Claire McCaskill

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill is calling President Obama's budget a starting point to begin the conversation between Democrats and Republicans.

The Democratic senator says she is anxious to see the Republicans' budget plan in the House. But McCaskill is also criticizing the GOP for focusing on the discretionary domestic budget, which, she says, is only 18 percent of the budget.

Claire McCaskill has a great name for politics - well, at least it's a profitable one for a Columbia, Mo. graphic designer.

The online domain name "" was snatched up by 39-year-old Brennan Hobart in anticipation of McCaskill's 2012 U.S. Senate campaign, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

The director of John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis says surgeries could resume next week at the facility. The center stopped performing surgeries because of concerns over contamination on some operating-room equipment. 

Meanwhile, congressional reaction to the new problems has been harsh.

U.S. Senate hopeful Sarah Steelman has raised $200,000 for her campaign, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

According to the paper, Steelman raised the sum in about a month.

So where does that put Steelman among her fellow U.S. Senate candidates? The Post-Dispatch lists the candidates' fundraising progress as follows:

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri is coming under fire after a report in the New York Times accuses her of working against bringing the Democratic National Convention to the state.

Missouri's Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt agree that the president's proposal to cut the deficit does not go far enough.

President Barack Obama proposed a freeze in spending in his State of the Union speech last night.

McCaskill, a Democrat, says the president's spending cuts don't go far enough:

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill touched on several topics today during a press conference. We have a breakdown of her comments for you:

On St. Louis’ chance of securing the 2012 Democratic National Convention…

With the departure of Kit Bond, Missouri has both a new senior senator, Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill, and a new junior senator, Republican Roy Blunt. 

Blunt took his oath with vice president Joe Biden today to make it official.

St. Louis Public Radio file photo
  • MetroLink is running regular service this morning across both tracks at the scene of an accident that happened yesterday in Pagedale. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that several injuries were reported after a MetroLink light rail train hit a tow truck stalled at a crossing. The eastbound train struck the flatbed truck around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. Passengers reported seeing at least five people being taken to hospitals by ambulance. Metro spokeswoman Dianne Williams said she was told the injuries did not appear to be serious. The tow truck was unoccupied. Investigators are trying to figure out why it stalled on the tracks.
  • The new arms control treaty with Russia approved by the Senate Wednesday had the support of Democrats in the Missouri and Illinois delegations, but not the Republicans. The treaty would cap nuclear warheads for both countries and resume on-site inspections that expired a year ago. Claire McCaskill of Missouri joined Dick Durbin of Illinois in voting for the START treaty, which she calls critical to the national security of the United States. Republican Senator Kit Bond of Missouri did not cast a vote on the treaty, while Mark Kirk of Illinois voted no.

"The relationship with Russia is key in terms of us getting the missile defense systems in place that can check Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, if in fact they decide that they will either utilize the nuclear weapons they have, the case in Pakistan, or continue to move towards nuclear capability, in the case of North Korea and Iran." - Sen. Claire McCaskill

  • St. Archbishop Robert Carlson is continuing work on what he has called his top priority - improving Catholic schools in the region. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that for the past year, Carlson has been meeting with parents, teachers, pastors and national experts. The goal is to develop strategies to improve Catholic education in the St. Louis Archdiocese, where enrollment in its 11 counties has been steadily declining for four decades. The newspaper says Carlson is positioning the St. Louis Archdiocese to follow the lead of other large Catholic school systems that have restructured to stop the loss of students.

"We don't have to sit by and let this happen. Let's grow this system again." - Archbishop Robert Carlson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Politico reports that St. Louis is now one of the top two contenders to host the 2012 Democratic National Convention. The other city giving St. Louis the biggest challenge? Charlotte, N.C.

So what, according to Politico, does St. Louis have going for it to host the event?

(Flickr Creative Commons user Tony the Misfit)

Nine days ago, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill wrote the Republican and Democratic leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives and asked them to add one more bill to an already hectic schedule.

(Flickr Creative Commons User conner395)
  • If you thought your neighborhood was like a skating rink this morning, you certainly were not alone. Freezing rain coated the St. Louis area with a nasty glaze of ice, causing trouble on the roads. It was worse in rural areas and the Missouri Department of Transportation continues to treat streets with salt, and, believe it or not, beet juice.
  • Sheriff's deputies in St. Clair county got some bad news on Tuesday - 13 of the 46 deputies will be losing their jobs effective Jan. 15. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that this comes after the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police union rejected a proposal by the county to increase their wages by 1 percent, a margin deemed too small by the union compared to similar-sized departments in Illinois, including Madison County the paper reports. Also in St. Clair county,  the East St. Louis city council is scheduled to vote on Friday on a proposal to layoff 26 city employees, including 19 police officers effective Jan. 1.  Laying off 19 police officers means that the police department will be left with 43 police officers -- the department had more than 70 officers just a few years ago. With a reduced force it will be tougher to police an area that, so far, has seen 25 homicides this year.
  • The U.S. Senate is debating President Obama's top foreign policy priority, a U.S.-Russia nuclear arms treaty. Democrats prevailed in a test vote Wednesday after Republicans threatened to delay work on the pact, known as the START treaty. Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill emphasized that the treaty with Russia is vital for the success of American troops fighting in Afghanistan:

"It is a very important treaty for our troops in Afghanistan because the supply lines for our troops in Afghanistan go through Russia and our relationship with Russia is very, very important, especially as you look at our plans on missile defense." - Claire McCaskill

St. Louis Public Radio photo

"There's nothing like being eulogized while you're still breathing," Sen. Kit Bond said Tuesday as he stepped to a podium in the U.S.

(Flickr Creative Commons User aflcio)

Republicans in Missouri are praising Monday's ruling by a federal judge in Virginia that declared portions of the new federal health care law unconstitutional.
The Missouri Republican Party released a statement criticizing Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill for supporting the bill.

Bill Greenblatt / UPI

The U.S. Secretary of the Interior and the Transportation Secretary were in East St. Louis today to talk about improvements to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, a.k.a. the grounds of the Gateway Arch.

St. Louis Public Radio

Often tax legislation is a little bit muddled. We try to break down Obama's latest for you and let you know what your U.S. Senators, Kit Bond and Claire McCaskill, think as they go to vote on the bill.

Flickr Creative Commons user Tony the Misfit

Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill says the Sente needs to vote - and soon - on her measure that would increase oversight at Arlington National Cemetery.

As reported by Jake Wagman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and POLITICO's David Catanese, Republican Sarah Steelman has officially announced her bid to challenge incumbent Claire McCaskill in 2012.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., appeared to exude more optimism today about St. Louis' chances of landing a transit hub with China than she was about her party's chances in this fall's election.

Addressing members of the St. Louis Chamber and Growth Association, McCaskill said that the latest talks with China indicate Lambert Field should be seeing two Chinese cargo flights a week by next summer.