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Roy Blunt

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 23, 2013: 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, Oct. 18, 2013: 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, Oct. 16, 2013 - The U.S. senators in Missouri and Illinois — two Democrats and two Republicans — stuck together in favor of the compromise bill, now law, that ended the 16-day government shutdown and increased the federal debt ceiling.

But when it came to the U.S. House, partisan splits remained, made clear by the 284-144 vote. In Missouri’s eight-member delegation, the two Democrats backed the bill and all the Republicans opposed it.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 14, 2013 - 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: 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, Oct. 3, 2013: 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.

Shutdown Doesn't Stop Missouri Veterans From Visiting WWII Memorial

Oct 2, 2013
(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 first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 24, 2013 - U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., announced Tuesday that he will vote for the House-passed continuing budget resolution that seeks to defund the Affordable Care Act – also known as Obamacare – signaling a harder line, compared to his comments last week.

Last week, Blunt had emphasized that he opposed Obamacare, but observed that it would tough to win Senate passage of the House legislation that links defunding the program to the budget measure. Today, he didn’t mention the resolution’s chances in the Senate – but made clear his support.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 18, 2013: 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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 30, 2013 - While decrying the use of chemical weapons in Syria, Missouri’s two members of the U.S. Senate – Democrat Claire McCaskill and Republican Roy Blunt – have offered up wary, and somewhat conflicted, statements about how the United States should respond.

The two senators’ views are key since both sit on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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, Aug. 2, 2013: 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.

Blunt Among Senators Proposing New Reporter Shield Law

Jul 18, 2013
(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.

Roy Blunt Visits Mercy Hospital,Talks Healthcare

Jun 24, 2013
(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, June 24, 2013: 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, June 21, 2013 - 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.

That plan includes a new agreement, worked out late this week by U.S. Sens. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Bob Corker, R-Tenn., that would mandate, over 10 years, the construction of 700 miles of border fencing; require about $3 billion in new technology for border security; and the hiring of 20,000 additional border control agents.

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, June 3, 2013 - It was high noon on a sunny day when about two dozen environmentalists – one of them holding a cardboard “flat Earth” -- gathered recently outside the St. Louis County office of U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner to protest her stance on climate change.

In particular, the Missouri chapter of the Sierra Club is highlighting a recent letter that the first-term member of Congress sent to a constituent, in which Wagner wrote that the theory that humans are responsible for the planet’s recent temperature increase is “inconsistent and unsound science.”

A big day for the Fifth on Capitol Hill

May 22, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 22, 2013 - 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, May 14, 2013 - 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.

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, McCaskill In Agreement On Internet Sales Tax

Apr 24, 2013
Gage Skidmore | Flickr

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.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 25, 2013 - U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., has sought to put the blame on President Barack Obama for the crucial federal employees and services – including air traffic control towers – that have taken the hit during the implementation of the across-the-board budget cuts known as the “sequester.”

That said, Blunt indicated that he continued to support the overall concept of the sequester, in effect since March 1.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., has sought to put the blame on President Barack Obama for the crucial federal employees and services – including air traffic control towers – that have taken the hit during the implementation of the across-the-board budget cuts known as the “sequester.”

That said, Blunt indicated that he continued to support the overall concept of the sequester, in effect since March 1.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 25, 2013 - On the eve of the U.S. Supreme Court hearing on gay marriage, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., used old and new media Sunday to explain why she now supports marriage equality.

Starting off with a quote from the Bible (old media), McCaskill laid out her stance via Tumblr (new media).

Blunt, McCaskill play roles in Senate 'Vote-a-Rama'

Mar 22, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – Senators call it the “vote-a-rama,” a rapid-fire series of votes on dozens of amendments to the budget resolutions that may or may not have anything to do with the government’s budget.

That’s what was happening late Thursday, Friday and possibly into Saturday’s wee hours as senators tried to finish the budget so they could leave town for their spring “work period.” More than 400 potential amendments were filed, but Senate leaders hoped to pare down the actual number of votes to 30 or so.

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