St. Joseph News-Press Editorial Board: Return Graves to House

U.S. Rep. Sam Graves seeks a 10th term in Congress and the chance to be the next chairman of the influential House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

It should not be lost on voters of Missouri’s 6th District that a victory for Graves also could be victory for them.

The Republican from Tarkio is in position to contend for this assignment because of his tenure — twice that of his chief rival, a representative from California — and his previous leadership roles, including chairman of the Small Business Committee and chairman of the Transportation Subcommittee on Highways and Transit.

It also is to his credit that Graves comes from a farming background and the only congressional district with boundaries on both the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. He has keen insights into the importance of transportation nationally and to agricultural producers who require a safe and efficient means to get their goods to market.

Graves also has been a voice of reason in calling for the U.S. Corps of Engineers to prioritize flood control and the human population over protection of wildlife habitat along the Missouri River.

On other issues, Graves has been a consistent conservative vote in line with the views of many of his constituents. He advocates for 2nd Amendment rights, was an early proponent of building a wall on the southern U.S. border to stem illegal immigration, and strongly supported the 2017 tax law to lessen taxes on businesses and individuals as a means to stimulate the economy.

Graves spoke out against scrapping the trade deal with Mexico and Canada, but said, “After 24 years, renegotiation was necessary not only to make sure we had the best deal, but to compete in the 21st century.” He has praised the new trade terms with the two countries for helping dairy and poultry farmers and for creating less incentive to move auto manufacturing to Mexico.

A pilot himself, Graves also sits on the Armed Services Committee and has worked effectively to protect the interests of the Air National Guard base in St. Joseph.

The Democratic nominee, Henry Martin of Kansas City, is an educator, coach and Army veteran who served in the Persian Gulf. Martin argues it is time for a change, but he cannot demonstrate he would be a better representative on such important district issues as highways, agriculture and economic development.

We endorse Sam Graves for re-election to the U.S. House on Nov. 6.

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Herald-Whig Editorial: Graves has earned right to keep seat in U.S. House

U.S. REP. Sam Graves has been a champion for progress and prosperity in Northern Missouri during his nearly 18 years in Congress.

He is seeking re-election to a 10th term, and we commend him to voters.

Graves, a Republican from Tarkio, has worked to advance a pro-growth, pro-jobs, pro-small-business agenda to meet the needs of a district that stretches across the northern one-third of the state.

He understands what is necessary to create and retain well-paying jobs, and he recognizes that continuing to upgrade the state’s transportation infrastructure leads that list.

Graves serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which deals with roads, bridges, waterways, railroads and airports. As a senior member, he plans to seek the chairmanship of that panel in the next Congress if Republicans maintain their majority. If successful, that would give this region a strong voice on significant issues.

Graves believes it is essential to look at 21st century alternatives for generating revenue for the Highway Trust Fund. The federal gasoline tax rate of 18.4 cents per gallon was set in 1993, and it has lost 43 percent of its buying power because of inflation, the increasing efficiency of conventional cars and the popularity of electric vehicles.

He noted that in 2015, the year Congress passed the most recent five-year highway bill, federal transportation taxes collected just $39 billion in gas tax revenue to support $52 billion in program commitments. The Congressional Budget Office predicts gas tax revenue will continue its steep decline.

While saying “all options are on the table,” Graves supports replacing the gas tax with a tax on vehicle miles traveled (VMT). He believes a modest VMT user fee on personal and commercial vehicles could raise enough funding to replace the gas tax and exceed current infrastructure obligations.

Congress approved $95 million in the FAST Act to support state experiments with VMT fees. Fourteen Western states are studying everything from pay-at-the-pump options for VMT to interoperability issues when drivers cross state borders, but it could take a decade to implement.

In the meantime, Graves believes an ambitious infrastructure plan proposed by President Donald Trump, which would rely heavily on public-private partnerships, will gain traction in the next Congress and include revenue for highway and river transportation projects.

Graves’ district borders sections of both the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, and he has been a proponent of building 1,200-foot lock chambers along the upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers that would effectively double their capacity to move agriculture and mineral products to national and international markets.

Unfortunately, Congress has been unwilling to commit funds for those vital upgrades since first approving the Water Resources Development Act in 2007.

Graves also believes expanding rural broadband internet service is “vitally important” to the future of businesses, schools and health care providers. He says $255 million in funding from the Federal Communications Commission to address that issue in Missouri is a promising start.

Democrat Henry Martin of Kansas City and Libertarian Dan Hogan of St. Charles County also are running in the 6th District.

Martin is an Army veteran and educator who says infrastructure improvements, better education and justice reform are issues he wants to address in Congress. Hogan, an Amtrak conductor who made an unsuccessful bid for the 3rd District seat in 2016, also served in the Army and believes crumbling infrastructure and the impact of potential trade wars are the two biggest issues facing Missourians.

Neither of the challengers has given voters a reason to oust an experienced and effective officeholder.

U.S. Rep. Sam Graves has served this region well, and we urge his re-election.

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NewsPressNow.com: Graves tours MFA grain facility

NETTLETON, Missouri — North Missouri Congressman Sam Graves was given a close-up look Tuesday at one of the region’s newest and most impressive agricultural facilities.

Graves spent part of the morning on a tour of the MFA Rail Facility in Caldwell County, located 5 miles east of Hamilton, Missouri. The congressman had been aware of the grain-handling facility, but it marked the first time he has been able to step on the grounds since the business opened in the spring of 2017.

“Fantastic facility,” Graves said on his impressions of the tour. “In fact, I wanted to come see it ever since they started construction. … Beautiful.”

“It’s good for the entire area,” Graves said. “They draw grain from a lot of counties. This is a great opportunity.”

Despite the weather, a train was due in on today and is scheduled to take a load of grain from the harvest to Mexico. Soybeans are being shipped to St. Louis for an eventual destination of the Gulf of Mexico. The largest percentage of grain is bought by customers in Arizona.

More trucks and trains are anticipated to arrive as the season continues this month and on into November. All activities are going well, said manager David Jones.

“Beans have yet to get going,” he said.

Graves also observed how employees grade the grain that enters the facility and learned about its storage capacity. Officials told him that 1.3 million bushels of corn were being kept under a tarp due to the rainfall.

Customers are reporting corn yields in a range of 30 to 70 bushels per acre, with the rains arriving too late to make a difference in this year’s crop. The toxic aflatoxin, produced by fungi, was a major problem for corn. Caldwell County Presiding Commissioner Bud Motsinger, who accompanied Graves on the tour, said large amounts of this year’s corn had to be cut for silage due to drought-induced damage.

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Ray Scherer can be reached at ray.scherer@newspressnow.com. Follow him on Twitter: @SJNPScherer.

WGEM TV: Graves meets with farmers in Northeast Missouri

Ewing, MO –

Tri-State farmers got a chance voicing their concerns to 6th District Missouri Congressman Sam Graves (R), who met with farmers in Ewing, Missouri Thursday.

Graves said he’s working on making sure farmers get better prices on corn and soybeans long term.

“We know he’s a farmer, i think he said one of seven production farmers in Washington in the house so,” said local farmer Doug Thomas, who came out to meet Graves today, “we just like to hear him talk about it.”

“It is the long game that we have to worry about, but as farmers you know we’re obviously worried about whatever happens in the short term,” said Graves, “we’ve got a crop coming up, we don’t know if it’s a bumper crop or not, if it’s a bumper crop it’s going to depress prices but the fact of the matter is commodities are very volatile.”

Graves said traders make money from the fluctuation, but new deals like the one recently announced with Mexico, aim to bring the overall prices up.

“In this case the tariffs are going to push it down, they’ll make money on the way down, it will go back up and come back down and come back up,” said Graves, “that’s what commodity prices do, it’s just better when they’re a lot higher particularly for farmers who are trying to make farm payments.”

Local farmers hope to see the congressman’s efforts in Washington continue on their behalf.

“I think in general we need to work on trade, we know there’s some short term pain we’re going to have to feel and we hope it’s for long term gain,” said Thomas, “I think he has the same feelings in mind being a farmer himself.”

Graves also talked about working on better infrastructure for Missouri, and cuts to the EPA that he says helps farmers. After the event, he visited with constituents at the Doyle Manufacturing plant in Palmyra.

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WGEM TV: Congressman hosts town hall meeting at Culver-Stockton College

CANTON, Mo. (WGEM) – U.S. Congressman Sam Graves made a campaign stop in northeast Missouri Tuesday.

He spoke with students and the public at Culver-Stockton College during a town hall meeting.  The republican is running for re-election in the race for the House of Representatives for Missouri District Six.  He touched on a number of issues and encouraged students to get out and vote in November.

“It’s vitally important that they do participate,” Graves said.  “If they don’t participate, then the system completely breaks down. For no other reason, and this is what I told students, no other reason than the legacy that President is going to leave behind and that is the Supreme Court Justices they will appoint.”
“Being able to have the public servants come here and tell you about the business that is going on in Washington right now,” C-SC junior Ben Hooker said.  “Keeping everyone who may not follow politics as closely as I do or someone else being able to stay up to date on the happenings. I think it’s a great opportunity for anyone.”

Graves faces democrat David Blackwell and Libertarian Russ Monchil in the November election.

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KTVO TV: Immigration, highway funding continue to be hot topics for Graves

U.S. Representative Sam Graves of Missouri (R), made a stop in the small town of Greentop Tuesday morning.

There, the Congressman hosted a town hall meeting to hear the concerns and interests of those living in northeast Missouri. Graves said he enjoys having face-to-face discussions with people about topics that impact the country as a whole.

One town hall discussion focused on illegal immigration. Graves said almost 13 million illegal immigrants are living in the country and utilizing welfare benefits.

He says it’s time for the federal government and the Obama Administration to address what he refers to as a ‘matter of national security’.

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Moberly Monitor-Index: Rep. Graves speaks in Salisbury

Congressman Sam Graves spoke to voters Tuesday at Salisbury High School’s showpiece fieldhouse on South Maple Street, as he faced several dozen of his constituents from a multi-county area, part of his August Listening Tour.

At Salisbury, Graves said he wanted to update his audience on the work of the Congress to halt President Obama’s attempts to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants, reduce Second Amendment rights for gun owners and impose federal regulations on farmers through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the USA program. The latter would allow the EPA to regulate ditches, flood plains, ponds, streams and farmlands — a move that Graves pointed out has been bridled by Congress. He also saluted the U.S. Supreme Court for rejecting the president’s attempt to grant amnesty via executive order.

The president, Graves said, has repeatedly demonstrated his “disdain for the Constitution.” He said he did not know who would win the presidential election, but suggested he and his colleagues in the Congress would welcome the chance to work with a new president in passing a conservative budget.

“President Obama cannot regulate what Congress has refused to legislate,” Graves said.

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Liberty Tribune: Second Amendment, government spending highlights of Graves’ visit

Kearney, MO – An hour-long town hall meeting Aug. 17 brought discussions of gun violence, trade and government spending between constituents and U.S. Rep. Sam Graves when the Republican stopped at Reece & Nichols real estate agency, 307 S. Jefferson St. in Kearney, during a tour of the 6th District of Missouri.

At the start of the event, Graves updated a crowd of nearly 70 people on potential points of focus for the upcoming congressional session.

Graves said the Second Amendment has come to the forefront as recent gun violence issues, including the shootings of unarmed African-Americans by police and the shootings of officers, have gripped nation.

Some cities, Graves said, have attempted to pass legislation placing high taxes on firearms sales.

“We are blocking all we can,” he said.

Republicans, he said, are also trying to fight executive orders allowing illegal immigrants to stay in the country.

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Lawmakers find new ground to fight EPA

In the battle against regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency, members of Congress feel they have found new ground on which to skirmish.

Lawmakers believe an EPA-funded informational campaign about its Clean Water Rule crossed the line into advocacy and “propaganda,” at variance with federal law.

A report by the Government Accountability Office in December had already put the agency on notice about these practices.

North Missouri Congressman Sam Graves, long a critic of EPA policies, spoke out this week about the “covert propaganda” spread by the agency regarding a campaign for stricter regulations on agriculture in Washington state.

“The EPA has shown that it’s willing to do whatever it takes to force its radical agenda on rural America,” Graves, a Tarkio Republican, said in a statement.

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Graves supports C-130 revitalization

U.S. Representative Sam Graves gave his public support Thursday for full funding of the Air Force’s C-130H modernization plan and for the construction of four new ‘J’ model transport planes.

“The aircraft is critical for the 139th Airlift Wing (based at St. Joseph’s Rosecrans Memorial Airport) and its ability to support our military men and women across the globe,” Graves said.

The Congressman, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, is working alongside the Chairmen of the House Appropriations Committee and its subcommittee on defense to ensure the Air Force’s plan is funded for full completion.

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