|United States Senator
January 3, 2011
Serving with Claire McCaskill
|Preceded by||Kit Bond|
|Chair of the Senate Rules Committee|
January 3, 2015 – January 3, 2017
|Preceded by||Chuck Schumer|
|Succeeded by||Richard Shelby|
|House Minority Whip|
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2009
|Preceded by||Steny Hoyer|
|Succeeded by||Eric Cantor|
|House Majority Leader
September 29, 2005 – February 2, 2006
|Preceded by||Tom DeLay|
|Succeeded by||John Boehner|
|House Majority Whip|
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2007
|Preceded by||Tom DeLay|
|Succeeded by||Jim Clyburn|
|House Republican Chief Deputy Whip|
January 3, 1999 – January 3, 2003
|Preceded by||Dennis Hastert|
|Succeeded by||Eric Cantor|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 7th district
January 3, 1997 – January 3, 2011
|Preceded by||Mel Hancock|
|Succeeded by||Billy Long|
|33rd Secretary of State of Missouri|
January 8, 1985 – January 8, 1993
|Preceded by||James Kirkpatrick|
|Succeeded by||Judi Moriarty|
|Born||Roy Dean Blunt
January 10, 1950
Niangua, Missouri, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Roseann Ray (divorced)
|Children||4 (notably Matt)|
|Education||Southwest Baptist University, Bolivar (BA)
Missouri State University, Springfield (MA)
Roy Dean Blunt (born January 10, 1950) is an American politician who currently serves as the junior United States Senator from Missouri, having been in office since 2011. He is a member of the Republican Party.
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 the cities of Joplin, Carthage, and Neosho, and the popular tourist destination of Branson.
Blunt served as House Majority Whip from 2003 to 2007, and was acting House Majority Leader from September 2005 to February 2006. He was the House Minority Whip during the 110th Congress starting in 2007, but after the 2008 general elections, he announced that he would step down from the position.
Blunt successfully ran for United States Senate in 2010. The following year, he was elected vice-chairman of the Senate Republican Conference. Blunt is the current dean of Missouri's Congressional Delegation.
- 1 Early life, education, and career
- 2 Early political career (1972–97)
- 3 U.S. House of Representatives (1997–2011)
- 4 U.S. Senate (2011–present)
- 5 Family and personal life
- 6 Additional tabular information
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Early life, education, and career
During his time in college, he received three draft deferments from the Vietnam War. Two years later, he earned a master's degree in history from Missouri State University (then Southwest Missouri State University).
Early political career (1972–97)
Greene County Clerk
Blunt entered politics in 1973, when he was appointed county clerk and chief election official of Greene County, Missouri. He was subsequently elected to the position three times and served a total of 12 years.
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%.
Secretary of State
In 1984, after incumbent Democratic Missouri Secretary of State James C. Kirkpatrick decided to retire, Blunt ran for the position and won the Republican primary with 79% of the vote. In the general election, he defeated Democratic State Representative Gary D. Sharpe 54%–46%. He became the first Republican to hold the post in 50 years.
In 1988, he won re-election against Democrat James Askew 61%–38%.
1992 gubernatorial election
Since incumbent Republican Governor John Ashcroft was term-limited, Blunt ran for the governorship in 1992. Missouri Attorney General William Webster defeated him and Missouri Treasurer Wendell Bailey 44%–40%–15%. Webster lost the general election to Mel Carnahan.
U.S. House of Representatives (1997–2011)
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%. In the general election, he defeated Democrat Ruth Bamberger 65%–32%. He won re-election in 1998 (73%), 2000 (74%), 2002 (75%), 2004 (70%), 2006 (67%), and 2008 (68%).
Blunt voted in favor of school prayer and supported the No Child Left Behind Act. He 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 received a 17 percent rating from the National Education Association in 2003.
- Fiscal issues
Blunt received a 97 percent 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.
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, and H.R. 4777, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act.
Blunt opposes the federal cap and trade legislation and supports drilling for oil on the U.S. coastline. He 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."
- Gun policy
Blunt 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.
- Health policy
Blunt chaired the House Republican Health Care Solutions Group.
In 2006, Blunt successfully advocated for legislation that placed restrictions on over-the-counter cold medicines that could be used in the production of methamphetamines. The legislation, called the Combat Meth Act, was opposed by retail and drug lobbyists.
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." He stated he had heard the statement in Congressional testimony by "some people who are supposed to be experts on Canadian health care." The PolitiFact service of the St. Petersburg Times reported that it could not find any such testimony.
- Minimum wage
- 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.
He 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 ACLU, and a 92 percent rating from the conservative Christian Coalition.
- Social Security and Medicare
In 2016 AARP said of Blunt, "He said in 2010 that he remained open to the idea of individual Social Security accounts. His position hasn't changed, but he has maintained for years that it's not a viable issue for anyone."
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. In 2002, when Dick Armey retired and fellow Texan Tom DeLay was elected to succeed him, Blunt was elected to succeed DeLay as House Majority Whip.
Blunt served as Majority Leader on an acting basis starting in September 2005, after DeLay was indicted on felony charges involving campaign finance. 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.
On January 14, 2006, he issued a release claiming that the majority of the Republican caucus had endorsed him as DeLay's successor. 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. He announced 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.
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)
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. 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.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Blunt "has one of the Senate’s most conservative voting records, yet he generally avoids the confrontational, firebrand style" and during his tenure in the U.S. Senate "Blunt’s most significant legislative accomplishments all had Democrat co-sponsors."
The committee and subcommittee appointments of the seated senator, as of September 2016 are as follows.
- Committee on Appropriations
- Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies
- Subcommittee on Defense
- Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies
- Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Chairman)
- Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
- Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
- Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
- Committee on Rules and Administration (Chairman)
- Select Committee on Intelligence
In 2013, Blunt worked with Monsanto to author a rider called the Farmer Assurance Provision, which was added into the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013. The rider's language originated in an agriculture spending bill in the U.S. House.
According to progressive news magazine The Nation, the rider "curtailed already weak oversight over the handful of agro-giants that control the GMO market by allowing crops that a judge ruled were not properly approved to continue to be planted." According to Blunt, who did not add the rider to the bill but who supported it, "What it says is if you plant a crop that is legal to plant when you plant it, you get to harvest it". He later led Senate Republicans in defeating an amendment by Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley to repeal the provision. Blunt claimed all the amendment did "was repeat [sic] 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..."
On January 17, 2014, 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.
Energy and environment
According to The Guardian, Blunt has acknowledged that climate change exists, however he said that the human role in it is "unclear".
In 2015, Blunt voted against a nonbinding Senate resolution stating that “climate change is real and caused by human activity and that Congress needs to take action to cut carbon pollution.”
According to The Springfield News-Leader, "Blunt has railed against the Obama administration's proposed rules to combat global warming, which could deal a blow to Missouri’s coal-fired power plants." In 2015, Blunt sponsored an unsuccessful amendment which "called on the Senate to nullify a climate change agreement in November between the United States and China in which both nations pledged to reduce their carbon emissions."
In 2016, Blunt worked to block a carbon tax on emissions. He supports the expanded domestic exploration for coal and natural gas. Citing his support for agriculture and energy production, Blunt "has aggressively pushed to block a rule that would allow the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate some streams, wetlands and other waters."
In April 2013, 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, which failed to pass.
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'."
Blunt said of the amendment, "[W]as 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."
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.
In July 2013, Blunt indicated that he would not support efforts to tie raising the federal debt ceiling to defunding Obamacare. In an interview on MSNBC, he expressed his opinion that Obamacare is "destined to fail", but that raising the debt ceiling shouldn't be "held hostage" to "any specific thing".
Social Security and Medicare
Blunt has been a supporter of free-trade agreements. The Springfield News-Leader wrote: "[Blunt] has supported a spate of free-trade agreements during his nearly 20 years in Congress, including a U.S-Singapore deal in 2003, the Central American Free Trade agreement in 2005 and the U.S-Korea agreement in 2011." After early enthusiasm, Blunt has been ambivalent about supporting the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). In 2015, he voted to give President Obama fast-track authority to negotiate the TPP without amendments.
Blunt ran for re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2016. He won the Republican primary with 73% of the vote and faced Democrat Jason Kander in the November 2016 general election on November 8, 2016. Blunt won with 49.4% of the vote to Kander's 46.2%.
Family and personal life
Blunt married Abigail Perlman, a lobbyist for Kraft Foods, in 2003. In April 2006, he and Perlman adopted an 18-month-old boy from Russia, whom they renamed Alexander Charles Blunt.
Additional tabular information
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (September 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
All information provided here is for elections for the State of Missouri and its congressional districts.
|7th U.S. Congressional District election, 1996|
|Natural Law||Sharalyn Harris||2,177||0.9%|
|7th U.S. Congressional District election, 1998|
|Republican||Roy Blunt (incumbent)||129,746||72.6%|
|7th U.S. Congressional District,
Republican primary election, 2000
|Republican||Roy Blunt (incumbent)||62,711||86.4%|
|7th U.S. Congressional District election, 2000|
|Republican||Roy Blunt (incumbent)||202,305||73.9%|
|Natural Law||Sharalyn Harris||2,169||0.8%|
|7th U.S. Congressional District election, 2002|
|Republican||Roy Blunt (incumbent)||149,519||74.8%|
|7th U.S. Congressional District election, 2004|
|Republican||Roy Blunt (incumbent)||210,080||70.4%|
|7th U.S. Congressional District,
Republican primary election, 2006
|Republican||Roy Blunt (incumbent)||47,758||79.9%|
|Republican||Bernard Kennetz, Jr.||2,498||4.2%|
|7th U.S. Congressional District election, 2006|
|Republican||Roy Blunt (incumbent)||160,942||66.7%|
|7th U.S. Congressional District election, 2008|
|Republican||Roy Blunt (incumbent)||219,016||67.8%|
|U.S. Senate Republican primary election, 2010|
|Republican||R. L. Praprotnik||8,047||1.4%|
|U.S. Senate election, 2010|
|Write-in||Frazier Glenn Miller, Jr.||7||0.0%|
|U.S. Senate election, 2016|
|Republican||Roy Blunt (inc.)||1,370,240||49%|
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- Litvan, Laura (December 13, 2011). "Senate Republicans Elect Thune, Barrasso and Blunt to Top Posts". bloomberg.com. Retrieved September 17, 2016.
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- "Taking The Politics Out Of Climate Science". NPR. February 4, 2011. Retrieved October 25, 2012.
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- "Raising the minimum wage becomes topic of conversation on Labor Day". Komu.com. 2016-09-05. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
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- "Social Security Looms Over Senate Race -AARP States". States.aarp.org. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
- "Blunt, Roy". US House of Representatives – Archives. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
- "Boehner, Blunt seek to replace DeLay: Lawmakers debate scandals' impact on mid-term elections", CNN.com, January 8, 2006.
- "Blunt Claims Victory", National Journal, January 14, 2006
- Carl Hulse and David Stout, "Ohio Congressman Wins Majority Leader Race, Replacing DeLay", New York Times, February 2, 2006.
- Kraske, Steve. Roy Blunt to step down as No. 2 Republican in House, Kansas City Star, November 6, 2008.
- Patrick O'Connor, "Blunt steps down as party's whip", Politico, November 6, 2008.
- Official candidate list, Missouri Secretary of State website; accessed November 9, 2016.
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- "'Monsanto Protection Act' Killed In Senate: Controversial Provision Removed From Spending Bill". September 27, 2013. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
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- "S.1183 - 113th Congress (2013-14): Death Tax Repeal Act of 2013". Congress.gov. 2013-06-19. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
- John Thune. "Death Tax Repeal Act of 2013 (2013; 113th Congress S. 1183)". GovTrack.us. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
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- McCarthy, Tom (November 17, 2014). "Meet the Republicans in Congress who don't believe climate change is real". The Guardian. Retrieved November 2, 2016.
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- Weisman, Jonathan (April 17, 2013). "Senate Blocks Drive for Gun Control". New York Times. New York. Retrieved December 25, 2016.
In rapid succession, a bipartisan compromise to expand background checks for gun buyers, a ban on assault weapons and a ban on high-capacity gun magazines all failed to get the 60 votes needed under an agreement between both parties.
- "GOP Backs 'Moral Conviction' Waiver for All Insurance Coverage", Wall Street Journal; February 13, 2010.
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- Aizenman, N.C.; Helderman, Rosalind S. (March 2, 2012). "Birth control exemption bill, the 'Blunt amendment', killed in Senate". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 17, 2016.
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- Belogolova, Olga. "Russian Adoption Ban Is Personal for Some U.S. Lawmakers". theatlantic.com. Retrieved September 17, 2016.
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- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Senator Roy Blunt official U.S. Senate site
- Roy Blunt for Senate
- Roy Blunt at DMOZ