COLUMBIA, MO (KMIZ)
Sen. Roy Blunt made some stops in a few Mid-Missouri cities Saturday to speak on topics like broadband, energy cost, jobs and the economy.
Sen. Blunt stopped at the Farm Bureau Office in Versailles at 10:30 a.m., the Co-Mo Connect Operations Center in Tipton at 11:30 a.m. and Taylor’s Bake Shop in Boonville at 1:00 p.m.
Acquiring more high-speed internet coverage for the Show-Me state has been a work in progress for Sen. Blunt. He said he's worked many years to get more internet coverage for rural areas, but more work has to be done.
Almost one-third of rural Missourians still don’t have access to high speed internet. According to Broadbandnow.com, Missouri ranks 32nd in states with the best internet. Blunt said he feels that the pandemic proved how important it now is for everyone to have internet access.
He says once he helps everyone get access, he wants to be sure its affordable as well. The recently enacted government funding bill FY22 which includes $486.6 million for the ReConnect Pilot Program. The program targets areas that currently lack access to broadband and includes provisions that prevent overbuilding existing infrastructure.
Cooper County Resident, Gary Harris said he has high speed internet but understands that others in state do not. "More and more and more, whether we like the internet or not, its coming, its here and rural people need to have access to it just like they needed access to electric in the 30s," Harris said.
Senator Blunt also talked about the war in Ukraine, energy cost and inflation.
"I really wonder if Putin was more surprised by the courageous resistance of the Ukrainian people, of the unity that developed that developed quickly and surprisingly in Nato where Nato suddenly decides you know we are going to defend Nato countries and be concerned about what happens next to those countries or the poor performance of his own military," Blunt said.
Senator blunt also discussed energy resource options and feels nuclear energy should be considered an alternative. However, he feels that the U.S. must ease their way into those resource changes to avoid future problems.
"We have energy resources, we need to use those resources and moving toward other alternatives for energy is a fine thing but you have to be sure you do it in a timely way so families can pay their bills, jobs don't go away because you allowed both energy cost and inflation to be too high," Blunt said.
Harris also said that he has worked in the energy industry for years and while he feels electric vehicles are nice, he fears that we won't generate enough electricity to keep them charged in our current state.
When Blunt talked about inflation, he says the current inflation is from putting more money into an economy that was already making positive progress.
"I think its a big mistake and democrats like Larry Summers and others: Steve Rattner, Clinton Secretary of Treasury, Deputy Secretary of Treasury for Obama have been telling the white house consistency, all along, you're doing the wrong thing here and its going to produce the wrong result," Blunt said.
The Build Back Better Plan that was passed in the house will included $2 trilion dollars that is said to go towards rebuilding the U.S economy. However, Senator Blunt said because spending more won't help inflation, he will do what he can to stop the Build Back Better act.