Lawmakers successfully push White House to drop proposal that would hurt small cities and rural communities

Sam Graves

Lawmakers are celebrating the decision to drop a proposal before the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to redefine a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). The proposal would have raised the threshold for an MSA from 50,000 residents to 100,000, which would have eliminated 144 areas from the designation, including St. Joseph.

The move to drop the proposal comes after a June 30th letter in which Congressman Sam Graves joined Governor Mike Parson, Senators Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley, and Representatives Jason Smith, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Vicky Hartzler, Ann Wagner, and Billy Long expressing deep concerns about how the proposal would harm cities stuck in the crosshairs like St. Joseph. Some federal programs and grants utilize the MSA standards to determine eligibility.

“After fielding complaints about this bonehead idea for months, I’m glad the pencil-pushing bureaucrats over at the OMB finally found some common sense,” said Graves. “I’m grateful we were able to talk some sense into them and get this straightened out. This is far from the only example of executive overreach coming out of Washington these days. I’m going to keep holding their feet to the fire and make sure they know what kind of impact proposals like these will have on working Missourians.”    

You can read the June 30th letter here.