Hi, I’m Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler from the great state of Missouri. Just a little bit about myself: in addition to serving on the House Agriculture Committee, my husband and I own and operate a farm near Harrisonville, where we raise cattle and grow corn, wheat, and soybeans. We also run a small business that sells and services farm equipment – we’ve got three stores and about 50 employees.
Around the country, it’s that State Fair time of year. Our fair, taking place this week in Sedalia, showcases the best of Missouri agriculture, and this year that means recognizing the perseverance of our farmers and ranchers as they face the worst drought our country has suffered in decades.
Like you, I was relieved earlier this month when the House passed a bipartisan measure helping farmers devastated by the ongoing drought. A lot was riding on this bill, but the Senate, a body controlled by the president’s party, left Washington for the month of August without even bringing it to a vote. The president has seen fit to politicize this issue, but the fact is he didn’t urge the Senate to act.
That is a true shame. Drought conditions continue to worsen, and the shaky state of the economy only amplifies our anxiety.
You’ve probably heard the president say recently that the private sector is “doing fine” and that his plan “worked.” If only that were true. Just take a look at the chilling report the Associated Press issued a few days ago confirming our fears, that this is the weakest economic recovery since the Great Depression. Unemployment has never been this high for this long after a recession. Even those who have jobs are seeing their paychecks shrink. Rising prices on everyday things from gas to groceries certainly doesn’t help matters.
Yet, hard as it is to believe, the president and his party think now is a good time to raise taxes on small businesses. Perhaps they haven’t read the independent report from accounting firm Ernst & Young, which shows this tax hike would destroy more than 700,000 jobs. Perhaps they haven’t been listening to the manufacturers and small business owners who are already canceling plans to hire and expand. Or the group of 88 economists who warn this tax hike must be stopped.
Senate Democrats haven’t acted to stop the small business tax hike scheduled for January 1st, but the House has. Because while the president tells small business owners like me ‘you didn’t build that,’ Republicans know better and are committed to getting government out of their way.
That’s why the House has passed more than 30 jobs bills that eliminate excessive red tape, empower small businesses, and approve the Keystone XL pipeline – a critical project the president and his party continue to block.
We’ve also passed a budget that protects our economy for the long-term by fixing our tax code and preserving Medicare for today’s seniors while strengthening it for future generations. The president, on the other hand, still has no plan to save Medicare – in fact, he took hundreds of billions of dollars from it to help pay for Obamacare – while Senate Democrats haven’t even offered a budget in more than three years.
Here in the Show Me State, we expect our leaders to offer solutions to our most pressing challenges, especially when the going gets tough. But these days, the president doesn’t even want to talk about the bad economy, let alone do anything about it. That, too, is a shame.
Focusing on jobs and acting on better solutions remains Republicans’ pledge to you.
Thanks for taking the time, and may God bless the United States of America.