U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, R-Mo., shared his thoughts on today's political environment with St. Louis Agribusiness Club members and guests at a lunch, co-sponsored by the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA). NCGA CEO Rick Tolman was on hand to thank the senator for his work on behalf of U.S. agriculture, and draw attention to the lengthy list of unresolved issues that concerns farmers.
"When big decisions are being made, government stands still," said Sen. Blunt, R-Mo. "We are going to have to decide who we as Americans want to be. Do we want to follow Europe's path and have government outgrow our economy, or do we want a government we can afford?"
As ranking member of the Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, Sen. Blunt played a vital role in writing and passing the 2012 agriculture appropriations bill. The senator conveyed his pride in being able to maintain vital support for research and extension at land grant universities, capacity building grants for non-land grant colleges of agriculture, and competitive funding under USDA's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative.
When asked if he thought a farm bill could be completed this year, Sen. Blunt said he thought some extension of the current bill was more likely. "Although something could be accomplished in the Senate that we could live with, that won't happen in the House," Blunt said.
Because of his background as a history teacher and university president, Blunt brings a unique perspective to his work in public service. He commented on government's lack of progress these past two years, and pointed out similar junctures during the administrations of Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, both Roosevelts, Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan. He said he believes that we will have another year of gridlock before government will be back to business and make the necessary hard decisions it is now avoiding.