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Roy Blunt

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Roy Blunt is a U.S. Senator from Missouri

Roy D. Blunt, a Republican, has been a U.S. Senator from Missouri since 2011. Previously he was a member the U.S. House of Representatives from the 7th Congressional District of Missouri 1997-2011. The district is located in the Ozarks region in the southwestern part of the state and includes Springfield and Joplin (map). Blunt was the House minority whip for the 110th Congress. [1]

Record and controversies

General information about important bills and votes for can be found in Congresspedia's articles on legislation. You can add information you find on how Roy Blunt voted by clicking the "[edit]" link to the right and typing it in. Remember to cite your sources!

Iraq War

Blunt voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.[2]

When in March 2007, House Democrats introduced their plan to withdrawal U.S. troops from Iraq through the FY2007 supplemental spending bill, Minority Whip Blunt, agreeing with an assessment made by Vice President Cheney, stated that Democrats were “not able to come up with a strategy” for victory. He promised to do everything in his power to defeat the measure from passing in the House.

Main article: U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Health, and Iraq Accountability Act, 2007 (H.R.1591)
For more information see the chart of U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Iraq War.

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

Oil Voting Record

Roy Blunt has voted in favor of big oil companies on 91% of important oil-related bills. These include Iraq Oil Funding, Climate Change Studies, Clean Energy, and Ending Oil Subsidies. See money in politics below.[citation needed]

Tom DeLay

In 1999 Roy Blunt began working with Tom DeLay as his deputy whip rounding up votes on the House floor. He was also introduced to DeLay's political machine that operated in the form of the Alexander Strategies Group (ASG) and the U.S. Family Network, both founded by ex-DeLay chief of staff and personal minister Ed Buckham. Buckham and another DeLay associate Jim Ellis ran a nonfederal version of DeLay's ARMPAC out of ASG. A nonfederal PAC does not have to file paperwork with the FEC and does not contribute to candidates. Blunt started his own nonfederal version of his Rely On Your Beliefs (RoyB) PAC in 1999. Soon these two nonfederal PACs, RoyB and ARMPAC, would become intimately involved with one another.

According to a report from The New Republic, Blunt's nonfederal PAC showed reciepts in 2000 of $249,837 with $150,000 coming from two transfers from DeLay's ARMPAC to Blunt's RoyB. The New Republic writes, "over the course of the year, [RoyB] recorded expenditures of just over $150,000 to ASG and other DeLay operations. That amount looks suspiciously similar to the $150,000 RoyB took in from DeLay's ARMPAC during this same period."[1]

Digging deeper into the transfers the article uncovers the following information:

In 2000, RoyB ran up a $145,000 bill with ASG for what it described as either "consulting" or "strategy and fundraising," and it paid out another $5,281 to ASG's usfn and Ellis for rent and utilities. In addition, right after the first $50,000 arrived from armpac, RoyB donated $10,000 to DeLay's Foundation for Kids, a Texas-based charity that DeLay uses for p.r. and to justify golfing events. Could ASG have been worth $145,000 in "strategy and fundraising" to RoyB's PAC? Well, RoyB actually raised only $99,837 in 2000. Spending $145,000 to raise less than $100,000 doesn't make a lot of sense. And Blunt did not need strategic advice from Ellis and other Washingtonians to know how to spend his money in Missouri. In other words, the $145,000, along with the $10,000, looks like a subsidy to ASG and to DeLay himself that the Houston representative was trying to hide by transferring the money from one nonfederal PAC to another.[2]

Ellis was later indicted for money laundering and conspiracy in relation to Tom DeLay's use of another political action committee in Texas, TRMPAC.[3] Buckham is currently under investigation in connection to the Jack Abramoff scandal.[4]

On November 16, 2005, Travis County, Texas District Attorney Ronnie Earle subpoenaed documents that purportedly show communication between DeLay's political action committee and that of Roy Blunt. The subpoenaed documents were bank records of DeLay's Americans for a Republican Majority PAC, which gave $75,000 to start the Texans for a Republican Majority. Federal Election Commission records show that Blunt's PAC also paid roughly $88,000 in fees since 2003 to a consultant facing indictment in Texas in the same case as DeLay.

DeLay said of Blunt: "Roy Blunt has done a tremendous job. . . . His leadership is vital to our cause." [5]

Ties to tobacco industry

In 2002, Blunt attempted to insert a provision in support of tobacco corporations into the legislation that created the Department of Homeland Security. According to the Washington Post, "The provision would have made it harder to sell tobacco products over the Internet and would have cracked down on the sale of contraband cigarettes, two practices that cut into Philip Morris's profits."[6] Blunt said that he pushed for the provision after speaking with John F. Scruggs, vice president of government affairs for Altria. At the time, Blunt was dating Altria (the parent group that owns Philip Morris) lobbyist Abigail Perlman, whom he later married. His son, Andrew, also works as a lobbyist for Philip Morris in Missouri. In contrast to House tradition, the rider had not been cleared by the House leadership. It was removed from the final bill by an anonymous Republican member.[7]

Jack Abramoff

In 2003 Roy Blunt co-signed a letter written by lobbyist Todd A. Boulanger, part of Team Abramoff, to the Interior Department endorsing the position of one of Abramoff's tribal clients, the Louisiana Coushatta's in their fight to protect their casino turf.[8] Blunt's leadership PAC, Rely On Your Beliefs, received $8,500 from Abramoff.

Blunt was one of 18 lawmakers, lobbyists, and lawyers who was listed as "FOO Comp" at Abramoff's restaraunt Signatures, meaning that he could dine for free.[9]

Matt Blunt

According to The Hill, Missouri state records revealed contributions to Blunt's son Matt's campaign for Missouri Governor from firms and individuals with business pending before Roy Blunt's subcommittees. Although some of the companies have significant interests in the state, others didn't.

Top executives at Freddie Mac, for example, contributed $4,000 to his campaign. On Nov. 6, 2000, Senior Vice President Gary Lanzara and Vice President Lelan Brendsel gave $1,000 each. Two weeks later, Freddie Mac lobbyist David Glenn and his wife, Cherie, also contributed $1,000 apiece. Cherie is listed as a homemaker; the couple reside in Great Falls, Va.

Contributions from telecommunications-related entities accounted for over $10,000. Railway transportation companies also contributed more than $6,000 to Matt Blunt's campaign. John Scruggs, a top lobbyist for Altria, formerly Phillip Morris, contributed $1,000. Other contributions came from companies and executives in — or representatives for — such heavily regulated industries as healthcare, insurance, chemicals and defense technology.

By far the biggest outside contributors to Matt Blunt's campaign, however, were colleagues of Roy Blunt. Campaign finance documents show 84 House lawmakers made 95 contributions to the secretary of state campaign, totaling more than $65,000.[10]

Principally as a result of these scandals involving influence peddling in exchange for family benefits, Blunt was named in 2006 by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington as one of the twenty most corrupt US legislators. [11]

Trips by staffers

In July 2006, a study by the Center for Public Integrity, American Public Media, and the Northwestern University’s Medill News Service concluded that Blunt’s staff spent over $385,000 on trips over the previous five-and-a-half years. The destinations included Switzerland, Hawaii, Florida, Austria, Amsterdam, Russia, California, and France. The study found that over this period, members of Congress and their aides took at least 23,000 trips valued at almost $50 million. [12]

House delegate voting rights

On January 24, 2007, after Democrats took control of the House following the 2006 congressional elections, a rule change was again passed providing delegates and the resident commissioner with limited voting rights. The change allowed delegates and the resident commissioner (4 of 5 of whom were Democrats) to vote on the House floor in the "Committee of the Whole," whereby bills are debated and amendments are added. The rule, however, stipulated that if a delegate's vote was decisive, the committee would disband and a new vote would be taken without the non-voting members.[3]

All but one House Republican, Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), opposed the change. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) called it, “An outrageous grab of power by the majority,” while Minority Whip Blunt argued it amounted to, “Representation without taxation.”[4]

Main article: Voting rights in the District of Columbia

Bio

Background

Born January 10, 1950, Blunt earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from Southwest Baptist University. Blunt also earned a Master's degree in History from Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University). Blunt taught history and government at both the high school and college levels.

Blunt comes from a family of Missouri politicians. His father, Leroy Blunt, was a state legislator and his grandfather was a county politician

Blunt began his career in politics as a driver for John Ashcroft during his failed 1972 congressional bid.[13] According to the 2006 Almanac of American Politics, Blunt "showed up at campaign headquarters in his pickup truck, Ashcroft asked, 'Have you got gas in this truck?' Blunt said yes and became his driver". In 1973 Blunt was elected county clerk and chief election official of Greene County, Missouri (where Springfield is located). Blunt was the Republican nominee for Missouri lieutenant governor in 1980, but lost to Democrat Kenneth Rothman. He served as Greene County clerk until 1984, when he was elected Missouri Secretary of State--the first Republican to hold that 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 his alma mater.

Congressional career

Blunt was first elected to Congress in 1996. In 2004, he was reelected to his fifth term in the House with 70.4% of the vote[14].

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 DeLay was elected to succeed him, DeLay personally selected Blunt to replace him as Majority Whip.

Blunt has been a key vote counter throughout the period of Tom DeLay's term as Majority Leader. One of his greatest accomplishments was marshalling the controversial Medicare prescription drug bill of 2003 through a divided House. Blunt even set up a "war room" for lobbyists, the largest of its kind, during the lead up to the Medicare vote.[15] The Republicans eventually won by one vote after keeping the voting open for hours - accusations of vote buying and arm twisting followed the controversial vote.[16]

Abortion

Although Missouri Right to Life endorsed Webster over Blunt in the 1992 Republican gubernatorial primary, Blunt has voted pro-life in Congress and has a conservative record on most other social issues. He has voted to ban partial-birth abortion, and to make it more difficult for minors to get an abortion.[17] He also voted in favor of the Federal Marriage Amendment which bans same-sex marriages and has voted against same-sex adoptions. He received a 14% rating from the American Civil Liberties Union [18] and a 92% rating from the conservative Christian Coalition. [19]

Religious 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% rating from the National Education Association. [20]

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. [21]

Business

Blunt received a 97% rating from the U.S. 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.[22]

Blunt's K Street cabinet

In an article titled "House Majority Whip Exerts Influence by Way of K Street" the Washington Post detailed the group of lobbyists that Blunt plots strategy with for congressional sessions:

At the top of the Republican leadership's K Street lobbying arm, there is a de facto "executive committee," a hard-core base of about 25 lobbyists. Among them are Ed Gillespie, former Republican Party chair; Mark Isakowitz, formerly with the National Federation of Independent Business; Samantha Poole, Blunt's former senior legislative assistant; former DeLay aide Tony Rudy; Lyle Beckwith, senior vice president of the National Association of Convenience Stores; and Ralph Hellmann, senior vice president of the Information Technology Industry Council.[23]

Blunt has proved effective at directing support from the lobbying community to gain victories on the 2003 Medicare prescription drug bill and the Central American Free Trade Agreement, both tough and controversial bills.

Majority Leader

On September 28, 2005 Majority Leader Tom DeLay was indicted by a Texas grand jury on felony charges of money laundering and conspiracy. House GOP rules mandate that any member of the leadership must immediately resign his/her post if they are indicted for a felony crime. DeLay stepped down and pushed for Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-CA) to fill his Majority Leader post. The rank and file Republicans revolted at this selection of a new Majority Leader for a number of reasons. One reason was that they felt that DeLay was going over their heads in appointing someone rather than letting the caucus vote on who his replacement would be. And second, Dreier has long been rumored to be gay[24], a sexuality that may not go over well with GOP grassroots voters who flocked to the polls in 2004 to vote on anti-gay marriage amendments. After a closed door meeting the Republican caucus emerged to announce that Roy Blunt had been unanimously chosen as the interim Majority Leader.[25]

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. [26] On January 14, 2006, he issued a release claiming that the majority of the Republican caucus had endorsed him as DeLay's successor. [27] Blunt faced opposition from a former member of Newt Gingrich's leadership team, John Boehner of Ohio, and hard-line conservative from Arizona John Shadegg. Both Shadegg and Boehner ran as reformers and attempted to cast Blunt as unable to lead the Republicans beyond the scandals brought on by Jack Abramoff, Tom DeLay, and Duke Cunningham.

On February 2, 2006 the GOP held the election for Majority Leader by secret ballot. The first ballot showed Blunt with the highest number of votes, but not enough to secure the nomination. Shadegg received the fewest votes in the first ballot and was forced to drop out. He then directed his supporters to back Boehner against Blunt. With Shadegg's supporters behind him, John Boehner emerged as the victor on the second ballot, with 122 votes to 109 for Blunt.[28]

2006 elections

In 2006, the Democrats nominated Jack Truman to face Blunt in his November 2006 bid for reelection. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006) [29] Blunt defeated Truman, receiving 67% of the vote. [30]

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00005195&cycle=2006</crpcontribdata>

Links to more campaign contribution information for Roy Blunt
from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org site.
Fundraising profile: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2006 election cycle Career totals


Oil contributions

Roy Blunt has received $120,350 in oil contributions during the 110th congress. $89,500 of those dollars were from industry PACS. Since 2000, he has accepted a total of $355,748. He has also received $48,000 in coal contributions during the 110th congress, which places him in the top 25% of representatives receiving coal money. $36,500 of those dollars were from industry PACS.[citation needed]

Coal Contributions

In late October 2010, during the lead up to the Congressional midterm elections, The New York Times reported:

Coal industry spending on campaigns and lobbying is substantial and growing, although it is dwarfed by the far better-financed oil and gas, electric utility, financial services and health care lobbies.
Among the largest recipients of coal money are Republican and Democratic members who have sponsored or voted for measures to block new E.P.A. regulations on climate cahnge pollution from the burning of coal and oil and who are most likely to support efforts to block other new rules.
These members include Representatives Roy Blunt of Missouri and Joe L. Barton of Texas, both Republicans, and Nick J. Rahall II of West Virginia and Rick Boucher of Virginia, both Democrats. Each had received more than $25,000 in contributions as of early October, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks campaign spending.
Two Senate candidates, Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, and Gov. Joe Manchin, Democrat of West Virginia, have also received sizable industry donations.
The political action committee of Representative John Boehner of Ohio, who is in line to become speaker if Republicans capture the House, has received more than $300,000 from mining interests, most of it from coal companies. The industry is counting on Mr. Boehner to reverse the current Democratic leadership's refusal to allow a vote on the measure blocking E.P.A. carbon regulation.[5]

Committees and coalitions

Committees

Committee assignments are not yet available for the 110th Congress.

Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

More background data

Wikipedia also has an article on Roy Blunt. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.

Contact

DC Office:
217 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-2507
Phone: 202-225-6536
Fax: 202-225-5604
Web Email
Website

District Office- Joplin:
Northpark Mall
101 Rangeline Road
Joplin, MO 64801
Phone: 417-781-1041
Fax: 417-781-2832

District Office- Springfield:
2740-B East Sunshine
Springfield, MO 65804
Phone: 417-889-1800
Fax: 417-889-4915

Twitter

Articles and resources

References

  1. Roy Blunt profile, The Washington Post, accessed January 2011.
  2. Roll call vote, Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.
  3. "House delegates may get partial voting rights," Associated Press (via MSNBC), January 22, 2006.
  4. "House delegates may get partial voting rights," Associated Press (via MSNBC), January 22, 2006.
  5. "Coal Industry Spending to Sway Next Congress" John Broder, The New York Times, October 29, 2010.

External resources

Local blogs and discussion sites

Articles

Corresponding article on Wikipedia and Cause Caller. (If Cause Caller link does not work, pick from its list of senators and representatives.)

Current Office: U.S. House of Representatives
111th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Committees,
Ranking Member On:

Caucuses:
Committees:
110th Congress
Leadership Position:
Minority Whip
Committees Chaired:
Committees,
Ranking Member On:

Caucuses:
Committees: House Committee on Foreign Affairs
Congressional Career
First Elected to Current Office:
November 5, 1996
First Took Current Office:
January 3, 1997
Next Election:
November 2, 2010
Term Ends:
Freshman Member?
No
Previous Political Work?
Secretary of State, Missouri
Other Party Membership:
District Offices:
1. Northpark Mall, 101 Rangeline Road, Joplin, MO 64801
Phone: 417-781-1041 / Fax: 417-781-2832
2. 2740-B East Sunshine, Springfield, MO 65804
Phone: 417-889-1800 / Fax: 417-889-4915




Campaign Contact:

Website:
Webform Email: / Email:

Campaign Offices:

1.
Phone: / Fax:



Zip Code Affiliations:
Misc:

Date of Birth: January 10, 1950