Claire McCaskill | St. Louis Public Radio

Claire McCaskill

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.

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.

Mo. GOP Divided Over Fiscal Cliff Deal

Jan 2, 2013

Congress may have passed a deal to avert the self-inflicted “fiscal cliff” crisis Tuesday night, but you might want to hold off on celebrating. Another gridlock could be here in a couple of months.

Missouri lawmakers were divided on the deal. Missouri’s Democrats joined Republican Senator Roy Blunt and Representatives Blaine Luetkemeyer and Jo Ann Emerson in voting in favor of the bill.

Below you can see how Missouri's representatives voted. Both Senator Blunt and McCaskill voted in favor of the deal.

Many Look To Lawmakers To Curb Gun Violence

Dec 19, 2012
Blunt – Flickr/Gage Skidmore; McCaskill – Flickr/SenatorMcCaskill

After the tragedy in Connecticut, many are now looking to elected officials to enact legislation that will curb gun violence. But Missouri’s Senators and state representatives don’t agree on what that response should be.

McCaskill Wants Electronics On Flights

Dec 12, 2012
(via Flickr/Senator McCaskill)

Not being able to use an electronic device on a flight is something that annoys everybody who flies, but not every annoyed flyer sits on the senate committee that presides over aviation policy. But it just so happens that Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill does.

On Tuesday, McCaskill wrote the Acting Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, telling him that he needs to update the "dated" and "absurd" policy. McCaskill threatened to pursue "legislative solutions" if he moves too slowly.

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio

Lawmakers are hoping to put together a compromise before the end of the year to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff –a series of tax increases and spending cuts, which some economists say would trigger another recession.

But some Democratic groups are pressuring Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill to keep entitlements off the bargaining table.

Nearly 50 retired teachers, union members and health care workers assembled at a St. Louis Social Security office Monday, holding up signs like “hands off my social security" and “instead of war, invest in people.”

Blunt Votes To Block Ratification Of Disability Treaty

Dec 6, 2012
Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Republicans in the Senate have blocked ratification of a United Nations treaty that would have helped countries protect the rights of disabled people.

Although it’s modeled after the Americans with Disabilities Act - which was passed over twenty years ago - 38 Republicans voted against the treaty.

Republican Senator Roy Blunt voted against it, and told reporters Thursday that he objected to it being brought up during the lame duck session.

This Week's Politically Speaking Podcast

Dec 6, 2012

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 today's episode: We discuss Representative Jo Ann Emerson's early departure, and who's on the short-list to replace her, where we stand on Medicaid expansion, and Senator Claire McCaskill's recent PR tour.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter@jmannies

Robert Peterson / St. Louis Public Radio

The election is over and despite some predictions that the results would take a considerable amount of time to trickle in and may even be unknown for a few days, that was not the case.

Democratic U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill handedly won re-election, defeating Republican Congressman Todd Akin.

This Week's Politically Speaking Podcast

Nov 7, 2012

It's the post-election Politically Speaking special. Chris McDaniel of St. Louis Public Radio joins Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum of the St. Louis Beacon to wrap up last night's races.

We go through McCaskill's decisive win over Akin (was he trounced or shellacked?) as well as all the state-wide races. We also throw in a couple Congressional seats, Missouri legislature make-up, and the ballot initiative results.

 

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

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