ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) — The budget battle in Washington has kept many of U.S. senators and representatives away from a Midwestern conference of conservatives in suburban St. Louis.
Hundreds of people gathered Saturday for pep-rally-style speeches and panel discussions at the Conservative Political Action Conference in St. Charles.
U.S. Senators Roy Blunt of Missouri and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma were late cancelations, as were numerous U.S. House members.
A convention spokeswoman says they stayed in Washington, where lawmakers face a midnight Monday deadline to pass a funding plan to avert a partial government shutdown.
Utah Senator Mike Lee attended the convention and received a standing ovation for aiding Texas Senator Ted Cruz this week in his filibuster against funding for the federal Affordable Care Act.
The event is sponsored by the American Conservative Union.
ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) — Texas Governor Rick Perry says President Barack Obama's health care law is a failure and should be defunded, but he doesn't think shutting down the federal government is a good option.
Perry spoke Saturday to hundreds of people gathered for the Conservative Political Action Conference in suburban St. Louis.
He told the crowd that "the culture in Washington is broken" and touted efforts in Republican-led states to cut taxes and spur job creation.
Perry said the federal health care law has failed before enrollment even begins Tuesday in new online insurance marketplaces.
This past week, Texas Senator Ted Cruz led an unsuccessful filibuster to block funding for the health care law in the federal budget year that starts Tuesday.
Perry says he supports defunding the law but not closing government.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri residents can begin enrolling Tuesday for health coverage offered through a new online insurance marketplace. But some supporters of the initiative are advising people to wait a while.
The health insurance exchanges are a key part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act signed by President Barack Obama. Though enrollment starts Tuesday, people can wait until December 15th to sign up and still be included when the insurance coverage starts January 1st.
The Missouri Foundation for Health is one of the many nonprofit groups spreading the word about the new insurance options. Foundation vice president Ryan Barker says there likely will be glitches when the website launches. He encourages people to check out the site, do some research and take some time to think about it before enrolling.