Claire McCaskill

(via Flickr/[sic])

(Updated 3:50 p.m. Tuesday, June 3)

Within minutes after the Environmental Protection Agency announced its proposed regulations for coal-fired power plants, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt blasted the decision as a “unprecedented power grab.”

Blunt followed through on Tuesday by co-sponsoring a bill, called the “Coal Country Protection Act,’’ that would allow carbon-emissions limits to go into effect only if other federal agencies could guarantee that no jobs would be lost, electricity rates wouldn’t go up, and the nation’s economy wouldn’t be hurt.

Gov. Jay Nixon speaks to a class at Rockwood Summit High School in Fenton.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

When it comes to a proposal to raise the state’s sales tax to pay for transportation projects, two of Missouri’s top Democratic officials appear to be on opposing sides of the fence.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill favors the proposal, which – if approved by voters in August – would enact a 10-year, 0.75 percent sales tax for transportation projects. And even though he’s sent signals that he opposes the proposal, Gov. Jay Nixon is withholding statements about the tax increase for now.

(via Wikimedia Commons/ United States Department of State)

The two Republican members of Congress who represent the St. Louis area – Ann Wagner and Blaine Luetkemeyer – are calling for the resignation of  U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.

Their declarations come as several of the nation’s VA facilities, including Cochran Medical Center in St. Louis, have been accused of improper or delayed care to military veterans.

Wagner, R-Ballwin, said that Shinseki – in office since 2009 -- had “failed to provide timely services and care for our veterans.  Secretary Shinseki has failed to fulfill his mission at the VA.”

Blunt – Flickr/Gage Skidmore; McCaskill – Flickr/SenatorMcCaskill

On Friday, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill is releasing the latest results of a survey of Missouri military veterans who have received care at Veterans Administration’s facilities around the state, including Cochran and Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis.

While not disclosing any details, McCaskill told reporters Tuesday that “every year we’ve done it, the VA has done a little better. I’m particularly pleased this year because we’ve had even more responses this year than we had last year.”

Missouri’s U.S. Senators are seeking answers from the Department of Veterans Affairs  about reports of lax mental health services in St. Louis’s VA hospital system.

The inquiry stems from allegations by the system’s former Chief of Psychiatry, Dr. Jose Mathews, regarding an “artificial backlog” of patient care created by staff who treat veterans for only a fraction of the workday.

According to the Associated Press, Mathews claims in a federal whistleblower complaint filed last year that he was demoted after his efforts to make employees work harder and more efficiently.

Wikimedia Commons

Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri could play a crucial role in approving the controversial Keystone XL pipeline this week.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has indicated a vote could be held in the next few days to authorize the pipeline that would carry Canadian crude oil through the U.S. to the Gulf Coast.

McCaskill is one of the few Senate Democrats in favor of the project. During a conference call with reporters Wednesday, she argued the oil will be flowing regardless of the pipeline’s approval.   

/ Claire McCaskill's congressional office

Politics can be a 24/7 occupation, as anyone with a cell phone, computer or cable subscription knows. It's not hard to find political news, commentary or just plain rants. They are everywhere. Sometimes it takes a little more digging to find the context, perspective or background on major issues of the day.

Once a week, our political team shares stories that gave them insight into the news of the day or perhaps just some reading pleasure.

Veto overrides

Bill Greenblatt | UPI

After working to reduce problems with sexual assault in the military, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., is turning her attention to the same issue at the nation’s colleges and universities.

Both settings, she said Thursday, have ways they are alike in how such cases are treated.

Bill Greenblatt | UPI

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., contends that Missouri’s “Wild West” approach to politics — which imposes no restrictions on campaign donations or lobbyists — is partly to blame for her party’s lack of a candidate for state auditor this fall.

But the senator also asserts that the current state of affairs for Missouri campaigns isn’t good for anyone or any political party, calling it “bizarre and, frankly, not good for our government.”

provided by the office of Sen. Claire McCaskill

Members of a Senate panel Wednesday accused General Motors of trying to cover up problems with an ignition switch that is now tied to 13 deaths.

Nora Ibrahim/St. Louis Public Radio

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers are talking about what’s best for the Bridgeton landfill and the World War II-era radioactive material stored at the neighboring West Lake landfill.

So says U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who was among four Missouri members of Congress – two Republicans and two Democrats – who cosigned a recent letter asking the EPA to work with the Corps, which previously dealt with similar radioactive sites elsewhere in the St. Louis area.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.
File photo | Senate livestream

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill,D-Mo., arguably won her most significant victory since her 2012 re-election with Thursday’s Senate vote in favor of her approach to fighting sexual assaults in the military.

Most significantly, her approach would keep sexual assault cases within the military chain of command, although she would restrict commanders’ powers to overturn jury verdicts in sexual assault cases and bar commanders from substituting lesser charges.

Mo. National Guard, via Flickr/M. Queiser

Missouri’s two U.S. senators – Republican Roy Blunt and Democrat Claire McCaskill – are joining forces as they raise concerns about the Defense Department’s proposed cuts in spending for the National Guard.

The trims would have a $34 million economic impact on Missouri through 2016, Blunt told reporters Thursday. The reduced spending would primarily affect Guard operations in Springfield, Warrensburg and St. Joseph, he said.

(UPI file photo)

U.S. Claire McCaskill is sticking by her TV statement that if she were running for re-election this year, she probably wouldn’t ask President Barack Obama to join her on the campaign trail.

McCaskill, D-Mo., says she also doubts that the White House is surprised or upset over her comments,  made Tuesday morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

(UPI file photo)

A military-recruitment program gone awry may have cost U.S. taxpayers as much as $50 million, Army and National Guard officials confirmed Tuesday in a hearing before a Senate panel chaired by U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Still, several of those testifying defended the program as being highly effective in increasing the number of troops during the height of the Iraq and Afghanistan deployments from 2006-2008. The program began in 2005 and ended in 2012, when problems were detected.

DON"T USE TOO SMALL Claire McCaskill
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | File photo

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., says she hopes that President Barack Obama discusses the nation’s crumbling infrastructure – such as roads, bridges, and the power supply -- in his State of the Union address tonight.

Such projects are “sadly neglected and underfunded,’’ McCaskill told reporters in a conference call Tuesday.

(via Flickr/SenatorMcCaskill)

Updated 4:11 p.m, Mon., Jan. 27 with investigation by Columbia police.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, an alum of the University of Missouri and a former prosecutor, is calling on the university to investigate the alleged sexual assault of former Mizzou swimmer Sasha Menu Courey, who subsequently committed suicide.

Blunt – Flickr/Gage Skidmore; McCaskill – Flickr/SenatorMcCaskill

Missouri’s two U.S. senators – Republican Roy Blunt and Democrat Claire McCaskill – are highlighting their differences when it comes to extending unemployment benefits to millions of out-of-work Americans.

On Wednesday, the two held dueling tele-conferences with reporters in which Blunt make clear his opposition and McCaskill underscored her support. 

Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

Proponents of a transportation sales tax were dealt a big blow last year when a legislative effort died at the last minute. But that doesn’t mean they’re giving up on putting a 1-cent sales tax increase before voters.   

(via Flickr/SenatorMcCaskill)

(Updated 3:10 p.m., Friday, Dec. 27, 2013)

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill – or rather, her husband -- has bought another plane. But this time, she’s taking steps that she hopes will prevent another political uproar.

Any flights that she takes on it will be totally on her own dime. And St. Louis County’s property taxes will be paid – and on time, she says.

Still, the news has the potential of becoming another political controversy. The Missouri Republican Party already is paying close attention.

(Flickr Creative Commons User Andres Rueda)

The opportunity was too good to pass up. 

When Boeing decided to move production of its 777X passenger plane out of Seattle, states across the country were eager to offer their services. Missouri's political and business leaders were no exception.  They simply couldn't miss out on the chance to cement thousands of high-paying jobs for decades to come.

(via Flickr/Cliff1066tm)

As expected, the U.S. Senate has approved the compromise budget deal and sent it on to President Barack Obama for his expected signature.

The final Senate vote was 64-36.  U. S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., was among only three Republicans who had voted on Tuesday in favor of allowing the final vote – but then voted against the budget deal.

Blunt earlier had said he had  objections to the compromise’s provisions, including cuts in some veterans’ pensions and reduced payments to Medicare providers, including physicians.

Boeing CEO W. James McNerney, Jr., left, and U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-St. Elizabeth, met earlier in December in Washington, D.C. Luetkemeyer is part of a bipartisan contingent of federal lawmakers who are using the bully pulpit to steer Boeing's 77
Provided by Luetkemeyer's office.

When U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer met with Boeing CEO James McNerney in his Washington office earlier this month, his message wasn’t subtle. 

Luetkemeyer was there to make the case that Missouri was the right place to steer production of Boeing's 777X civilian aircraft. He said he told McNerney he was “excited about the opportunity for the state of Missouri to bid on it.”

“Whatever help we could be at the federal level, we would more than willing to do that,” Luetkemeyer , R-St. Elizabeth, said.  

The U.S. Department of Defense has included an order of 16 F/A 18 Super Hornets in their budget for the next two years.
(via Boeing)

Boeing has been on the minds of the Show-Me State's political figures lately, thanks to the effort to lure the manufacturing of the 777X airplane to Missouri.  Now, the company is planning to bring several hundred research and development jobs to the St. Louis region. 

The U.S. Department of Defense has included an order of 16 F/A 18 Super Hornets in their budget for the next two years.
(via Boeing)

With the effort to lure Boeing’s 777X on the minds of the Show Me State’s political figures, the company is planning to bring several hundred research and development jobs to the St. Louis region. 

    

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
Senator Blunt | Flickr

Updated 6:45 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12

By a vote of 332-94, the U.S. House overwhelmingly backed a compromise two-year budget deal Thursday night -- in effect, rejecting pressure from conservative groups staunchly opposed to the measure.

The Senate is expected to swiftly follow suit.

Those in the House backing the bill included U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, who appeared on CNBC's "Kudlow Report" after the vote to laud the budget deal's provisions as "gifts that will keep on giving."

(via Flickr/SenatorMcCaskill)

Updated at 1:43 p.m., Thurs., Dec. 12

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., says she’ll go online within a week to sign up for health insurance on the federal exchange – but she won’t be taking the federal subsidy to help cover the cost.

“I’m not going to take the ‘employer contribution,’ “ McCaskill told Missouri reporters during a conference call Wednesday, referring to the federal government’s share of the health insurance premiums for all federal employees.  She added that her staff will take the subsidy, as most other federal employees will do.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Missouri’s two U.S. senators – Democrat Claire McCaskill and Republican Roy Blunt – disagree on many issues, such as the Affordable Care Act.  But the two are finding themselves on the same side on a number of military matters, including how best to address sexual assault.

(via Flickr/SenatorMcCaskill)

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill’s amendment to the Defense Authorization Act that was designed to protect victims of sexual assault is facing competition from a fellow democrat.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York is author of an amendment that takes sexual assault cases out of the military chain of command and into the hands of military lawyers. 

McCaskill said Gillibrand’s amendment would give military prosecutors too much influence over sexual assault cases, which could be bad for victims. 

(WikepediaCommons)

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill said today that President Obama should’ve apologized to the millions of Americans whose health insurance was canceled because it failed to meet Affordable Care Act requirements.

“These problems are inexcusable, and it’s embarrassing,” McCaskill said. 

McCaskill’s comments follow remarks made yesterday by former President Bill Clinton, who said President Obama should find a way to let people keep their health coverage, even if it means changing the new insurance law. 

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