Sam Graves

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Sam Graves
Sam Graves, Official Portrait, c113th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 6th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2001
Preceded by Pat Danner
Chairman of the House Committee on Small Business
In office
January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2015
Preceded by Nydia Velázquez
Succeeded by Steve Chabot
Personal details
Born Samuel Bruce Graves, Jr.
(1963-11-07) November 7, 1963 (age 55)
Tarkio, Missouri, U.S.
Political party Republican
Alma mater University of Missouri, Columbia
Religion Southern Baptist

Samuel Bruce "Sam" Graves, Jr. (born November 7, 1963) is the U.S. Representative for Missouri's 6th congressional district, serving since 2001. He is a member of the Republican Party. The district includes the entire northern third of the state, from the Kansas border to the Illinois border. However, the bulk of its population lives in the northern suburbs of Kansas City.

Early life, education and career

Graves was born in Tarkio, Missouri, a small city not far from the Iowa and Nebraska borders, and was the son of Janice A. (née Hord) and Samuel Bruce Graves. He is a lifelong resident of Tarkio.[citation needed] He graduated from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri.[citation needed]

Missouri Legislature

Graves was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 1992. After only one term, he was elected to the Missouri Senate in 1994.

U.S. House of Representatives

Committee assignments

Caucus Memberships

  • Congressional Cement Caucus

Political positions

Following the economic crisis of Wall Street in September 2008, Graves voted against the proposed bailout of United States financial system, claiming that it neither "punished the wrongdoers nor adequately protected the innocent taxpayers, investors and retirees” caught in the Wall Street banking crisis."[1] In January 2014, Graves introduced the TRICARE Family Improvement Act. The bill would allow dependents of military members to stay on their parents' TRICARE health plan after turning age 26. The bill would change current law, which requires those dependents to change to a separate health plan after turning 26.[2]

Todd Graves controversy

Graves is the brother of Todd Graves, former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri.[3] In October 2008, U.S. Senator Kit Bond apologized to Todd Graves after a U.S. Justice Department report cited Bond forcing Graves out over a disagreement with Representative Graves.[4] Following the report, U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey appointed a special prosecutor to investigate whether former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and other officials involved in the firings of nine U.S. attorneys broke the law (dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy).[5]

Ethics investigation

In 2009, the House Ethics Committee began inquiring whether or not Graves used his position on the Small Business Committee to invite Brooks Hurst, a longtime friend and a business partner of his wife, to testify at a committee hearing on the federal regulation of biodiesel and ethanol production. Graves had failed to mention the financial link between Hurst and Lesley Graves at the hearing, which dealt with federal subsidies for renewable fuels. A review by the independent Office of Congressional Ethics found "substantial reason to believe that an appearance of conflict of interest was created."[6] Graves said in a statement, "I look forward to a quick review of the facts and answering any questions that the committee may have. I believe that a speedy review will show that all the rules of the House concerning testimony in front of the Small Business Committee were followed."[7] The Office of Congressional Ethics referred the case to the House Ethics committee, which ended its own investigation in October, and released a report finding no ethical violations, as it asserted there was no standard in place for appearances like Hurst's.[8][9]

Political campaigns

Graves on the left with President George W. Bush at the Ford Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri on March 20, 2007

In 2000, Democratic U.S. Representative Pat Danner suddenly retired due to breast cancer. Graves filed within the short period of time left for filing. Graves faced Representative Danner's son, Steve Danner, a former State Senator, in the general election. Graves referred to Danner as a "tax and spend liberal" and won the race with 51% of the vote [10] largely by running up huge margins in the rural areas of the district. He was arguably helped by George W. Bush carrying the district in the 2000 presidential election. Graves easily won reelection in 2002,[11] 2004,[12] and 2006.[13]


Graves faced a tougher reelection race in 2008 against Democratic nominee and former Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes. He gained national attention early in the race for running an ad accusing Barnes of promoting "San Francisco values." It was initially considered one of the hottest races in the country. However, Graves won reelection fairly handily, taking 59 percent of the vote to Barnes's 37 percent. Because the district has historically not been considered safe for either party, elections in the district tend to be closely contested.


Graves defeated Democratic nominee Clint Hylton (an Excelsior Springs, Missouri insurance agent who owned a farm in Polo, Missouri) and write-in candidate Kyle Yarber.


  1. "Graves, Boyda vote against $700B bailout in the U.S. House". The News-Press. September 30, 2008. Retrieved 2007-05-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Graves proposes changes to military family health coverage". Ripon Advance. 1/31/14. Retrieved 2/7/14.
  3. "Kit Bond apologizes for staff's role in firing of federal prosecutor". The News Leader. September 30, 2008. Retrieved 2007-05-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
  4. "Kit Bond apologizes for staff's role in firing of federal prosecutor". The News Leader. September 30, 2008. Retrieved 2007-05-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
  5. "Prosecutor will investigate firings of nine U.S. Attorneys". The Miami Herald. September 29, 2008. Retrieved 2007-05-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
  6. [1][dead link]
  7. Margasak, Larry (September 16, 2009). "Ethics panel defers probe on Jesse Jackson Jr". Associated Press. Retrieved 2009-09-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Larry Margasak [2] Congressional ethics report leaked, reveals names LARRY MARGASAK, October 30, 2009 Associated Press
  9. "Campaign Legal Center blog: Fault Ethics Committee, Not OCE". 2009-11-20. Retrieved 2010-08-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Pat Danner
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 6th congressional district

Preceded by
Nydia Velázquez
Chairman of the House Small Business Committee
Succeeded by
Steve Chabot
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Susan Davis
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Mike Honda