U.S. Senator Roy Blunt visited Cape Girardeau Regional Airport on May 30 to conduct a roundtable with business and local leaders on how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has effected Missouri families and businesses. At the beginning of the roundtable, Blunt praised Missouri’s new governor, Mike Parson.
“I look forward to his leadership,” Blunt said. “I think he understands the opportunities that we have in front of us and how to grasp those opportunities, and I personally intend to be as helpful as I possibly can to him as governor.”
Blunt said he has known Parson since 1993. Blunt became the President of Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar the same week Parson became Sheriff of Polk County.
The U.S. senator said Parson understands transportation, state government, law enforcement, agriculture and business. He said Parson and his wife, Teresa, “will be great examples of steady leadership for our state, and there’s a lot to talk about right now.”
Blunt said that Former Governor Eric Greitens’ resignation, amid scandal and felony charges, was the “right decision for his family and the state.” Blunt added that he does not believe this will have an effect on the upcoming Missouri senate race between U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley.
“I think people will move pretty quickly to the next phase of this discussion,” Blunt said. “I think there are a lot of positive things for Republicans to talk about. Certainly President Trump has us conditioned to not stay in any one discussion very long.”
The U.S. senator said he believes people will increasingly see the impact of a rising economy, and the benefits of the tax bill. Blunt said across the state, he has heard people have “more confidence in the economy, less fear of out-of-control regulators and a tax bill that really is designed to increase people’s take-home pay, produce better jobs and make us more competitive.”
Local business owners and managers spoke to the senator about how the economy has allowed their businesses to grow and how competition in the job market has increased. Many mentioned that they received positive feedback in February from employees when they saw the effect of the tax bill in their paychecks.
Among the local leaders at the roundtable were Jackson Mayor Dwain Hahs and Brian Gerau, director of the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce.
“When our businessmen are happy, I’m happy,” Hahs said. “I’ve seen a change in the last three or four years. We’ve gone from hoping business would start growing to now things are growing and we need more people.”
Gerau said Missouri’s economy is “definitely going in the right direction” and he mentioned rising manufacturing and construction in the area. Gerau also praised companies like AT&T, Commerce Bank and Walmart for giving back some of their earnings to their employees. He said those employees are reinvesting in the economy, which helps create further jobs.