Legislative Update – September 11, 2017

West County Democrats
Legislative Update
September 11, 2017

Federal Items:

President Donald Trump made an intelligent decision: he asked the Democrats for help.

Thanks to all the Democratic votes in Congress, emergency aid related to Hurricane Harvey and a short extension of the debt ceiling (till December) has been sent to the President. It is critical to note that 90 House Republicans – including Ann Wagner and the five other GOP Reps from Missouri – voted against the bill! (Note that Wagner also voted against relief for Hurricane Sandy victims.)

Unfortunately, a variety of critical measures require action by Congress. That list includes a Continuing Resolution to operate the government after October 1; reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance program (CHIPS) and several other benefit programs; DACA and border security; a military spending plan which includes new troops headed to Afghanistan; “tax reform;” funding for Affordable Care Act subsidies, and, filling hundreds of senior positions in government departments.

Expect many Republicans in Congress to push hard for votes on the red meat issues – guns, taxes, abortion and immigration – to have material for re-election ads.

The double hits of Irma and Harvey may drop the nation into negative growth in the 4th quarter of the year. Trump promised 3% to 4% annual GDP growth was always a stretch. It is now an impossibility for Fiscal Year 2018. A recession starting this fall may occur.

State Items:

As the late radio voice Jim White loved to say, “You can’t fix stupid.”

It is possible that the Republicans will call for a special session to expel African-American Democratic state senator, Maria Chappelle – Nadal, while ignoring the call for lynching by the white Rep. Warren Love. And, the You Tube video of Rep. Mike Moon decapitating a chicken and yanking out its heart – to promote his pro-life message – will not draw any official action by the House leadership.

This Wednesday (9/13) the legislature will descend on the Capitol for the required Veto Session: most legislators are also hosting fund raisers in Jefferson City this week. It is possible that Governor Eric Greiten’s veto of funding for in-home services for 8,000 Missourians will not be challenged. While Lt. Governor Mike Parsons wants to hold a vote, the House Republicans seem to lack the desire (and the votes) to challenge the governor.

Talk is already circulating that next year’s budget may require an additional $500 million or more in cuts to education and other state activities.

Better than a dozen Republicans have been mentioned as possible GOP candidates for State Auditor. Many have said they aren’t interested but the prosecutor for Cape Girardeau County is looking for support.  Appointed to his post two years out of law school, Chris Limbaugh is the son of a federal judge and cousin to a certain radio host.

Submitted by Glenn Koenen, WCD Member

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