Congressman Sam Graves, R-MO, spoke Friday afternoon at Lovegreen Ford about the importance of small businesses among other issues.
Graves presented a variety of topics including Social Security, health care and gun control and then answered questions from residents and business owners.
Graves also discussed procedures and bills Congress is working on for budget reform, the debt limit, the farm bill and gun control. With each policy, Graves said he wants Congress to make compromises and create solutions so Congress might “move forward.”
During his debriefing, Graves mentioned a bill he helped pass that aims to motivate Congress to pass a budget before May. Otherwise, members of Congress will not be paid.
“Passing a budget is one of [Congress’] constitutional requirements,” Graves said. “We are trying to limit the administration on the amount they can spend on this debt limit increase and then force the Senate to be able to pass a budget so we can start moving forward.”
To limit spending, Graves said government programs such as Social Security, food stamps, Medicare and Medicaid should be delegated to the states. He said he thinks four years of more than one trillion dollars plus deficits could be reduced by new budgets and less federal control.
Graves also discussed the hot-button issue of gun control. He cited video games, television and mental health awareness as factors he said should be more heavily considered when looking at the growing violence problem across the country.
Ultimately, he said he does not anticipate any new firearm legislation passing through the House of Representatives.
“The bottom line is that it is a Second Amendment issue and it needs to be protected,” Graves said. “Quite honestly, if Dianne Feinstein, [D-CA.], tells me I don’t need this weapon or should not be allowed to have it, well, that’s not her damn decision. It’s mine. That’s my choice.”
Kirksville Mayor Richard Detweiler asked Graves what he thought Congress was doing correctly.
Graves said Congress has a history of resolving “tough issues” and authorizing other programs. Graves gave an example of his experience as the Chairman of the House Small Business Committee. He said during his time as Chairman, he worked with other House members to reauthorize the Small Business Innovative Research Program. He said the program provides loans to small businesses that need new technology.
Graves said Congress will have a hearing to evaluate how small businesses are impacted by new legislation. By evaluating new legislation and responses from both small and large businesses, he said he hopes to reduce uncertainty related to taxes and potential tax reforms.
“There are problems or odds that keep a lot of things from happening,” Graves said. “It’s kind of like playing football — you don’t quit in the first quarter. You play all the way to the end and that’s what happens and it comes down to. There are compromises.”