Sam Graves

Sam Graves

MISSOURI's 6th DISTRICT

A Literal Lifeline to Middle America - Rural Hospitals Need Our Help

2017/06/19

Rural hospitals are a literal lifeline for tens of millions of people across this country. In communities that don’t have enough primary care doctors or health facilities, rural hospitals provide a critical, lifesaving service that otherwise would not be here for us.

Unfortunately, about 80 rural hospitals have closed since 2010. What’s worse, one third of all rural hospitals in the U.S. could close in the next few years. That’s 12 million Americans at risk of losing access to the closest emergency room. A devastating number, and something we can’t allow to continue in rural America.

Cuts to hospital payments have worsened the problem, and as populations decrease in rural communities, so-called “medical desserts” are popping up across rural America. It leaves people living on farms or in small towns dangerously vulnerable to medical emergency - particularly older Americans.

This week, I am joining with my colleague from Iowa, Dave Loebsack, to introduce the Save Rural Hospitals Act. This bipartisan bill looks to reverse the trend of rural hospital closures, in part by eliminating unrealistic federal regulations like the “96 hour rule,” which forces rural hospitals to move a patient within 96 hours in order to get reimbursed by Medicare.

The average rural hospital creates 195 jobs and generates $8.4 million in annual payroll. But more than that, these facilities make communities livable, ensuring a doctor isn’t far away when a medical emergency strikes.

This bill shines a light on the rural health crisis in Missouri and across the country. If we accept this reality - and neglect this much needed conversation - rural hospitals in Missouri will continue to close. This leaves thousands without access to health care, putting lives in jeopardy and affecting every family in Middle America. That’s simply not acceptable.

Sincerely,
 
Sam Graves

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Graves Introduces FLIGHT Act in the House

2017/06/13

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Sam Graves issued the following statement after introducing H.R. 2879, the House companion to legislation introduced by Senators Jim Inhofe (OK) and Tammy Duckworth (IL). The Forward Looking Investment in General Aviation, Hangars, and Tarmacs (FLIGHT) Act of 2017 will help small and rural airports make investments needed to support general aviation transportation across the country.  

“General aviation is an essential form of transportation in this country, but that is especially true in rural America. As the small airports supporting GA age, our facilities need to be modernized to continue providing reliable service to these communities,” Rep. Graves said. “The FLIGHT Act will give GA airports investment flexibility by opening up existing funding sources, presenting a much-needed, commonsense solution to the problems facing our nation’s small airports. I thank Senators Inhofe and Duckworth for their work on this in the Senate, and I look forward to partnering with Congresswoman Bustos to see this bill through the House.”

As a senior member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee and an ATP-certified commercial pilot, Graves brings a unique perspective to the effort to support small and rural airports. In addition to opening up funding sources for airport improvement programs, his bill will also streamline environmental review processes and incentivizes public private partnerships in America’s small airports.

“So many of the small towns and rural areas in our region depend on general aviation airports, and we need to ensure that they have the tools and resources necessary to succeed,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “The FLIGHT Act will give general aviation airports more flexibility with federal funding to complete improvement projects and support local jobs and economic development. I’m proud to work across the aisle with Congressman Graves on this important issue, and I’ll continue fighting to make job-creating investments in all our airports, big and small.”

Many small airports across the country also manage military-related air operations, which directly supports the readiness of our armed services. In addition, H.R. 2879 designates certain airports across the country as “Disaster Relief Airports” and provides funding to use for required emergency planning activities. This provision ensure these airports have the resources to respond to disasters in a timely and efficient manner.

“We commend Representatives Graves and Bustos for their commitment to general aviation as the FLIGHT Act—among other things—will reinvest much-needed funding into non-primary airports across the country,” said Mark Kimberling, President and CEO of the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO). “We look forward to continuing our work together throughout the legislative process and beyond to ensure that our national network of general aviation airports remains the envy of the world.”

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Sam Graves Sends Highway Trust Fund Letter with Majority of House, GOP Support

2017/06/12

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Sam Graves today sent their letter calling for a long-term fix to the Highway Trust Fund to Ways & Means Chairman Kevin Brady. Graves, the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Highways & Transit, generated support from over 250 members of Congress in the bipartisan letter, including from 119 Republicans.

“The president has made rebuilding our transportation network a priority, and rightfully so,” Graves said. “But, instead of thinking a one-time, trillion dollar investment would solve our long-term infrastructure problems, my focus is on making sure we’re being responsible in how we plan for and fund projects in the future.”

Although Graves’ subcommittee is responsible for overseeing highway policy in the House, the Ways & Means Committee has jurisdiction over its funding component. But with the future of America’s surface transportation network relying on HTF solvency, Graves has made developing a long-term fix to the trust fund a central priority.

“The best thing we can do for this country’s transportation infrastructure is bring long-term certainty to the Highway Trust Fund,” Graves continued. “What we need is a modern, sustainable system that keeps revenues flowing so states are able to invest in projects as they come up, not once it’s too late.

“As Washington focuses in on tax and infrastructure reform, we have the perfect opportunity to fix the HTF. The overwhelming support generated on this letter is a critical step in this process, and I look forward to continuing these discussions with Chairman Brady and the rest of his committee."

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More Government isn't Good Government - It's Usually the Opposite

2017/06/12

We see it all the time when Washington tries to step in and solve all of our problems. Laws that are well-intentioned but poorly designed end up causing more harm than good, creating new problems and new things for Washington to “fix.”

A perfect example of that is the Dodd-Frank Act, which was signed into law under President Obama in response to the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008. The law was meant to put a check on the Wall Street banks whose irresponsibility helped create that crisis, but the issue was much more complicated than that.

I’ve never believed that government - especially in Washington - can wave a magic wand and fix economic issues that pop up in a free-market system. It’s not the federal government’s job to save failing industries, and it’s certainly its responsibility to pick winners and losers in the market.

No one argues that Wall Street needs some commonsense regulation. But more regulation isn’t always good regulation, and more government surely isn’t always good government. I’ve usually found it’s just the opposite.

Dodd-Frank exploded the size of government, with more pages of rules and regulations than any other Obama-era law. Even Obamacare. What’s worse, the bad actors who helped caused the financial collapse were given a blank check, as Dodd-Frank made the policies of “too big to fail” part of federal law.

As a result, big banks on Wall Street have gotten bigger, and community banks across the country have been closing in record numbers. That sends ripples throughout the economy of Middle America, leaving entrepreneurs and farmers with no one to turn to for business loans or access to capital.

Last week, I helped pass H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act, which repeals Dodd-Frank and 'too big to fail,' makes taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street a thing of the past, and will remove costly regulations on community banks that have made it impossible for them to compete with big banks in urban areas. The Congressional Budget Office also estimates that the CHOICE Act will cut the federal deficit by $24 billion over the next 10 years.

To get the economic growth this country needs, we rely on entrepreneurs and small companies to have every resource they need to invest in their businesses and create jobs. This cannot happen without the community banks that provide capital to small and medium-sized business. The House’s repeal of Dodd-Frank is a critical first step in that process.

Sincerely,

 
Sam Graves

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Graves Votes to Repeal Dodd-Frank, End Era of Big Bank Bailouts

2017/06/08

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Sam Graves issued the following statement after today voting to repeal the Obama-era law known as Dodd-Frank. Graves opposed the bank bailouts after the 2007-08 financial crisis, while also voting against allowing the federal government to bail out the auto industry. H.R. 10 passed the House by a vote of 233-185.

“Just like we see all the time when Washington tries to step in and fix all of our problems, Dodd-Frank caused more harm than good, and it hurt the same people it was supposed to help,” Rep. Graves said. “What’s worse, it hit rural America the hardest, allowing big banks to get bigger while crushing small businesses and farmers’ ability to get the loans they need. The bill passed today repeals 'too big to fail,' and makes taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street a thing of the past.”

Since Dodd-Frank was passed in 2010, community banks unable to comply with the law’s costly rules and regulations have been closing in record numbers. And while corporations in big cities can access capital from large banks, that’s simply not the case for many businesses and job creators in Missouri. Ultimately, the consequences of Dodd-Frank put small communities at a disadvantage, making it harder for entrepreneurs and farmers in rural areas to take out loans that keep their businesses growing and put Americans to work.

 

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On Memorial Day, Count Your Blessings

2017/05/29

Memorial Day is a time to honor all of those who have given their lives in defense of this country. It reminds us how lucky we are to live free in a land of democracy and opportunity. It also reminds us that this freedom has come at an extraordinarily high cost.

Nothing we do on Memorial Day will bring back those we lost in battle. Scars of families torn about by war fade, but they never heal.

At the very least, though, Memorial Day is a time to think about how truly fortunate we all are to call this place home. To have the freedoms and rights guaranteed at birth that so many have died fighting for throughout history.

This Memorial Day, join me in remembering those who have made the ultimate sacrifice defending the greatest beacon of hope this world has ever known. And please say a prayer for all of those still fighting for that cause.

Count your blessings today, and remember how important it is for God to continue blessing the United States of America.

Sincerely, 
 
Sam Graves

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Graves Responds to Blue KC's Announcement to Discontinue Obamacare Plans

2017/05/25

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Sam Graves issued the following statement in response to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City’s (Blue KC) announcement that it will not offer or renew individual Obamacare plans in 2018. This decision will affect approximately 67,000 Kansas City-area residents, but does not change individual plans that were purchased on or prior to October 1, 2013.

“I have said over and over that the federal government was never meant to control our healthcare system – and this is a perfect example of why,” Rep. Graves said. “The average Missourian’s premium increased by 28% in 2017, leaving fewer people able to afford coverage and forcing insurance companies to walk away from huge marketplaces – just like what happened on Wednesday.

“Blue KC’s decision is a direct result of Obamacare’s failures, and it’s a sign of worse things to come. That’s why I’ll continue working to fully repeal and replace it.”

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Investing in Infrastructure - The Right Way

2017/05/22

Over the past year, the American people have made it clear that rebuilding our transportation network is a huge priority for this country. And when the people speak, it’s on Congress to act.

President Trump has talked at length about a $1 trillion bill to invest in our infrastructure. It’s true that we need to rebuild our bridges, repair our roads, refill potholes and rethink our transportation network entirely.

But, as the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, my real focus is on making sure we’re being responsible in how we pay for this plan. It is obviously nowhere near as simple as thinking we can throw $1 trillion at our infrastructure and then declare the problem solved.

It isn’t solved then, because we’ll be right back at this same place whenever that money is spent and whenever those projects are outdated. And that will happen.

The Highway Trust Fund - which funnels transportation revenues to states and allows them to invest in infrastructure as they see fit - needs to be redesigned for the 21st century. As vehicles on the road become more and more fuel efficient, the trust fund becomes less and less solvent.

What we need is a modern, sustainable, well-designed trust fund system that keeps revenues flowing and allows states to invest with clarity and certainty. With the senior position I hold on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, my focus is on finding that solution.

This will take creativity, compromise, and hard work, but that can be said for every legitimate solution to our most pressing problems. Goods and people moving keep our economy growing. But that can't - and won't - continue if our roads crumble, our bridges age and our infrastructure falls behind the rest of the world.

We need a fix to the HTF to solve those problems. And I intend to find it.

Sincerely,
 
Sam Graves

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Education is the Key to Success - So Let's Celebrate our Educators

2017/05/08

A look into the teaching profession in this country is pretty telling. Our teachers are expected to be highly dedicated, overly qualified, and uniquely skilled – capable of managing 30 or more young people while preparing them for productive lives.

Aside from a parent, no one can have a bigger impact on a child than a good teacher. And almost everyone has had a teacher leave a lasting impression on their life. But, somehow, the profession is tremendously underappreciated in this country. That's a disgrace.

Each May, America takes a few days to recognize the people who help mold and educate our children. This year, Teacher Appreciation Week is May 8-12, giving us the opportunity to show educators just how important they are to our communities.  

Studies have shown that an exceptional, high-performing teacher can impart a year and a half's worth of learning to a student in just one year. But their compensation doesn’t reflect that. Consider this - if teacher pay had risen in proportion to per-pupil spending since 1970, the average teacher would make more than $120,000 today. 

And what’s worse, about half of all public school teachers leave the profession within five years of starting out.

There is no magic fix to our nation’s education system. But attacking teachers and the public schools they work tirelessly to improve is the absolute worst place to start. Public schools need to be supported, not marginalized. And their teachers should be celebrated, not vilified.

Some people in this country think a voucher program is the cure to struggling public schools. In reality, that would do the exact opposite of what we all want.

Vouchers take money from schools that need it most, adding to the financial strain already on so many school districts, and make life more difficult for families that have no other options anywhere nearby.

America’s school system is not perfect. But the teachers who work hard every day in the classroom are one of the best assets we have. Doing everything we can to support them should be a focus all year long, not just during Teacher Appreciation Week.

Sincerely,
 
Sam Graves

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Let's Celebrate Small Business Week with Tax Reform

2017/05/01

This week is the 54th annual National Small Business Week, a time to celebrate the contributions of small businesses to the American economy. North Missouri, like the rest of the country, relies on small businesses to spur growth, put people to work, and put food on our tables.

I’ve said it over and over again – about 7 of every 10 new jobs in this country come from our small businesses. But the federal government’s policies haven’t always reflected their value.

An outdated tax code and a barrage of regulations make it difficult for American entrepreneurs and businesses to create new jobs and spur economic growth.

The Trump administration has already begun to scale back some of the Obama-era regulations that have stunted the economy. But that’s simply not enough – and no one will benefit more from tax reform than small businesses and the tens of millions of Americans who work for them.

Right now we have the best chance for tax reform that we’ve had in over 30 years – a chance to streamline the code and permanently lower rates for every family, individual and small business in America.

My top priority in tax reform is lowering rates for everyone, putting more money in your pockets to spend how you decide - not how Washington decides. My second priority is simplification.

The tax code has increased by 10,000 pages since the last comprehensive tax reform bill was passed in 1986. In total, it’s up to 10 million words. That’s crazy.

The President last week called for the largest tax cut we’ve seen and the broadest push toward simplification in the history of our tax code. That plan includes significant tax relief for the middle class and does away with the death tax for good.

Tax reform will allow America’s 28 million small businesses to continue to thrive. And as we work with the President to get it done, I’m confident we can rebuild our tax code in a way that will grow our economy, give our businesses a competitive advantage over the rest of the world, and return prosperity to this country. Then, hopefully, when Small Business Week 2018 arrives, we’ll have even more to celebrate.

Sincerely,
 
Sam Graves

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Improving Broadband Deployment: Solutions for Rural America

2017-06-22 15:56:15


Partners in Commerce: The Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee

2017-06-21 16:34:33


Chairman Chabot on the Financial CHOICE Act

2017-06-08 20:34:23


A Cautionary Tale: A Review of SBA’s Failed 2014 Agency Restructure

2017-06-14 18:05:20


June 15, 2017 - 5 BILL MARKUP

2017-06-15 16:26:19


All Work and No Pay: Change Orders Delayed for Small Construction Contractors

2017-05-25 15:57:17


Accomplishments and Challenges at the SBA’s Office of International Trade

2017-05-23 16:49:03


SBA’s 7(a) Loan Program: A Detailed Review

2017-05-17 16:57:49


Empowering Small Businesses: The Accelerator Model

2017-05-03 17:12:06


Small Business in the FY2018 NDAA

2017-04-27 17:09:29


Small Business: The Key to Economic Growth

2017-04-27 15:32:23


Storm Watch: Making Sure SBA’s Disaster Loan Program is Prepared

2017-04-26 17:00:58


Scam Spotting: Can the IRS Effectively Protect Small Business Information?

2017-04-06 15:38:29


Taking Care of Small Business: Working Together for a Better SBA

2017-04-05 16:55:04


How many people would it take to do all the federal paperwork?

2017-03-31 14:24:23


Small Business Committee on Bloomberg BNA

2017-03-28 16:30:41


SBA’s Entrepreneurial Development Programs: Resources to Assist Small Businesses

2017-03-30 16:31:18


Evaluating the Paperwork Reduction Act: Are Burdens Being Reduced?

2017-03-29 16:47:54


Chairman Chabot on the Small Business Fairness Act

2017-03-22 19:22:40


The Future of America’s Small Family Farms

2017-03-23 15:34:58


Contact Information

1415 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-7041
Fax 202-225-8221
graves.house.gov/

Congressman Sam Graves is a life long resident of Missouri’s Sixth Congressional District.  As a small businessman and a sixth-generation, full-time family farmer, Sam spent his life working to make Missouri a better place to live, work, and raise a family.

In Congress, Sam serves as the Chairman of the Small Business Committee. Small businesses create 7 out of every 10 jobs in this country. It is important that our policies encourage innovators and entrepreneurs to follow their dreams and create jobs. Sam also serves on the Transportation Committee where he continues to fight for Missouri roads, rivers, bridges, rail lines and airports.

Congressman Graves was born in Tarkio, Missouri on November 7, 1963.  He graduated from Tarkio High School in 1982 and attended college at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he received his degree in Agronomy from the School of Agriculture.

In 1992, Sam won his first race for State Representative.  In 1994, Sam was elected as State Senator for the 12th Senatorial District and was subsequently re-elected in 1998.  Sam’s leadership has not only been recognized by his constituents, but from organizations like the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Development Corporation, and the Missouri State Medical Association.

As a father, farmer, businessman, and former State legislator, Sam knows first hand the values, hopes, and beliefs of the hard-working families of the Sixth District, and will continue to work tirelessly for them in theUnited States House of Representatives.  As your Congressman, Sam will continue to fight for Missouri families.


Serving With

Ann Wagner

MISSOURI's 2nd DISTRICT

Blaine Luetkemeyer

MISSOURI's 3rd DISTRICT

Vicky Hartzler

MISSOURI's 4th DISTRICT

Billy Long

MISSOURI's 7th DISTRICT

Jason Smith

MISSOURI's 8th DISTRICT

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