U.S. Senate

Brigadier General James Robinson, left, pins a medal to Leo Hardin's suit coat as Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo) looks on.
Camille Phillips/St. Louis Public Radio

A Korean War veteran from St. Louis received a Purple Heart and three other service awards Friday, six decades late.

Twice wounded during the war, Leo Hardin should have received a Purple Heart with a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, the Combat Infantry Badge, the National Defense Medal and the United Nations Service Medal when he left Korea in 1953. Hardin, a veteran of the Army's 2nd Infantry Division, served in Japan in the late 1940s as well as in Korea as Private First Class from 1950-1953.

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.   

(via Flickr/ Senator Blunt)

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., has announced that he’s voting against the compromise budget deal, despite his comments a few days ago in which he urged U.S. House members to ignore conservative groups’ calls to defeat the measure.

Blunt telegraphed his intentions Tuesday morning via Twitter: "There’s no reason to block an up or down vote on the budget agreement, but I will vote NO on final passage."

(via Flickr/SenatorMcCaskill)

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri says one of her priorities when Congress reconvenes in September is to approve legislation reducing sexual assaults in the military.  While McCaskill explained accomplishing the task is a team effort, she said there is one primary disagreement with her fellow Democratic colleagues.          

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillebrand from New York wants to take prosecuting decisions away from commanders while McCaskill, on the other hand, wants it to be handled through the chain of command, with more accountability.

Adam Allington/St. Louis Public Radio

The race for U.S. Senate in Missouri between Democratic incumbent Senator Claire McCaskill and Republican Congressman Todd Akin is close and has garnered national attention.

Recent polling data shows Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney leads in Missouri, as does McCaskill over Akin, by a slim margin.

(Courtesy: Jonathan Dine)

The path to victory is rarely easy for political candidates and it’s even more difficult for third party candidates.  Host Don Marsh talks with Libertarian Jonathan Dine, candidate for the U.S. Senate seat in Missouri.

Show Highlights

“I think it’s possible to win this race if a few more Democrats and Republicans would come my way,”
said Jonathan Dine.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Republican challenger Todd Akin says he has topped $1 million in online donations for his campaign against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri.

Akin mounted an aggressive online fundraising drive in mid-August after losing the financial backing of some Republican groups because of his remarks about women's bodies having ways of avoiding pregnancy in what he described as "legitimate rape."

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

US Chamber of Commerce weighs in on Missouri's GOP Senate primary

The US Chamber of Commerce has made an endorsement in the three-way Republican Senate primary in Missouri.

The chamber on Tuesday backed former Vi-Jon chairman John Brunner, saying his private sector experience in cutting spending and balancing budgets provides the best contrast with Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich has decided not to enter the Republican race against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Schweich said in a statement Tuesday that he determined his candidacy would have made the Republican Senate primary more contentious, and thus would not have helped Republican chances of defeating McCaskill in November.

The Senate race already includes three prominent Republicans - former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman, U.S. Rep. Todd Akin and businessman John Brunner.

(Marshall Griffin / St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated 12:11 p.m. with statement from Neal Ethridge, Springfield businessman and former chairman of the 7th District Congressional Republican Committee

A Springfield-area defense attorney who was the treasurer of Tom Schweich's successful run for auditor in 2010 has filed documents with the Internal Revenue Service to form a committee supporting Schweich for Senate.

(via Flickr/ Senator Blunt)

Updated 6:10 p.m. with reporting from the St. Louis Beacon's Rob Koenig.

Overcoming a late surge of tea party backing for his opponent, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., was elected to the No. 5 Senate leadership post Tuesday in a close vote that pitted an experienced GOP leader against an "outsider" businessman.

(via Wikimedia Commons/United States Senate)

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says Democrats will continue to push for votes on a payroll tax cut extension after it failed.

Senate Republicans on Thursday rejected a Democratic plan to pay for the $120 billion tax cut extension with an extra tax on income above $1 million. Durbin says Congress is "going to go back to this next week and the following week."

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Updated at 2:52 p.m.:

Republican Ann Wagner, who previously announced an exploratory committee for congress, made it official today.

Wagner will run in the Second Congressional District, making her announcement following Akin's official word earlier today.

U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Cape Girardeau has announced today she's not going to pursue a seat in the U.S. Senate in 2012, the St. Louis Beacon reports.

U.S. Senate hopeful Sarah Steelman has raised $200,000 for her campaign, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

According to the paper, Steelman raised the sum in about a month.

So where does that put Steelman among her fellow U.S. Senate candidates? The Post-Dispatch lists the candidates' fundraising progress as follows:

(Office of Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson)

Reporting from KRCU's Jacob McCleland was used for this report.

Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson says that she is considering a run for the U.S. Senate in 2012.

Emerson has been a member of Congress since 1996. Her rural district encompasses all of Southeast Missouri and includes the towns of Cape Girardeau, West Plains, Farmington, and Rolla.

Emerson says that she is not going to rush into a decision.

Fresh on the heels of his failed bid for U.S. Congress, St. Louis Republican Ed Martin has announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate.

Martin made the announcement via YouTube video today.

UPDATE 3:25 p.m. Jan. 27, 2011:

As expected, Talent has announced that he will not run for Senate in 2012. He shared the news with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch today.

UPDATE 10:53 a.m. Jan. 26, 2011:

St. Louis Public Radio photo

"There's nothing like being eulogized while you're still breathing," Sen. Kit Bond said Tuesday as he stepped to a podium in the U.S.

As reported by Jake Wagman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and POLITICO's David Catanese, Republican Sarah Steelman has officially announced her bid to challenge incumbent Claire McCaskill in 2012.