Roy Blunt

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U.S. Representative

Roy Blunt (R)

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MO-Junior Seat
Positions
Leadership: No leadership position
Committees: House Committee on Energy and Commerce, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
(subcommittees and past assignments)
Next election: Nov. 6, 2012

Primary challenge:

Incumbent running:

2012 candidates for MO-Junior Seat

Confirmed: None so far
Possible: None so far
Out: None so far
(more info & editing for MO-Junior Seat)
On the Web
Official website


Roy D. Blunt has been a Republican member the U.S. House of Representatives from the 7th Congressional District of Missouri since 1997. The district is located in the Ozarks region in the southwestern part of the state, includes Springfield and Joplin. Blunt is the House minority whip for the 110th Congress.

Contents

Record and Position on Issues

Congressional scorecards

Click through the score to see the records of other members of Congress and full descriptions of the individual votes.

Want to see someone else's scorecard added to the list? You can do it!

Organization 2007 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
2008 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
American Civil Liberties Union not avail. not avail.
American Conservative Union 96 - 24/25 not avail.
AFSCME not avail. not avail.
Americans for Democratic Action 10 - 2/20 15 - 3/20
Club for Growth not avail. not avail.
Drum Major Institute not avail. not avail.
Family Research Council not avail. not avail.
Information Technology Industry Council not avail. not avail.
League of Conservation Voters not avail. not avail.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People not avail. not avail.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce 79 - 15/20 not avail.


Iraq War

Blunt voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.[1]

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]

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.[2]

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.”[3]

Main article: Voting rights in the District of Columbia

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.[n] 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 [n] and a 92% rating from the conservative Christian Coalition. [n]

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. [n]

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. [n]

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.[n]

Energy

Climate

Technology

Innovation

Health

STEM education

Research and Development (R&D)

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.[1] 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[2].

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.[3] 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.[4]

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.[5]

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[6], 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.[7]

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. [8] On January 14, 2006, he issued a release claiming that the majority of the Republican caucus had endorsed him as DeLay's successor. [9] 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.[10]

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) [11] Blunt defeated Truman, receiving 67% of the vote. [12]

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. For specific controversies, see this article's record and controversies section.

Top Contributors to during the 2008 Election Cycle
DonorAmount (US Dollars)
Crawford Group$ 125,750
Elliott Management$ 95,442
Goldman Sachs$ 92,192
Northwestern Mutual$ 88,200
Jones Financial Companies$ 85,900
Emerson Electric$ 81,650
Monsanto Co$ 79,250
Herzog Contracting$ 65,300
Peabody Energy$ 62,900
Murray Energy$ 52,573
Source: The Center for Responsive Politics' www.OpenSecrets.org site.
Note: Contributions are not from the organizations themselves, but are rather from
the organization's PAC, employees or owners. Totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.
Links to more campaign contribution information for Roy Blunt
from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org site.
Fundraising profile: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2008 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]

Committees and Coalitions

Committees

Committees in the 110th Congress (2007-2008)

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

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

Controversies

Tom DeLay

In 1999 Roy Blunt began working with Tom DeLay as his deputy whiop 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 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."[n]
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.[n]


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


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."[n] 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.[n]


Jack Abramoff


In 2003 Roy Blunt co-signed a letter written by lobbyist Todd 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.[n] 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.[n]


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.[n] 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. [n]


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. [n]

More Background Data

Contact

DC office
  • 260 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510
    Ph: 202-224-5721 Fax: 202-225-8941
    Webform email
District offices
  • Northpark Mall, 101 Rangeline Road, Joplin, MO 64801
    Ph: 417-781-1041 Fax: (none entered)
  • 2740-B East Sunshine, Springfield, MO 65804
    Ph: 417-889-1800 Fax: (none entered)
On the Web
Campaign office
  • No campaign website entered.
  • No campaign webform email entered.
  • No campaign office information entered.

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Articles and Resources

References

  1. Roll call vote, Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.
  2. "House delegates may get partial voting rights," Associated Press (via MSNBC), January 22, 2006.
  3. "House delegates may get partial voting rights," Associated Press (via MSNBC), January 22, 2006.

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