The district comprises a large swath of the western-central part of the state, anchored in Columbia to the eastern and southern Kansas City suburbs, including a small portion of Kansas City itself. The district also includes the cities of Sedalia, Warrensburg, Moberly, and Lebanon. The district takes in Ft. Leonard Wood in Pulaski County, Whiteman Air Force Base in Knob Noster, and the University of Missouri (Mizzou).
Prior to her election to Congress, Hartzler represented District 124 in the Missouri House of Representatives from 1995 to 2000.
Hartzler was raised on a farm near Archie, a rural community south of Kansas City. She attended the University of Missouri where she graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Education and attended University of Central Missouri where she graduated with an M.S. in Education.
Before running for State Representative in 1994, Hartzler taught high school home economics (now commonly referred to as family and consumer sciences) for 11 years.
Her accomplishments included leadership on legislation facilitating the adoption process. Hartzler left the Missouri House of Representatives in 2000 after adopting a baby daughter. In 2004, after she had left the Missouri General Assembly, Hartzler served as state spokeswoman for the Coalition to Protect Marriage, which supported banning same-sex marriages in Missouri. Despite Hartzler's fierce opposition to the Missouri Assembly's ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment ("I don't want women used to pass a liberal agenda"), Republican Governor Matt Blunt appointed Hartzler Chair of the Missouri Women's Council in 2005, where she served for two years.
After almost a decade out of politics, Hartzler entered the Republican primary for Missouri's 4th congressional district, which at the time was held by 17-term Democratic incumbent Ike Skelton. She won a crowded seven-way primary with 40 percent of the vote.
In the November 2, 2010 general election, Hartzler won with 50.43% of the vote. She is the first Republican to represent this district since 1955, and only the second since the Great Depression. She was also the second Republican woman elected to Congress from Missouri, after Jo Ann Emerson, with whom she served from 2011 to 2013. However, she is the first who was not elected as a stand-in for her husband; Emerson was originally elected to serve out the final term of her late husband, Bill Emerson. Republicans had been making gains in the district for some time; it gave John McCain 62 percent of the vote in 2008 while simultaneously reelecting Skelton, and Republicans hold most of the district's seats in the state legislature. She won primarily by running up her totals in the more rural areas of the sprawling district.
She ran on a conservative platform, voicing support for tax cuts and spending cuts. She opposes abortion and same-sex marriage.
Redistricting after the 2010 U.S. Census removed Cole, Lafayette, Ray and Saline counties—including Skelton's home. The district also lost its shares of Jackson and Webster counties. In its place, the district picked up all of Boone, Cooper, Howard, and Randolph counties, part of Audrain County, and the remainder of Cass County. The district now includes the Cass County portion of Kansas City. The new map also pushed the district further into Camden County.
In her first contest in the newly drawn district, Hartzler easily won the Republican primary with 84% against Bernie Mowinski and went on to comfortably win the general election with 60.3% against Democratic Cass County Prosecuting Attorney Teresa Hensley.
Hartzler won nearly 75% of the party vote in the Republican congressional primary with John Webb, then went on to easily win the general election with a more than two-to-one margin.
Hartzler won 72% of the party vote in the Republican congressional primary with John Webb, then won the general election with a more than two-to-one margin.Committee on Agriculture
Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management
Subcommittee on Rural Development, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture
Committee on Armed Services
Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces
Subcommittee on Military Personnel
Subcommittee on Readiness
House Budget Committee
In October 2015, Hartzler was named to serve on the Select Investigative Panel on Planned Parenthood.Republican Study Committee
Tea Party Caucus
Congressional Cement Caucus
Veterinary Medicine Caucus
Hartzler is an outspoken opponent of abortion.
Hartzler opposes gay marriage. She states that "Missourians have overwhelmingly voted to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman." The latest Missouri polls on the issue of gay marriage show that Missourians oppose gay marriage 47% to 41% with a margin of error of 3.6.
Hartzler voted NO on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
At a town hall meeting in Missouri on April 5, 2012, Hartzler expressed doubts regarding President Barack Obama's birth certificate.
Hartzler is a staunch opponent of the Affordable Care Act and a supporter of the American Health Care Act.
In September 2013, Hartzler voted in favor of a $39 billion reduction in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Benefits (aka "food stamps"). This bill was separate for the first time in over three decades from farm subsidies, which were increased. Hartzler is a direct recipient of farm subsidies, and has received over $800,000 to date.
On November 18, 2014, during the worst early season cold snap in the U.S. since 1976, Hartzler made a joke about climate change on Twitter. "Global warming strikes America! Brrrr!" The quip was rebutted in detail by The Washington Post, which reported that her district in Missouri is among the areas most severely impacted by climate change in the United States. She voted to approve the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline on the federally protected lands of Indigenous people.
In January 2017, Hartzler made a statement supporting President Donald J Trump's ban on immigrants from seven Muslim countries and halting the U.S. Refugee program for 120 days. In her statement, Hartzler drew equivalency between Trump's executive order and Obama's 2011 policy that slowed immigration from Iraq by saying they were "similar".
In February 2017, Hartzler supported Trump's rollback of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
On June 29, 2017 Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler made the following statement after the House Armed Services Committee markup of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act:
“The Obama transgender policy, which was implemented without input from Members of Congress, is ill-conceived and contrary to our goals of increasing troop readiness and investing defense dollars into addressing budget shortfalls of the past. By recruiting and allowing transgender individuals to serve in our military we are subjecting taxpayers to high medical costs including up to $130,000 per transition surgery, lifetime hormone treatments, and additional surgeries to address the high percentage of individuals who experience complications. Surgeries alone could cost $1.35 billion over the next 10 years. For perspective, examples of other things the DoD could spend $1.35 billion on include 13 F-35's, 14 Super Hornet F-18’s, 2 B-21 long-range strike bombers, 8 KC-46's, all A-10 wing replacements or increased end strength of our troops.
This policy is costly and a threat to our readiness. The deployability of individuals going through the sex transition process is highly problematic, requiring 210 to 238 work days where a soldier is non-deployable after surgery. This recovery time equates to 1.4 million manpower days where transgender personnel cannot deploy and fight our nation’s wars, therefore relying on an already stressed force to pick up the burden. It makes no sense to purposely recruit individuals who cannot serve. Transgendered individuals undergoing treatment are not eligible for special duties like flying status, personnel reliability program, and jobs requiring certain Security Clearances.
This is also an issue of fairness. Currently we refuse entrance into our armed forces for lesser physical issues, such as flat feet, bunions, asthma, and sleep walking. I had a constituent denied entrance into the JAG program because she had a bunion, yet accession standards are set to be modified to allow transgendered individuals into a military where they will be unable to fully serve. This is a senseless and highly unfair double standard.
Military service is a privilege — not a right — predicated on the singular goal of fighting and winning our nation’s wars. All decisions on personnel and funding should be made with this in mind. High entry and retention standards are required because failure in the job costs lives. Last year's transgender decision is costly in dollars and short on common sense.”
Although her amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 was rejected in a 209-214 vote, and she did not speak with President Trump directly, the president announced via Twitter on July 26, 2017 that he would ban transgender people to serve in U.S. military. She was "very pleased that he listened and he acted decisively and will help restore our military’s readiness.”
Hartzler lives on a farm near Harrisonville with her husband Lowell and their daughter.Vicky Hartzler, Running God's Way, Pleasant Word (a division of WinePress Publishing; December 13, 2007); ISBN 978-1-4141-1124-7