Senator Blunt Makes 21st Straight Appearance at Missouri State Ag Forum

Senator Roy Blunt made his 21st straight appearance at the Missouri State William H. Darr College of Agriculture Forum Friday night, talking both agriculture issues and other actions he’s recently taken in Washington.

Blunt opened his comments talking about his vote in Washington against the emergency declaration President Trump made regarding the border.

“It doesn’t mean that the President and I have problems,” Blunt joked. “I like the President, the President likes the President, we have that in common.”

When the laughter died, Blunt turned serious.

“I told him ‘Mr. President, I can’t be with you on this’,” Blunt said. “And he said ‘I don’t agree with that, but I understand and I think it will end up in court anyway’.”

Blunt indicated that the President felt the court case was important and he agreed with the President’s sentiment.

“The court case may tell us that the President has more emergency power than any of us thought he had,” Blunt said.

Blunt noted the law on emergency declarations was originally aimed at curtailing Presidential actions.

“It was not a law written to expand Presidential power,” Blunt said while mentioning the law’s passage in the wake of Watergate. “It was really written to more tightly define what Presidents could do while understanding there are emergency situations where Congress doesn’t have time to act. 9/11 would be one of those, an ebola outbreak would be one of those.”

Blunt also addressed the recent proposal from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to cut funding for Special Olympics by telling those in attendance that there was no way the committee he’s chairing would cut any funding for Special Olympics. Blunt has been active in supporting Special Olympics for decades.

During the panel discussion time, Blunt addressed the way the agriculture industry can work with other industries to benefit the overall economy.

Blunt said the President has been good in the regulatory issue regarding farms but there’s an area that needs attention.

“We need trade environment to catch up to the tax and regulatory environment,” Blunt said. “That has the best chance of making the quickest change.”

When asked about the future of agriculture and its impact on Missouri communities, Blunt talked about ways all parts of a community can work together

“We do better in a productive kind of economy,” Blunt said. “And if you can combine growing things with making things, for us that’s the best formula for us to have the kind of communities that people want to live in and have the tax base that goes beyond just an ag economy tax base.”

Blunt also talked about ways the government can get involved to help in ways that people don’t initially think about when it comes to the ag portion of an area’s economy such as bringing broadband internet to rural regions of the station, keeping utility rates down and working to increase the quality and efficiency of an area’s transportation systems.

Blunt said those items are factors that business owners have to consider if they want to start and grow in an community with a dominant agriculture base.

The stop by Blunt at Missouri State is part of a swing through the region. He spent the morning touring flooded areas of northwest Missouri and tomorrow will visit a veteran’s clinic in Joplin.

(Headline photo courtesy Missouri State University College of Agriculture Facebook)