Sam Graves

Sam Graves

MISSOURI's 6th DISTRICT

The Biggest Troop Pay Raise This Decade

2017/07/17

It's easy to praise the work our military men and women do. We can talk about how grateful we are for those who defend our freedoms, or how we owe it to them to provide every resource possible in return for their sacrifices.

But without action, all that talk is just talk. And when people in Congress or the White House don't appreciate how important the U.S. military is for global security, it has significant - and dangerous - consequences across the world.

As a Member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am fortunate to have a role in shaping our national defense policy. And last week I helped pass H.R. 2810, which gives our troops their largest pay raise in eight years and boosts defense spending by 10 percent over last year’s levels. It passed the House by a bipartisan margin of 344-81.

In addition to the troop pay raise, H.R. 2810 complies with the Army, Navy, and Air Force’s requests for thousands of additional personnel, and increases missile defense funding by $2.5 billion. It also includes my request to secure modernization of the Air National Guard’s C-130H fleet.

The C-130H is such an important aircraft to our military, and serves as a force multiplier to active duty, reserve and guard units across the world. It is often on the front lines of combat, protecting the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans, and it also serves vital humanitarian purposes throughout the globe.

Providing for our national defense is the primary responsibility of the federal government - and it’s always been my top priority in Congress. I’m happy to have helped pass a bill that strengthens our military while ensuring our troops get the treatment and pay they deserve, and I look forward to seeing these policies signed into law by the President in the coming months.

Sincerely,
 
Sam Graves

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Graves Votes to Give Troops their Biggest Raise this Decade

2017/07/14

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Sam Graves issued the following statement after today helping pass the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018. H.R. 2810, which gives our troops their largest pay raise in eight years, also boosts defense spending by 10 percent over last year’s level. It passed the House with a bipartisan vote of 344-81.

“Our military men and women – and their families – make such enormous sacrifices to defend this country, but they can’t do it on their own,” said Rep. Graves, a member of the House Committee on Armed Services. “That’s why securing our national defense is the primary responsibility of the federal government – and it’s always been my top priority in Congress. I’m happy to have helped pass a bill today that strengthens our military while ensuring our troops get the treatment and pay they deserve.”

In addition to the troop pay raise, H.R. 2810 aims to ensure our military men and women have the tools they need to complete missions safely and efficiently. It bill complies with the Army, Navy, and Air Force’s requests for thousands of additional personnel, and increases missile defense funding by $2.5 billion. Finally, this year’s National Defense bill included Rep. Graves’ request to secure modernization of the Air National Guard’s C-130H fleet, specifically the T56 3.5 engine modifications and the NP2000 eight-bladed propeller systems.

“The C-130H is such an important aircraft to our military, and serves as a force multiplier to active duty, reserve and guard units across the world,” Rep. Graves concluded. “It is often on the front lines of combat, protecting the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans, and it also serves vital global humanitarian purposes."

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"Deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed"

2017/07/04

Thomas Jefferson is arguably the most important person in American history.

He executed one of our biggest ever land deals, he forged alliances with foreign powers that were critical to the survival of our union, and his philosophies on liberty and self-governance became central tenants of the U.S. Constitution.

But of all his accomplishments, perhaps most important was when he put down these 55 words in the Declaration of Independence.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

On this, the anniversary of our Independence, Jefferson’s words remain as true today as they were 241 years ago. The guiding principle of this experiment in representative Democracy is that our government derives its powers from those it governs.

We still adhere to the beliefs that all men are created equal. Regardless of our occupation, wealth, background or origin, we all have the same freedom of opportunity, and the decisions of those in government can never change that.

But from Thomas Jefferson to Ronald Reagan, the greatest political minds in our country have held onto the belief that nothing is guaranteed, that we are promised nothing if the people do not stand up and force its government to uphold that principle.

In his address to the 1964 Republican National Convention, Ronald Reagan famously reminded us that “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” 

On this July 4th, we must remember the role we all have to play in preserving our freedoms. Otherwise, as President Reagan said, “One day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

Sincerely,

Sam Graves

 

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Sam Graves Votes to Pass Kate's Law, Institute Harsher Penalties for Deported Felons Who Re-Enter the U.S.

2017/06/29

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Sam Graves issued the following statement after this afternoon helping pass two bills that strengthen our nation’s illegal immigration laws. H.R. 3004, or Kate’s Law, will institute harsher penalties on deported felons who reenter into the United States. H.R. 3003, the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, blocks federal funds to “Sanctuary Cities” that shield illegal immigrants from deportation.

“There is no reason why any city in this country should refuse to enforce laws against illegal immigrants,” Rep. Graves said. “That punishes everyone who follows our laws, it sends the wrong message to those looking to come to the U.S. illegally, and it can have devastating consequences for our people, as we saw in the tragic death of Kate Steinle on July 1, 2015.

“I’ve always believed that there is nothing wrong with legal immigration, but it has to be legal. The problem is that some cities across the country fail to recognize the dangers of illegal immigration, which is just that - illegal. The bills passed by the House today will work to prevent these tragedies in the future, making sure American cities enforce illegal immigration laws, and felons who are deported out of the country stay that way.”

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ICYMI: Sam Graves Delivers Closing Statement on FAA Reauthorization During T&I Markup

2017/06/28

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Sam Graves delivered the following remarks to the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee during markup of T&I’s FAA reauthorization bill. The 21st Century AIRR Act passed the Committee by a vote of 32-25.

 

For the last three years, those of us in this Committee and representatives from across the aviation industry have debated the necessity of comprehensive air traffic control reform.

Last year, a bill worked through T&I to comprehensively reform America’s ATC system. I felt, however, that it ultimately created more problems than it solved.

Since then, I’ve had numerous discussions with Chairman Shuster regarding FAA Reauthorization, and the best approaches for keeping our skies safe and free. I commend the Chairman for his genuine commitment to addressing my concerns and working through these issues. Because of that commitment, our ability to find compromise, and our shared desire to shape a bill that’s in the best interest of aviation and our country as a whole, I am here today supporting this legislation.

I’ve been a pilot for virtually my entire life, and I’ve been interacting with people in this community for about two decades now. From daily conversations with other pilots to personal experiences I’ve had, I extensively understand the issues facing this industry. These are the areas where I focused my attention during this debate, and I feel very confident that we’ve addressed them here.

Among those issues were guaranteeing no user fees were levied on any segment of general aviation; maintaining parity on the governing board; protecting access to American airspace, air traffic services and airports for all segments of the aviation industry; and ensuring the long term sustainability of the Airport Improvement Program, or AIP, which is the main source of funds for our small airports.

With those issues off the table, the final question that remains is a simple one. Do we trust the government or a private entity to more efficiently manage our nation’s air traffic control network?

As a conservative, the answer for me is an easy one. The federal government should not be managing our ATC system.

The public sector has never been defined by its efficiency. And the private sector has always been better positioned to oversee a project that’s completed on time and under budget.

The FAA is no different. No federal agency, including the FAA, has been properly equipped to successfully deliver on a long-term capital project like NextGen because there are simply too many barriers in the federal procurement process, not the least of which is funding uncertainty created by the political process. And I know we can do better.

When we talk about FAA reauthorization, I think about protecting the skies so all of aviation can continue flying safely, securely and freely. This is the beginning of a long process, and we’re in the very beginning stages. Regardless, I support the bill before us today. And I look forward to continuing to work with the Chairman and my colleagues to ensure we have a final product that is positive for all of aviation as this bill makes its way through Congress.

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The House Will Vote on "Kate's Law" This Week

2017/06/26

On July 1, 2015, 32-year-old Kate Steinle was tragically shot and killed while the walking the streets of San Francisco with her father. The bullet came from a gun stolen by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an immigrant who had re-entered this country illegally after being deported for committing a separate crime.

This week, the U.S. House will vote on H.R. 3004, legislation that will increase the criminal penalties for deported felons who come back into the United States. Kate's Law, as it is also known, is designed to prevent any American from facing a tragedy like Kate Steinle and her family did two years ago Saturday.

I’ve always said that there is nothing wrong with legal immigration. But it has to be legal. The problem is that some misguided federal policies - and certain cities across the country - fail to recognize the dangers of illegal immigration.

Illegal immigration is just that - illegal. And regardless of the reason they are here, illegal immigrants are still living here illegally. One of the things that frustrates me most about Washington D.C. is that people seem to forget that.

The horrible death of Kate Steinle highlights the real consequences of Sanctuary Cities and weak illegal immigration laws. Even though Lopez-Sanchez had seven felony convictions and had been deported multiple times, he was still released by the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office when detained prior to Steinle's death.

There is no reason why any city in this country should refuse to enforce laws against illegal immigrants. It punishes everyone who follows our laws, it sends the wrong message to the rest of the world, and it can have devastating consequences for our people. I look forward to voting for a bill this week to help make sure that never happens again.

Sincerely,
 
Sam Graves

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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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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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