Politically Speaking: Missouri's Democratic House Leader Says Party's Voices Still Matter

Feb 19, 2014

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon's Chris McDaniel, Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum talk about the week’s politics.

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This week, Chris McDaniel and Jo Mannies hosted state House Minority Leader Jake Hummel, a Democrat from St. Louis. Hummel, a union electrician, acknowledges that the 52 House Democrats have a tough task because they are outnumbered by more than 100 Republicans.

On the show, Hummel observed that:

  • He has gotten a commitment from House Republican leaders that the Democrats’ tax cut bill will get a hearing, although Hummel acknowledged that the GOP is likely to focus on pushing its version  through the House;
  • Democrats plan to fight hard against any proposal to impose restrictions on labor, such as "right to work." They will also oppose bills to require photo IDs at the polls.
  • Democratic legislators will continue to press for Medicaid expansion. Hummel noted that the state's current program and eligibility standards were set up by Republicans in 2005, so he said that the GOP should take the blame for those parts of the program that some Republicans say is "broken."
  • The efforts by a couple of House Republicans to impeach Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, are "a stunt'' and will get nowhere.

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