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VIDEO: Blunt Touts Strong Economy, Highlights Senate Accomplishments

June 07, 2018

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) spoke on the Senate floor to highlight the actions the Senate and Trump administration have taken to strengthen the economy, and the historically strong job growth that has resulted from that effort. Blunt noted that the unemployment rate now matches its lowest level in 50 years and there are more jobs than jobseekers in the United States. Discussing his recent travels throughout Missouri, Blunt said small business owners and manufacturers cited the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as the one of the driving forces behind new plans to hire, invest in equipment, and raise wages for employees.

Following are Excerpts From Blunt’s Remarks:

Blunt on the Strength of the U.S. Economy

“Yesterday, the Labor Department announced that our economy hit a milestone that we'd never hit before in the time that we've been measuring these two things. At the same time, there are now more jobs available in the United States than there are job seekers. When I was in Missouri last week, we did a number of events all over the state, and at that time I was confident that in the 12 states in the middle of country, there were more jobs than there were people looking for jobs, and that was news. But even bigger news is the news that was announced yesterday, that there are 6.7 million job openings and there aren't 6.7 million people on unemployment. In fact, the unemployment rate is 3.8 percent. It matches the lowest number that we've seen in 50 years…

“Two-thirds of Americans say it’s a good time to find a job. That's 25 percent more than in the last administration, think it is a good time to find work. Working with the president, the Senate has done what we could to fuel the economy along with the House, but the House and Senate both have rolled back regulations that didn't meet the commonsense test, and passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.”

Blunt on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

“What we want to do here is cut people's taxes, increase their take-home pay, and do things that increase jobs. In the 10 cities I was in last week… We had roundtables with employers. We had meetings with people who were able to buy a house that they couldn't buy otherwise. We had people who really appreciated the extra $500 a year, or the $152 a month, or the extra $200 a month that they were seeing in their family budget that last year, would have been sent to Washington, DC. You know, I said many times during that tax cut debate that there are two ways to increase people's pay. One is to take less money out of it, and I said and you said, Mr. President, that nine out of ten people who paid taxes last year, if we passed that bill, would be paying fewer taxes this year. But the second way to increase people's take-home pay is to give them a better job to start with. And that's what happens in a growing economy.”

Blunt on Recent Conversations with Missouri Business Owners:

“According to a recent National Federation of Independent Business survey, 76 percent of small business owners believe the current business climate is headed in the right direction. The National Association of Manufacturers, 86 percent of those manufacturers plan to increase investments thanks to tax reform, and 77 percent say they're planning to increase hiring, 72 percent said they planned to increase wages for their employees. That's the kind of thing that happens in a growing economy. I was at Gray Manufacturing in St. Joseph, Missouri, last week, and the president of that company, Stet Schanze, said his company is among those feeling optimistic about the future. They're trying right now to find the 20 workers they need to fill 20 jobs they had. In my hometown of Springfield, Mary Beth Hartman, the president of a local construction company, said she'd been able to not only hand out employee bonuses, but to buy the new equipment, the new trucks, that they have been waiting for some time to buy. …

“I met local officials and business owners who were located in Opportunity Zones. This is an idea that's in the tax bill. Senator Scott and others were really thinking about what can we do to encourage people to put money in those communities that aren't doing as well as others around them? And so take economically-stressed census areas and allow a new kind of investment to occur in those census areas where you take your capital gains profits, that you very likely made somewhere else, and you put them in real estate or in a business or in some other way you invest them in one of the Opportunity Zones. We have 161 in our state.”

Blunt on Rolling Back Harmful Regulations:

“The president took office, was able to eliminate some things that hadn't gotten done yet and the Congress was able to overturn 16 rules that had significant compliance cost savings under the Congressional Review Act, which had been used exactly one time in the history of the law until this Congress and this president were able to do it to reverse rules that were slowing the economy down. The Clean Power rule that would have doubled utility bills in Missouri, in a decade or so. The Waters of the U.S. Rule, that would have put the EPA in charge of things that they shouldn't be in charge of. And by the way, neither of those rules had been allowed to go into effect, not because of the calendar, but because of the courts. In both cases, courts had turned to the past administration and said, ‘you can't do that.’”

Blunt on Democrat Obstruction of President Trump’s Judicial Nominees:

“The other side has just taken so much time to make it so difficult for the president to get his team in place. We've never had anything like this happen before in the history of the country or for judges to be confirmed, for U.S. Attorneys to be confirmed. Senate Democrats have forced 100 cloture votes… In the previous six administrations in the first two full years of all six of them combined, that happened 24 times. So we've gone from an average of the last six presidencies of four times a presidency to 100 times for this presidency, and that is not acceptable.”

CLICK HERE To Watch Senator Blunt’s Opening Remarks & Questions

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