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Blunt targets 'ObamaCare' in first Senate speech

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During his first speech on the U.S. Senate floor, Missouri Republican Roy Blunt threw his support behind a repeal of the health care reform bill, saying uncertainties that resulted from the sweeping measure are inhibiting economic recovery.

“The biggest single deterrent to job creation is uncertainty, and we’ve done great things in the last few years to create a sense of uncertainty,” Blunt told the Senate. “If you don’t know what your tax liability is going to look like, if you don’t know what your utility bill will be, if you don’t know what your health care expenses are going to be – you’re less likely to take that risk that anybody takes when they create a private sector job.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, is leading a GOP charge to repeal the health care reforms, and on Tuesday, he put forward a repeal measure. McConnell told the Washington Times that all 47 Republican senators favored the repeal and planned to pass it on Wednesday.

“The American people are the victims of having to rush forward with a bill that wasn’t ready to become law,” Blunt said in his speech, a day after a Florida judged ruled the reform’s individual insurance mandate unconstitutional. “When employers are telling us they’re not hiring because of uncertainty created by this new law, when courts are ruling the law unconstitutional, when voters are overwhelmingly rejecting it – we need to understand why.”

Blunt stopped short of offering specific alternatives should the law be repealed.

“Better health at a lower cost is achievable if we do the right things,” he said. “I believe that this bill does the wrong things, and the more the American people look at it, the more they’re convinced that it leads us to a future that is not the health care future that they want. …

“Real, sustainable, private sector job creation doesn’t happen in an environment of uncertainty. We need to be focused on jobs that are family supporting and economic growth that includes letting American families keep more of what they earn and includes economic incentives for small businesses and employers, and encourages the government to get out of the way so that employers of all sizes can create self-sustainable private sector jobs.”

Senate Democrats have said the repeal proposal will end in defeat.

Clips of Blunt's speech are available on Blunt’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

Earlier this month, Blunt revealed a concerted effort to adopt social media in his communication to Missourians with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts. He added New Media Director Tim O'Toole to his communications staff.

“Those people are available to hear feedback and offer help,” Blunt said in an introductory video.

In a Facebook post yesterday that linked to an Associated Press story, Blunt said he introduced an amendment to enable airports to employ private security screeners upon request. The Springfield-Branson National Airport had requested permission by the Transportation Security Administration to join 16 U.S. airports, including in Kansas City, to privatize its security screening. The TSA last week rejected Springfield’s request.
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