U.S. Senator Roy Blunt answered questions from the media about recent abortion legislation passed in Missouri during a stop in Springfield today. Governor Mike Parson recently signed the bill that bans abortion at eight weeks of pregnancy and doesn’t include exceptions for rape and incest.
Blunt said his position has always been to support such exceptions.
"I've always vigorously tried to maintain the Hyde Amendment approach to spending federal money, which is the amendment that has the exceptions," he said, "but I also think that, generally, issues like this are really better settled at the state legislative level."
According to Blunt, states have the responsibility to decide issues of marriage and adoption as well as abortion.
He said, while his position hasn’t changed, he’s “not at all critical” of Missouri taking a leading role in how those issues are dealt with.
Blunt visited Vital Farms in Springfield, which distributes eggs to 49 U.S. states. Talking to Vital Farms employees and local leaders, he said the economy is strong, "and people are thinking for the first time in awhile about what should be done to create better opportunities" and to attract people with skills to the state.
Russell Diez-Canseco, president and CEO of Vital Farms, said everything he sees points to a strong and growing economy.
"And in a growing company and in a growing economy, we fight everyday for the very best people, and we're having to fight even harder, and that's the biggest proof that I can see that we've got a very strong economy right now," he said.
Blunt attributes economic growth in Missouri to a shift in the state to a production-based economy "where people that make things and grow things are back in a competitive and growing economy again. We're better at that than just an advice-giving economy and a service-based economy," he said.
According to Blunt, Missouri has a workforce and transportation system that's ready for that.
He feels it's important for high school students to know their post-graduation options and to be sure a four-year degree will take them where they want to go. If not, he said they should look into options such as training programs or community college.
Following his visit to Springfield, Blunt headed to Carl Junction, which suffered tornado damage last week.