A Missouri congressman who’s a Senior Whip in the House Democratic Caucus on Capitol Hill is praising Governor Mike Parson’s (R) approach and tone.

Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver speaks to Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth at the State Fair in Sedalia on August 16, 2018 (photo by Ashley Byrd)

U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Kansas City, says the governor called him in June after Parson was sworn-in to request a meeting. Cleaver says they had a great discussion.

“He told me some of the things that I like to hear, which is he’s not into trying to separate people on the basis of politics. He wants to work with people to make good things happen,” Cleaver says. “And I said Governor you’re singing my song.”

Congressman Cleaver tells Missourinet it’s the first time a governor had requested a meeting with him, adding that it meant even more to him because Parson is a Republican.

“And then when he (Governor Parson) told me that he was going to put a list together of things that he wanted to do, and infrastructure was one of them, I said governor you and I are going to have a partnership,” says Cleaver. “You can expect all the support you need from me.”

Cleaver is critical of what he describes as America’s “poisonous political atmosphere.”

He also notes Parson’s approach is much different than former Republican Governor Eric Greitens. Cleaver says tone can both alienate and attract.

Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (right) hosted a drought meeting with farmers in Richmond on August 8, 2018 (photo courtesy of Congressman Cleaver’s office)

“This governor can do something that maybe the federal government can mimic,” Cleaver says. “Number one, I think infrastructure, but number two, he’s not nasty. He’s not throwing out verbal bombs anyplace.”

Cleaver met with Governor Parson at the State Fair in Sedalia this month and earlier this summer at the Statehouse in Jefferson City. Infrastructure and drought relief are top priorities for both men.

In addition to Kansas City, Cleaver also represents heavily-rural Lafayette, Ray and Saline counties in western Missouri. Cleaver says the drought has impacted farmers, especially cattle farmers, in his district. He hosted a meeting earlier this month in Richmond about drought assistance, and has written a letter to the governor in support of a community development block grant for water towers.

Click here to listen to the full interview between Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth and U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Kansas City, which was recorded on August 16, 2018 in Sedalia:

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