Where do Representatives Hartzler (R-MO4), Graves (R-MO6), and Smith (R-MO8) stand on slashes to rural economic resources in their districts?
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – As Congressman Billy Long speaks out while the rest of Missouri’s Republicans in Congress remain silent, President Trump’s proposed budget is dividing the state’s GOP delegation over slashes to rural economic resources.
In particular, Trump’s proposed budget eliminates $175 million in resources for small and rural community airports through the Essential Air Service (EAS) program. Those investments directly benefit communities in Missouri including Joplin, Fort Leonard Wood, Kirksville, and Cape Girardeau. Rep. Long opposes Trump’s slashes to EAS, writing that the program in Joplin has been “quite successful” and benefits “individuals with limited resources” in rural areas.
In contrast, Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-MO4) who represents Fort Leonard Wood, Congressman Sam Graves (R-MO6) who represents Kirksville, and Congressman Jason Smith (R-MO8) who represents Cape Girardeau have all remained silent.
“Donald Trump’s budget wouldn’t only gut vital resources for rural Missourians, it’s also driving a wedge between our state’s Republicans in Congress,” stated Missouri Democratic Party Chair Stephen Webber. “In the face of slashes to rural economic resources, Missourians deserve to know which side their officeholders are on. Will Representatives Hartzler, Graves, and Smith take a stand or will they continue to remain silent as their constituents lose out in Trump’s budget?”
- According to the Center for American Progress, the Trump budget proposal eliminates $175 million in funding that supports small and rural community airports via the Essential Air Service. This would cause about 175 small and rural communities – including Joplin, Fort Leonard Wood, Kirksville, and Cape Girardeau – to lose commercial connections to major hub airports.
- Congressman Billy Long defended “the value of the Essential Air Service program” for his district in an Op-Ed for the Springfield News-Leader.