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Politically Speaking: Missouri's Democratic House Leader Says Party's Voices Still Matter


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

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This week, Chris McDaniel and Jo Mannies hosted state House Minority Leader Jake Hummel, a Democrat from St. Louis. Hummel, a union electrician, acknowledges that the 52 House Democrats have a tough task because they are outnumbered by more than 100 Republicans.

On the show, Hummel observed that:

  • He has gotten a commitment from House Republican leaders that the Democrats’ tax cut bill will get a hearing, although Hummel acknowledged that the GOP is likely to focus on pushing its version  through the House;
  • Democrats plan to fight hard against any proposal to impose restrictions on labor, such as "right to work." They will also oppose bills to require photo IDs at the polls.
  • Democratic legislators will continue to press for Medicaid expansion. Hummel noted that the state's current program and eligibility standards were set up by Republicans in 2005, so he said that the GOP should take the blame for those parts of the program that some Republicans say is "broken."
  • The efforts by a couple of House Republicans to impeach Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, are "a stunt'' and will get nowhere.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter@jmannies

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter@jrosenbaum

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.
Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.

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