Morning headlines: Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Special legislative session may end unless consensus found in 2 days
Supporters and opponents of the scaled-down tax credit bill spent more than six hours Monday trying to make their respective cases to a Missouri House committee. Senate leaders slashed $300 million from the Aerotropolis proposal before passing it, and say that the Compete Missouri provision in the bill can more than make up for the deleted warehouse incentives.
David Kerr, who heads the state's Economic Development department, testified in favor of the bill.
"The creation of a thriving commercial hub, that's gonna continue to drive export(s), which will in turn continue to drive new job creation, profitability, as well as prosperity, and not just in the St. Louis area, but across the whole state, so we think it's essential that we do that," said Kerr.
The Economic Development committee has canceled Tuesday's meeting in which it was to vote out the bill. House Republican leaders are strongly opposed to the changes made by the Senate -- so much so that they're considering ending the special session if an agreement can't be reached within the next 48 hours.
Blunt to rally support for Romney
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is turning to Mo. Sen. Roy Blunt to rally support for his campaign among members of Congress. Romney's presidential campaign said Monday that Blunt will lead its effort to secure the backing of Republicans in both the U.S. Senate and House.
Blunt, a former House member, fulfilled a similar role for the 2000 presidential campaign of George W. Bush. Blunt also has served as the House majority whip, where it was his job to rally Republican support for various initiatives. He was elected to the Senate last year.
Blunt says he was opting to back Romney because he believes his experience as a business leader and former Massachusetts governor could help spur job growth around the nation.
Judge considering whether Loughner should attend hearing
Jared Lee Loughner has been at a prison facility in Springfield, Mo., where experts are trying to make him mentally fit to stand trial. Prosecutors argue that Loughner must be in Arizona for Wednesday's hearing.
Loughner's attorneys say they want his presence waived and that the hearing should be held in San Diego as originally planned.
Loughner has pleaded not guilty to 49 charges in the Jan. 8 shooting that killed six and wounded 13, including Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Wednesday's hearing will center on whether to extend Loughner's nearly four-month stay at the facility by another eight months.