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WATCH: Missouri Senator Roy Blunt discusses spending plan, tax hikes & Supreme Court with Greta Van Susteren

Published: Apr. 11, 2021 at 9:43 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) joined Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren Sunday to talk about President Biden’s court-packing commission, the president’s nearly $1.6 trillion spending plan, and the potential for a bipartisan infrastructure bill.

Following Are Excerpts of Blunt’s Remarks:

On President Biden’s Nearly $1.6 Trillion Spending Plan:

“Well I hope it’s a wish list, and somebody needs to begin to think about where we’re getting the money. We did five bipartisan bills last year to deal with the pandemic crisis, and they all cost more than either party wanted them to cost but that was a true crisis. This is a time when, what we’re suddenly doing without money, is adding brand new programs that would last forever at significant levels.

“A 20% increase for EPA, a significant increase for actually, oddly, border security. The president, whose first executive order was to stop building the border wall, which was part of a reasonable border security plan, doesn’t want to go back to building the wall, but wants to put a lot of money in a virtual wall. What we really need is a combination of a wall where it works and a virtual wall where it doesn’t work. Clearly, their border policies are failing. They’re putting a lot of money there. Their EPA policies will not serve the economy or the country well, big increases there. I’m hoping this is the entry discussion, and we don’t wind up anywhere close to another $1.6 trillion in spending with money that we don’t have in just the normal operating of the government.”

On the Opportunity for a Bipartisan Bill Focused on Real Infrastructure:

“It’s not going to pass with Republican support and a real infrastructure bill could pass with Republican support. I think the administration is making a big mistake here by quickly moving beyond what could be, I think, an easily achieved bipartisan bill. I don’t really think that if you’d taken a test on this a month ago and said, ‘What do you think of when you think of infrastructure’ People would have said, ‘The social programs of the country.’ Only 30% of this bill, even stretching any traditional definition of infrastructure, is infrastructure.

“They’ve taken a popular topic, and they’ve tried to pile as many things under that headline as they can, under that heading as they can, and say, this is all about infrastructure. They’ve got the, ‘how do we move infrastructure,’ which is pretty traditional – roads, bridges, ports, airports, highways. ‘How do we live at home infrastructure,’ that’s a stretch. ‘How do we care for each other infrastructure,’ that’s a real stretch, and ‘how do we make things infrastructure.’ Those last three just don’t meet the standard of infrastructure. I think you can fund a true infrastructure package without reversing the 2017 tax bill. And you can figure out how to put a package together that a significant number of Republicans can and will be for.”

On President Biden’s Proposed Tax Hikes:

“I think it will hurt. What we did with the corporate tax rate was reduce it back to about the midpoint. We were about at 21%, we were about average with the countries we compete with. Many of them, by the way, realize that they’re having a lower rate was really helpful to them so  they’ve reduced their rate in the last four years. We’re probably a little above average right now, but if we went to 28%, I think we’d be the second highest corporate tax in the world. More jobs are more important than higher corporate taxes, and higher corporate taxes don’t produce more jobs.”

On President Biden’s Court-Packing Commission:

“Well I hope the commission really will take a very non-biased look at this. I’d prefer that the commission wasn’t looking at it, frankly. Nine has worked for a long time. Democrat and Republican appointees on the Court [are] virtually unanimous in their view that nine is the right number. I hope what the president is doing here is looking at this objectively. I have some concerns, though, that this puts the Court in a much more partisan and political place than the Court needs to be.”

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