Roy D. Blunt (born January 10, 1950) is the junior United States Senator from Missouri. He is a member of the Republican Party. His Senate seat was previously held by Republican Kit Bond, until his retirement. Blunt served as the U.S. Representative from Missouri's 7th congressional district from 1997 to 2011. The district contains most of Southwest Missouri, the most conservative part of the state, anchored in the city of Springfield, as well as cities such as Joplin, Carthage, and Neosho. The popular tourist destination of Branson also lies in the district. In January 2011, Blunt was succeeded in the House by Billy Long. Blunt was the House Minority Whip during the 110th Congress but after the 2008 general elections announced that he would step down from the position. After House Majority Leader Tom DeLay stepped down upon 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 governor of Missouri from 2005 to 2009. He and his son are the only Republicans to have served as Missouri Secretary of State since 1945.
Blunt was born in Niangua, Missouri to Neva Dora Letterman and Leroy O. Blunt.He earned a bachelor of arts degree in history from Southwest Baptist University in 1970. In college he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order fraternity. Two years later, he earned a master's degree in history from Missouri State University (then Southwest Missouri State University).
Roy Blunt entered politics in 1972, when he was elected county clerk and chief election official of Greene County (where Springfield is located). 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 was reelected to the office in 1988. He ran unsuccessfully for Governor of Missouri in 1992, losing the Republican primary to state Attorney General William L. Webster, but fared better than state treasurer Wendell Bailey. From 1993 to 1996, Blunt was President of Southwest Baptist University, his alma mater.
Blunt was the Republican nominee for
U.S. House of Representatives
Roy 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. Blunt has been reelected six times without significant opposition. Blunt's political action committee is the Rely on Your Beliefs Fund. After only one term, Blunt was appointed as chief deputy whip, the highest appointed position in the House Republican Caucus. 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 stepped down from the position in 2008, avoiding a difficult battle with Eric Cantor.
House International Relations Committee
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.
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.
Blunt has a conservative voting record. He is generally rated highly by conservative advocacy groups and receives correspondingly low ratings from liberal groups. Roy 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. Blunt opposes the federal cap and trade legislation and supports drilling for oil on the U.S. coastline. On 10 March 2010, Blunt was named by environmentalist group League of Conservation Voters as one of the "Dirty Dozen" lawmakers who had "consistently sided with Big Oil and other dirty polluters over a cleaner, more sustainable future". Blunt received a 97 percent tiles 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. Blunt, who chairs the House Republican Health Care Solutions Group,has opposed plans for health care reform. 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. Blunt favors allowing dependent children to stay on their parents' health insurance plans until after the age of 27.
Roy 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, 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. Blunt also has six grandchildren: Davis Mosby, Eva Mosby, Ben Blunt, William Branch Blunt, Brooks Anderson Blunt, and Allyson Blunt.
June 1st, 2011