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Public Statements

America's Greatest Generation--Our Senior Citizens

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. HARTZLER. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Today, I am here to lead a very important discussion regarding America's Greatest Generation--our senior citizens.

I have the greatest respect and heartfelt affection for this special group of people. This respect and affection originated with the special relationship I had with my grandparents. I valued spending time with them and loved learning from them. I learned how to catch a fish and golf from Granddad Zellmer, how to clean and cook a fish from Grandma Zellmer, how to ride a horse and milk a cow from Granddad Purdy, and how to crochet and make homemade butter from Grandma Purdy.

Out of the love of my grandparents grew a love and respect for all senior citizens. I believe their wisdom should be sought and valued in our society and that generations should be linked to benefit from each other. As a teacher, I initiated programs to bring young people together with senior citizens, and wrote my master's thesis on it. I can tell you that it's a winning combination. Throughout my life, I have been dedicated to advocate for senior citizens. For over 10 years, I served on the Cass County Council on Aging. I helped raise money for our Meals on Wheels program and for other important programs to help senior citizens.

Now I'm honored to represent and to serve the great people of Missouri's Fourth Congressional District, which is home to over 120,000 seniors. You can trust that I will ensure that this cherished generation is never overlooked. There are many challenges facing our Nation's senior citizens: financial stress, health challenges, housing issues, and family difficulties. My Republican women colleagues and I want you to know that we care, that we hear your concerns, and that we are here to stand by you and to fight for you and for workable solutions.

I'm honored to have the privilege tonight of leading this discussion and introducing you to some of the most dedicated women in Congress who, like me, care about seniors and are fighting for you.

I would now like to yield as much time as she may consume to my good friend from just across the State line, a fellow farm girl and my travel buddy back and forth to the Kansas City airport, Representative Lynn Jenkins.


Mrs. HARTZLER. Thank you, SHELLEY.

Tonight you have heard from a lot of us, Republican women here in Congress. You've heard our stories and our love and our respect for senior citizens, and our heartfelt desire and commitment to serve and to represent them and to make sure that their rights are protected and that their voice is heard here. You've heard how we have had proactive plans put forth here in the House from our group to address Medicare and to preserve and protect it for the future. You've heard how we care about Social Security, and we're not going to take it away. We want to make sure it is there for future generations.

You've heard of our concerns for Alzheimer's and the other diseases that are ravaging our aging population, and our desire and our commitment to move forward and make sure that those are addressed and that we make sure and find a cure there.

You've heard of how we are listening to the financial challenges that we are hearing from the seniors in our districts and the plans that we put forth to eliminate the estate tax so one generation can pass on their farm or their small business to another generation without the Federal Government taking the property or taking the farm. You've heard our commitment to veterans and to those who have sacrificed so much so that we can stay free. We're going to honor those commitments and those sacrifices.

Lastly, you've heard about our respect for this generation, and we know of their desire to pass on an America to their grandchildren that is just as great and just as promising as the one they grew up in. We are committed to making sure that we rein in our runaway federal spending here, we keep our fiscal house in order as a country, and that that promise is alive and well for their grandchildren. We are committed to moving forward as a group.

We thank you for listening, and we thank you, Mr. Speaker, for this time.

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