RELEASE: Blunt Highlights Progress on Tax Reform, Underscores Need to Fill Judicial Vacancies

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) spoke on the Senate floor to highlight progress on tax cut legislation, and to urge his Senate colleagues to confirm President Trump’s judicial nominees. Blunt noted that filling judicial vacancies will help ensure Americans have access to the courts and preserve the judicial branch’s Constitutional role as a check and balance to the executive and legislative branches.

Following are excerpts from Blunt’s remarks:

On the Importance of Passing Tax Reform Legislation:

“For work done in January, people who get that check in January, or February, whenever you get paid for your January work, there’s going to be a substantial tax decrease for working families at all levels…[B]ut this is a pro-growth policy, these are two ways to increase people’s take home pay, and we’re going to pursue both of them. One is to take less out of your pay right now. … And the second way to increase people’s pay is to have better jobs to start with. Hundreds of economists that have looked at this bill say that it will make the United States of America the best place to invest your money and create jobs.”

On the Need to Quickly Confirm President Trump’s Judicial Nominees:

“President Trump has a unique opportunity to shape the long-term view of the judiciary. This week, we’re going to confirm three circuit judges. I want to talk in just a little bit about what that means, but at the start of President Trump’s term, twelve percent of all the federal judiciary seats were vacant. No president’s had that kind of opportunity since President Clinton had that opportunity now almost 25 years ago, when he started his first year, and the president will have the opportunity and is making the most of it to fill those vacancies. …

“First of all, the people of the country have the right to seek justice and to believe that the rule of law will prevail… Filling these vacancies is also critical to ensure that the balance of the Constitution is in place. You know, this is a brand new idea…The court, the judiciary, the legislative branch, the executive branch all had unique powers. And those unique powers were designed to keep the government in check. A new concept in 1787, but it’s worked well for us, but it doesn’t work if we allow one of those groups to become out of balance, and so filling these vacancies matters.”

On Senate Democrats’ Obstruction of the President’s Nominees:

“I urge my colleagues, of course, to support these well qualified nominees. But I also urge my colleagues on the other side to stop using the process to frustrate the other work of the government. You know, there’s a right to thirty hours of debate, and that’s what we’re in right now, we’re in thirty hours of debate on a circuit judge, but nobody is talking about that circuit judge. So other bills that could have been brought to the floor, other issues that could have been dealt with, aren’t being dealt with because the minority has decided to abuse their power.”

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