Criticizes Obama's stimulus bill, health care plan, national defense approach.

U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt branded the recently approved federal stimulus bill an “absolute outrage” at a La Plata farm during his three-day statewide tour announcing his candidacy for the U.S. Senate.

Blunt said the bill is a $1.2 trillion commitment over five years, and is the product of a one-party system.

“It’s an absolute outrage and it's what happens when you lose the checks and balances in the system,” he said. “That’s why I decided to run. That’s where the fight is. In all my public service, I’ve never run away from a fight.”

Democrats currently hold a 59-41 advantage in the Senate, and Blunt said it’s imperative the Republicans at least maintain the status quo.

“That 41st seat ... is the only thing between us and (President) Barack Obama and (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi and (Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid ... having total access to the ATM machine,” Blunt said. “They don’t even need a code ... they will just walk up and push the button and not only take all the money that’s in there, but all the money that’s not in there.”

Blunt said he opposes the stimulus bill because it only benefits the “federal family” by expanding the public sector.

“When you create a private sector job, it’s likely to be here a long time” he said. “When you create a public sector job, its only going to be there as long as taxpayers are willing to fund it.”

And with a $1.2 trillion price tag attached to the bill, Blunt said the country is mortgaging its future.

“That means when the economy does begin to turn around, it won’t be because of this bill, it will be in spite of this bill,” he said. “And when the economy does begin to turn around, the federal government will be at the borrowing window at the bank before you are. That means higher interest rates and more inflation. And that means when you want to send a kid to school, build a new shop, or buy a new car or truck, the federal government will be there first saying we need the first trillion dollars.”

Blunt was also critical of the president’s health care plan and his approach to national security.

“We live in a very dangerous world, and I don’t think President Obama appreciates the danger of the world we live in,” Blunt said. “At some point, I hope the (former) president (George W. Bush) gets the credit he deserves for doing the things that needed to be done to protect the country after 9/11.”

Blunt also said its important not to lose sight of achieving energy independence.

“We ought to be absolutely focused on energy,” he said. “The most foolish thing we can do, now that gas prices are sort of acceptable again, is to assume we no longer have a problem. We are still every bit as dependent on other countries and other economies as we ever were.

“We are going to see $4 gasoline. We should be doing everything we could to becoming more energy independent.”

Blunt was born and raised in southwest Missouri and taught high school history before being elected Green County Clerk. He served four terms before his election as Missouri Secretary of State.

After two terms in Jefferson City, he returned to education, serving four years as president of his alma matter, Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar.

He was elected to the first of seven terms in the U.S. Congress in 1996.

Republican Sen. Kit Bond announced in January he would not seek election to a fifth term in the Senate. Bond said in a statement Thursday that “Roy’s decision to enter the fray is a positive step in keeping my Senate seat in the Republican column.”

Daily Express