Claire McCaskill

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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Following her own come-from-behind victory, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill cites her success as she seeks to aid a fellow Democrat in the nationally watched special election May 7 for a U.S. House seat in South Carolina between former Gov. Mark Sanford, a Republican, and Elizabeth Colbert Busch, the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert.

In an e-mail fundraising blitz this morning, McCaskill, D-Mo., minces no words in her jabs at Sanford:

“He was all over the news a few years back after secretly abandoning his post as governor of South Carolina and using tax dollars to visit his mistress in Argentina,” McCaskill wrote. “All the while, his staff used the excuse that the governor's absence was just due to him ‘hiking the Appalachian trail.’

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – With speeches, ads and new vote ratings, advocates of new laws to stem gun violence are trying to turn up the pressure this week on GOP lawmakers who are trying to block action on gun control.

On Tuesday, Mayors Against Illegal Guns – a group backed by funding from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg – put congressional offices on notice that it would start issuing a “scorecard, assigning members a letter grade on their gun policy records.”

(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

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Gov. Jay Nixon brushed off questions yesterday about gay marriage, an issue  now before the U.S. Supreme Court.

But Nixon, a Democrat, did express support for adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s anti-discrimination statutes. That's become an increasingly visible priority among gay rights groups and their allies.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: On the eve of the U.S. Supreme Court hearing on gay marriage, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., used old and new media Sunday to explain why she now supports marriage equality.

Starting off with a quote from the Bible (old media), McCaskill laid out her stance via Tumblr (new media).

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

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – Senators call it the “vote-a-rama,” a rapid-fire series of votes on dozens of amendments to the budget resolutions that may or may not have anything to do with the government’s budget.

That’s what was happening late Thursday, Friday and possibly into Saturday’s wee hours as senators tried to finish the budget so they could leave town for their spring “work period.” More than 400 potential amendments were filed, but Senate leaders hoped to pare down the actual number of votes to 30 or so.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – For Mayor Jo Anne Smiley of Clarksville, Mo., clean water is key, given that the Mississippi River provides drinking water to 18 million Americans.

For Alton, Ill., Mayor Tom Hoechst, the emphasis is on efforts to help farmers to prevent erosion that leads to sediment buildups that require river dredging. And, of course, the need for more federal investment in river locks and dams.

(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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – As victims of sexual assault in the military told their stories to a Senate panel on Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and other senators called for reforms in military procedures to help stop widespread abuses.

“The focus of our efforts should be on effective prosecution,” said McCaskill, D-Mo. “There’s no reason a general who’s never heard the testimony of factual witnesses should be able to wipe out a verdict with the stroke of a pen.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: “If you think we’re going to spend a billion dollars of our money over there, you are sadly mistaken.” – Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, 2003.

WASHINGTON – Ten years ago this month, the U.S. government embarked on a war to topple the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq. That conflict and the ensuing occupation ended up costing American taxpayers, by some estimates, about $800 billion.

(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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – After nearly three months of debate following the mass shooting of 20 first graders at a Connecticut school, Congress on Thursday began the legislative process of determining which initiatives are politically feasible in the effort to deter gun violence.

At a markup session of the Senate Judiciary Committee, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and other senators discussed separate bills that would: ban assault weapons; require criminal and mental-health background checks of all gun buyers; crack down on illegal gun trafficking; and provide help to bolster school security.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, one of the moderates whom President Barack Obama called last week to discuss budget issues, said Tuesday that the $85 billion in sequester cuts is likely to stay but might be re-targeted.

“I think it’s doubtful that we will change the $85 billion in cuts,” McCaskill told reporters. “I still think it’s possible that we will change the impact of those cuts so . . .  it makes more sense where and how we are cutting.”

(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.

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