Roy Blunt

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Roy Blunt
Roy Blunt, Official Portrait, 112th Congress.jpg
United States Senator
from Missouri
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Serving with Claire McCaskill
Preceded by Kit Bond
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 7th district
In office
January 3, 1997 – January 3, 2011
Preceded by Mel Hancock
Succeeded by Billy Long
House Minority Whip
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2009
Leader John Boehner
Preceded by Steny Hoyer
Succeeded by Eric Cantor
House Majority Whip
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2007
Leader Tom DeLay (2003-2005)
Himself (Interim) (2005-2006)
John Boehner (2006-2007)
Preceded by Tom DeLay
Succeeded by Jim Clyburn
House Majority Leader
Interim
In office
September 29, 2005 – February 2, 2006
Preceded by Tom DeLay
Succeeded by John Boehner
Republican Chief Deputy Whip
In office
January 3, 1999 – January 3, 2003
Whip Tom DeLay
Preceded by Dennis Hastert
Succeeded by Eric Cantor
33rd Missouri Secretary of State
In office
January 8, 1985 – January 8, 1993
Governor Kit Bond
Preceded by James Kirkpatrick
Succeeded by Judi Moriarty
Personal details
Born Roy Dean Blunt
(1950-01-10) January 10, 1950 (age 64)
Niangua, Missouri
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Roseann Ray Blunt (div.)
Abigail Perlman Blunt
Children Matthew Roy Blunt
Amy Blunt Mosby
Andrew Blunt
Alexander Charles Blunt (adopted)
Residence Strafford, Missouri
Alma mater Southwest Baptist University (B.A.)
Missouri State University (M.A.)
Profession College administrator
Religion Southern Baptist
Website www.blunt.senate.gov

Roy Dean1 Blunt (born January 10, 1950) is the junior United States Senator from Missouri. He is a member of the Republican Party. His Senate seat was previously held by Republican Kit Bond, until Bond's retirement.

Blunt served as the United States Representative from Missouri's 7th congressional district from 1997 to 2011. The district contains most of Southwest Missouri, anchored in the city of Springfield, as well as cities such as Joplin, Carthage, and Neosho. The popular tourist destination of Branson also lies in the district. In January 2011, Blunt was succeeded in the House by Billy Long.

Blunt was the House Minority Whip during the 110th Congress but after the 2008 general elections announced that he would step down from the position. After House Majority Leader Tom DeLay stepped down upon criminal indictment in Texas, Blunt served as interim House Majority Leader from September 29, 2005, to February 2, 2006, when John Boehner of Ohio was elected as DeLay's permanent replacement. In 2011, Blunt was elected vice-chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.2

Blunt is the father of Matt Blunt, the governor of Missouri from 2005 to 2009. At 54, he was the youngest father of a governor of any state. Also he was one of the few politicians who remained active in political scene while his son was a governor. He and his son are the only Republicans to have served as Missouri Secretary of State since 1945.

Early life and education

Blunt was born in Niangua, Missouri, the son of Neva Dora (née Letterman) and Leroy O. Blunt.3 He earned a bachelor of arts degree in history from Southwest Baptist University in 1970. In college he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order fraternity. Two years later, he earned a master's degree in history from Missouri State University (then Southwest Missouri State University).

Early political career (1972–1997)

Greene County Clerk

Blunt entered politics in 1972, when he was elected county clerk and chief election official of Greene County (where Springfield is located). He served as Greene County Clerk until 1984.

1980 lieutenant gubernatorial election

Incumbent Republican Lieutenant Governor Bill Phelps decided to run for Governor. Blunt, the Greene County Clerk, decided to run for the open seat and won the Republican primary, but lost the general election to State Representative Ken Rothman 56%-44%.4

Secretary of State

In 1984, incumbent Democrat Missouri Secretary of State James C. Kirkpatrick decided to retire. Blunt decided to run and won the Republican primary with 79% of the vote.5 In the general election, he defeated Democratic State Representative Gary Sharpe 54%-46%.6 He became the first Republican to hold the post in 50 years.

In 1988, he won re-election against Democrat James Askew 61%-38%.7

1992 gubernatorial election

Incumbent Republican Governor John Ashcroft was term-limited. Blunt decided to run statewide a fourth time. Missouri Attorney General William Webster defeated him and Missouri Treasurer Wendell Bailey 44%-40%-15%.8 Webster would lose the general election to Mel Carnahan.

University President

From 1993 to 1996, Blunt was President of Southwest Baptist University, his alma mater.

U.S. House of Representatives (1997–2011)

Roy Blunt in his first term in the U.S. House of Representatives

Elections

Blunt decided to run for the United States House of Representatives after incumbent U.S. Representative Mel Hancock honored his pledge to serve only four terms. Blunt ran in Missouri's 7th congressional district, the most conservative district in Missouri, located in the Ozark Mountains in the southwestern part of the state. Blunt's political action committee is the Rely on Your Beliefs Fund. On August 6, 1996, he won the Republican primary defeating Gary Nodler 56%-44%.9 In the general election, he defeated Democrat Ruth Bamberger 65%-32%.10

He won re-election in 1998 (73%), 2000 (74%), 2002 (75%), 2004 (70%), 2006 (67%), and 2008 (68%).

Tenure

Education

Blunt has voted in favor of school prayer and supported the No Child Left Behind Act. He has voted in favor of school vouchers within the District of Columbia but has voted against broader legislation allowing states to use federal money to issue vouchers for private or religious schools. He has received a 17 percent rating from the National Education Association.11

Fiscal issues

Blunt received a 97 percent tiles rating from the United States Chamber of Commerce indicating a pro-business voting record. He supported efforts to overhaul U.S. bankruptcy laws, requiring consumers who seek bankruptcy protection to repay more of their debts.12

Blunt is a staunch advocate of a federal prohibitions of online poker. In 2006, he cosponsored H.R. 4411, the Goodlatte-Leach Internet Gambling Prohibition Act13 and H.R. 4777, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act.14

Blunt opposes the federal cap and trade legislation and supports drilling for oil on the U.S. coastline. On 10 March 2010, Blunt was named by environmentalist group League of Conservation Voters as one of the "Dirty Dozen" lawmakers who had "consistently sided with Big Oil and other dirty polluters over a cleaner, more sustainable future".15 Blunt does not believe in man-made global warming, stating: "There isn't any real science to say we are altering the climate or path of the Earth."16

Gun rights

Blunt has voted to prohibit lawsuits against gun manufacturers and dealers if the guns they manufacture or sell are later used in a crime. He has also voted to reduce the waiting period for purchasing a gun from 72 hours to 24 hours. He has received an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association.17

In April 2013, Senator Blunt was one of forty-six senators to vote against the passing of a bill which would have expanded background checks for all gun buyers. Blunt voted with 40 Republicans and 5 Democrats to stop the bill. 18

Healthcare

Blunt, who chairs the House Republican Health Care Solutions Group,19 has opposed plans for health care reform supported by Democrats, including proposals that include a "public option" of medical insurance offered by the government. In July 2009 he suggested that the government should not have created Medicare and Medicaid,20 saying:

The government did get into the health care business in a big way in 1965 with Medicare and later with Medicaid. And government already distorts the marketplace. A government competitor would drive all of the other competitors away. What we should be doing is creating more competition.21

In August 2009, Blunt stated in two separate newspaper interviews that, because he was 59 years old, "In either Canada or Great Britain, if I broke my hip, I couldn't get it replaced."19 Blunt stated that he had heard the statement in Congressional testimony by "some people who are supposed to be experts on Canadian health care."19 The PolitiFact service of the St. Petersburg Times reported that it could not find any such testimony.22

Blunt opposes efforts to end the practice of charging higher rates to unhealthier groups of people. Instead, he suggests expanding the risk pool to make healthcare affordable for those people.23

Blunt favors allowing dependent children to stay on their parents' health insurance plans until after the age of 27.23

Leadership

After only one term, Blunt was appointed as chief deputy whip, the highest appointed position in the House Republican Caucus. In that capacity, he served as the Republicans' chief vote-counter. When Dick Armey retired and fellow Texan Tom DeLay was elected to succeed him, Blunt was elected to succeed DeLay as House Majority Whip.

On January 8, 2006, one day after DeLay announced that he would not seek to regain his position, Blunt announced he would run to permanently replace DeLay.24 On January 14, 2006, he issued a release claiming that the majority of the Republican caucus had endorsed him as DeLay's successor.25 However, when the election was held by secret ballot on February 2, 2006, U.S. Representative John Boehner of Ohio won on the second ballot, with 122 votes to 109 for Blunt. In November 2006, Blunt was elected by House Republicans to their second-highest position during the 110th Congress, House Minority Whip. Blunt handily defeated U.S. Representative John Shadegg of Arizona for the position.26 He announced that he would step down from the position in late 2008, following two successive election cycles where House Republicans had lost seats and to avoid a difficult battle with his deputy, Eric Cantor, who was urged by some to challenge Blunt for the position of Republican Whip.2728

Social issues

Although Missouri Right to Life endorsed Webster over Blunt in the 1992 Republican gubernatorial primary, Blunt has voted pro-life in the House and has a conservative record on most other social issues. He has voted to ban partial-birth abortions and to restrict or criminalize transporting minors across state lines for the purpose of getting an abortion. He opposes federal funding for elective abortions in accordance with the Hyde Amendment.29 He also voted in favor of the unsuccessful Federal Marriage Amendment which sought to place a national ban on same-sex marriage, and has voted against gay adoption. He received 94 percent lifetime and 96 percent 2004 ratings from the conservative American Conservative Union, a 14 percent rating from the American Civil Liberties Union,30 and a 92 percent rating from the conservative Christian Coalition.31 In 2012, he suggested the "Blunt Amendment" an addition to a highway appropriations bill to block part of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) that requires all insurance plans to cover the birth control pill. The proposed amendment would have allowed not only religious organizations, but any employer with a "moral objection" to opt out of birth control coverage. The amendment was ultimately defeated. 32

Agricultural issues

Blunt anonymously introduced an amendment, the Farmer Assurance Provision, into a March 2013 spending resolution. The amendment, dubbed the "Monsanto protection act" by its critics, mandates that if the regulation status of a GMO crop is challenged and a federal court issues an injunction against said GMO crop to stop the planting of the crop while the secretary of agriculture considers the non-regulation petition, the secretary shall immediately grant temporary authority to farmers to disregard the federal court injunction.citation needed According to Blunt, "What it says is if you plant a crop that is legal to plant when you plant it, you get to harvest it." Blunt later led Senate Republicans in defeating an amendment by Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley to repeal the provision.33 Blunt said that all the amendment does "was repeat authority that the secretary in a hearing the other day, before the Agri[culture] Approp[riations] committee the other day, said he already had. And it didn't require the secretary to do anything that the secretary thought was the wrong thing to do. Which is one of the reasons I thought it was fine..."34

Corruption allegations

In 2006, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington3536 accused Blunt of benefiting firms who had hired his then-girlfriend (later wife) Abigail Perlman and son Andrew Blunt, as well as close connections to lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who had been convicted of multiple counts of fraud. Blunt denies both accusations.

Committee assignments

Upon entering the U.S. House, Blunt served on the House International Relations Committee, the House Committee on Agriculture, and the House Transportation Committee. In 1999, he gave up seats on the latter two committees and joined the powerful House Committee on Energy and Commerce. In addition he became a member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He has also served on the Republican Conference Steering Committee since his election to the U.S. House of Representatives, a committee that determines to which committees Republican members of the House are assigned and elevates members to positions of ranking member or chair.

U.S. Senate (2011–present)

2010 election

On February 19, 2009, Blunt announced he would seek the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate election for the seat being vacated by incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Kit Bond.37 He successfully ran against Democratic nominee Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, Constitution Party nominee Jerry Beck, Libertarian nominee Jonathan Dine, and write-in candidates Mark S. Memoly, Frazier Miller, Jeff Wirick and Richie L. Wolfe.38

Tenure

The Wall Street Journal reported in February 2011, that "Blunt introduced an amendment to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that would allow an employer to deny health services if they conflict with their 'religious beliefs or moral convictions'."3940 (see Blunt Amendment) Blunt said of the controversy “was it an overreach when Mrs. Clinton put it in the Clinton health care plan in 1994? I don’t think it’s an overreach at all. It doesn’t mention any specific procedure. It doesn’t even suggest the mandate should be eliminated.”41

Death Tax Repeal Act

On June 20, 2013, Senator Blunt co-sponsored the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2013. The bill is intended to permanently eliminate federal estate tax on family farms, ranches, and small businesses.42

Other legislative activity

On January 17, 2014, Senator Blunt introduced a bill called the Partnership to Build America Act. If signed into law, the bill would create a special fund to pay for infrastructure projects across the United States, according to Ripon Advance.43

Committee assignments

Personal life

Blunt has been married twice. He married Roseann Ray in May 1967 and had three children with her: Matt (the former Governor of Missouri), Amy Blunt Mosby and Andrew Blunt. Blunt and Ray divorced after 35 years of marriage. Afterward, he married Abigail Perlman, a lobbyist for Kraft Foods,44 on October 18, 2003. In April 2006, he and his wife adopted an 18-month old boy from Russia, whom they renamed Alexander Charles "Charlie" Blunt.45 Blunt also has six grandchildren: Davis Mosby, Eva Mosby, Ben Blunt, William Branch Blunt, Brooks Anderson Blunt, and Allyson Blunt.4647 He is a Southern Baptist.

References

  1. ^ http://www.legistorm.com/member/131/Rep_Roy_Blunt.html
  2. ^ Bloomberg News: Thune, Barrasso, Blunt Elected to Top Posts
  3. ^ 1
  4. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=374210
  5. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=381618
  6. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=374216
  7. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=374217
  8. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=374223
  9. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=375005
  10. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=29616
  11. ^ Roy Blunt on Education, OntheIssues
  12. ^ Roy Blunt on Corporations, OntheIssues
  13. ^ Thomas (Library of Congress): HR 4411
  14. ^ Thomas (Library of Congress): HR 4777
  15. ^ LCV Names Roy Blunt to 2010 Dirty Dozen List, Launches BigOilBlunt.com, League of Conservation Voters
  16. ^ "Taking The Politics Out Of Climate Science". NPR. February 4, 2011. Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  17. ^ Roy Blunt on Gun Control, OntheIssues
  18. ^ Silver, Nate (April 18, 2013). "Modeling the Senate's Vote on Gun Control". The New York Times. 
  19. ^ a b c "The (un)truth about health reform". Springfield News-Leader. August 19, 2009. dead link
  20. ^ Blake, Aaron (July 10, 2009). "Blunt suggests Medicare, Medicaid were mistakes". The Hill. 
  21. ^ Bill Lambrecht (July 10, 2009). "Blunt: Medicare, Medicaid 'distorts the marketplace'". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 
  22. ^ "At 59, GOP Congressman says he couldn't get a hip replacement in Canada or England". PolitiFact.com. 
  23. ^ a b David A. Lieb. "Rep. Blunt opposes ban on health status ratings". Belleville News-Democrat. 
  24. ^ "Boehner, Blunt seek to replace DeLay: Lawmakers debate scandals' impact on mid-term elections", CNN.com, January 8, 2006
  25. ^ "Blunt Claims Victory", National Journal, January 14, 2006
  26. ^ Carl Hulse and David Stout, "Ohio Congressman Wins Majority Leader Race, Replacing DeLay", New York Times, February 2, 2006
  27. ^ Kraske, Steve. Roy Blunt to step down as No. 2 Republican in House. Kansas City Star. 6 November 2008.
  28. ^ Patrick O'Connor, "Blunt steps down as party's whip", Politico, November 6, 2008
  29. ^ Roy Blunt on Abortion, OnTheIssues
  30. ^ Roy Blunt on Civil Rights, OnTheIssues
  31. ^ Roy Blunt on Families & Children, OnTheIssues
  32. ^ Aizenman, N. C.; Helderman, Rosalind S. (March 2, 2012). "Health Care". The Washington Post. 
  33. ^ Daily News (New York) http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/senate-dems-fail-overturn-monsanto-protection-act-article-1.1353287 |url= missing title (help). 
  34. ^ "Farm State Senator Defends 'Monsanto Protection Act'". Huffington Post. May 23, 2013. 
  35. ^ http://www.crewsmostcorrupt.org/files/BD2005Report.pdf
  36. ^ http://www.crewsmostcorrupt.org/files/BD2006Report.pdf
  37. ^ Breaking: Blunt candidacy to become official tomorrow, Bill Lambrecht, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 18, 2009
  38. ^ Official candidate list, Missouri Secretary of State
  39. ^ "GOP Backs 'Moral Conviction' Waiver for All Insurance Coverage", Wall Street Journal
  40. ^ "Senate Bill 1813, 112th Cong. 2d Sess"
  41. ^ http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0212/73415.html#ixzz1nkRS9RsA
  42. ^ Wright, Larry (June 20, 2013). "Blunt Co-Sponsors Death Tax Repeal". KTTS-FM. Retrieved July 16, 2013. 
  43. ^ Martin, Aaron (2014-1-20). "Blunt bill would promote infrastructure improvements, create jobs". Ripon Advance. Retrieved January 21, 2014.

  44. ^ Top corporate lobbyists in D.C. , The Hill, April 24, 2008.
  45. ^ St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  46. ^ About
  47. ^ http://www.royblunt.com/meetroy.php?id=31 Meet Roy-Roy Blunt for Senate

Further links

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
James Kirkpatrick
Missouri Secretary of State
1985–1993
Succeeded by
Judith Moriarty
Academic offices
Preceded by
Wayne Gott
Acting
President of Southwest Baptist University
1993-1996
Succeeded by
C. Pat Taylor
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Mel Hancock
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 7th congressional district

1997–2011
Succeeded by
Billy Long
Party political offices
Preceded by
Dennis Hastert
Illinois
Chief Deputy Republican Whip of the United States House of Representatives
1999–2003
Succeeded by
Eric Cantor
Virginia
Preceded by
Tom DeLay
Texas
Majority Whip of the House of Representatives
2003–2007
Succeeded by
James Clyburn
South Carolina
Majority Leader of the House of Representatives
Acting

2005–2006
Succeeded by
John Boehner
Ohio
Preceded by
Kit Bond
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Missouri
(Class 3)

2010
Most recent
Preceded by
John Barrasso
Republican Conference Vice-Chair of the United States Senate
2012–present
Incumbent
United States Senate
Preceded by
Kit Bond
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Missouri
2011–present
Served alongside: Claire McCaskill
Incumbent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Dan Coats
R-Indiana
United States Senators by seniority
72nd
Succeeded by
Jerry Moran
R-Kansas







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