Roy Blunt

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

Just months after the GOP’s poor performance among Latino voters, a group of eight senators -- four Republicans and four Democrats -- has renewed calls for immigration reform.

The plan would address four issues: border security, expanding opportunities for legal immigrants, an employee identification system and an arduous path to citizenship.

But Republican Senator Roy Blunt told reporters that it's the last one that will be the most problematic.

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

Missouri’s two U.S. Senators are calling for a stakeholder meeting to discuss how to close a 1,500 foot gap in a Mississippi River levee located in the southeastern part of the state.   

In a joint statement released today, Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt say a host of government agencies have failed to make adequate progress closing the gap.

Construction on the St. Johns Bayou and New Madrid Floodway project stalled out in 2007 because of technical problems related to its Environmental Impact Statement.

Blunt Will Vote Against Hagel's Confirmation

Jan 31, 2013
(Screenshot via CSPAN)

Updated 2/1/13 9:44 with news that Senator Blunt will be voting "No" on former Senator Hagel. Updated 2/1/13 3:03 with additions throughout.

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt says it was a bad day for former Senator Chuck Hagel, as he appeared before the committee that will consider his nomination to be defense secretary. Bad enough that he will be voting against Hagel's nomination. 

via flickr/shannonpatrick17

One of the major holdups in the expansion of the Keystone Pipeline was Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman’s apprehension. But after Nebraska state officials approved a revised route this week, both of Missouri’s U.S. Senators are calling on the president to sign off on the expansion.

The Keystone Pipeline already runs through Missouri. What the Keystone Pipeline XL would do is expand the pipeline – adding routes from Alberta to Kansas and Oklahoma to Texas.

It would also enlarge the size of the pipes’ diameter by 6 inches.

Blunt Has 'Concerns' About Hagel's Defense Nomination

Jan 11, 2013
Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio

As a new appointee on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Republican Roy Blunt of Missouri will have a say in the nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel to Secretary of Defense.

Blunt will join Democrat Claire McCaskill on the committee that will oversee Hagel's hearing.

Hagel has solicited the ire of many conservatives for his prior statements on Israel. While he served in Congress, Hagel stated that he was a United States Senator, not “an Israeli Senator.”

Blunt and his fellow Republicans are concerned he won't be a close enough ally to Israel.

Mo. GOP Divided Over Fiscal Cliff Deal

Jan 2, 2013

Congress may have passed a deal to avert the self-inflicted “fiscal cliff” crisis Tuesday night, but you might want to hold off on celebrating. Another gridlock could be here in a couple of months.

Missouri lawmakers were divided on the deal. Missouri’s Democrats joined Republican Senator Roy Blunt and Representatives Blaine Luetkemeyer and Jo Ann Emerson in voting in favor of the bill.

Below you can see how Missouri's representatives voted. Both Senator Blunt and McCaskill voted in favor of the deal.

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

The U.S. Senate has unanimously passed a bi-partisan resolution condemning a newly passed Russian law that would ban Americans from adopting Russian children. The ban is retaliation for U.S. sanctions against Russian officials accused of human rights violations.

Missouri Republican Roy Blunt introduced the resolution condemning the ban – a ban Blunt calls “outrageous.”

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Missouri Republican Senator Roy Blunt says if the country goes over the fiscal cliff, Democrats will be to blame.

Blunt and his Congressional colleagues will convene later today in a last-ditch attempt to avoid the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts that would take effect Tuesday.

In this week's GOP radio address, Blunt says the Republican-led House, has already taken passed legislation that would extend the Bush-era tax cuts and make what he called more responsible reductions in spending

This Week's Politically Speaking Podcast

Dec 20, 2012
Alex Heuer

St. Louis Public Radio's Chris McDaniel joins the St. Louis Beacon's Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum to talk about the week's politics.

 

On today's episode: After the tragedy in Connecticut, many are looking to our elected officials to take action. The Politically Speaking Podcast takes a look at what is being proposed at the national and state level. Then we discuss the possibility of the special election for Missouri's 8th Congressional district being moved up, and we close it out with a discussion about Missouri's positive budget projection.

Many Look To Lawmakers To Curb Gun Violence

Dec 19, 2012
Blunt – Flickr/Gage Skidmore; McCaskill – Flickr/SenatorMcCaskill

After the tragedy in Connecticut, many are now looking to elected officials to enact legislation that will curb gun violence. But Missouri’s Senators and state representatives don’t agree on what that response should be.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Members of Congress from across the country are responding to the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Mo.  Republican U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt called the shooting a huge tragedy and said that it put other parts of life in perspective.

But Blunt said stricter gun laws are unlikely to deter similar acts of violence.

Blunt Decries 'Nuclear Option' For Filibuster

Dec 13, 2012
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt is joining his fellow Republicans in criticizing a push by Majority Leader Harry Reid that would limit the power of the filibuster -- a legislative technique to give power to the minority party.

Blunt and the GOP call Reid's proposed rule changes the "nuclear option." Reid prefers the term the "constitutional option."

Whatever you call it, it would limit the use of the filibuster by making a few changes – most notably being that the one doing the filibustering actually has to be present for the speech, and can’t just threaten it.

Blunt Votes To Block Ratification Of Disability Treaty

Dec 6, 2012
Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Republicans in the Senate have blocked ratification of a United Nations treaty that would have helped countries protect the rights of disabled people.

Although it’s modeled after the Americans with Disabilities Act - which was passed over twenty years ago - 38 Republicans voted against the treaty.

Republican Senator Roy Blunt voted against it, and told reporters Thursday that he objected to it being brought up during the lame duck session.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

U.S. Senate Candidate Todd Akin is dismissing the controversy over his use of the word “ladylike” to describe his opponent, Claire McCaskill.

Referring to the first debate between the two candidates Akin said that McCaskill wasn’t behaving as “ladylike” as she did in her first campaign for Senate in 2006.

McCaskill rebuked Akin’s choice of words during an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, saying that she is once again "at a loss" to describe Todd Akin.

(St. Louis Public Radio/UPI)

Republican United States Senator Roy Blunt criticized President Obama's response to the attacks on embassies in Egypt and Libya. In the Libyan attacks, four embassy employees were killed, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. Allegedly, the attacks were in response to a film that ridiculed Islam's Prophet Muhammad.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Jobless rate drops below 8 percent in St. Louis

The jobless rate in metropolitan St. Louis is going down, and has dipped below 8 percent for the first time in more than three years.

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

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt is applauding the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s move to designate all of Missouri’s 114 counties a disaster area.

Speaking to reporters today, Blunt said the state’s ongoing drought highlights the need for good farm policy and he would like the House to pass a final farm bill by the end of September.

Malory Ensor/KOMU News - via Flickr

Both of Missouri’s Senators have signed a letter asking agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack to declare almost all of the state a disaster area due to drought conditions.

The federal Farm Service Agency recently found that every county except St. Louis city met the requirements for that declaration. It would open up emergency loans and expand the places where ranchers can graze their cattle.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Missouri's no-call list set to expand

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon will be in St. Louis today to sign legislation that allows people to add cellphones to the state’s Do Not Call list.

Nixon created the list when he was attorney general. Cellphone numbers added to the list would be off limits to most solicitations, including text messages.

Attorney General Chris Koster, whose office maintains the list, is expected to join Nixon. Koster says his office gets nearly 200 complaints a week from cellphone users about unwanted telemarketing calls.

(Combined photos - both by UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The Paycheck Fairness Act, which proponents say would strengthen women's ability to get equal pay in the workplace, failed a procedural vote in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday. Just like yesterday's vote, Missouri's senators are sharply split along party lines.

Missouri's Republican senator Roy Bunt says the bill doesn't have much to do with "fair pay" and a whole lot to do with litigation.

Blunt says student loan debate is red herring

May 9, 2012
(via Flickr/Senator Roy Blunt)

Missouri’s Republican Senator says he’ll continue his opposition to a plan put forth by Democrats to extend federal subsidies for student loans for another year.

Roy Blunt says an alternative plan would accomplish the same goal, without raising the deficit.  Blunt says he supports freezing student loan interest rates where they are now, at 3.4 percent, but says he would pay for the subsidy by taking the money from part of the President’s 2010 healthcare overhaul— which he claims is partially funded by interest payments from student loans.

(via Flickr/Senator Roy Blunt)

Missouri U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R) briefly addressed the Missouri House today.

Blunt spent most of his nine-minute speech criticizing government growth and overregulation.  He was especially critical of the federal government’s attempts to regulate family farms.

"We don’t need people in Washington DC deciding what farm kids can do on family farms," Blunt said to applause.  "We don’t need the EPA trying to spend all this time figuring out how you can farm without dust.”

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Court approves $1.5 million settlement with former US Fidelis employees

More than 550 former employees of the auto services contract giant US  Fidelis will share in a nearly one point five million dollar settlement reached in bankruptcycourt.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Wednesday’s deal settles claims by the workers that they were not properly warned before being laid off.

Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt says he expects most of his fellow Republican congressman will be lining up behind GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney by the end of the month. 

Senator Blunt was handpicked by Romney to garner endorsements for the former Massachusetts governor from his fellow Republican congressmen. He says his task is coming to a close.

With Romney’s primary sweep in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington, DC this week, Blunt said he expects most GOP lawmakers to make up their minds in the next 30 days.  

(via Flickr/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

Army Corps. seeks dismissal of lawsuit filed on behalf of southeast Mo. farmers

More than 140 southeast Missouri farmers are seeking damage caused by last year's intentional breach of the Birds Point levee at the height of spring flooding.

The Southeast Missourian reports that government attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the suit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Oral arguments in the suit are scheduled to begin April 10 in Washington.

(via Flickr/Senator Roy Blunt)

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt is one of the Republicans blaming President Obama for gas prices that have reached close to $4 per gallon, saying his rejection of the Keystone pipeline hurt the economy.

Obama is defending his energy policies in Oklahoma today, pointing to plans to fast-track an oil pipeline from Oklahoma to Texas that emerged after he delayed the larger Keystone XL pipeline earlier this year.

Even so, Blunt says the president continues to obstruct progress.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt says oil refineries continue to push back on his amendment to the highway bill. The so-called “Boutique Fuels Amendment,” introduced last month, would relax requirements on special blends of gas that are used in different states and cities.

Blunt says the amendment would lower gas prices.

During a conference call with reporters this morning, Blunt said the refineries that were not profit centers for the oil companies before the Clean Air Act now are.

The Senate has turned back an attempt to kill President Obama's new rules requiring most health insurance plans to provide contraceptives without additional cost.

The 51-48 vote against an amendment to an unrelated highway bill (Yes, that's just how the Senate works) was mostly along party lines.

(via Flickr/Senator Blunt)

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt says the race for the Republican presidential nomination could still be in play in March when Missouri holds its caucus. But before that, Missouri will hold a meaningless presidential primary on Feb. 7.

Blunt, a Republican, says at a time when the state is trying to save money, a primary that has no binding impact should have been eliminated.

"But we're going to have it," Blunt said. "And that February primary may give some guidance to people going to the March caucuses."

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

Updated 10:30 a.m.

Updated 4 p.m. with comments from local cardiologist and correcting canceled to postponed.

Republican U.S. Senator Roy Blunt says he's looking "forward to returning to [his] regular schedule very soon" after having a coronary stent implanted on Thursday.

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