Blunt, McCaskill, Other Senators Ask Obama for “River Emergency”
November 30, 2012

Missouri Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill are trying to crank up the pressure to get more water into the Missouri and Mississippi River.
The two Missouri Senators, along with 11 others, want the White House to issue an emergency order.
“We support an emergency directive to permit additional water flows from Missouri River reservoirs to maintain navigation on the Mississippi”, the Senators state in a letter to the White House.
The letter was signed by 11 other members;including Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin, Senators Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), John Boozman (Ark.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Thad Cochran (Miss.), Bob Corker (Tenn.), Al Franken (Minn.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Joe Manchin (W. Va.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), David Vitter (La.) and Roger Wicker (Miss.).
The Army Corp of Engingeers is reducing the water released into the Missouri River from resevoirs in the Great Plains states.
Upper Missouri baisin states say they need to hold back the water to offset the impact of the drought.
The Lower Missouri and Mississippi basin Senators are worried the water levels downstream will drop so low barge navigation will have to stop.
The Senators say cargo worth more than $7 billion, including 300 million bushels of crops, could be delayed.
The letter says the water levels pose a “potentially large negative impact of this looming disaster” on agribusiness in the Midwest.

Akin Presses McCaskill on Husband’s Money From Feds from
October 11, 2012

McCaskill Says Pentagon Dropping More US Military Base Closings
August 7, 2012


Missouri’s member of the Senate Armed Services Committee says the Pentagon has abandoned discussions that were making some Missouri military officials and the communities near their bases a little nervous.
Senator McCaskill says defense secretary Leon Panetta has dropped any thoughts of a new commission on base realignment and closure. McCaskill, says the military readiness subcommittee she heads would not allow any recommended changes to come out of her subcommittee until the Pentagon comes up with a plan for the thousand-plus bases this country maintains overseas.
She says the Pentagon has not even properly assessed whether the most recent round of closings and realignments based on a 2005 study saved any money.
McCaskill says the Pentagon needs to make sure our foreign bases, especially those cold war bases in Europe, are still worth their cost.
She says Missouri’s major bases are in good enough shape to resist BRAC changes. But she says some smaller installations such as Rosecrans Field in St. Joseph and Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis could have been affected.

McCaskill Says GOP 3 Miss the Mark in Tv Debate
July 6, 2012

Incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill’s respond to Friday night’s debate (see previous post)

" “Missouri’s families want a Senator on our side, but Akin, Brunner and Steelman have outlined three clear priorities in this race: privatizing Social Security and Medicare, while also ending federal student loans. That’s not a way to move our state or our country forward and Missourians deserve better.”

Roberts Praises Farm Bill Now on Hill, Blunt & McCaskill Join In
June 13, 2012

St. Joseph News press via
Kansas Senator Pat Roberts is praising the new Farm Bill now churning through Congress as the kid of reform Congress always talks about but rarely delivers.
The St. Joseph News press reports, ““This is a reform bill,” Mr. Roberts said on the Senate floor last week. “No other committee, in the House or Senate, has voluntarily undertaken programmatic and funding reforms at this level in this budget climate.”
Mr. Roberts said the legislation rolls four commodity programs into one, streamlines 23 conservation programs into 13, eliminates five forestry programs and squeezes out 16 different line items in rural development programs.
Karla Thieman, who grew up on a Lafayette County cattle farm before going to Washington for three years to serve as a staff member on the Senate Agriculture Committee, said the initial directive in crafting the bill was to ferret out program redundancies, find resource savings and keep the farm safety net in place.
“We didn’t want to lose the tools in the toolbox,” said Ms. Thieman, back in Missouri to direct the Democratic Party Coordinated Campaign. “We created a more user-friendly Farm Bill.”
Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill said the reforms extend to the way agricultural producers get federal assistance.
“We’re going to stop paying farmers direct payments when prices are high,” the Democratic senator said Tuesday. “We’re going to make sure that there is an important safety net under our producers. We’re going to limit the amount of payments that farmers can receive.”
Not every observer celebrated the reforms and acknowledged the savings. Christine Harbin, a policy analyst for Americans for Prosperity, said Farm Bill spending almost doubled between 2008 and 2011, up to $98 billion a year, including a steep increase in the federal food stamp program.
“Lawmakers are now patting themselves on the back for locking in those huge increases and then cutting a little bit around the edges,” she wrote in The Hill.
Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt said if the new Farm Bill goes into effect on Oct. 1, savings will begin to be realized and agricultural interests will have more certainty about federal programs.
“Every day the Farm Bill is extended, you’re extending a Farm Bill that spends a couple of billion more dollars annually,” the Republican senator said in a conference call last week.
He remains cautiously optimistic the measure will be approved.
“We’ll just see,” Mr. Blunt said. “This is not a Congress that’s shown a lot of ability to get things done.”