Local Members of Congress and the Senate Split on Partisan Lines Over SOTU
January 29, 2014

Here are some of the reactions to the President’s State of the Union Speech from members of the Kansas and Missouri Congressional delegations.

Kansas Senator Jerry Moran is leading the GOP effort to win control of the Senate.
“The President and Senate Democrats have done next to nothing to promote pro-growth policies that would truly help individuals reach their full potential.
Senate Democrats have prevented action on measures that could provide an immediate boost to the economy at little or no cost to the American taxpayer. Americans deserve better from their elected officials in Washington. Growing our economy, getting people back to work, and making certain all Americans have the ability to climb the ladder of success are all reasons why we seek a Republican majority in the Senate.”

Kansas Senator Pat Roberts is seeking re-election this year.
““We heard more of the same from the President: more taxes, more spending, more bypassing the Congress to enact his agenda, and more big government.
“After five years of these policies what do we have? We have Americans who have given up even looking for a job, businesses regulated to death and families burdened by Obamacare.
“And now the President wants to double down and continue to push this agenda through executive order and regulation.
“The only difference that I see now is that he is finally being upfront about it.
“I will continue to fight these orders and regulations and thinly disguised attempts to redistribute hard working Kansans’ income.”

Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill:
“We’ve made a lot of progress these past few years, creating millions of jobs and pulling our economy out of the ditch—but there are an awful lot of commonsense ideas still sitting on the table that could build on that success, if elected leaders stop kowtowing to the political extremes and start working toward compromise to get things done. Raising the minimum wage for working families, building innovative private-public partnerships to invest in our roads and bridges, making the tax code fairer, and fixing our broken immigration system aren’t partisan initiatives. They’re commonsense goals that we should all be ready to rally behind to strengthen America’s middle class families.”

Ks-2 Representative Lynn Jenkins is part of the House GOP Leadership. She was on the official escort committee that brought the President into the House Chamber.
“I know that consensus building is hard, but just because it is difficult does not mean the President is entitled to work around us instead of with us to lower health care costs, improve education, and help Americans take home more of their paychecks.
“In order to rebuild our American dream, Washington must rise above the dysfunction, put divisive rhetoric aside, and come together to do the right thing for our country. President Obama can spend the final years of his presidency with a “pen and a phone” or he can work with our duly-elected House Republican majority to create opportunity for all families, to foster upward mobility, and to deliver higher take-home pay to the American people.”

Missouri Congressman Sam Graves is the Chairman of the House Small Business Committee.
“The president spoke about income inequality tonight, but failed to mention his own role in making that gap wider. Five years into his presidency, the labor force participation rate is at its lowest point since the late 1970s. There are four million Americans who have been unemployed for at least six months, and another eight million Americans who are working part-time because they still cannot find a full-time job. Two of every five Americans say they are worse off financially than they were a year ago, according to a recent Gallup poll. The president’s policies have not helped. Yet year after year he proposes more big-government solutions that have never worked and will never work.”

Kansas City Democrat Emanuel Cleaver:
“This country was founded on the notion that if you work hard and play by the rules, you should have the opportunity to succeed,” Cleaver said. “It’s past time to make that happen. It is absurd for Members of Congress to dig into political positions and refuse to work in a bipartisan manner. It’s time to stop digging — and start building.”

Ks-3 Congressman Kevin Yoder represents Johnson and Wyandotte counties:
“Many of the President’s ideas require bigger government requiring more spending, higher taxes, and more burdensome mandates and regulations.
A growing government means shrinking opportunities.”

West Missouri Representative Vicky Hartzler:
Hartzler:
“The President stated early in his speech that he believes the American people are united by the belief in opportunity for all – regardless of race or religion or party, young or old, rich or poor – and the notion that if you work hard and take responsibility, you get ahead. But if he really believes this, why doesn’t he get government out of the way to allow American individualism and ingenuity to flourish.”
Missouri Senator Roy Blint delivered the Republican weekend speech last Saturday. He says Senate Democrats are a big part of the problem.
He has a news conference with Missouri reporters on Wednesday.

Politico: How Claire Got on Hillary’s Enemies List
January 14, 2014

This is an excerpt from the Politico Report of how Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill angered the Hillary Clinton Presidential campaign in 2008.

“When the Clintons sat in judgment, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) got the seat closest to the fire. Bill and Hillary had gone all out for her when she ran for Senate in 2006, as had Obama. But McCaskill seemed to forget that favor when NBC’s Tim Russert asked her whether Bill had been a great president, during a Meet the Press debate against then-Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.) in October 2006. “He’s been a great leader,” McCaskill said of Bill, “but I don’t want my daughter near him.”
McCaskill regretted her remark instantly; the anguish brought her “to the point of epic tears,” according to a friend. She knew the comment had sounded much more deliberate than a forgivable slip of the tongue. So did Hillary, who immediately canceled a planned fundraiser for McCaskill. A few days later, McCaskill called Bill Clinton to offer a tearful apology. He was gracious, which just made McCaskill feel worse. After winning the seat, she was terrified of running into Hillary Clinton in the Capitol. “I really don’t want to be in an elevator alone with her,” McCaskill confided to the friend.
But Hillary, who was just then embarking on her presidential campaign, still wanted something from McCaskill—the Missourian’s endorsement. Women’s groups, including the pro-choice women’s fundraising network EMILY’s List, pressured McCaskill to jump aboard the Clinton bandwagon, and Hillary courted her new colleague personally, setting up a one-on-one lunch in the Senate Dining Room in early 2007. Rather than ask for McCaskill’s support directly, Hillary took a softer approach, seeking common ground on the struggles of campaigning, including the physical toll. “There’s a much more human side to Hillary,” McCaskill thought.
Obama, meanwhile, was pursuing McCaskill, too, in a string of conversations on the Senate floor. Clearly, Hillary thought she had a shot at McCaskill. But for McCaskill, the choice was always whether to endorse Obama or stay on the sidelines. In January 2008 she not only became the first female senator to endorse Obama, but she also made the case to his team that her support would be amplified if Govs. Kathleen Sebelius and Janet Napolitano came out for him at roughly the same time. McCaskill offered up a small courtesy, calling Hillary’s personal aide, Huma Abedin, ahead of the endorsement to make sure it didn’t blindside Hillary.
But the trifecta of women leaders giving Obama their public nod was a devastating blow. Hate is too weak a word to describe the feelings that Hillary’s core loyalists still have for McCaskill, who seemed to deliver a fresh endorsement of Obama—and a caustic jab at Hillary—every day during the long primary season.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/01/hillary-clinton-hit-list-102067_Page2.html#ixzz2qNWvd5Ap

McCaskill’s Husband Is Buying Another Plane. McCaskill Says Taxpayers Will Never Pay for Her Trips in It
December 27, 2013

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill’s office says McCaskill’s husband, Joseph Shephard, has bought another airplane.
In 2011, McCaskill was in the news because of the failure to pay almost $290,000 in back taxes to the state of Missouri for another plane McCaskill and Shephard owned.
Missouri Republicans jumped on the story back then.
McCaskill said she eventually talked her husband into selling what she called at the time, “the damn plane”.
McCaskill’s office says Shephard has purchased an aircraft and there are measures in place to assure the taxes are paid on time and in full.
Her offices says McCaskill may use the plane at times in connection with her Senate duties.
“Any use of the plane by Claire will never be paid with taxpayer dollars, and Joseph has implemented strict safeguards to ensure every cost associated with the plane is paid fully and on-time,” according to John LaBombard, McCaskill’s Communications Director.
The plane will be put on the St. Louis County tax rolls January 2, 2014, according to McCaskill’s office.
That’s the next available date to do so, according to her office.
McCaskill’s office alerted reporters to the and purchase in Friday morning e-mail.
Shepherd is a wealthy St. Louis area businessman who’s wealth was well established before the two were married in 2002.
He has a variety of business interests.
Missouri Republicans and some of McCaskill’s Democratic opponents have tried to use Shepherd’s wealth and business interests to politically damage McCaskill.
During the 2012 Senate Campaign Republican Todd Akin’s bid pointed to federal money some of Shepherd’s companies received as part of federal low income housing programs.
The charge that Shepherd had some inside track to the money was never proved.

Senate Conservative Fund Endorses Wolf Over Roberts in KS. GOP Primary
December 10, 2013

The Senate Conservative Fund has endorsed Dr. Milton Wolf, the Republican challenger to four-term Kansas Senator Pat Roberts .
Roberts is up for re-election in 2014.
” He’s not a career politician. He’s a doctor who understands exactly why Obamacare must be repealed. Kansas Republicans deserve a real choice this election,” said the SCF chief Matt Hoskins.
Hoskins called Wolf a “principled conservative”.
Roberts, however, has compiled a pretty conservative record by many political rankings.
He,too, opposes the healthcare law.
He also also called for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to resign over the Obamacare website problems
The Kansas Republican is not taking the summer primary lightly.
He’s lined up the support of many Kansas politicians in Topeka and throughout the state.
Last month Roberts brought former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in to Johnson County for a campaign stop.
In 2012c the SCF was one of the first groups to back Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin.
Akin had been abandoned by the Republican leadership in his campaign against Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill.
After talking about “legitimate rape”, Akin’s campaign collapsed.
He had won a three-way race for the nomination to take on McCaskill.
The Democrat defeated Akin easily in November 2012.
The Kansas GOP primary is August 5, 2014.

Missouri’s Senators Join Push for Boeing 777X Deal
December 4, 2013

(AP) – Missouri’s two U.S. senators say their home state is the right place for Boeing Co. to build its new 777X commercial airplane.

In a letter Tuesday to Boeing executives, Republican Roy Blunt and Democratic Claire McCaskill noted that the company already has more than 15,000 employees in Missouri.

Blunt and McCaskill also cited Missouri’s transportation network – including rail, highways and rivers – and what they called the state’s “track record of success in building airplanes.”

The senators made their pitch as Missouri legislators meet in a special session called by Gov. Jay Nixon to consider offering Boeing more than $1.7 billion worth of incentives over two decades

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