Roy Blunt

(via Flickr/[sic])

(Updated 3:50 p.m. Tuesday, June 3)

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.

(via Wikimedia Commons/ United States Department of State)

The two Republican members of Congress who represent the St. Louis area – Ann Wagner and Blaine Luetkemeyer – are calling for the resignation of  U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.

Their declarations come as several of the nation’s VA facilities, including Cochran Medical Center in St. Louis, have been accused of improper or delayed care to military veterans.

Wagner, R-Ballwin, said that Shinseki – in office since 2009 -- had “failed to provide timely services and care for our veterans.  Secretary Shinseki has failed to fulfill his mission at the VA.”

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

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.

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

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., is stepping up his longstanding focus on energy — and his opposition to a federal carbon tax that he believes will increase energy and fuel costs for Missourians.

“The carbon tax would have a huge impact on our state,’’ Blunt said in a conference call Wednesday with reporters. “We’re very coal dependent. It would have a devastating impact on our utility bills.”

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

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri is touring the St. Louis region today to promote a bill to set up special bond sales for a fund that state and local governments could use to rebuild roads, bridges and other public works projects.

Blunt, R-Mo., is among the chief sponsors of the bill,  the “Partnership To Build America Act." It would encourage companies to bid on the bonds by allowing them to exclude some of their overseas profits from federal taxes.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Raising the minimum wage would be a big help for people like Shnette Hooker, an employee at a McDonald’s in Spanish Lake. Hooker said, it would allow people “to save a little money,” “take care of their kids” and “get off the assistance that everybody is on.” 

But more than just that, Hooker said boosting the minimum wage is a matter of fairness.

Mo. National Guard, via Flickr/M. Queiser

Missouri’s two U.S. senators – Republican Roy Blunt and Democrat Claire McCaskill – are joining forces as they raise concerns about the Defense Department’s proposed cuts in spending for the National Guard.

The trims would have a $34 million economic impact on Missouri through 2016, Blunt told reporters Thursday. The reduced spending would primarily affect Guard operations in Springfield, Warrensburg and St. Joseph, he said.

File Photo

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Potential 2016 presidential hopeful Rand Paul scanned the packed ballroom of fellow Republicans, most of them older and white, and declared Saturday that their party’s makeup needs to change if the GOP is to have any hope of recapturing the White House.

“We need a bigger party. We need a party that looks like America,’’ said Paul, currently a U.S. senator from Kentucky, during the closing banquet for the Missouri Republican Party’s Lincoln Days festivities, held this year in Springfield.

Jo Mannies/St. Louis Public Radio

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. –  From U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt on down, Missouri Republicans at the party’s annual Lincoln Days festivities are full of confidence about their chances at the polls this fall and in 2016.

And the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,’’ is getting much of the credit.

“If this disaster doesn’t help us take control of the Senate, it will surprise me,” said Blunt, who sparked several ovations at Friday night’s opening banquet of the weekend gathering, held this year at the University Plaza Hotel in Springfield, the senator's home turf.

Blunt Hopes To Honor 'Monuments Men'

Feb 19, 2014
Chris McDaniel | St. Louis Public Radio | File photo

Of the roughly 350 men and women who preserved and protected art during World War II, 14 of them had ties to Missouri. U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., toured the St. Louis Art Museum Wednesday to take a look at some of the pieces the so-called "monuments men" fought for.

The Republican has sponsored a bill to award the "monuments men" with the Congressional Gold Medal.

They're credited with protecting millions of cultural artifacts from the Nazis, and Blunt took a look at a couple of them during his tour.

Blunt Offers State of the Union 'Prebuttal'

Jan 25, 2014
St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri says President Obama has "a lot of explaining to do” in his State of the Union address Tuesday.

Blunt offered a preemptive rebuttal to the speech in the GOP’s weekly radio address Saturday, saying Americans are suffering under unnecessary regulation and lackluster job creation.

Obama is expected to call for a “Year of Action” on poverty, but Blunt calls the focus on income inequality “more of the same.”

Jo Mannies/St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

When it comes to energy, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt says that the federal government has taken the wrong approach for years.

“The refusal to acknowledge that we’re the Saudi Arabia of coal is a big mistake for us,” Blunt, R-Mo., told St. Charles County officials and business people gathered Thursday night at the St. Charles Chamber of Commerce.

Instead, he said, “There’s a clear war on coal.”

Blunt Praises Community Mental Health Supports

Jan 11, 2014

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., toured the Independence Center in St. Louis Saturday, aiming to draw attention to mental health legislation and the importance of community mental health centers. 

Blunt is trying to drum up support for legislation he has co-sponsored to expand community mental health services. The proposed legislation would create a pilot program in 10 states establishing criteria for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics.

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 Healthcare.gov 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.

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