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US Rep Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)

Rep. Hartzler encourages President Trump to sign defense authorization bill

Missouri Rep. Vicky Hartzler has encouraged President Trump to sign the $731 billion defense authorization bill, citing the military’s importance to her district. The bill includes another $40 million for the hospital replacement project at Fort Leonard Wood.

“Fort Leonard Wood had the oldest hospital in the Army system, and it was long overdue for upgrading,” the Harrisonville Republican said, according to Missourinet. “So we’re very excited about that.”

Hartzler attended the June groundbreaking ceremony for the new Fort Leonard Wood community hospital, which will replace the aging one. Construction of the 235,000- square-foot hospital is expected to be done in the fall of 2024.It’s going to be state-of-the-art, and it is going to provide first-class medical treatment for both our soldiers and their families in that area,” Hartzler said.

U.S. Sens. Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley helped secure $50 million for the project earlier this year. Fort Leonard Wood’s hospital serves both the base and the surrounding southern Missouri community. The massive new hospital project also will include a 193,000-square-foot clinic, a five-bay ambulance garage, a helipad, central utility plant and emergency back-up generators. Fort Leonard Wood trains more than 80,000 military and civilians each year.

Trump has until December 23 to sign or veto the defense authorization bill, according to “Roll Call.” The president has threatened to veto the measure because it doesn’t repeal legal loophole for social media companies that allows them to censor posts and news outlets. Republicans and free speech advocates have encouraged the President to veto the bill to force legislators to deal with freedom of speech and social media issues.

The defense authorization bill also includes $696 million for U.S. Army ammunition plants, including the 3,900-acre Lake City plant in Jackson County. Hartzler pushed for Lake City funding.

“Lake City ammunition plant there just outside of Blue Springs is the Army’s only small-caliber ammunition plant. It produces all of the bullets, the small-caliber range,” Hartzler said.

Hartzler said the defense bill also includes $5 million to update T-38 ejection seats at Whiteman Air Force Base near Knob Noster. She said the current ejection seats are old and have problems. Whiteman Air Base also is located in Hartzler’s district.

Hartlzer did not have comments concerning tech giants and their attack on free speech. Constituents have been calling her office about the bill land the recent election. Her office can be reached at: (202) 225-2876.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice