Roy Blunt: Wikis

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Roy Blunt


Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Missouri's 7th District
Incumbent
Assumed office 
January 3, 1997
Preceded by Mel Hancock

In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2009
Leader John Boehner
Preceded by Tom DeLay
Succeeded by Eric Cantor

In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2007
Leader Tom DeLay
Himself (acting)
John Boehner
Preceded by Tom DeLay
Succeeded by Jim Clyburn

In office
September 29, 2005 – February 2, 2006
Preceded by Tom DeLay
Succeeded by John Boehner

Born January 10, 1950 (1950-01-10) (age 60)
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, Southwest Missouri State University
Profession College administrator
Religion Baptist

Roy D. Blunt (born January 10, 1950) is an American member of Congress from Missouri. He represents Missouri's 7th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives, which takes in most of Southwest Missouri, the most conservative part of the state, anchored in the city of Springfield and also includes other conservative cities such as Joplin, Carthage, and Neosho. The district also contains the popular tourist destination of Branson. Blunt was the House Minority Whip during the 110th Congress but announced that he would step down from the position following the results of the 2008 general elections. Blunt is a member of the Republican Party.

After House Majority Leader Tom DeLay stepped down due to a 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.

Blunt is the father of Matt Blunt, the former Governor of Missouri from 2005-2009.

On February 19, 2009, Blunt announced he would seek the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Republican U.S. Senator Kit Bond in 2010.[1]

Contents

Personal life

Blunt was born in Niangua, Missouri to Neva Dora Letterman and Leroy O. Blunt.[2] He earned a bachelor of arts degree in history from Southwest Baptist University in 1970. Two years later, he earned a master's degree in history from Missouri State University (then Southwest Missouri State University).

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. Amy and Andrew are lawyers and lobbyists. Blunt and Ray divorced after 35 years of marriage. Afterward, he married Abigail Perlman, a lobbyist for Kraft Foods,[3] 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.[4] Blunt also has five grandchildren: Davis Mosby, Eva Mosby, Ben Blunt, William Branch Blunt, and Allyson Blunt.[5]

Political career

1997, Congressional Pictorial Directory, Roy Blunt in his first term in the U.S. House of Representatives

Blunt entered politics in 1972, when he was elected county clerk and chief election official of Greene County (where Springfield is located). Blunt was the Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Missouri in 1980 but lost to Democrat Ken Rothman. He served as Greene County Clerk until 1984, when he was elected to the office of Secretary of State of Missouri — the first Republican to hold the post in 50 years.

He ran unsuccessfully for Governor of Missouri in 1992, losing the Republican primary to Missouri Attorney General William L. Webster.

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

Blunt was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1996, when incumbent U.S. Representative Mel Hancock honored his pledge to serve only four terms. Blunt's district, the most conservative district in Missouri, is located in the Ozark Mountains in the southwestern part of the state and includes cities such as Springfield and Joplin.

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. 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.

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. Rep. Blunt was a member of the "Crew's Most Corrupt", a publication distributed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, an ethics watchdog group, in 2005 [1] and 2006 [2]. The stated grounds for CREW's accusations included actions 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 upon multiple counts of fraud.

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.[6] On January 14, 2006, he issued a release claiming that the majority of the Republican caucus had endorsed him as DeLay's successor.[7] 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.[8]

Since he was first elected in 1996, Blunt has been reelected six times without significant opposition. Blunt's political action committee is the Rely on Your Beliefs Fund.

On February 19, 2009, Blunt announced he would seek the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Kit Bond.[9] Should he win his party's nomination, he will face Democratic Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, who in 2008 was elected to her second term with more votes received than any other candidate in the state's history.

Committee assignments

Positions

Blunt has a conservative voting record. He is generally rated highly by conservative advocacy groups and receives correspondingly low ratings from liberal groups.

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.[10] 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 American Conservative Union, a 14 percent rating from the American Civil Liberties Union,[11] and a 92 percent rating from the conservative Christian Coalition.[12]

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.[13]

Guns

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.[14]

Business

Blunt received a 97 percent rating from the United States Chamber of Commerce indicating a pro-business voting record. He supported banking industry-backed efforts to overhaul U.S. bankruptcy laws, requiring consumers who seek bankruptcy protection to repay more of their debts.[15]

Internet gambling

Blunt is a staunch advocate of a federal prohibition of online poker. In 2006, he cosponsored H.R. 4411, the Goodlatte-Leach Internet Gambling Prohibition Act[16] and H.R. 4777, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act.[17]

Health care

Blunt, who chairs the House Republican Health Care Solutions Group[18], 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,[19] 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.[20]

Later that month, according to the Missouri Democratic Party, Blunt said, "We've had Medicare since 1965, and Medicare has never done anything to make people more healthy."[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."[18] Blunt stated that he had heard the statement in Congressional testimony by "some people who are supposed to be experts on Canadian health care."[18] 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]

Obama birth certificate

On July 29, 2009, when asked about Barack Obama's eligibility to be President, Blunt asserted that Obama had not released his birth certificate, and said, "What I don't know is why the president can't produce a birth certificate. I don't know anybody else that can't produce one. And I think that that's a legitimate question - no health records, no birth certificate."[24] Blunt did vote in favor of a House resolution recognizing Hawaii as Obama's birthplace.[25]

See also

References

  1. ^ Dalton, Bill (February 19, 2009). "Blunt is running for U.S. Senate". Kansas City Star. Associated Press. http://primebuzz.kcstar.com/?q=node/17263. 
  2. ^ 1
  3. ^ Top corporate lobbyists in D.C. , The Hill, April 24, 2008.
  4. ^ "Alexander%20Charles%20Blunt")&xcal_numdocs=20&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&xcal_useweights=no St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  5. ^ About
  6. ^ "Boehner, Blunt seek to replace DeLay: Lawmakers debate scandals' impact on mid-term elections", CNN.com, January 8, 2006
  7. ^ "Blunt Claims Victory", National Journal, January 14, 2006
  8. ^ Carl Hulse and David Stout, "Ohio Congressman Wins Majority Leader Race, Replacing DeLay", New York Times, February 2, 2006
  9. ^ Breaking: Blunt candidacy to become official tomorrow, Bill Lambrecht, St. Louis Post-Dispath, February 18, 2009
  10. ^ Roy Blunt on Abortion, OnTheIssues
  11. ^ Roy Blunt on Civil Rights, OnTheIssues
  12. ^ Roy Blunt on Families & Children, OnTheIssues
  13. ^ Roy Blunt on Education, OntheIssues
  14. ^ Roy Blunt on Gun Control, OntheIssues
  15. ^ Roy Blunt on Corporations, OntheIssues
  16. ^ Thomas (Library of Congress): HR 4411
  17. ^ Thomas (Library of Congress): HR 4777
  18. ^ a b c "The (un)truth about health reform", Springfield News-Leader, August 19, 2009, http://www.news-leader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090819/OPINIONS02/908190410&plckFindCommentKey=CommentKey:de5914c7-a167-4b4f-b2d7-f1e40afcc5fe 
  19. ^ Blake, Aaron (July 10, 2009), "Blunt suggests Medicare, Medicaid were mistakes", The Hill, http://briefingroom.thehill.com/2009/07/10/blunt-suggests-medicare-medicaid-were-mistakes/ 
  20. ^ Bill Lambrecht (July 10, 2009). "Blunt: Medicare, Medicaid 'distorts the marketplace'". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. http://www.stltoday.com/blogzone/political-fix/political-fix/2009/07/blunt-medicare-medicaid-distorts-the-marketplace/. 
  21. ^ "Roy Blunt 'Medicare has never done anything to make people more healthy.'". Video. Missouri Democratic Party. July 29, 2009. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3ah8oViQWA. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  22. ^ "At 59, GOP Congressman says he couldn't get a hip replacement in Canada or England". PolitiFact.com. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2009/aug/19/roy-blunt/59-gop-congressman-says-he-couldnt-get-hip/. 
  23. ^ a b David A. Lieb. "Rep. Blunt opposes ban on health status ratings". BND. http://www.bnd.com/336/story/1007890.html. 
  24. ^ Barb Shelly (29 July 2009). ""Roy Blunt still seeking Obama's birth certificate"". Kansas City Star. http://voices.kansascity.com/node/5258. Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  25. ^ "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 647". Office of the Clerk. 29 July 2009. http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2009/roll647.xml. Retrieved 29 July 2009. 

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
James Kirkpatrick
Missouri Secretary of State
1985–1993
Succeeded by
Judith Moriarty
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Mel Hancock
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 7th congressional district

1997 – present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Dennis Hastert
Illinois
Chief Deputy Republican Whip
1999–2003
Succeeded by
Eric Cantor
Virginia
Preceded by
Tom DeLay
Texas
House Majority Whip
2003–2007
Succeeded by
James Clyburn
South Carolina
Preceded by
Tom DeLay
Texas
Acting House Majority Leader
2005–2006
Succeeded by
John Boehner
Ohio
Preceded by
Tom DeLay
Texas
House Republican Whip
2003–2009
Succeeded by
Eric Cantor
Virginia

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