2 years, 6 months ago Bryan Nichols
Discusses small business issues, debt ceiling,and other issues, answers contituent questions.
New Missouri 6th District Representative Sam Graves (R – Tarkio) made several stops around Northeast Missouri yesterday. One of those stops was in Hannibal at Bleigh Ready Mix where he held an open forum for constituents.
More than 75 people showed up to ask questions and hear what was going on in Washington. Most in attendance were small business owners in the area.
Graves, the chair of the House Small Business Committee, mainly focused on taxes, regulations and budgetary issues but also took questions on a variety of different subjects from those in attendance.
Graves said the committee is currently looking at things they can do to help small businesses including the awarding of government contracts.
“The government spends billions of dollars a year on goods and services and we want to see more small businesses participate in those contracts. I’d like to raise the percentage from 23% to 25% of those contracts going to small businesses, “Graves said.
He said regulatory issues were one of the biggest hindrances for small businesses.
“A good example is with the new healthcare bill. The threshold is at 50 employees. If you’re above 50 employees, you get hit pretty hard. If you’re below 50, you don’t. So a lot of these employers are either cutting back to get below 50 or they’re just not hiring and it’s hampering job creation.”
He also said that the biggest issue that he comes across as he visits with constituents is government spending.
“It’s not a revenue problem, it’s a spending problem and it’s gotta be cut back,” said Graves.
“We can’t continue with trillion and a half dollar deficits every year as this President has proposed and done now for four years. We absolutely cannot continue down that road…we can’t sustain it. Just getting the Senate to pass a budget- they haven’t passed a budget in four years- would be huge step in the right direction.”
He said that the House of Representatives took a step towards forcing the Senate to pass a budget just a few days ago. A short term increase in the debt ceiling was passed in the House and as a part of that, the Senate would be required to pass a budget.
“We did increase the debt borrowing capacity through May but one of the provisos in there is that both chambers have to pass a budget or their members don’t get paid until they do pass it,” said Graves.
“What we have always done is give the Treasury department a certain amount of money based on what they said they needed. This time we just gave the Treasury the authority to only borrow money for bills that have come due. They are only allowed to borrow what they need…Secretary Geithner was very frustrated by that. “
Graves said that the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration would kick in if a budget that contained spending cuts and reforms was passed.
“The administration doesn’t want that because they don’t want to see some of the entitlements such as food stamps and Medicaid cut back.”
The Senate is currently considering the measure but has yet to vote on it.
Other subjects addressed during the forum included the farm bill, gun control, filibuster reform, executive actions and earmark reform.
View the full video above to see all of his remarks.