Weekly House Update for Congressman Roy Blunt
The week of June 23
By Cong. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)
The U.S. House of Representatives came together this week and proved that when we put politics aside, we can still produce results for the American people. This past week Democrats finally invited Republicans to the table and we negotiated two vital – and long stalled – bills for the good of our national security.
The first bill that successfully passed was an emergency bill to fund our troops. That legislation ensures that our Armed Forces will receive the support, resources and benefits they need, deserve and have been waiting too long to receive. The first bill the Democrats crammed through the House had no input from the minority party in Congress, contained a tax hike and most egregiously had language that would tie the hands of our generals and soldiers who are making progress against foreign terrorists. This troop supplemental responsibly funded our troops, extended education benefits for our veterans and their families. Our men and women in uniform sacrifice a lot for our freedoms – and their families do as well. They deserve these benefits and they deserve the support of every American for their tireless, selfless service.
But, because of the nature of the emergency bill, it also addressed some concerns here at home. Chief among those is the rising percentage of unemployment. A thirteen week extension of current unemployment benefits will provide our economy some breathing room to get back on its feet.
Along the same lines of defending our national security and way of life, the House also took up a bill that allows for our intelligence community to listen to calls between foreign terrorists. This bill has received some undue criticism and billed as an attempt by the government to eavesdrop on calls made by American citizens. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the only time this legislation mentioned Americans was to give them or to reiterate current civil liberties. So, while some call this Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act a "domestic-wiretapping" bill it is actually more accurately described as a "domestic-protection" bill.
Providing our intelligence community with the legal access to intercept potential threats is imperative to our safety and that’s what this bill does. Once we know the terrorists plans, we can stop them before they even set foot on American soil.
A fellow Missourian, Senator Kit Bond was the lead negotiator on this compromise for the Senate and I was proud to work with him in the House to facilitate these discussions. It’s a great example of not only bipartisanship but also how a strong state delegation is beneficial for Missouri and the country. I’m proud to be a member of that team.
Washington lately has been marred in partisan gridlock and the American people have grown increasingly frustrated by our actions – or lack of action for the most part. A 27% approval rating of Congress should be a wake-up call to and I hope this bi-partisan cooperation will continue as we move into addressing other vitally important issues of our constituents. The passage of these pieces of legislation is breath of fresh air on Capitol Hill.