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What’s gone wrong so far with the 2022 Missouri legislative session? For Sen. Bill Eigel, a lot

bill eigel march 2022
Harrison Sweazea
/
Senate Communications
Sen. Bill Eigel, R-Weldon Spring, has played a major role in the 2022 debate over congressional redistricting. He's seen here in a photo taken in 2019.

Sen. Bill Eigel returns to Politically Speaking to talk about the tense impasse over congressional redistricting — and whether lawmakers can get more done in the second half of the legislative session.

The Weldon Spring Republican represents the 23rd Senate District, which includes portions of St. Charles County. He first won election to his post in 2016 and was reelected in 2020. He will be barred from running again for the Senate because of term limits after 2024.

Here’s what Eigel told St. Louis Public Radio’s Sarah Kellogg and Jason Rosenbaum:

  • Eigel explained the origins behind some of the tensions within the GOP Senate caucus. Eigel is part of a subgroup of Republican senators, known as the Conservative Caucus, that’s gotten into very public fights with GOP leadership.
  • He talked about why congressional redistricting has bogged down — and why he pushed for a map that would have made Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver’s Kansas City-based 5th District unwinnable for Democrats.
  • Eigel addressed criticism that members of the Conservative Caucus were pushing for a map out of pure self-interest, especially since some of them are either running for Congress this year or have aspirations to run for the U.S. House some time in the future.
  • He discussed his expectations for the rest of the 2022 session, including how the Senate will handle the budget and whether lawmakers will address bills related to education curriculum or COVID-19 restrictions.

Eigel was first elected to the Senate in 2016, after emerging out of a competitive primary against then-state Rep. Ann Zerr and longtime municipal Judge Mike Carter. He went on to defeat Richard Orr in the general election by a comfortable margin — and then defeated Orr again in 2020 after a landslide win in that year’s GOP primary.

As a member of the Conservative Caucus, Eigel has differed with GOP leadership on a number of fronts. They include a prescription drug monitoring program and an incentive package to get General Motors to expand in Wentzville.

Follow Sarah Kellogg on Twitter: @sarahkkelogg 

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Bill Eigel on Twitter: @billeigel

Sarah Kellogg is the Missouri Statehouse reporter for St. Louis Public Radio
Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.

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