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Sen. Roy Blunt gives farewell speech on Senate floor as retirement date approaches

Roy Blunt

Missouri’s senior Senator, Roy Blunt, gave his farewell speech on the floor of the United States Capitol on Tuesday afternoon.

Blunt talked about several things he’s proud of since he was elected to the Senate back in 2010, including research advances at the National Institutes of Health; efforts to make mental health care more accessible; plans to ensure the continuity of government after 9/11; and a bill from this year to protect American wildlife.

Blunt lamented some of the Senate's bill-passing practices but also underscored the importance of Republicans and Democrats working together.

“The rules of the Senate really require finding someone on the other side to work with," Blunt told the chamber. "There have never been more than 56 popularly elected Republican Senators, and only a handful of times have there been 60 or more Democrats. Finding someone on the other side to work with produces the most lasting results.”

Speaking of the work of the U.S. Senate, Blunt said, "What we do here is more important than who we are."

Following Blunt’s 25-minute talk, Missouri's senior senator received a standing ovation. Then other senators took the podium to praise his track record.

Among them was Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a former Democratic presidential candidate who represents Minnesota. In part of her comments she praised Blunt’s leadership toward getting electoral ballots properly counted in the immediate aftermath of the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

Gregory Holman is a KSMU reporter and editor focusing on public affairs.