We Won… This Time

Dear Friend,

Earlier this week the Office of Management and Budget finally withdrew their disastrous proposal that would have redefined “Metropolitan Statistical Area” to exclude cities between 50,000 and 100,000 residents. Such a drastic change would have upended decades of precedent, changed the way these small cities can access federal programs, and for what? Was this going to streamline some existing programs, save taxpayer dollars, or do anything to clean up the mess that is the federal bureaucracy?


They did it just because they thought they could.

Indeed, their only justification for the proposed change was that the population of the country had roughly doubled since that definition was put in place. They didn’t even stop to think about how it would impact all the federal programs that use that definition, and, more importantly, how it would impact dozens of communities across America that would fall in this proposal’s crosshairs—communities in North Missouri like St. Joseph.

People were outraged with this proposal and rightfully so. It’s a classic example of what happens when the bureaucracy in Washington goes unchecked. I signed on to two different letters to the OMB: one demanding some answers as to why they were pursuing such a bonehead proposal and another carefully explaining how this would impact folks in Missouri. I was far from the only one. Republicans and Democrats alike called out the agency for needlessly trying to relegate cities like St. Joseph to second-class status.

Why? Because it would give bureaucrats in Washington more power and less to folks in places like St. Joseph.

Thankfully, we won this time. However, this should serve as a reminder as to what happens when big government goes unchecked. They try to run roughshod over working folks. These days, regulations and rules are flying out of Washington at light speed. I’m sure another one will hit by the time I’m done writing this.

And, like the OMB’s proposal to redefine MSAs, many of these regulations have middle-class Missourians right in their crosshairs. Take, for example, the EPA’s decision to reopen the “Waters of the United States” definition in another attempt to redefine water to include our farmland.

Again, this isn’t about protecting the environment. The Navigable Waters Protection Rule did that. It’s about giving bureaucrats in Washington more power over folks in middle America.

That’s the exact opposite of what we need right now. Folks in St. Joseph know better than bureaucrats in Washington what St. Joseph needs. Farmers in rural America know better than pencil-pushers in DC how to manage their farms.

We’ve got to push back on all these attempts at executive overreach and we must do it all the time. We can’t rest, because the swamp doesn’t rest. We’ve got to keep their feet to the fire until these ridiculous ideas get nipped in the bud.

And that’s exactly what I’m going to continue to do.


Sam Graves