COLUMBIA - Vicky Hartzler is the Representative for Missouri's 4th Congressional District, having been elected to that position on November 2, 2010. She was first elected to political office in November of 1994 as the State Representative from Missouri's 124th District. She served three terms, leaving in January of 2001. Prior to her time in politics Vicky taught family and consumer sciences for 11 years in Lebanon and Belton.
In 2004, she served as spokesperson for the Coalition to Protect Marriage, a state constitutional amendment which passed resoundingly and led to Missouri recognizing traditional marriage as a union of a man and a woman. In 2005, she was appointed as Chair of the Missouri Women's Council, serving for two years. Vicky has served as a member of the Cass County Republican Central Committee since 1990.
She is a graduate of both the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1983 and Central Missouri State University (now University of Central Missouri) in 1992, graduating summa cum laude with a B.S. in Education from MU and a M.S. in Education from Central Missouri. Vicky and Lowell Hartzler own a company with three farm equipment stores in the 4th District. The Hartzler family lives near Harrisonville in Cass County.
KOMU 8 News recenlt sat down with Hartzler to talk about her platform and changes she would like to make in Washington if re-elected.
KOMU 8 News: How do you think your platform will help improve our nation's economy and create jobs?
Hartzler: Well, I am a job creator. My husband and I own a small business, and I think that matters because I know, on a day to day basis, what it takes, and I know that the policies coming out of Washington have been detrimental to job creation. We just need to remove those barriers, such as the overregulation coming out of the bureaucracies, such as lowering the corporate tax rate so that we can compete with other countries and bring manufacturing jobs back here. We need to also repeal Obamacare, which is driving up healthcare costs, and we need to encourage the use of American-made energy, to reduce our energy costs. And if we can do some of those things, and create certainty, then I feel confident that jobs will return and we will be able to expand and grow our economy.
KOMU 8 News: What do you think needs to be done with our nation's federal deficit?
Hartzler: Well, we've got to stop spending money that we don't have in Washington, and people at home are having to tighten their belts; it's time that Washington did the same. We can't continue on this same path, we have now over 16 trillion dollars in national debt, and, uh, it's time to reign that in and to quit spending all that money and get back to a balanced budget. And that's why I co-sponsored the Balanced Budget Amendment, and why I supported a budget that will get to balance, and, uh, believe me, we've got to continue to do that.
KOMU 8 News: How do you think your platform and your position will help America's position in Afghanistan? If re-elected, how would you work to improve that position?
Hartzler: Well, I am a member of the House Armed Services Committee and I feel very honored to represent the men and women in uniform in this district and in this countr, as well as our military installations here in Missouri, at Fort Leonard Wood and Whiteman Air Force Base. And we have got to get our priorities back in this country, and one of the few things Congress is supposed to do is provide for the common defense. So, we need to prioritize our funding for our national defense, and not cut it, like the President and others are proposing, and make sure that we have the tools that we need to keep our country safe. And so, in Afghanistan, we need to continue to make sure they have the funds that they need, our troops, so that they have the weaponry they need and the equipment that they need, and we also need to make sure that we're listening to the commanders on the ground and not making decisions based on politics because there's so much at stake and certainly the lives of our men and women. So, we need to listen to them and do what they think needs to be done in Afghanistan, and support what they need.
KOMU 8 News: Okay, another foreign policy question. Same topic, but in Iran. How do you think your position could improve our position in Iran?
Hartzler: Well, we have to be very clear and strong to Iran, and let them know that we are not going to tolerate allowing them to have nuclear weapon capability. Uh, we can't just say one thing one day, and change our position. They have to know that we are going to stand strong with Israel, no matter what, and that Israel has a right to defend itself and protect its people, and that we are right there beside them, uh, because they are our greatest ally in the Middle East, they're the only source of democracy, and we have to stand with Israel and we cannot tolerate, uh, this number one country that is sponsoring terrorism like Iran, to be able to get a nuclear weapon.
KOMU 8 News: Okay, so let's talk...I want to learn more about your specific platform, and these are some other questions that I have about that. Your campaign slogan talks a lot about fixing a "broken Washington". Personally, what are some of the things that you think still makes Washington as broken as you see it?
Hartzler: Well, we still are spending way too much money in this country, and it's driving up our national debt. And so we have to get to a balanced budget, and we need to do that soon. We also need to get government off the backs of job creators, so that we can create more jobs, and that's what I believe we need to continue to fight to do, to pull back on those government bureaucracies, whether it's EPA or OSHA or some other government agency, that's making life miserable for our small business owners. We need to reduce taxes, uh, in the corporate world and in the individual world so that people have more money that they can spend and, uh, we can grow our economy. And we need to encourage the use of American-made energy. Those are things that we can all do, and should do, and that I want to continue to fight to do, as well as show the ability to work in a bipartisan fashion to get things done. I have done that, in the past: I've passed the Small Business Credit Availability Act, and a bill to help veterans this year in the House of Representatives, with Democrat support and Republican support, and I think it's important to do that. I've done it in the past, and will continue to do that.
KOMU 8 News: Okay. You mentioned before about Obamacare. With all the talk about Obamacare becoming a reality, or already put in place, how would you work around that policy to make sure that Missourians are still being taken care of to the best of their ability?
Hartzler: Well, I think it's imperative that we repeal Obamacare, because it is driving up the cost of healthcare, and reducing accessibility, and that's the exact opposite of what we need. We don't need the current government takeover in healthcare that has increased the cost of healthcare by over 23 hundred dollars per family, and is making it more difficult for business to hire new workers. So, we need to repeal that, and replace it with common sense reforms that will reduce the cost and increase the accessibility. There are great ideas out there, and we can do it.
KOMU 8 News: Okay. So you mentioned something, another thing, about the U.S. recovery is gas prices. When it comes to issues that may not be entirely under U.S. control, how will you work to promote recovery in those kinds of situations?
Hartzler: Well, we can get gas prices down, it's not hard. Basically, we need to use more of our energy that we're blessed with here in America. Uh, we have a huge economic growth occurring in North Dakota because they have found a way to drill for oil there in the Balkan reserve, and that could take place in other parts of the country if the federal government would give those permits. Right now, they're blocking those permits. They're blocking having more offshore drilling. We need to encourage that, and become less dependent on foreign governments who don't even like it. But at the same time, we need to use other energy sources. We need to use coal, it can be done and used very efficiently and cleanly, we can use natural gas as well as renewable fuels, and wind and solar. And I'm also a big proponent of expanding our nuclear capability here, and, uh, I believe in an all of the above energy approach, and, uh, I believe we can become energy independent here in this country if we put our minds to it and that's certainly what I want to do.
KOMU 8 News: Okay. So just a little bit more about that energy thing. So, both you and your opponent Teresa Hensley, you both speak about promoting domestic energy. How do you feel that your policies, or the Hartzler policies, will help Missouri better than what Teresa is suggesting?
Hartzler: Mmhmm. Well, my opponent still believes in investing a lot of tax dollars in solar energy and wind energy, like what was done with the stimulus money, where we borrowed money from China and gave it to countries, uh, companies like Cylindra that went bankrupt. I don't think that's a wise use of our tax dollars, and we need to be allowing our own companies here, private industry, to grow and to use, like the coal, and expand natural gas and oil and basically get government off their backs, rather than taking tax dollars or borrowing money from another China, and picking winners and losers, and giving it to one particular industry that, in many cases, doesn't even work yet.
KOMU 8 News: Okay. So final question, what would you have changed about your first term...this was your first term, correct? Okay, so what would you have changed about your first term as Congressional Representative, and part two, what will you work on the most if in fact you are re-elected?
Hartzler: Mmhmm. Well, if I had the opportunity to, over this past year and a half, I would like to change the Senate's leadership, and make sure that they vote on bills so that we can come together and move forward on the things that are very important to Americans, such as job creation and energy independence. Uh, it's been frustrating how they won't even vote on our job creation bills, or our energy bill, or even on a budget. So that would be something I would wish, if possible, that could have been different. But I am still committed to working on these things, and I'm hopefully hoping that as we move forward, there will be leadership in the Senate who will be willing to take up these very important issues, and to pass them rather than blocking them. But my number one priority besides generally helping job creation is a bill that I introduced for Missouri to take the power away from the federal energy regulatory commission as far as lake management, and to allow local control over the management of our lakes. You'll remember last year that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ordered the destruction of 12 hundred homes here in Missouri, the Lake of the Ozarks. My bill would allow the states to opt out of that jurisdiction, if they so choose, and I think that makes sense. So, I'm going to be working on that particular bill for here in Missouri, in addition to the overall goals we have of getting our economy going again.
KOMU 8 News: Okay. Is there anything else you'd like to add, anything you think the viewers should know that I haven't touched on, anything you think I should have expanded on?
Hartzler: Well, I am just very honored to represent the good people of Fourth District, and I feel very honored to serve on the House Agriculture Committee and the House Armed Services Committee, and those are certainly priorities we have in Missouri, and I look forward to continuing to stand strong for those areas and for our national defense, because it's the right thing to do, it's one of the things in, according to the Constitution, we should be doing. So I look forward to continuing to stand strong for our military and our veterans and our farmers, as well as our small business owners, and most importantly for the good families of the Fourth District,