September 27, 2020
WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd to discuss Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett, voting in the upcoming elections, COVID-19 relief, and more.
Following Are Excerpts From Blunt’s Interview:
On the Timeline for Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Confirmation Process:
“This needs to take all the time it needs to take, but it doesn't need to take more time than it needs to take. I've talked to Senator Graham about this, trying to make arrangements, as chairman of the Rules Committee, for room and space and security and other things. And he's laid out a plan that I think meets all the standards of past hearings, and could be done before Election Day. If for some reason it's not done, we'll do it after Election Day. But I think we're likely to get this done sometime in the month of October.”
On Senate Republicans Keeping with Historical Precedent in Moving Forward on Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Confirmation:
“The Constitution sets up two standards to get on the court: one is the president has to make a nomination and two is that you have to have a Senate that will accept that nomination and agree with that nomination. And [there’s] been 15 times in the history of the country when there's been a … vacancy in an election year, and when the president and the Senate were in political agreement, they almost always fulfill the two obligations. And if they weren't, they almost never did. So what would the deadline be? You know, the president, I said when President Obama made his nomination that not only would he want to make a nomination, but he was probably constitutionally obligated to make a [nomination]. And the other half of that necessary formula just wasn't there to get that done, and now it is there."
"I said a number of times in 2016 exactly what I just said to you. That the two things had to be in agreement for this to happen. And when they weren't in agreement, then voters get a chance to weigh in and give as much direction as they want to. And in 2016, they retained a Republican majority in the Senate. In 2018, after two Supreme Court nominations, they increased that majority in the Senate. And I don't know that we can make this decision -- or I know we shouldn't make it -- based on the politics of it, but what our job is and if we're in agreement in getting that job done.”
On Voting: “The Best Place to Cast a Ballot Is at the Polling Place on Election Day”
“I am concerned, Chuck, about this idea that somehow the election won't be fair. I think the election may be complicated, I talked about this on the floor of the Senate last week. I said the best place to cast a ballot is at the polling place on Election Day. You have all the information. You know, if you voted two weeks ago, you wouldn't have been thinking about this particular circumstance right now. But you have all the information, you vote, you watch your ballot go into a counting system that you're pretty sure of. And then I said, but if you don't want to do it that way, you should take advantage of all the other opportunities to vote.”
On Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions:
“I think a lot of the Affordable Care Act is now baked into the system. The one provision in the Affordable Care Act that I authored said -- we filed about 9 or 10 bills -- was keeping people on insurance, their parent's insurance, until they're 26, sure don't see that being reversed. I don't see preexisting conditions being protected being reversed. No matter what the court decides, a lot of that discussion has already been had. The American people have accepted that as a basic part of the ongoing system, and we'll have that happen.”