Sam Graves

Sam Graves

MISSOURI's 6th DISTRICT

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then, because we’ll be right back at this same place whenever that money is spent and whenever those projects are outdated.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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A Voice for Agriculture in Washington D.C.

2017/04/24

In the coming days, one of the last of the President's 15 Cabinet Secretaries will be confirmed by the Senate. Sonny Perdue, who was raised by farmers and was Georgia’s Governor from 2003-2011, will then become the 31st Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Agriculture is one of the few sectors in which America has a trade surplus with other nations. It’s even more important to North Missouri - where the economies of so many of our rural communities are driven by farming.

That’s why it’s so important to me - as one of the handful of farmers in Congress - to be a voice for agriculture in Washington, D.C.A host of factors are constantly at work against farmers and the agriculture industry. Aside from the huge costs of starting out, which prevent young Americans from getting into farming in the first place, we’re also price takers on both sides - on all of our inputs and all of our outputs. When you add in the uncertainty of relying on Mother Nature, it makes our industry that much more volatile and that much more difficult.

But America’s farmers feed the world. That’s why we need to continue working to get young people farming, supporting groups like the Missouri Farm Bureau and FFA that do a great job promoting agriculture.

Last week I spent time traveling around North Missouri, speaking with people in our communities and visiting some of the businesses that employ them. One of those events was an agriculture town hall at the Kirksville farm campus of Truman State University. I got to talk with people from across northeast Missouri about the problems facing the Ag industry, as well as a host of other issues.

A recent Mizzou study on agriculture trends showed us that financial pressures on the U.S. farm sector continue to deter America’s youth from entering the business of feeding the world. That's a huge problem.

Over the next few months, the House Agriculture Committee and every farmer in Congress - myself included - will begin crafting the next Farm Bill. In it, we must emphasize partnerships with the private sector that can train and attract a new generation of American farmer. Because a future without farms is simply not an option.

Sincerely,

 
Sam Graves

 

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Sam Graves Introduces House Companion to Fairness for Pilots Act

2017/04/21

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Sam Graves, along with Representatives Todd Rokita (R-IN), Dan Lipinski (D-IL), and Collin Peterson (D-MN), today introduced the House companion to the Fairness for Pilots Act. A similar version of this legislation was introduced previously as the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2. It builds on the original Pilot’s Bill of Rights, which was signed into law into 2012.

“As a pilot and Co-Chairman of the General Aviation Caucus, I have always felt the responsibility to be a voice for GA in the Capitol,” Representative Graves said. “Unnecessary regulations and bureaucratic barriers cost the industry jobs and prevent pilots from flying. I’m proud today to introduce a bill that improves upon the protections established under the original Pilots Bill of Rights, ensuring we can continue safely taking to the skies and operating as a valuable and vibrant component of the U.S. economy.”

This legislation specifically gives pilots additional protections when facing investigation from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It increases due process protections for airmen by ensuring pilots can access flight record data maintained by contract towers, flight service stations, and controller training programs.

 

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A Global Force For Good

2017/04/10

We live in a dangerous world. That’s undeniable. But it doesn’t mean there aren’t steps the United States of America can take to make the world a safer place.

Last week more than 80 people were murdered in a horrific chemical weapons attack on the northern Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun. On Thursday night, the United States launched a targeted strike on the airfield in Syria from where that chemical attack was launched.

Our response makes clear that the United States is committed to preventing international war crimes and that we strongly condemn the use of weapons of mass destruction, especially against innocent civilians. I will continue to support any effort to ensure the Assad regime is held accountable for that atrocity.

It’s critical for Congress to work with the President and the Pentagon to craft a prudent and responsible path forward in Syria. And that’s why it’s so important for America to continue investing in our military, ensuring it remains the strongest and most well-equipped force for good in this world.

Last month I joined a bipartisan majority in the House in helping to pass the Department of Defense Appropriations for 2017. But as the Senate stalls on this desperately needed bill, the House Armed Services Committee is working to ensure our military gets the long-term funding they deserve.

Plain and simple, a short term budget would be devastating to our men and women in uniform.

Without it, we would be leaving our military vulnerable at a time we can least afford it. We would break faith with service members and their families, cutting pay and delaying deployment announcements until the last minute.

Without it, we would be shrinking our military even further – doubling down on the cuts our armed forces suffered through under President Obama.

And without a real defense appropriations bill, the Air Force would be unable to retain pilots; the Navy would be unable to deploy ships to Europe and the Middle East; and the Marine Corps will run the risk of having too few munitions to respond to a crisis.

A fundamental responsibility of the federal government is to ensure our military remains the strongest on earth. And part of that is doing everything possible to support the men and women who risk their lives to serve our country. As your Representative and a member of the House Armed Services Committee, that will continue to be my top priority in Washington.

Sincerely,
 
Sam Graves

 

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Graves Responds to American Missile Strikes in Syria

2017/04/07

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Sam Graves issued the following statement in response to last night’s American missile strikes in Syria. Earlier this week more than 80 people were killed in a chemical attack on the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun. On Thursday night the United States launched a targeted strike on the airfield in Syria from where that chemical attack was launched. 

“This week dozens of innocent people were murdered in a horrific chemical weapons attack in Syria. Our response makes clear that the United States is committed to preventing international war crimes and that we strongly condemn the use of weapons of mass destruction, especially against innocent civilians. I applaud President Trump for his decisive action and will continue to support any effort to ensure Assad is held accountable,” Rep. Graves said.

 

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Sam Graves Hosts Discussion on Local Challenges for Rebuilding National Infrastructure

2017/04/05

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Sam Graves this morning led a hearing focused on local-level implementation of the FAST Act. Graves heard from representatives of local and state level entities responsible for completing infrastructure programs on some of this country’s most critical transportation arteries.

Rep. Graves is the Chairman of the House Subcommittee directing Highway and Transit policy. Asked to testify at his hearing this morning were Atlanta, Georgia Mayor Kasim Reed; President of the Dallas, Texas Area Rapid Transit system Gary Thomas; and Michael Patterson, the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

“I was glad today to continue the discussion on implementation of the federal Highway Bill with those who understand these issues best,” Rep. Graves said. “But more importantly, we must use this opportunity to examine how we can begin reinventing America’s infrastructure for the 21st century. I was encouraged to see our witnesses highlight the importance of new, innovative funding models for our transportation systems, and I look forward to continue pursuing these solutions going forward.”

 

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2017 Official Constituent Survey

2017/04/04

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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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