Missouri U.S. Senator Roy Blunt appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday, where he defended the Republican Senate tax plan.
He also said he and a group of colleagues are crafting legislation to change the chamber’s rules on sexual harassment. The Senate Anti-Harassment Training Resolution of 2017 requires anti-harassment training for senators, staff and interns of the Senate.
The measure is co-sponsored by all 17 members of the Senate Rules Committee, including Blunt. He said it changes rules from decades ago that seem to punish women who report sexual harassment.
“Going back to the 1980’s, where it may have seemed reasonable at the time, but in the current law, if you report harassment, you’re the one that has to go into 20 hours of counseling before you can decide whether you were harassed or not,” said Blunt. “That’s just totally inappropriate.”
On Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, Blunt said the state deserved a better choice for the position, but said voters there will have to decide who they want. Moore is accused of serially assaulting teenage girls in the 1970’s, including a 14-year-old.
When asked whether the dozen-plus women who accused President Trump of sexual assault were credible, Blunt noted that voters elected him despite the claims. He said the difference between Democratic Senator Al Franken, who is also accused of sexual assault, and the other politicians alleged to have committed the same acts, was that Franken admitted to the wrong doing.
Blunt reiterated a statement by a fellow Republican Congressional member in saying the accused are presumed innocent until proven guilty, except in Franken’s case, where the Senator had admitted guilt.
He acknowledged that Missouri’s Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill was a victim as well, and said Congress needs to have an environment where people are comfortable. McCaskill recently disclosed that she was sexually harassed as an intern on Capitol Hill in the 1970’s, and didn’t report the incident out of fearing that it would hurt her career.
On the tax plans in Congress, Blunt claimed bills in both the House and Senate had been misrepresented in the media. He said the measures in both chambers are designed to boost take home pay and create jobs for hard working families.
Recent polling shows the tax plans are opposed by nearly 60 percent of Americans. Blunt contends the plans present an opportunity to expand the economy after eight years of stagnant growth of less than two percent under the Obama administration.
He responded to calculations that the tax plans would blow a $2.2 trillion hole in the deficit, by saying the loss would be offset by economic activity. Blunt said bills should be judged by their projections of growth.
“If you believe tax policy has economic consequences, you don’t statically score that. You score that based on what those consequences will be. And I’ve talked to lots of economists about this who’re are usually pretty gloomy, who have been optimistic that this bill does what we hope it would do.”
The tax plans in both the House and Senate slice corporate taxes from 35%-to-20%. Blunt rejected a claim by Meet The Press guest host Andrea Mitchell that corporations don’t reinvest newly acquired money into their operations.
“I think they do reinvest,” Blunt said. “And I think one of the things you do in this tax bill is you create an opportunity to bring maybe as much as $2 trillion back into our economy that’s currently overseas because of our tax policy.”
He claimed to have spoken to numerous CEO’s who told him they would bring back all their corporate money currently parked oversea because of high U.S. tax rates.
Both blueprints in Congress make the corporate tax cuts permanent, while the individual reductions expire in about a decade.
Blunt is a member of the Appropriations Committee which is heavily involved in financial policy. He’s made numerous appearances over the past few weeks on national TV to promote the Senate tax proposal.
Missouri voters elected Blunt to a second term in office in 2016.
In voting against the tax bill in committee, Missouri’s Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill called a “bad deal for Missouri families”.
While torching the proposal, she said, “Working people in Missouri deserve better than to get scraps, while corporations and wealthy business owners make out like bandits in a plan that explodes our deficit and compromises our military.”