Claire McCaskill

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.

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:

(Senator McCaskill's Flickr Account)

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.

On this week's episode: We discuss Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill's tumblr announcement, Proposition P, and the nonexistent St. Louis mayoral race.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

Courtesy CityArchRiver

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.

On this week's episode: We discuss the conservatives on both sides of Prop. P, the court rulings while the Missouri legislature is on vacation, and Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill's new book.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter@jmannies

(Senator McCaskill's Flickr Account)

Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri says she will take a cut in pay as a show of solidarity with those federal workers who face furloughs due to the sequester.

McCaskill and Senator Bill Nelson of Florida have proposed a bill that would reduce congressional salaries once the furloughs begin. McCaskill says she wants to hold lawmakers accountable for not coming up with an alternative to the sequester as a means of cutting federal spending.

(Senator McCaskill's Flickr Account)

As many as 19,000 service members are sexually assaulted each year. A small fraction of those cases -- around 2,500 a year --  are actually reported, and a much smaller fraction are prosecuted.

The Senate Armed Services held a hearing on sexual assaults in the military, following a high profile case in which Lt. Col. James Wilkerson was convicted by a military jury of "abusive sexual contact." After the trial and conviction, a Lieutenant General dismissed the charges, without having to provide an explanation.

(via Senator McCaskill's Flickr)

A U.S. Senate committee led by Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill is looking into grants made by the federal Department of Energy.  McCaskill says she has concerns about the agency's ability to oversee grants after recent reports that a grant intended for the manufacture of electric car batteries was used by a Michigan company to pay idle workers.

(Senator McCaskill's Flickr Account)

After receiving a tepid response from the FAA on the prospect of changing rules to allow electronic devices like iPads and Kindles to be used throughout a flight, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) announced that she is beginning to craft legislation instead.

(via City of St. Louis websites)

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.

On this week's episode: photo-baum's on mayoral flyers, Shane Schoeller as the new executive director of the Missouri GOP, and the back and forth between Senator Claire McCaskill and newly-elected Congresswoman Ann Wagner on the Violence Against Women Act.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio

Standing in the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's office, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo) called out House Republican leadership for failing to renew the Violence Against Women Act -- legislation meant to protect victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Until recently, the act received bipartisan support since its inception in 1994.

House leadership didn't bring the Senate version to floor, allowing the VAWA to expire. Leadership cited problems with LGBT and Native American provisions in the bill. But McCaskill said she doesn’t buy the reasoning, and calls it a “fig leaf.”

(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill became the Chairman of the new Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight today.

Since 2009, the Democratic Senator, has led the Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight, a temporary subcommittee that passed reforms to wartime contracting.

In a statement, McCaskill's says the new subcommittee will focus on government waste, fraud and abuse in every federal agency and department.

Free gun locks will be given out Friday at City Hall in St. Louis
M Glasgow | Flickr

During his State of the Union address last night, President Barack Obama emphasized the need for more background checks for gun buyers, saying that that the majority of Americans favor the proposal as a way to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals.

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

From the start, Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo) has been critical of the Obama administration’s response to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya last September that resulted in the death of an ambassador and three other Americans. And on Thursday, Blunt had the opportunity to question departing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta about the attack.

Panetta testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee in what will likely be his final appearance before Congress.

(via Senator McCaskill's Flickr)

Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill is none too pleased with the United States Postal Service announcement that Saturday mail delivery is coming to an end.

And she blames House Republicans for it.

"“We won a hard-fought battle in the Senate last year with strongly bipartisan postal reform that would have put the Postal Service on the path to sound financial footing...and provided strict criteria for the Postal Service to meet before eliminating six-day delivery," McCaskill said in a harshly worded statement.

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

Just months after the GOP’s poor performance among Latino voters, a group of eight senators -- four Republicans and four Democrats -- has renewed calls for immigration reform.

The plan would address four issues: border security, expanding opportunities for legal immigrants, an employee identification system and an arduous path to citizenship.

But Republican Senator Roy Blunt told reporters that it's the last one that will be the most problematic.

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

Missouri’s two U.S. Senators are calling for a stakeholder meeting to discuss how to close a 1,500 foot gap in a Mississippi River levee located in the southeastern part of the state.   

In a joint statement released today, Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt say a host of government agencies have failed to make adequate progress closing the gap.

Construction on the St. Johns Bayou and New Madrid Floodway project stalled out in 2007 because of technical problems related to its Environmental Impact Statement.

Blunt Will Vote Against Hagel's Confirmation

Jan 31, 2013
(Screenshot via CSPAN)

Updated 2/1/13 9:44 with news that Senator Blunt will be voting "No" on former Senator Hagel. Updated 2/1/13 3:03 with additions throughout.

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt says it was a bad day for former Senator Chuck Hagel, as he appeared before the committee that will consider his nomination to be defense secretary. Bad enough that he will be voting against Hagel's nomination. 

Veronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio

Japan's decision to ease restrictions on U.S. beef imports will provide a boost to the American meat industry, but tight supplies may limit how much exports can grow this year.

Beef producers hope to restore Japanese sales to where they were before the first case of mad cow disease was found in the United States in 2003.

Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill commended Japan’s decision to ease restrictions on U.S. beef imports, saying it will be a boost for Missouri's economy.

via flickr/shannonpatrick17

One of the major holdups in the expansion of the Keystone Pipeline was Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman’s apprehension. But after Nebraska state officials approved a revised route this week, both of Missouri’s U.S. Senators are calling on the president to sign off on the expansion.

The Keystone Pipeline already runs through Missouri. What the Keystone Pipeline XL would do is expand the pipeline – adding routes from Alberta to Kansas and Oklahoma to Texas.

It would also enlarge the size of the pipes’ diameter by 6 inches.

(via Flickr/Senator McCaskill)

On the heels of outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s testimony in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the Benghazi attack Wednesday morning, Missouri’s U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill says she will be speaking to Senator John Kerry about embassy security prior to his confirmation hearings.

During a conference call with reporters Wednesday, McCaskill said that she feels very strongly that the U.S. should not have contracted security in places where we are in conflict. She said the military should guard those embassies.

Blunt Has 'Concerns' About Hagel's Defense Nomination

Jan 11, 2013
Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio

As a new appointee on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Republican Roy Blunt of Missouri will have a say in the nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel to Secretary of Defense.

Blunt will join Democrat Claire McCaskill on the committee that will oversee Hagel's hearing.

Hagel has solicited the ire of many conservatives for his prior statements on Israel. While he served in Congress, Hagel stated that he was a United States Senator, not “an Israeli Senator.”

Blunt and his fellow Republicans are concerned he won't be a close enough ally to Israel.

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