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April 11, 2013

Senator Blunt Tells Memphis Voters - Spending Control, Not Gun Control Should be Lawmakers' Focus

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt is flanked by Missouri Representative Craig Redmon and State Senator Brian Munzlinger during a recent stop in Memphis.

Could the gun control issue be a convenient hot button for debate that is allowing the current administration to avoid tackling tougher topics?

That was one of the comments that United States Senator Roy Blunt made during a recent stop in Memphis. The senator met with constituents on Saturday afternoon at Gerth & Basket furniture on the west side of the city square.

The ongoing gun control debate was a hot topic of discussion.

Blunt noted that several votes were scheduled in Washington D.C. the following week regarding impending legislation, but added that he didn't see much happening on the gun control front.

"I think at the end of the day, you're going to see that the president would much rather talk about gun control than trying to get spending under control," Blunt stated.

Missouri Senator Brian Munzlinger, who was in attendance for the event along with local state representative Craig Redmon, noted that state lawmakers are set to unveil a senate joint resolution that would place an issue on the 2014 state ballot to definitively declare that it is the unalienable right of Missourians to own firearms.

One constituent asked Blunt to comment on reports of large ammunition purchases being made by the federal government.

The senator noted he was uncertain how valid the claims were, but added that federal agencies are definitely spending money they do not need to spend in order to make mandatory spending cuts look more difficult than they really need to be.

He added that current proposed legislation addressing the 2nd amendment were not going to make any impact on avoiding tragedies like the one in Newtown, CT. He said the focus should be on addressing mental health issues not gun control.

The senator concluded that there may be many votes taken on gun-control issues in the coming weeks and months, but he and his fellow lawmakers will be happy to place votes to confirm Americans' second amendment rights.

Blunt said he would prefer lawmakers to be focused on the economy.

With a permanent tax code now in place, the senator said there is much different leverage when talking about raising or lowering taxes.

"New taxes are not where we need to go," Blunt said. "I'm not going to vote for anything that raises taxes."

The tax code requires agreement by both the house and senate as well as the president to change tax law.

The senator added that he believed the spending caps put in place by lawmakers would hold, forcing government to take a hard look at discretionary spending.

One bright note for the economy was domestic energy production. Blunt said the energy picture is very good right now with increased domestic production of oil and natural gas as well as increased opportunities with the United States neighbors.

Unfortunately, Blunt painted a much bleaker portrait of the president's healthcare plan.

"I think healthcare is going to be very troubled over the next three years," Blunt said. "One thing after another is being uncovered in the new system."

The senator stated that he believes the new health care system will likely mean businesses will turn to more part-time employees to avoid the cost implications of the insurance mandate. He added that many businesses capable of expanding to employ more than 50 workers, will chose not to do so because of Obamacare. Many that do employ more than 50 choosing to pay the penalty imposed by the law as a cheaper option than meeting the healthcare mandates as he predicted that health insurance was going to be a lot more expensive.

The later prediction was based on the model that guaranteed issuance of health insurance would likely mean people would wait to purchase health coverage until they needed it.

"It's really not going to be insurance at all," Blunt said. "Why buy insurance if you can just wait until you get sick? Only sick people are going to have insurance."

The senator said it was his guess that healthcare would be a huge issue by 2016.

"A lot of people who supported this change are going to find out it didn't work out for them at all," Blunt stated.

He went on to say that people are going to be very disappointed with the system that appears headed to being far worse than what we had before, especially considering estimates of $1 trillion in taxes and penalties that face America in the next 10 years under the president's health care system.

"I think the outlook for energy and the outlook on taxes is positive," Blunt said. "Unfortunately the outlook on healthcare is not so positive."

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