Audio: Northern Missouri congressman focusing on navigation and flood control

Sam Graves

A congressman who represents northern Missouri describes the Port of St. Joseph as a major economic engine, saying farmers up and down the Missouri River depend on it to get grain to market.

U.S. Rep. Sam Graves, R-Tarkio, met separately last week with both Missouri Farm Bureau and the Coalition to Protect the Missouri River in St. Joseph and says both groups understand the importance of navigation and flood control along the Missouri.

“Navigation is vitally important to folks that want to protect the river and to be able to use the river for commerce, and we’re seeing a lot of opportunities in St. Joseph and all along the river for that matter,” Graves says.

He also says farmers up and down the river depend on the Port of St. Joseph to get fertilizer products to their fields.

Graves, the ranking Republican on the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, also traveled to northeast Missouri last week. He says levee districts along the Mississippi River are facing many challenges as they work to rebuild after the flood of 2019.

He says residents in that area are vulnerable.

“It makes it very hard to go back in and try to rebuild your house or redo your house when you’ve got the opportunity that it could flood again,” says Graves.

Northeast Missouri saw major flooding in 2019, and the Missouri National Guard’s 35th Brigade was brought in to assist along the Mississippi River in Clarksville.

Missouri Farm Bureau says more than 1.4 million acres of farmland in the state went unplanted in 2019, due to flooding.

During an interview with Missourinet, Congressman Graves also says the U.S. Post Office is critical for his rural district, which has a large elderly population. Graves was one of 26 House Republicans on Capitol Hill who voted for the recent $25 billion Post Office bill.

“I’m a big believer in six-day (mail) delivery and making sure that folks are able to get their prescriptions or whatever it is that is coming in the mail,” Graves says.

President Donald Trump (R) has blasted the post office bill, describing it as a waste of money.

Graves represents 36 counties across northern Missouri, from river to river. The district has more square miles than nine U.S. states. It includes St. Joseph, Bethany, Chillicothe, Hannibal, and Clarksville.

Click here to listen to Brian Hauswirth’s full interview with U.S. Rep. Sam Graves, R-Tarkio, which was recorded on September 4, 2020:



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Brian Hauswirth

About Brian Hauswirth

Brian Hauswirth began as Missourinet news director in July 2016. He anchors daily newscasts, simulcasts and special reports from the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City, where he primarily covers the Missouri House and numerous legislative committee hearings.