Three days left…
After 26 hours of filibustering the GM incentives bill, the Senate’s Conservative Caucus retreated. Early yesterday morning word started to bubble that the filibuster threatened to crowd out other priorities, including the passage of the anti-abortion “heartbeat” bill. Ultimately that threat – the time they were burning would reduce the chances of an anti-abortion bill passing – persuaded the Conservative Caucus to sit.
“Our desire to protect innocent human life was leveraged against us,” said Sen. Bob Onder on the Senate floor as the filibuster ended.
The building, though, was stunned that the conservatives seemingly extracted nothing in return for ending their filibuster except a promise to take up the heartbeat bill, a huge priority for all Senate Republicans.
· A little peace of mind heading into the last couple of days that they wouldn’t be the target of Republican ire.
· They want the abortion bill badly. And they thought [it might result in going] beyond getting it.
Reaction was unanimous that it was a big win for Governor Mike Parson.
· Now you see why Parson has been best dealmaker in building for 10 years…
· Once the Gov called their bluff they had no way out…
I’m not sure Steele Shippy’s “COMPLETE VICTORY” tweet met the definite of gracious winning. One MOScouter called it “spiking the ball and dancing in endzone.”
Heartbeat Bill in Senate
Today will be abortion day in the Senate. Get ready for another long filibuster. This time from Democrats.
The assumption has been that this bill would lead the Senate to a PQ. But starting it this early, with three days left, means it could be instead be another all day, all night filibuster ending with fatigue. That would keep the Senate open for business on Friday and allow the passage of more bills.
We’ll see how it unfolds.
The 2019-2020 Session
In the downtime yesterday as the Conservative Caucus filibustered, folks in the hallway and rotunda wearily considered how this final week may be presaging next session. The legislative landscape will become even more challenging.
· House leadership could become splintered as Floor Leader Rob Vescovo is increasingly freelancing his own agenda separate from Speaker Elijah Haahr.
· The Conservative Caucus, though out-maneuvered in this final stretch, shows no signing of cracking. Managing the conflicts between them and the Republican Regulars will keep leadership busy.
· Next year Governor Mike Parson will be in full-out re-election mode, adding another layer of possible complications.
Longer term, some wonder if the rise of the Conservative Caucus doesn’t foreshadow Missouri moving toward a Kansas situation. That is, a Republican Party so big and dominant that it fractures into “conservative” and “moderate” camps.
We may just be another cycle or two away from such an alignment. And it’s not November wins and an expanded map. The Republican Party doesn’t have to get any bigger for this scenario to unfold. It’s the primary elections to watch. Do more ultra-conservatives win primaries? Candidates who enter the building viewing themselves more as conservatives than Republicans? Is leadership unable, or unwilling, to unify the members of their caucus beyond the gun and abortion agenda?
Without Cort in CD-2
I wrote yesterday that Cort VanOstran, the 2018 Democrat who ran against Congresswoman Ann Wagner in 2018, will not challenge her again in 2020. Instead Becky Morgan is expected to run for Dems. But I’m told that there will likely be others who will look at the race or be asked to look at the race. Those include…
· Sen. Jill Schupp.
· Mark Osmack.
Gossip Town: Dem Appointments?
Looking to the interim, the hallway thinks that there are several Dems who in the mix for possible appointments from Governor Mike Parson. From PSC to the Board of Probation and Parole to jobs within the Department of Labor, there’s no shortage of rumors. Senators whose names are mentioned are all term-limited…
· Sen. Kiki Curls.
· Sen. Jason Holsman.
· Sen. Jamilah Nasheed.
· Sen. Gina Walsh.
Committee To Support Macon County Nursing Home District-Loch Haven was formed. It’s a PAC. Its treasurer is Sally Weber.
Mark Farnen added Dakota Power Partners.
Happy birthday to Rep. John Wiemann.