Roy Blunt

Blunt – Flickr/Gage Skidmore; McCaskill – Flickr/SenatorMcCaskill

Missouri’s two U.S. senators – Republican Roy Blunt and Democrat Claire McCaskill – are highlighting their differences when it comes to extending unemployment benefits to millions of out-of-work Americans.

On Wednesday, the two held dueling tele-conferences with reporters in which Blunt make clear his opposition and McCaskill underscored her support. 

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
Gage Skidmore | Flickr

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., is optimistic that actress Glenn Close may help his cause to expand government access to treatment for those dealing with mental illness.

“I’m hopeful this is something we can get done,’’ Blunt told reporters in a conference call this week.

Mental health, he contended, has been shortchanged.  Unlike other medical issues,  mental health “has not been looked at as a society or government as something we want to deal with.”

(via Flickr/Cliff1066tm)

As expected, the U.S. Senate has approved the compromise budget deal and sent it on to President Barack Obama for his expected signature.

The final Senate vote was 64-36.  U. S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., was among only three Republicans who had voted on Tuesday in favor of allowing the final vote – but then voted against the budget deal.

Blunt earlier had said he had  objections to the compromise’s provisions, including cuts in some veterans’ pensions and reduced payments to Medicare providers, including physicians.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
Senator Blunt | Flickr

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., has announced that he’s voting against the compromise budget deal, despite his comments a few days ago in which he urged U.S. House members to ignore conservative groups’ calls to defeat the measure.

Blunt telegraphed his intentions Tuesday morning via Twitter: "There’s no reason to block an up or down vote on the budget agreement, but I will vote NO on final passage."

Boeing CEO W. James McNerney, Jr., left, and U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-St. Elizabeth, met earlier in December in Washington, D.C. Luetkemeyer is part of a bipartisan contingent of federal lawmakers who are using the bully pulpit to steer Boeing's 77
Provided by Luetkemeyer's office.

When U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer met with Boeing CEO James McNerney in his Washington office earlier this month, his message wasn’t subtle. 

Luetkemeyer was there to make the case that Missouri was the right place to steer production of Boeing's 777X civilian aircraft. He said he told McNerney he was “excited about the opportunity for the state of Missouri to bid on it.”

“Whatever help we could be at the federal level, we would more than willing to do that,” Luetkemeyer , R-St. Elizabeth, said.  

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
Senator Blunt | Flickr

Updated 6:45 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12

By a vote of 332-94, the U.S. House overwhelmingly backed a compromise two-year budget deal Thursday night -- in effect, rejecting pressure from conservative groups staunchly opposed to the measure.

The Senate is expected to swiftly follow suit.

Those in the House backing the bill included U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, who appeared on CNBC's "Kudlow Report" after the vote to laud the budget deal's provisions as "gifts that will keep on giving."

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Missouri’s two U.S. senators – Democrat Claire McCaskill and Republican Roy Blunt – disagree on many issues, such as the Affordable Care Act.  But the two are finding themselves on the same side on a number of military matters, including how best to address sexual assault.

(via Flickr/Cliff1066tm)

Missouri U.S. Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill introduced bipartisan legislation yesterday to protect sexual assault victims in the military from aggressive pretrial proceedings. 

The bill, whose cosponsors include Democrat Barbara Boxer of California and Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, amends Article 32 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which details pretrial investigations. 

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
Senator Blunt | Flickr

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt says the federal government's difficulty launching this fall is not really what's wrong with the Affordable Care Act.

President Obama's administration has struggled to address a myriad of problems with the site since launching Oct. 1, including users being unable to create accounts and load web pages.

Blunt cautions residents not to consider the website as a measure of whether or not the President's signature health care plan is working.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill predicts that Congress will reach a budget agreement in mid-December that averts a replay of the federal shutdown and near-default that occurred less than a week ago.

Speaking on this week’s Politically Speaking podcast, McCaskill, D-Mo., was optimistic that both parties in both chambers will seek to cut a deal.  The podcast is a joint venture between the St. Louis Beacon and St. Louis Public Radio.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Within Missouri’s congressional delegation, few members are closer than U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, and U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

Wagner, who chaired Blunt’s Senate campaign in 2010, often confers with him since she joined Congress earlier this year, said her spokesman, Patrick Howell.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: As far as U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt is concerned, his fellow Republicans in the House are continuing to muddle their original message – that Obamacare is “a disaster” – with serious missteps, including the decision to keep the government shut down.

“Thinking the government being shut down is an acceptable way to move forward, I think probably doesn’t produce any result that’s good and produces a number that are bad,” he told reporters in a conference call Thursday.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Although he’s no fan of Obamacare, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt said Wednesday that it was a mistake for House Republicans to have forced a government shutdown unless the health insurance program was repealed.

(Bernt Rostad)

On day two of the government shutdown, it continues to cause headaches, including for a group of Missouri and Kansas veterans that flew to Washington. 

The nonprofit Heartland Honor Flight organized the trip and the closed National World War II Memorial was the first stop Wednesday. The group was met by many Missouri and Kansas lawmakers, who helped them get inside the memorial where barriers had been set up. 

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., on Wednesday accused some House Republicans of behaving like her misspoken GOP nemesis of 2012 – former Rep. Todd Akin – with their efforts to kill the implementation of Obamacare, even if it forces a government shutdown.

“A group of them have ‘Akin-itis,’ “ McCaskill told reporters during a conference call with reporters.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Sedalia was swarming with politicians Thursday, as office holders from both parties descended on the Missouri State Fair.

Nearly a thousand people, politicians and citizens alike, dined on country ham, eggs and peaches at the Governor's Ham Breakfast.  Governor Jay Nixon began his annual speech by condemning the incident in which a rodeo clown wore a President Obama mask this weekend.

"What has always united us is (that) no matter what part of the state you're from, or who you voted for, we treat people with respect," Nixon told the applauding crowd.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – Hopes were high when the new Congress convened in January and President Barack Obama started his second term, with progress predicted on issues that included immigration reform, gun control and perhaps even a long-term budget deal to avert a sequester.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

A bipartisan group of senators is pressing forward with a reporter shield bill that includes new Justice Department guidelines for investigations that involve the media.

The guidelines announced Friday would make it harder for prosecutors to obtain journalists’ phone records without advance notice. Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri says the new bill will make it much more difficult for political appointees to stop reporters from doing their job.

(Kristi Luther/St. Louis Public Radio)

Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri visited Mercy Hospital in St. Louis Monday to speak with healthcare workers about the implications of federal healthcare changes. He also received a tour of the hospital's Telehealth Services, often used to serve rural communities that don't have access to specialty or intensive care. 

Mercy SafeWatch is an electronic Intensive Care Unit(e-ICU) that serves Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. Blunt learned how Mercy is able to provide an extra set of eyes and ears for doctors that can't always be there in person.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., says he remains a critic of the federal Affordable Care Act -- and remains convinced that the measure’s pending health insurance changes could eventually end up reducing the number of Americans with coverage.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – Top Senate Democrats say they have enough GOP support to win a key test vote Monday on immigration reform, but U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt said Friday that he won’t support what is being called the “border surge” deal.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON -- With the White House stepping up the pressure, conservative lawmakers firing salvos, and one senator going so far as to deliver his remarks in Spanish, the Senate's long-anticipated debate began this week on an immigration bill that is a high priority but faces an uncertain future in Congress.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON -- The extent of phone and internet information collected by intelligence agencies is "troublesome" and should be debated, says U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, who had been briefed on such activities as a longtime member of congressional intelligence panels.

"I actually am concerned by the volume of records the federal government is keeping and future potential uses for those records," Blunt, R-Mo., told reporters Wednesday.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon - WASHINGTON – On opposite sides of Capitol Hill on a busy Wednesday, two witnesses ruffled some feathers when they invoked their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – With congressional probes of the Internal Revenue Service and Benghazi likely to remain in the spotlight, both allies and critics of President Barack Obama are predicting that fallout from the revelations could endanger key parts of his second-term agenda.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – Responding to the revelations about the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt said his office was looking for Missouri examples — but so far had not found any.

“I’m going to continue to see if any Missouri groups have had a problem. So far, the groups I’ve talked to either had their IRS status before this began or just simply didn’t try to get it,” Blunt, R-Mo., told reporters on Wednesday

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – When U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt announced that he planned to block President Barack Obama’s nominee for the nation’s top environmental job, he couched his opposition in terms of a controversial flood-control project in Missouri’s Bootheel.

Blunt – Flickr/Gage Skidmore; McCaskill – Flickr/SenatorMcCaskill

Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo) is one of many co-sponsors of a bill that would allow states to collect sales taxes for online purchases.

Under current law, states can only require stores to collect sales taxes if the store has a physical presence in the state.

As NPR's Planet Money puts it:

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – With speeches, ads and new vote ratings, advocates of new laws to stem gun violence are trying to turn up the pressure this week on GOP lawmakers who are trying to block action on gun control.

On Tuesday, Mayors Against Illegal Guns – a group backed by funding from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg – put congressional offices on notice that it would start issuing a “scorecard, assigning members a letter grade on their gun policy records.”

The Sequester Is Here To Stay, Blunt Says

Mar 14, 2013
U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
Gage Skidmore | Flickr

The sequester’s across-the-board cuts to both entitlements and defense went into effect at the beginning of the month, and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) says it's here to stay, at least for now.

The sequester was never meant to be a permanent change, just a threat so Congress would compromise on a plan. But Blunt wants to give the President more authority in deciding what is cut.