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Blunt on Meet the Press

March 21, 2021

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press to discuss the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol, his decision to not run for reelection, and S.1 - Democrats’ partisan election legislation.

Following Are Excerpts From Blunt’s Interview:

On the Need to Focus on Security Issues in the January 6th Investigation:

“The Rules Committee that I've chaired, that now I'm the top Republican on, and the Homeland Security Committee, we’ve held hearings on this, two hearings so far. I'm for holding more of those, we’re doing a lot of in-depth interviews. I’m not opposed to a commission but Speaker Pelosi has never suggested  after her first suggestion that it would be overwhelmingly controlled by one side  that there would be a bipartisan commission. I'd also think that this is a case where, in terms of the security of the Capitol, whether the police board is functioning or not  not the Capitol police  but the board that, in my opinion, got in the way of decisions that needed to be made that day. We know those facts and I think the Congress itself could move forward and make the changes that need to be made. It's unlikely that the next thing we need to be worried about is going to be exactly like the last thing we needed to worry about. But clearly security from either domestic terrorists or outside terrorists are things we should be concerned about. I think the Congress itself has the capacity here to move forward. That doesn't mean I’m opposed to a commission, but frankly, I would believe that the commission would probably be a reason to wait and not do the things that we know we need to do right now.”

On the Importance of Working Together in a Democracy:

“Missouri voters get to decide who replaces me. And I’ve been saying this, you and I have talked about this before, this idea in a democracy that you run for office saying this is exactly what I'm for, I won't accept anything different than this. I don't know how people even begin to think that's a position you can logically take in a democracy. A democracy is very diverse people coming together and trying to reach the solution that can be reached at that time. I hope we get back to that. Now, you know, if there are two or three things, because of your life history or your faith, that you know you can never compromise on, that's one thing. But when you come up with a long list of things that it's either my way or nothing happens at all, you basically ensure that nothing is going to happen at all. Democracy is give-and-take just like, frankly, at work, at church, at home. If you're not willing to have some give-and-take, you're not going to have a very successful or satisfying life or, in this case, not a very successful or satisfying United States of America.”

On the Decision Not to Run for Reelection:

“I'm optimistic about the future. I'm grateful for the chances to serve. I've actually been able, particularly in this last two years, to get a lot of things done. A lot of things related to the vaccine and testing, mental health reform is moving dramatically in the right direction, health care research, what we're doing to try to do a better job figuring out how we can keep up with the Chinese and others. At the end of this term, I’ll have been in the Congress for 26 years, and 20 years in Missouri politics before that. If 15 general election victories is not enough to satisfy even the most needy politician, I don't know what would be.”

On Support for the Voting Rights Act, Opposition to Democrats’ Partisan, Sweeping Election Legislation:

“I’m for the Voting Rights Act and always have been. I'm for people participating. What I’m not for is a federal takeover of the election system. I believe the election system works as well as it works because of local responsibility and diversity. And I'm for that. Now, in this bill, there are a lot of things that go beyond that, too. There's a partisan Federal Election Commission, where for the first time ever, instead of being an equal number of Republicans and Democrats, it's three of one side and two of the other. There’s money out of the federal treasury for politicians for their campaigns. There are a lot of things to talk about here that don't have anything to do, in my opinion, with access to the ballot or security of knowing that what happened on Election Day is what voters actually wanted to see happen.”

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