Roy Blunt

(UPI/Rick Meyer)

Missouri has received another $47 million in federal grants to help cover the costs of natural disasters that pounded the state over the summer.

The grants, announced today by Republican senator Roy Blunt, include:

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Nixon wants Mo. universities to consider tapping into reserves to plug hole in budget

Gov. Jay Nixon wants five Missouri universities to consider tapping their reserves  and provide funding to the state's higher education system. Nixon's proposal would call for the universities to provide the state $107 million from their reserves. The state would use that money to help avoid deep funding cuts to Missouri's public colleges and universities. The state would repay the schools over seven years with money from the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority.

(via Flickr/Senator Blunt)

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt says the failure of two balanced-budget amendments today shows Senate Democrats aren’t serious about dealing with the deficit.

The defeat of both bills – one from Democrats, one from Republicans – ends the current push to force a yearly balanced budget from Congress.  Blunt, who voted for the Republican-backed bill, says the fact that neither party could pass their amendment speaks to the heart of the Senate’s disfunction. 

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

Updated 6:10 p.m. with reporting from the St. Louis Beacon's Rob Koenig.

Overcoming a late surge of tea party backing for his opponent, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., was elected to the No. 5 Senate leadership post Tuesday in a close vote that pitted an experienced GOP leader against an "outsider" businessman.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The effort to upgrade the grounds of the Gateway Arch is getting a boost from the federal government - a $20 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The agency planning the project, CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation, announced Monday that the grant will pay for roadway improvements along Interstate 70 near the site of the Arch, including a pedestrian land bridge over I-70 connecting the Old Courthouse, Luther Ely Smith Square and the Arch grounds.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt says he voted to lift a ban on funding horse meat inspections.

Congress cut off funding for horse meat inspections in 2006, but lifted the ban earlier this month (November) after a federal report found more horses had been neglected and abandoned since the economic downturn began.

Blunt says the elimination of the potential for horse slaughter has ruined the horse market.

(Combined photos - both by UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Sen. Claire McCaskill, (D-Mo.) says she’s cautiously optimistic that management problems at Arlington National Cemetery have been solved.

The democratic senator visited the cemetery on Friday to assess changes made there following the revelation that thousands of graves were mislabeled or unmarked.

McCaskill co-sponsored a law that requires congressional oversight of the burial grounds, and requires cemetery officials to submit a grave site analysis. She says that report will be delivered December 22nd and so far, is 86 percent complete.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri Republican Senator Roy Blunt took to the Senate floor today to speak out against President Barack Obama’s proposed transportation measure.

Obama has been pressing Congress to pass the transportation part of his stalled jobs bill that provides $50 million for roads and bridges.

The Senate is expected to vote today on whether to take up the measure. Blunt says the bill is a waste of time and will not pass.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Presidential candidates can now register to run in Missouri’s primary next year – and even though the Republican primary won’t count, representatives for GOP presidential hopefuls showed up in Jefferson City Tuesday to register.  Missouri U.S. Senator Roy Blunt filed on behalf of Mitt Romney.

“The campaign decided properly and rightly so that Missouri is an important state, " Blunt said. "The primary is going to happen relatively early in the process, but several states will have voted before us…I think the primary will help set the stage for the caucus.”

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Sen. Claire McCaskill D-Mo., is accusing Senate Republicans of playing politics when they blocked President Obama’s jobs bill.

The president’s plan died yesterday when all 46 Republicans and two Democrats voted against it. Republicans opposed its stimulus-style spending and the tax surcharge for the very wealthy.

In a conference call with reporters Wednesday morning, McCaskill said it’s important that Congress try to set aside the election next year and focus on improving infrastructure and creating jobs.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Sen. Blunt: Obama's plan failed because it doesn't make economic sense

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., says the Senate killed President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan because it "doesn’t make economic sense to raise taxes on job creators while Americans are looking for work and our nation is facing record debt."

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill says that she wishes she could have attended President’s Barack Obama’s fundraisers in St. Louis Tuesday night, but she had a fundraiser of her own that had been scheduled long before the president’s visit.

Earlier this week, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and other Republican Party officials pointed out that McCaskill and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, both democrats, would not attend. Nixon did meet the President at the airport and appeared at the downtown fundraiser with Obama.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Obama to visit St. Louis today

Following a speech in Dallas promoting his jobs bill, President Obama will attend two private fundraisers in St. Louis , one at a downtown hotel on behalf of the Democratic National Committee, and the other at the home of Tom Carnahan, the brother of Congressman Russ Carnahan and Secretary of State Robin Carnahan.

Not everyone is pleased with the President's plans. Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri says the President seems to be more focused on campaigning than on solving the nation's problem.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

 The ribbon was cut today on a $68 million federal courthouse in Jefferson City, named for former Missouri Governor and U.S. Senator Kit Bond (R).

 It replaces an older building, which shares space with a post office, and where judges, jurors, lawyers and criminal defendants all shared the same elevator.  Bond says the new facility is sorely needed.

flickr/cliff1066

This week, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., introduced legislation aimed at cracking down on unfair trade practices and boosting manufacturing jobs in the state.

McCaskill says many Missouri companies have expressed frustration that an increasing number of foreign shippers are using unscrupulous and illegal tactics to avoid paying penalties they owe for illegal trade practices.

She says the legislation will help in pursuing and successfully collecting duties.

Flickr/JimBowen0306

Special legislative session may end unless consensus found in 2 days

Supporters and opponents of the scaled-down tax credit bill spent more than six hours Monday trying to make their respective cases to a Missouri House committee.  Senate leaders slashed $300 million  from the Aerotropolis proposal before passing it, and say that the Compete Missouri provision in the bill can more than make up for the deleted warehouse incentives. 

David Kerr, who heads the state's Economic Development department, testified in favor of the bill.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated 4:31 p.m. with bill passing in the Senate

The Senate has approved a $7 billion bill to replenish nearly empty federal disaster aid accounts. The vote was 62-37.

The legislation still faces opposition from Republicans controlling the House. They promise action on a competing plan in the House next week that would provide $3.7 billion in disaster aid.

The House measure is attached to a bill needed to avert a government shutdown, and that may give Republicans an edge in the partisan dispute.

St. Louis Public Radio

President Barack Obama will be in a challenging position Thurs. night as he presents his jobs plan to a joint session of Congress, according to Mo. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

In a conference call with reporters Wed., McCaskill said most Missourians want Congress to cut spending, but it will be difficult for the federal government to embark on a giant jobs programs without spending money.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Reporting from KRCU's Jacob McCleland was used in this report.

Army Corps of Engineers officials and Mississippi County farmers met with Senator Roy Blunt Thursday to discuss the restoration of the Birds Point-New Madrid floodway.

The Corps is currently building a temporary levee to 51 feet - more than eleven feet lower than the original levee that was detonated in May to relieve massive flooding on the Mississippi River.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Governor Jay Nixon (D) and nearly half of Missouri’s congressional delegation are pledging to rebuild levees and pursue policies that will make massive water releases from dams unnecessary in the future.

They addressed this issue at a meeting of Missouri Farm Bureau members at the State Fair in Sedalia today.

(Via Flickr/USACEPublicAffairs/Photo by Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk)

Senators from states lining the Missouri River are asking the Army Corps of Engineers to outline plans for next year's flood preparations.

The senators say in a letter sent to top Corps officials on Monday that the agency must learn from this year's devastating flood season and apply those lessons to next year's plan.

The delegation is also asking what authority the Corps has to make changes to its annual operating plan for the river, and whether any additional authority will be needed.

(St. Louis Public Radio/UPI)

 Both of Missouri’s U.S. senators today supported the emergency bill that averts a first-ever government default. The measure, which was the source of months of contentious and partisan debate, raises the nation’s debt ceiling. Republican Senator Roy Blunt says he voted for the bill because it’s a good first step to rein in federal spending.

(St. Louis Public Radio/UPI)

Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri says Republicans need to offer more compromise regarding a plan on how to handle raising the debt ceiling.

McCaskill says Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's proposal includes spending cuts larger than the rise in the debt ceiling and no increased taxes.

She says those were the requirements Speaker of the House John Boehner put forward at the start of the debate. But he has come up with his own plan that McCaskill says is similar, but with a catch.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

According to Mo. Sen. Roy Blunt the bipartisan “Gang of Six” plan to raise the debt ceiling and cut the deficit by $4 trillion is too complicated to agree on by the Aug. 2 deadline set by the Obama administration.

Speaking with reporters during a weekly conference call, Blunt said he might support a short- term solution to raise the debt limit in order to allow time for a broader plan to be implemented.

(flickr/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Carlos J. Lazo)

The Missouri River Working Group is holding its first meeting on Wednesday to come up with a policy on flood control.

Missouri Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill launched the group with senators from North Dakota to look for ways to improve flood control along the Missouri River and keep this year’s flooding from happening again.

flickr/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Carlos J. Lazo

The Missouri River Working Group will hold its first meeting next week to discuss issues related to flood control.

Missouri Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt, along with senators from states along the Missouri River, launched the group to examine the best ways to protect people and property. They’ll also discuss ways to avoid floods, like this summer’s, from happening in the future.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill says she and her colleagues will take a close look at the way the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is managing the Missouri River at the end of the flooding season.

Rising waters have already forced evacuations in the Dakotas and Iowa. The floods are due partly to the release of water from huge reservoirs located near the headwaters of the river.

McCaskill says every year, there are questions about the Corps' decision. But overall, she says the agency has done the right things this year.

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

Mo. Republican Roy Blunt says he's carefully watching a wave of water that will make its way down the Missouri River over the next few days and is already forcing evacuations in Iowa.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) wants the federal government to pay 100 percent of the cleanup costs from the Joplin tornado.

The federal government typically covers 75 percent of the costs of responding to disasters, with state and local governments picking up the rest. But Blunt says he has asked Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to pick up more than that in Joplin’s case.

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill calls comments by the number two Republican in the House about the disaster relief funds for Joplin "wildly inappropriate."

House Major Leader Eric Cantor, a Republican from Virginia, said Monday that if Congress passes an emergency spending bill to help the tornado victims, money will have to be cut from somewhere else.

McCaskill says disaster relief is an important federal function.

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