Reports from the 5th District by EMANUEL CLEAVER II en-us Missouri's stewards of the land It's about that time of the year again, when most of us are just about finished with the cold of winter, and want nothing more than for the warmth of spring to start rolling in. Nevertheless, the impending change of seasons has much greater implications for rural Missourians than it does in the urban metropolis of the nation's capital. For citizens of urban areas, it means time to go to the pool or enjoy a picnic. For most rural Missourians, it means time to get to work. I recently sat down... Thu, 03 Mar 2016 07:59:20 -0600 Memorializing World War I (February 1, 2016) -- Last week was a tumultuous week in Congress. And this time, I am referring to the weather rather than the D.C. dysfunctionality. Snow fell on the nation's capital, reaching up to 2 feet, but that didn't stop the citizens' work from being done. Thankfully, I was able to secure a meandering flight on Monday which allowed me to participate in an important announcement in Washington, D.C. -- the announcement of the winning design for an additional World War I memorial in... Thu, 04 Feb 2016 12:41:30 -0600 It's about the farm, food and the future Finally, a Farm Bill! This is a leading line that says so much here in Missouri's Fifth District. And it says a lot in Washington, as well, where I was honored to speak at the Missouri Farm Bureau's Breakfast. Of course, the Farm Bill is really a Food Bill, and is not only about farm programs, but also about feeding America. The Farm Bill passed in February, and while I would have liked to have seen that happen sooner, our democracy was built on compromise. And compromise, as we all know,... Fri, 04 Apr 2014 16:19:13 -0500 Inspiration from Ike - Even in the Snow and Ice On January 7, I had surgery on an earlier left knee replacement. Recovery is always slow and painfully difficult. I ought to know, I have had six big time operations that cut short my college football aspirations. Although, to be entirely accurate, the defensive back coach might have also cut it short -- by cutting me. At any rate, when the House is in session, my apartment in Washington is only 358 steps from the entrance to the Capital Visitors Center and the U.S. Capital. I bless the lord... Mon, 10 Mar 2014 09:22:42 -0500 It's Time to Give Hardworking Missourians a Pay Raise People working full time jobs should not have to raise their families in poverty. This week I fought hard in Washington to bring the issue of raising the minimum wage to the House Floor for a vote. And I will continue to do this. Why? *Raising the minimum wage will increase pay for at least 25 million American workers. *It will lift more than 1 million Americans out of poverty. *That would directly affect 373,000 workers in Missouri. *It would indirectly affect 578,000 workers in our... Sun, 02 Mar 2014 21:11:20 -0600 The future of communtiy banks Community banks are absolutely necessary in keeping our small businesses, rural areas, and local economies strong and vital. *They provide almost half of all small loans to our nation's farms. *They supply credit that is critical for small businesses. *They hold 46 percent of the industry's small loans to farms and businesses and the majority banking deposits in rural counties. Steady economic gains for Wall Street and big banks isn't enough. Community banks continue to face... Fri, 17 Jan 2014 15:39:07 -0600 Congressman Cleaver urges immediate action to help Missouri's fifth district We need to be allowed to vote immediately on extending emergency unemployment insurance. And I am urging the Speaker of the House to let Members do just that. Hardworking men and women in Missouri's Fifth District are struggling. They have played by the rules and have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. To cut off their lifeline right now, while they continue to look for work and still must feed their families, is mean-spirited and just plain wrong. At the end of December, 1.3... Fri, 10 Jan 2014 15:26:44 -0600 Holidays and Hope There is something about the holiday season that seems to inspire us with hope. Without a doubt, this is a time of year that can be difficult. Inevitably, each year brings with it a dose of disappointment, frustration, sometimes, even utter heartbreak. But it is always darkest before the dawn. And the holiday season, along with the promise of a new year, seems to also pledge a new beginning. For me, Christmas is a magical time. A time, to be sure, to resist being overtaken by the notion of a... Thu, 19 Dec 2013 12:37:13 -0600 A concern with the EPA There is an important issue that isn't grabbing headlines, but it is critical to revitalizing rural communities, growing the economy, and creating jobs nevertheless. I am very concerned with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) recent decision to reduce the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requirement for next year. It would be lowered by almost 3 billion gallons in 2014, to a level, in fact, that is below the legal requirement. Why is this a concern? I fear it will undermine investor... Mon, 16 Dec 2013 15:24:14 -0600 The latest on the Affordable Care Act As promised, I wanted to continue to keep you updated on the very latest concerning the Affordable Care Act. The website problems have been frustrated, but are continuing to be fixed. In fact, the site successfully handled more than 725,000 visitors recently in just one day. The overall goal of ACA continues to be what it has always been, assisting millions of Americans gain access to health care, while controlling costs and maintaining quality for all. Already, under the Affordable Care... Fri, 06 Dec 2013 16:21:48 -0600 Fix the problem or fight about it? There is so much mud-slinging and myth spreading swirling around the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in Washington right now, it's hard to see what real, and what is simply political posturing. What I do know is there are some problems with the ACA. I will not be one of those Democrats who refuse to admit, or even see, that there are important issues that need to be addressed. And quite frankly, they need to be fixed right now. As I said recently on the House Floor, what is happening right... Fri, 22 Nov 2013 16:35:05 -0600 An earmark by any other name ... With great vexation, but with a deep understanding of the need for water development projects throughout our nation, I recently voted for H.R. 3080. This is the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, often referred to as WRRDA. Overall, this is an important bill, make no mistake about that. My frustration is that it has within it, 23 (give or take) earmarks. And none of them are in Jackson, Clay, Saline, Ray, or Lafayette Counties. You may not see these projects claim the title of... Fri, 15 Nov 2013 15:41:54 -0600 Nov. 8, 2013 In my many years of service, it is not often I have been able to bring someone like EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to town, sit her down at a table, and let area residents express concerns, ask questions, and get answers. I was pleased to be able to do so for my constituents recently. We began the day meeting in Oak Grove with farmers and others from Saline, Ray, and Lafayette Counties. Our goal was to open a dialogue that, in my opinion, is sorely needed. For example, many producers joining... Mon, 11 Nov 2013 16:33:37 -0600 Oct. 14, 2013 What a long 16 days it was. But as you know, the United States government is finally back open. In my opinion, it was an unnecessary, frustrating, and very expensive ordeal that brought our country to the brink of economic disaster. I am pleased we have avoided risking the full faith and credit of the United States by not defaulting on our debt. That being said, there is, quite obviously, much work yet to do. To give you a brief historical perspective, on October 1st of this year, the... Fri, 18 Oct 2013 15:47:56 -0500 Open the government We need to re-open the government. It is that simple. This is ridiculous. I don't know how to make my position any more clear, and I have been working, negotiating, meeting, discussing, and trying, to do just that. I know many of you are frustrated, angry, and getting more worried by the day. I join you in those emotions. I have directed the Chief Administrative Officer to withhold my pay until federal workers are back on the job where they should be. I figure that is only right and fair.... Mon, 14 Oct 2013 14:44:53 -0500 The President visits with a message -- No government shutdown President Obama recently visited our area to talk about the improving economy, the importance of growing the middle class, and the looming issue of a government shutdown. I believe the dysfunction in Washington and the ideological demands we are hearing, are threatening to take this nation down a very dangerous and partisan path. A government shutdown will hurt our economy, threaten jobs, and leave our families and our country with less security, certainty, and stability. Put more simply, it's... Fri, 27 Sep 2013 15:30:34 -0500 Hunger is not a game This week I spoke out, again, on the House Floor to fight for food. I am sickened and saddened by this professed "Nutrition Reform" bill that the House voted on and passed. I voted against the bill. This is not nutrition "reform". And hunger is most certainly not a game. This shouldn't be a talking point or a messaging strategy. For more than 3 decades, farm and food policy has had bipartisan support. There was a strong alliance between urban and rural interests. Farmers and consumers have... Mon, 23 Sep 2013 12:34:25 -0500 What to do in Syria? I recently held a town hall regarding the issue of Syria. What should we do there? What should we not do? It is extremely important to me to hear the thoughts and concerns of my constituents in Missouri's Fifth District -- to really listen to what you have to say. That was my sole purpose in holding the town hall and I appreciate all who came. We had a standing room only crowd and everyone, as far as I know, who wanted to speak, got the opportunity to do so. I also appreciate everyone who has... Fri, 06 Sep 2013 17:53:36 -0500 Congressman Cleaver is moving into Higginsville (Aug. 26, 2013) I am absolutely thrilled to be opening a new Congressional office in Higginsville. And I hope you will take the opportunity to come by and see it, visit, and talk to me about your concerns. I am having an Open House on September 4th -- and please consider this your personal invitation. I must warn you, though, the office is still 'under construction' and won't be fully operational until the end of September. I wanted to go ahead and get started though, as I am anxious to have a physical... Wed, 04 Sep 2013 12:49:23 -0500 Working together to avert sequestration disaster (Aug. 19, 2013) This week brought the opportunity to sit down with my colleague, Representative Kevin Yoder, a Republican from the Third District of Kansas, in what was billed as a non-debate debate. We have done this together often, in hopes of showing our common belief that both parties can and should work together. Congressman Yoder and I do not agree on all issues, not even on most issues, but we like and respect one another, and both feel like we learn from the other through open and considerate dialogue... Wed, 04 Sep 2013 12:47:14 -0500