Joplin Globe (Editorial): Our View: Blunt gets the job done
October 7, 2016
Missouri’s U.S. Senate race has taken on a political ad life of its own. So much, that at times we recognize neither the incumbent Republican Roy Blunt nor his Democratic challenger Jason Kander, our current secretary of state.
It’s a tight race. Earlier this week, it was pronounced a toss-up by two Washington polls. As voters contemplate their choice, we recommend they set aside the attack ads and the polls and use institutional memory and results. Blunt, who served the 7th District well as a U.S. representative, played a large role in legislation that made a difference in Southwest Missouri. In the past six years as a senator, it is clear he has not forgotten us.
Here are just a few ways he has watched out for his constituents:
- Blunt helped negotiate across the aisle and deliver a five-year highway bill that authorizes $305 billion for our nation’s federal highway, transit, safety, hazardous materials and passenger rail programs, including more than $5.5 billion for the state of Missouri. Its passage in December of 2015 was heralded as a major coup. It was the first time a long-term, fully funded highway and transit bill was passed by Congress since George W. Bush was in the White House.
- He prepared a measure that restored year-round Pell grants that help lower-income students pay for their college education. More than 50 percent of the students at MSSU qualify for Pell grants, and that number increases to more than 60 percent at Crowder College. The grants were available only for students attending classes in the fall and the spring. Blunt told us the year-round grants existed until 2008 and were restored by Congress after being recommended by a Senate subcommittee that he chairs.
- In the months following the 2011 Joplin tornado, Sen. Blunt helped get an amendment into the 2012 appropriations bill that added $400 million to the Community Development Block Grant program in order to aid disaster relief efforts. The provision was successfully passed into law in November 2011. Out of that amount, the city of Joplin received $45.2 million in CDBG funds.
- Blunt has always been a friend to Southwest Missouri farmers. That didn’t change when he became a senator. He worked across the aisle in introducing a bill to support agricultural research by encouraging the creation of public-private partnerships to increase overall funding and spur innovation. Blunt has told us that investing in the future of agriculture and the safety and security of our food supply is one of the best investments America can make.
In these most uncertain times, The Joplin Globe’s editorial board recommends keeping Blunt, along with his experience and leadership, in Congress.
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