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Missouri's 6th Congressional District: Ross, Graves and Higgins

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Posted at 1:12 PM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-02 08:36:27-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — 41 Action News wants to help you make an informed decision during the 2020 General Election on Nov. 3. We reached out to the campaigns for Missouri's 6th Congressional District candidates. Here's where Democrat Gena Ross stands on the issues.

Republican Sam Graves' campaign did not respond to 41 Action News' requests. We've compiled his answers to the best of our abilities based past statements and voting history.

COVID-19

Do you believe wearing masks should be a requirement, recommendation or neither?
Ross: Requirement. "As a COVID-19 Survivor, I take the issue very seriously. You protect yourself and others."
Graves: 41 Action News believes Sam Graves would answer "neither." According to KTTN, "Graves believes the decision should be up to the individual, noting there’s a lot of information being presented on whether to wear or mask, or not."
Higgins: Recommendation

What role should federal officials play in the response to the COVID- 19 pandemic? Information only, guidelines only, mandatory requirements for businesses but not individuals, mandatory requirements for businesses and individuals (subject to policymaker approval), or none of the above?
Ross: Mandatory requirements for businesses and individuals (subject to policymaker approval)
Graves: 41 Action News believes Sam Graves would answer "information only." In an audio recording with KTTN, he stated, "Depending on who's giving the brief, you get different opinions. For instance, does the mask work? Does it not work?" He added, "It's frustrating that it's now become a political battle, rather than a battle of information and the unfortunate part is we really don't know."
Higgins: Guidelines only

Should locally owned small businesses receive a higher priority for CARES Act funding than publicly traded or multinational corporations?
Ross: Yes. "I believe charity begins at home, take care of small businesses so they don't fold. People worked hard to build their establishment. They should be helped."
Graves: Did not answer.
Higgins: Yes

Do you believe Americans should receive a second $1,200 Economic Impact Payment, otherwise known as a stimulus check?
Ross: Yes
Graves: It is unclear whether Sam Graves believes Americans should receive a second $1,200 stimulus check. We found that Graves voted against The HEROES Act, which would provide Americans with a second $1,200 stimulus check; however, the bill also expands the Paycheck Protection Program, eliminates cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatments, and expands paid sick days, family and medical leave, unemployment compensation, nutrition and food assistance programs, housing assistance, and payments to farmers. It is unclear which part of the bill Graves did not support.
Higgins: No

Considering the pandemic, do you believe K-12 classrooms should reopen in the fall?
Ross: Yes
Graves: It is unclear how Sam Graves would answer this question. In August, he spoke with school superintendents about a liability shield for school districts that choose to reopen. According to News-Press Now, he said, "For a school to be able to have in-person schooling — which I think is vitally important — or, you know, a hospital seeing patients or whatever the case may be, the bottom line is: They ought to be protected."
Higgins: Yes, without a virtual option (in-person only)

If students return to the classroom in fall 2020, do you believe they should be required to wear masks?
Ross: "Everyone has their own perception and views on things. I would say best practices would be keep everyone safe until this pandemic is under control."
Graves: Did not answer.
Higgins: No. "Young people are not at high risk. Wearing masks in school would be a distraction."

HEALTH CARE

Do you support the repeal of the Affordable Care Act?
Ross: No. "Every human deserves the right to affordable, quality healthcare. It is our right. It's a matter of life and death for some. It's a matter of deciding to pay bills for basic needs of life such as rent, mortgage, utilities, or pay for a doctor's visit or prescription drug to be healthy. Why should people have to go through that? Just help them. Geez."
Graves: 41 Action News believes Sam Graves would answer "yes." His website states, "The government’s takeover of our health care system must not be allowed to stand. Not a week goes by without hearing more stories about how the 2,000 page law will cost more than we were told, cover fewer people than we were promised, and significantly increase taxes and fees on average Americans and small businesses. We must repeal this bad piece of legislation and replace it with reforms that will expand coverage while lowering costs."
Higgins: Yes. "Government programs are inefficient and wasteful because they have captive customers and there is no incentive to serve customers batter and innovate."

ABORTION

Mark the mandates you support. Any mandate left unmarked will indicate you do not support it unless you check "Prefer not to answer." Some candidates provide additional comment below the chart.

RossGravesHiggins
Must be performed by a licensed physician
Must be performed in a hospital after a specified point in pregnancy
Gestational limits
State funding for abortions when the woman's life is in danger
State funding for abortions when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest
Coverage by private insurance
Individual health care providers can refuse to participate
Public institutions can refuse to perform abortions
Private or religious institutions can refuse to perform abortions
State-mandated counseling before an abortion
Waiting period between counseling and the procedure
Ban all abortions
Prefer not to answer
Did not provide answers

Ross: "It's too personal for me to tell another woman what to do with her body. However, education, counseling and adoption should always be available options."
Graves: In 2016, Sam Graves co-sponsored the Life at Conception Act. In an e-newsletter on his website, he stated, "Just this Congress, I have signed or helped introduce multiple bills that continue our fight for life. One prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion or any health plan that covers abortion. Another prohibits abortions after 20 weeks gestation, where it has been proven that babies can feel pain in the womb. A third keeps Title X family-planning grants away from abortion providers. Another immediately halts all federal funding to Planned Parenthood for one year. Finally, this Congress I cosponsored the Life at Conception Act. This important bill removes the Roe v. Wade block to stopping abortions by using the Court’s own language to make abortion illegal, classifying unborn babies as living humans and thereby ensuring they have the same Constitutional rights as you and I. I will continue fighting to protect those who cannot defend themselves. Defining life at conception is our best way to do that."
Higgins: "Abortions will occur whether they are legal or not. Abortion should remain legal and safe."

GUN CONTROL

Mark the mandates you support. Any mandate left unmarked will indicate you do not support it unless you check "Prefer not to answer." Some candidates provide additional comment below the chart.

RossGravesHiggins
Reporting mental health records to federal background check databases
Universal background checks
Gun safety training classes for concealed carry
Requiring a concealed carry permit
Right to carry confidentiality
Right to carry in restaurants
Gun dealer licensing
Firearm owner licensing
Firearm registration
Lost and stolen firearm reporting
Assault weapon ban
Restrictions on high-capacity magazines
Bulk firearm purchase restrictions
Waiting period
Local authority to regulate firearms and ammunition
Ammunition sale regulation
No gun control
Prefer not to answer
Did not provide answers

Ross: "People have their right to the 2nd Amendment, however, some people are out of control and hurt/ kill other people. Too many senseless murders. It needs to be under control."
Graves: "The founding fathers were very clear in their intent when they wrote the Second Amendment to the Constitution. They believed that each law-abiding American citizen had the right to own and maintain firearms in order to defend themselves and their families from those who would do them harm. As a gun owner, I will continue to do everything I can to protect the 2nd Amendment," Graves wrote on his website.
Higgins: Did not provide additional comment.

POLICING

Several U.S. cities are now discussing reallocating some police funding to other forms of public safety and community support, including to social services, mental health & addiction resources, housing, and health care. Do you support redirecting some funding from local law enforcement agencies to support other government agencies funded by local municipalities? Some candidates provide additional comment below the chart.

RossGravesHiggins
Yes, for mental health & addiction resources
Yes, for housing assistance
Yes, for health care
Yes, for education equity
Yes, for other community needs not listed
No
Prefer not to answer
Did not answer

Ross: Did not provide additional comment.
Graves: 41 Action News believes Sam Graves would answer "no." In two e-newsletters on his website, he called those seeking to defund the police "radicals" and "extremists."
Higgins: Did not provide additional comment.

The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 could implement the following ways to reform policing and hold police officers accountable. Mark the mandates you support. Any mandate left unmarked will indicate you do not support it unless you check "Prefer not to answer." Some candidates provide additional comment below the chart.

RossGravesHiggins
Ban racial & religious profiling
Ban no knock warrants
Ban chokeholds
Mandate data collection on police encounters
Require body cameras
Limit military equipment used by police departments
Streamline federal law to prosecute excessive force
Establish independent prosecutors for police investigations
Prefer not to answer
Did not provide answers

Ross: Did not provide additional comment.
Graves: 41 Action News found that Sam Graves voted against the Justice in Policing Act of 2020. It is unclear why.
Higgins: Did not provide additional comment.

LGBTQ RIGHTS

Do you believe the 1964 Civil Rights Act should protect gay, lesbian and transgender employees from discrimination based on sex?
Ross: "No one should be discriminated against period. All humans deserve equality and social justice. That shouldn't have to be a question asked. There's too much hate in this world and it needs to stop. If you are a human you have equal rights no matter the color of your skin or the lifestyle that you choose."
Graves: Did not answer.
Higgins: Yes, excluding religious based organizations

Should federal law protect LGBTQ people from discrimination when it comes to health care and health insurance?
Ross: Yes
Graves: Did not answer.
Higgins: Sometimes, depending on the medical treatment or procedure

IMMIGRATION

Mark the mandates you support. Any mandate left unmarked will indicate you do not support it unless you check "Prefer not to answer." Some candidates provide additional comment below the chart.

RossGravesHiggins
Repealing criminal penalties for people apprehended while crossing the border
Banning sanctuary cities
Extending the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border
Increasing funding for the U.S.-Mexico border
Eliminating the Visa lottery
Implementing a merit-based entry system
Creating a path to citizenship for the current undocumented immigrants in the U.S.
Eliminating family detention for asylum-seekers while their claims are being processed
Limiting family detention for asylum-seekers while their claims are being processed
Prefer not to answer
Did not provide answers

Ross: "I support immigrants. I don't like families being torn apart and children put in cages. If undocumented immigrants are in the USA help them become a citizen."
Graves: In a 2018 e-newsletter, Sam Graves stated "I’ve always believed that a wall must be built on the border. It’s our first line of defense. We must build it now. Both Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) must be given the tools and support necessary to do their job. With a wall in place, our Border Patrol could more easily do their jobs and stop illegals before they get further into the country. ICE, an agency that continues to take flak from those who support law-breakers, needs to be able to find, apprehend, and deport those who are here illegally." He added, "we should also take away any potential benefit of illegally crossing the border" and "cities that politicize this issue and operate as “sanctuary cities” must pay a price."
Higgins: Did not provide additional comment.

Should undocumented immigrants be covered under a government-run health plan?
Ross: Yes, all undocumented immigrants
Graves: 41 Action News believes Sam Graves would answer "no." In a 2018 e-newsletter, he stated, "we should also take away any potential benefit of illegally crossing the border."
Higgins: No

FINAL THOUGHTS

What is the most important issue of this election?
Ross: "Character Counts: Honesty, Integrity, trustworthiness, Communication and collaboration for we the people. Democracy! People should be first in all matters. All corruption and agendas should cease. Personal egos, cliques, should cease. Let's take care of American People. COVID-19 has hit us hard. Let's strategize and plan to get back on our feet according to the new norm. Stop all the bias and hate and let us all work together."
Graves: Did not answer.
Higgins: "The national debt. Running a deficit in peacetime is economically unsound and morally wrong placing unfair burdens on future taxpayers."

41 Action News is committed to providing comprehensive information on the 2020 primary and general elections with an emphasis on several key issues — the economy, the COVID-19 pandemic and race relations. Count on us to provide news and information to help you make an informed choice at the polls.