Claire McCaskill

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: On Sunday, McCaskill is slated to be on NBC’s “Meet the Press’’ to talk about her efforts to combat sexual assault in the military.

On Friday,  McCaskill was in Iowa at an event promoting women candidates – including presidential – which was sponsored by Emily’s List, a political action committee aiding candidates who favor reproductive rights.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – Hopes were high when the new Congress convened in January and President Barack Obama started his second term, with progress predicted on issues that included immigration reform, gun control and perhaps even a long-term budget deal to avert a sequester.

Claire McCaskill
File photo

Defense officials say the Pentagon's inspector general will investigate allegations of waste and misuse taxpayer funds by a military-led unit that's responsible for accounting for POWs and MIAs.

The investigation comes in response to an internal Pentagon report that said the Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command's search for remains on old battlefields is so inept, mismanaged and wasteful that it risks descending from dysfunction to total failure.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – The final battle lines are forming in the Senate in the long-running dispute over how best to deter and prosecute sexual violence in the military -- with U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill caught in the crossfire.

Even though the Missouri Democrat has been one of the Senate's leading advocates for years of a tougher approach to prosecuting sexual offenders, she is being targeted in a pressure campaign by groups that back a rival plan.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – Internet gambling, which was dealt a heavy blow by Congress a few years ago but granted a reprieve by the Justice Department in 2011, is now facing another round of scrutiny on Capitol Hill.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: I tend to confuse ideological people. Conservatives consider me a liberal; liberals — or progressives, as they now self-identify — accuse me of being a reactionary. I feel like the last kid chosen for a ball game at recess: neither team wants me.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – When it comes to stopping pesky robocalls, U.S Sen. Claire McCaskill likens the process to playing Whack-a-Mole in a space that has become a “criminal sandbox” for phone scammers.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – Six decades after the Korean War, the remains of more than 50 Louisans who fought in that conflict have never been found. Neither have the remains of 10 soldiers from the region who fought in Vietnam.

Each of those stories is a tragedy for the surviving relatives, who have spent decades fearing the worst but still hoping for a miracle. And each name on the long list of POW/MIA Americans – 83,348 from World War II, Korea and Vietnam – is the subject of searches by a Pentagon command charged with finding as many of them as possible.

McCaskill: There Is No 'War On Men'

Jun 27, 2013

Missouri's Democratic Senator, Claire McCaskill, wrote a response to a series of Wall Street Journal columns alleging she was "criminalizing male sexuality" in her efforts to restrict sexual assault in the military.

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

The contracting firm that handled the background check of a now-famous NSA leaker is under active criminal investigation. On Thursday, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) held a hearing on how security clearances are granted.

Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., chair a hearing in which problems with background checks were disclosed.
Government photo | St. Louis Beacon | File photo

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – In the wake of leaks about secret surveillance programs, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., contended Thursday that the government's process of conducting or contracting out background checks for security clearances is plagued by "limited accountability" and falsified reports.

Wikimedia Commons/Frank Plitt for Clinton’s image & Senator McCaskill’s Official Flickr account.

If you're having a sense of déjà vu after reading national headlines about Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill endorsing Hillary Clinton's potential run for president, you're not crazy. The Democratic Senator actually endorsed Clinton when she stepped down as Secretary of State in February.

Back then, McCaskill wrote, "I know that Hillary will succeed in whatever comes next for her—and if her future plans include seeking the Presidency, which I hope they do, then I look forward to being on her team and working my heart out to see her elected.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON -- After a high-profile disagreement between U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and another Democratic senator on how best to deter sexual violence in the military, the Senate Armed Services Committee backed reforms Wednesday that are closer to her proposal.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Casting their Republican counterparts as ineffectual extremists, some of Missouri’s top Democratic officials provided a blueprint of sorts at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner to gain even more ground in the Show Me State.

And Attorney General Chris Koster, a former Republican, pledged to put up a substantial amount of campaign money to help the cause.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – Pressed by U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and others, the top Pentagon brass told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that deterring sexual assault is a major priority, but rejected the idea of removing such cases from the chain of command.

Senator McCaskill's Flickr

The Pentagon estimates that as many as 26,000 service members were sexually assaulted in the military last year. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) introduced new legislation Thursday in response.

There have also been several high profile cases of a member of the military being convicted of sexual assault by a jury, only to have it overturned by a superior officer. McCaskill’s hopes her bill would change that.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – Missouri’s senators may not agree on many national issues, but U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill’s new bill that aims to deter sexual violence in the military picked up a GOP leadership co-sponsor on Thursday when U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt signed on.

The "Better Enforcement for Sexual Assault Free Environments" (BE SAFE) Act, announced earlier in the day by McCaskill, D-Mo., and U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, is one of several bills in Congress that take different approaches to the problem.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon - WASHINGTON – On opposite sides of Capitol Hill on a busy Wednesday, two witnesses ruffled some feathers when they invoked their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon - WASHINGTON – After Carol Houck’s two daughters were killed in a crash while driving a rental car subject to a safety recall, the California woman started a campaign to convince rental firms to "ground" such vehicles until they are repaired. 

It took years for Houck, consumer groups and sympathetic lawmakers to get the big rental companies — Clayton-based Enterprise Holdings Inc., Hertz Corp., Avis/Budget and Dollar/Thrifty — to agree to a voluntary pledge last fall not to rent recalled vehicles until manufacturer-defined flaws are fixed.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – With congressional probes of the Internal Revenue Service and Benghazi likely to remain in the spotlight, both allies and critics of President Barack Obama are predicting that fallout from the revelations could endanger key parts of his second-term agenda.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – With both the Army and Air Force rocked by sexual violence charges against personnel tasked with preventing sexual assaults, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill wants to mandate strict new criteria for officers in such jobs.

“When you have two incidents in two different branches of the military within 30 days of each other, then you realize that you need to scrub what’s going on and start over – recertify, retrain and re-qualify all the people that are doing these jobs,” McCaskill said.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Note: Next week, we will be having a live recording of the podcast to wrap-up the legislative session, and to take questions from listeners. If you're interested in attending, you can find more information about the event here.

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

(Senator McCaskill's Flickr Account)

Last week, the IRS apologized for targeting conservative groups in audits for tax exempt status. In response, Senator Claire McCaskill, a Democrat from Missouri, is calling for high-ranking officials to be fired.   

501(c)(4)s are tax exempt organizations that are supposed to be “social welfare” groups. But in reality, many are Political Action Committees that do not have to disclose donors. A couple of prominent examples are Americans For Prosperity and Crossroads GPS on the conservative end, and Priorities USA on the liberal side.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – Are government agencies trying to suppress or soften reports of waste and corruption in how billions of taxpayer dollars are spent on projects in Afghanistan?

That’s the assertion of the top U.S. auditor for Afghanistan reconstruction. And U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill – who pressured the White House to force out one of his predecessors for being too lax in his audits – is vowing to probe the new allegations.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – With the Pentagon reporting a sharp increase in sexual assaults and the Air Force officer in charge of preventing such crimes charged with sexual battery, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill is stepping up her efforts to try to toughen prosecution and alter laws to deter such crimes.

“I am confident there will be changes in how rape and sexual assault cases are handled in the military [included] in this year’s national defense authorization bill,” McCaskill, D-Mo., said in an interview Wednesday.

Screenshot from a Senate stream of the hearing.

Millions of consumers have an error on their credit report. In response, Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri held a hearing Tuesday on the consumer report industry.

One out of every five consumers has an error on at least one of their major credit reports, according to a study released a few months ago by the Federal Trade Commission. Those errors can cause consumers to pay more or be denied credit or housing.

McCaskill, who recently became chairman of the Senate subcommittee on consumer protection, called the system “kafkaesque.”

(Senator McCaskill's Flickr Account)

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) says officials are considering the best response to evidence that the embattled Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, may have used chemical weapons against his own people.   

First, she said officials are exploring humanitarian options to help the King of Jordan, Abdullah II bin al-Hussein, deal with a flood of refugees crossing his border with Syria, which could uproot the regime of the valued U.S. ally. 

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill has halted the nomination of an Air Force lieutenant general who's been tapped to be the vice chairman of U.S. Space Command.

McCaskill said in a statement on Thursday that she wants more information about Lt. Gen. Susan Helms' decision last year to overturn a jury conviction in a sexual assault trial. 

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

Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo) is one of many co-sponsors of a bill that would allow states to collect sales taxes for online purchases.

Under current law, states can only require stores to collect sales taxes if the store has a physical presence in the state.

As NPR's Planet Money puts it:

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – A Chesterfield physician is deluged by faxes from companies claiming falsely that her patients had requested medical equipment. An elderly Missouri woman gets three or four calls a day from marketing firms trying to convince her to ask her doctor for equipment she doesn’t need or want.

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