Bill serves the interests of both consumers and producers, guaranteeing the United States an affordable, plentiful, and safe food supply now and well into the future.

Finally, the House passed H.R. 7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. I am proud to call myself a cosponsor of this bill. H.R. 7 puts into permanent law a ban on taxpayer-funded abortion. While abortion is a hotly-contested issue, people on both sides can agree that taxpayers should not foot the bill to provide abortion services. This week, I had the opportunity to join my colleagues in speaking out on the House floor in favor of this legislation.

It was heartening to see bipartisan support for this important legislation. The legislation passed by the House this week is another step in the right direction to fight for the people of Missouri’s Fourth District.

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