Roy Blunt | St. Louis Public Radio

Roy Blunt

Gov. Mike Parson shakes the hand of U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley at Lincoln Days, the largest annual gathering of Missouri Republicans, on Saturday in Springfield.
JULIA O'DONOGHUE | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

Updated at 10:40 p.m. with comments from Kellyanne Conway and U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley

SPRINGFIELD — The word “socialism” kept coming up at Missouri’s largest annual gathering of Republicans, called Lincoln Days, ahead of the 2020 election. 

GOP speakers repeatedly warned the crowd of party activists and elected officials gathered in a Springfield convention center Friday and Saturday that Democrats were threatening American democracy as their party grows more comfortable with socialism. 

Sen. Blunt Calls For More Job Training Programs

Feb 21, 2020
Sen. Roy Blunt visited the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center on Friday as part of his push for more job training programs in the state. 2/21/2020
Kayla Drake / St. Louis Public Radio

Sen. Roy Blunt came to Ranken Technical College in St. Louis on Friday to advocate for more apprenticeships and job training programs. 

Blunt, who is the chairman of a Senate subcommittee that addresses labor and education, released an appropriations bill for the coming year to expand higher education opportunities.

“I do believe for the last 20 or 30 years, there's been too much singular focus on the way to get a good job is a college degree,” he said.

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

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt remains opposed to President Donald Trump’s impeachment, as the Senate trial continues into its second week.

The U.S. House has “clearly failed” to make a case that Trump should be removed from office for pressuring Ukraine to investigate political rival and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son’s activities, the Republican said in an interview Tuesday.

Missouri’s senior senator said the fact that the Democrats are pushing to call witnesses during the Senate trial implies that they don’t think their case is strong enough without more information being introduced into the process. 

President Donald Trump speaks at a Granite City Works warehouse on July 26, 2018.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri’s congressional delegation was divided Wednesday on the historic vote to impeach President Donald Trump.

It’s only the third time in American history that members of the House impeached a president. But it’s unlikely the Republican-controlled Senate will remove Trump from office.

via Flickr/functoruser

In this week’s Politically Speaking news roundup, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Julie O’Donoghue discuss St. Louis' proposal to bring back red-light cameras, the city’s ban on “conversion therapy” for minors and how Missouri’s delegation is handling President Trump’s impeachment. 

St. Louis Public Radio’s Kae Petrin and the Kansas City Star’s D.C. correspondent, Bryan Lowry, join the podcast for some of these conversations. 

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
File photo |Tim Bommell | Missouri House Communications

In this week’s Political Speaking news roundup, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Julie O’Donoghue and Jo Mannies discuss Sen. Roy Blunt’s reaction to the Democratic House’s move toward impeaching President Trump and the Ukraine controversy.

We also chat about the ongoing discussion over new gambling machines that have popped up in gas stations, fraternal lodges and convenience stores across the state. House lawmakers held a hearing in Jefferson City on Thursday regarding whether the new machines are legal and the challenges with regulating them.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt mingles with Republican supporters at state party's Lincoln Days festivities, held this weekend in Kansas City.
File photo I Jo Mannies I St. Louis Public Radio

As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt is in the eye of the political storm over President Donald Trump.

The Missouri Republican is part of a committee that’s gathering facts about Trump’s July phone call with Ukraine’s president. He told reporters on Wednesday in St. Louis that “putting the facts together on the most recent House allegation is important — and then reaching conclusions.”

McCaskill, Blunt at odds on permanent earmark ban

Sep 22, 2019

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 24, 2013 - WASHINGTON – Warning that U.S. Senate leaders may be planning to bring back earmarks, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill on Thursday revived her legislation from last year that would impose a permanent ban on such pet projects.

“I think [earmarking] is a ‘gateway drug,’ and I fear a relapse” in Congress, McCaskill, D-Mo., told reporters at a news conference. In the last Congress, both the Senate and House imposed a temporary moratorium on earmarks, but the Senate has yet to do so this year.

St. Charles convention center
Corinne Ruff | St. Louis Public Radio

ST. CHARLES — U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt wants to increase job training programs in the state and seek more foreign trade partners.

The Republican Missouri senator spoke about jobs and the economy Friday at the 61st annual Governor’s Conference on Economic Development in St. Charles.

Jonathan Ahl | St. Louis Public Radio

WAYNESVILLE — Sen. Roy Blunt is quick to tell people he is proud of soldiers, veterans and the bases in Missouri.

And he says the state can do better in supporting those soldiers and their families.

Blunt was a speaker Thursday at the annual meeting of the Sustainable Ozarks Partnership, a nonprofit that promotes the region around Fort Leonard Wood.

The theme of the meeting was “Supporting National Defense in the Heart of America."

U.S. Capitol
Liam James Doyle | NPR

St. Louis-area members of Congress said they are ready to act to prevent mass shootings like the ones that took place in El Paso and Dayton over the last weekend — though it’s sometimes unclear what exactly they are looking to do.

Blunt launches U.S. Senate bid at Harris-Stowe

Jun 23, 2019

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 19, 2009 - U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt launched his bid for the U.S. Senate on Thursday by asserting that the 41 Republican votes in the 100-member U.S. Senate are all that prevents the new Democratic president and his party's congressional leaders from imposing "absolute one-party rule."

Roger Ideker's farm in St. Joseph, Mo. during the 2011 Missouri River flood. Ideker is the lead plaintiff in the suit against the corps.
Ideker Farms

U.S. Sens. Josh Hawley and Roy Blunt want the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to stop focusing on protecting wildlife in the Missouri River and instead focus on flood control and navigation, a move that environmentalists are calling misguided.

In 2004, the Corps of Engineers changed its management strategy for the Missouri River to protect two endangered species of birds and one fish, the pallid sturgeon. However, landowners near the river have alleged that prioritizing wildlife over flood protection has caused them extensive property damage from major floods.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
File photo |Tim Bommell | Missouri House Communications

Senator Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, was the first in his family to go to college.

Yet the good economic news in the state, and especially his hometown of Springfield, has him championing other routes than four-year degrees, such as certificate programs and associates degrees.

The US Senate voted 59-41 Thursday to reject President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to build a barrier along the US-Mexico border. Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri was among the 12 Republicans who joined Democrats to go against the president on what some are calling an historic vote.

The Republican-led Senate sent a firm message to the White House, with several Republicans saying they could not support the president because they felt he did not have the authority to take such steps.

U.S. Sen.  Joni Ernst speaks on Saturday, March 2, 2019, at Lincoln Days in Maryland Heights.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri doesn’t have a U.S. Senate race next year, which means Republicans will focus on retaining their statewide offices. But U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt has an idea for GOP stalwarts suffering from Senate withdrawal.

Right before she spoke at Saturday’s Lincoln Days banquet in St. Louis County, Blunt quipped that “we’re just going to make the Iowa Senate race to re-elect Joni Ernst the Missouri Senate race.”

Gov. Mike Parson speaks to attendees of Lincoln Days on March 2, 2019, in Maryland Heights.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Republicans used their annual Lincoln Days celebration to bask in their statewide dominance: gearing up for an election cycle where the party is playing defense, as opposed to trying to knock off Democratic incumbents.

Republicans hold all but one statewide office and commanding majorities in the Missouri General Assembly. But some attendees noted that nearly absolute power over statewide government means absolute blame if Republicans fail to deliver.

This story has been updated to include statements from Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley and Rep. Sam Graves.

For the most part, the reactions of Kansas' and Missouri's congressional delegation to President Donald Trump's emergency declaration Friday fell along party lines.

A Washington, D.C. based think-tank has released a report showing just how hard Saudi Arabia is trying to influence the American government using lobbyists and PR campaigns. One senator from Missouri made the top 10 list of politicians taking campaign contributions from firms representing the Persian Gulf kingdom.

Gage Skidmore | Flickr

Both of Missouri’s senators want their colleagues to investigate allegations of sexual assault against President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

It comes as Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the high court was expected to get a key vote later this week.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., speaks to a group of people representing Missouri manufacturing and agircultural interests on Aug. 27, 2018.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill continued her criticism of President Donald Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs, which she says could do lasting economic damage to Missouri’s agriculture and manufacturing economies.

At a meeting Monday in St. Louis, the Democratic senator heard from companies and agricultural-commodity groups affected by the tariffs as Trump announced a trade deal with Mexico.

Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

Missouri U.S. Senator Roy Blunt is expressing disappointment at President Donald Trump’s tweet this week, which said a federal program that allows undocumented children to remain in the U.S. is effectively “dead.”

The Republican Senator told reporters in Jefferson City Wednesday he hopes it’s not too late for a solution that allows them to stay.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt is facing a tough challenge from Kander. But the closeness of the race isn't hugely surprising, given that statewide contests in Missouri are traditionally competitive.
File photo I Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt is sharply disagreeing with President Donald Trump’s bid to apply steep tariffs to steel and aluminum imports, a move that some major St. Louis companies are panning.

The Republican lawmaker also rejected the president’s suggestion that law enforcement officials take guns away from people before engaging in due process.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, his wife, Abigail Blunt, and son, Charlie, join artist Bryan Hayes at his studio in Washington, Missouri. (Dec. 27, 2017) The building was renovated using federal historic tax credits, which Blunt supports.
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt has at least two predictions heading into 2018:

The Missouri Republican expects the public will warm up to the new federal tax overhaul as more see fatter paychecks in the coming months. And he also believes that the GOP will avoid dealing with the nation’s popular entitlement programs –Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security – until Democrats gain more political power.

Gage Skidmore | Flickr

UPDATED Thursday, Nov. 16, with U.S. House vote:

Top Missouri and Illinois officials in both parties are becoming increasingly active in the fight over proposed federal tax cuts, which now have a health care component.

Missouri’s two U.S. senators – Democrat Claire McCaskill and Republican Roy Blunt – illustrate the opposing sides. He’s for the latest version of the bill, while she’s against it.

The U.S. House version passed Thursday, with Rep. Ann Wagner of Ballwin among all six Missouri Republicans voting for it.  The state's two Democrats -- Lacy Clay of St. Louis and Emanuel Cleaver of Kansas City -- opposed the bill.

Gov. Eric Greitens speaks during a news conference after the end of the 2017 legislative session. Greitens used this opportunity to compare lawmakers to third graders for not passing enough bills.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has sent a scathing letter to the state’s two U.S. senators – including fellow Republican Roy Blunt – that accuses them of ignoring problems at the state-run St. Louis Veterans Home and trying to shift the responsibility to him.

In the letter, sent Thursday, Greitens appeared to take offense at an earlier letter that Blunt and Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill had jointly sent to him this week asking for an investigation into accusations of patient mistreatment.

Senator Roy Blunt speaking at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC in 2011.
File photo I Gage Skidmore | Flickr

Speaking  to a group of local health care professionals, Missouri U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt couldn’t resist deploying his renowned dry wit when he was asked about President Donald Trump’s social media feud with powerful Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker.

Blunt quipped: “Did I mention it’s Mental Health Day?”

But while touching off laughter, Blunt said Tuesday that his fellow Republicans’ pointed exchanges could have serious consequences on some major policy issues.

On Thursday, U.S. Sens. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., cast late night votes for and against the most recent health care bill making rounds on Capitol Hill.
Ryan Delaney, Gage Skidmore, Center for American Progress

After another Republican Senate loss early Friday, Missouri and Illinois senators are calling for a return to bipartisan talks to overhaul the nation’s health care law.

They include U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican, who had tried to help his party’s leaders come up with the votes needed for a trimmed-back version of a bill that would have repealed key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, the signature achievement of former President Barack Obama.

Ameren's Callaway nuclear power plant produces about 19 percent of the electricity the company generates in Missouri. It is the only nuclear energy facility in the state.
File photo | Véronique LaCapra | St. Louis Public Radio

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has extended Missouri’s time to comply with the federal Real ID law, which means Missouri residents can use a current driver’s license to get into federal facilities, military bases and nuclear power plants.

Nationwide, Real ID-compliant identification has been required to get into such facilities since October 2015. Missouri’s extension goes through Oct. 10, Homeland Security spokeswoman Justine Whelan said. The extension was granted Monday. 

President Harry S. Truman standing in an open car, speaking into microphones in 1948, Washington, DC. President Truman had just returned from a campaign trip.
Abbie Rowe | National Archives and Records Administration

For 118 years, Missouri has been represented in the U.S. Capitol’s esteemed Statuary Hall by two statues of slavery opponents from the 1800s: Francis Preston Blair Jr., and Thomas Hart Benton (the politician, not the painter.)

That’s likely to change, according to U.S. Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill, who issued a rare joint news release a few days ago to declare, in effect, that they’re wild about Harry S. Truman and optimistic his statue will soon bump Blair’s.

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