BRANSON, Mo. — Sen. Roy Blunt and U.S. Rep. Billy Long were featured speakers Saturday night at the annual Taney County Republican Lincoln Day event in Branson.
Event chairman Buddy Roberts, who helped organize the event, said the attendance was down because of the Branson Chamber black tie dinner that night, but was quick to point out that Taney County had elected all Republicans by safe margins during the November election.
Speaking to about 150 activists gathered for the evening, Blunt focused much of his speech on accusing President Barack Obama of politicizing budget problems. He pledged that Congress is done with tax increases for a “long time” unless the Democrats take back the House.
Blunt stressed his belief that Washington has a spending problem and spoke at length about the federal health care law and his contraception amendment, explaining that the “bill will even force churches, hospitals and schools to pay $100 per a day, per an employee if they do not comply.”
Blunt drew the most applause when he commented about Sen Majority Leader Harry Reid.
“Unlike Lance Armstrong, Harry Reid will never be accused of taking performance enhancing drugs because he has not performed,” he said.
He pointed out that the Senate has not passed a budget in four years despite the appropriations committee passing and submitting all the budget bills to the Senate Leader. Blunt added that sequestration would not be needed if the Senate leaders would do their job.
Rep. Long continued the Obama attacks by saying “the president’s goal is to take the gavel from Speaker John Boehner and pass it to Nancy Pelosi.”
He told the party faithfuls that he has recently was ranked as the fiftieth most Conservative member of Congress, and pointed out that he was 20 ahead of Rep. Joseph Buchman, a Utah Libertarian, calling himself a “pragmatic conservative.”
He reminded everyone that his campaign slogan during 2010 was just two words, “fed-up,” saying that after serving three years he was more fed-up that ever. He also joked how Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., had recently said sequestration would cause 170 million workers to be laid-off, and he asked, “Maxine we don’t even have 170 million people working today?”
He reiterated that president Obama wanted to get “17 House Republicans beat” so he could finish his last two years with a supportive House and Senate like he had his first two years.
During his closing remarks, Long turned to the controversial state issue of “Right to Work,” using the Mars candy company as an example of why Missouri “needs to pass it.”
“Topeka, Kan., is getting a new M&M’s plant because they are a ‘Right to Work’ state,” he said. “We have super majorities in Missouri and we need to get Right to Work passed.”
When asked what he felt the biggest issue was, Republican committeeman Scott Rodgers responded, “Most people I talk to are upset that we still don’t have a budget and neither house can agree to work together.”
Joining Blunt and Long at the head table were Roberts, long time seventh district organizer Mavis Busiek, and the new Republican party executive Director Shane Schoeller.
“Taney County Republicans really show the true spirit of grassroots workers,” Busiek, who seemed to personally know many of the people in the room, said. “They work hard and are the kind of people who make Missouri a better place to live.”
The central committee members, as well as several county officials, were recognized by Roberts and state Sen. David Sater, state Rep.’s Lyle Rowland, and Jeff Justus. Former Sen. Doyle Childers and former Rep. Maynard Wallace were also spotted at the event.