COLUMBIA, MO (KMIZ)
Sen. Roy Blunt made a few stops in a few central Missouri towns on Saturday to talk about topics like broadband, energy costs, jobs and the economy.
Senator Blunt stopped by 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 p.m.
Acquiring more high-speed Internet coverage for the Show-Me State is a work in progress for Senator Blunt. He said he had worked for many years to get better internet coverage for rural areas, but there was still work to be done.
Nearly a third of rural Missouri residents still do not have high-speed Internet access. According to Broadbandnow.com, Missouri ranks 32nd among states with the best internet. Blunt said he felt the pandemic had proven how important it was now for everyone to have internet access.
He says that once he helps everyone get access to it, he also wants to make sure it’s affordable. The recently passed government funding bill for FY22, which includes $486.6 million for the ReConnect pilot program. The program targets areas that currently lack broadband access and includes provisions that prevent overbuilding of existing infrastructure.
Cooper County resident Gary Harris said he has high-speed internet access, but understands others in the state do not. “More and more, whether we like the internet or not, it’s coming, it’s here and rural people need access to it, just like they needed access to electricity in the 1930s,” Harris said. .
Senator Blunt also talked about the war in Ukraine, the cost of energy and inflation.
“I really wonder if Putin was more surprised by the courageous resistance of the Ukrainian people, by the unity that has developed that has developed rapidly and surprisingly within NATO where NATO suddenly decides that you know we’re going to defend NATO countries and worry 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 believes that nuclear energy should be considered as an alternative. However, he believes that the United States must work its way through these resource shifts to avoid future problems.
“We have energy resources, we need to use those resources and moving towards other energy alternatives is a good thing, but you have to be sure to do it in a timely manner so that families can pay their bills, jobs don’t. don’t go away because you let the cost of energy and inflation get too high,” Blunt said.
Harris also said he’s worked in the energy industry for years and while he thinks electric vehicles are nice, he’s concerned that we don’t produce enough electricity to keep them charged in our state. current.
When Blunt talked about inflation, he said that the current inflation is due to more money being invested in an economy that was already making positive progress.
“I think that’s a big mistake and Democrats like Larry Summers and others: Steve Rattner, Clinton’s Treasury Secretary, Obama’s Undersecretary of Treasury have said in the White House that consistency, from the start, you’re doing the wrong thing here and it’s going to produce the wrong outcome,” Blunt said.
The Build Back Better plan that was passed in the House will include $2 trillion that should be used to rebuild the US economy. However, Senator Blunt said that because spending more won’t help inflation, he will do whatever he can to stop the Build Back Better Act.