U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., contends that a residual U.S. force left in Iraq could have prevented the sectarian violence now ripping the country apart, and he says the blame is shared by Iraqi leaders and President Barack Obama.
“We would have made a big impact if we’d left some people there,’’ Blunt said during a conference call Wednesday with Missouri reporters.
“I firmly believe, as I said at the time, that not leaving some sort of stabilizing force in Iraq would lead to exactly the kind of religious breakdown and infighting that’s occurred.”
U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., says the Iraqi government bears most of the blame for the violence now engulfing the country and is urging caution as the U.S. government decides how to respond.
“The mess that is in Iraq right now is Iraq’s doing,” McCaskill said in a conference call Tuesday with Missouri journalists. “The U.S. put them on a path of free and fair elections, and to have a military that could enforce the rule of law...I’m sick to my stomach that what we have done in that country has been so carelessly and casually abandoned in favor of sectarian dominance.”
U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo. – a former leader in the U.S House of Representatives – suggests that House Republican leaders move quickly to renew their focus on their issues. His advice comes in the wake of the unexpected defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., in Tuesday’s primary.
“Whatever they decide to do for the remainder of this year, decide it quickly and move on,’’ said Blunt in a conference call Wednesday with Missouri reporters.
Within minutes after the Environmental Protection Agency announced its proposed regulations for coal-fired power plants, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt blasted the decision as a “unprecedented power grab.”
Blunt followed through on Tuesday by co-sponsoring a bill, called the “Coal Country Protection Act,’’ that would allow carbon-emissions limits to go into effect only if other federal agencies could guarantee that no jobs would be lost, electricity rates wouldn’t go up, and the nation’s economy wouldn’t be hurt.
On Friday, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill is releasing the latest results of a survey of Missouri military veterans who have received care at Veterans Administration’s facilities around the state, including Cochran and Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis.
While not disclosing any details, McCaskill told reporters Tuesday that “every year we’ve done it, the VA has done a little better. I’m particularly pleased this year because we’ve had even more responses this year than we had last year.”
Missouri’s U.S. Senators are seeking answers from the Department of Veterans Affairs about reports of lax mental health services in St. Louis’s VA hospital system.
The inquiry stems from allegations by the system’s former Chief of Psychiatry, Dr. Jose Mathews, regarding an “artificial backlog” of patient care created by staff who treat veterans for only a fraction of the workday.
According to the Associated Press, Mathews claims in a federal whistleblower complaint filed last year that he was demoted after his efforts to make employees work harder and more efficiently.