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WASHINGTON (AP) — Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi says Republicans are using their opposition to health-care reform as an excuse to shut down the federal government.

The California Democrat says anti-government ideologues dominate the GOP and for them forcing a shutdown would be a victory.

She says, however, that GOP efforts to derail health-care reform and shut down the government have "no prospect of prevailing."

Pelosi says the goal of some in the GOP is to get the government out of the lives of Americans by handing Social Security over to private bankers and allowing Medicare to "wither on the vine."

The former House speaker made her comments Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."

Published in National News

CHICAGO (AP) - With his top Democratic challenger out of the 2014 race, Gov. Pat Quinn says he remains focused on his day job.

Quinn addressed reporters Wednesday in Chicago. The appearance was his first since former White House chief of staff Bill Daley bowed out of the 2014 race.

Quinn shied away from addressing Daley's criticisms, including parting statements that Quinn wouldn't win.

With just one lesser known candidate left, he's widely expected to get the nod from his party during the March primary.

Quinn says he'll still attend a statewide slating discussion this weekend in Springfield by the state's Democratic party.

Four Republicans are running for governor. Quinn says it'll be a tough contest.

 

Published in Local News

   The largest coalition of organized labor unions in the St. Louis region is pulling its support for St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley's 2014 reelection bid.  Greater St. Louis Labor Council President Robert Soutier and Jeff Aboussie of the St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council met with Dooley Monday.  

   Soutier spoke with Fox 2 News about that meeting. "And I said at this point, we're withholding support.  We would urge you not to run." 

   Dooley says he's sorry the labor leaders are pulling their support, but he has no plans to bow out of the race.

   "There is no better friend to labor than Charlie Allen Dooley," he said.  "I have been labor's friend since I've been in politics, since I've been the county executive, on the county council since 1995."

   Soutier says the action isn't the result of any one incident, but stems from a relationship that has deteriorated over time.

   "The building trades certainly have some problems with non-union contractors in the county," Soutier said.  "Certainly, the firefighters have a problem with an appointment that Dooley made for, I think, one of the training centers." 

 

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The owners of a multi-state tobacco store chain have contributed thousands of dollars to Missouri officials and even hired their own lobbyists. But their cause this year is not focused on cigarettes.

Jon Rand and Sharie Keil are backing Missouri legislation that would remove hundreds of people convicted of sex crimes as juveniles from the state's online listing of registered sex offenders. Their cause is intensely personal, because their son is among those whose name, photo and address would come down from law enforcement websites.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed the bill earlier this summer. He said it could endanger the public by hiding the whereabouts of violent sex offenders. But the political battle is not over. Missouri lawmakers are to convene next Wednesday to consider overriding the veto.

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri House Majority Leader John Diehl (deel) is promising to raise money for the Republican cause - not his personal political aspirations - if colleagues nominate him as the next House speaker.

The fundraising pledge is one of several promises contained in a letter Diehl sent colleagues as part of a behind-the-scenes campaign.

A similar letter was sent to House Republicans by Diehl's rival for speaker, Rep. Caleb Jones. But Jones' letter makes no mention of fundraising.

The Associated Press obtained copies of both of the lawmakers' letters.

Republicans are meeting in St. Louis to discuss the potential override of Gov. Jay Nixon's vetoes of several bills. They're expected to vote during the September veto session on a nominee for House speaker in 2015.

 

Published in Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn is making a series of stops in central Illinois.

Monday's visits mark the second round of trips the governor's made to the region following criticism that his frequent Chicago focus might draw a downstate challenger in the 2014 Democratic primary.

Quinn started the day welcoming the Stanley Cup to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum before heading to Bradley University in Peoria, where he announced a construction grant. Quinn is also scheduled to spend time talking about the construction grant Augustana College in Rock Island before going to Rockford, where he's expected to talk about a clean water initiative.

Quinn is facing a primary challenge from fellow Chicagoan Bill Daley.

Quinn's spokeswoman has said the governor was previously tied up in Springfield because of pension reform.

 
Published in Local News

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A steady stream of speakers at a Columbia Medicaid reform hearing urged a panel of citizens and Missouri lawmakers Saturday to not only reform but also expand the government-funded health care program.

The dozens of speakers included doctors, disability advocates, hospital executives and citizens who would become eligible for Medicaid under expansion envisioned by the federal Affordable Care Act.

The House Interim Committee on Citizens and Legislators Working Group on Medicaid Eligibility and Reform is one of three special committees created by state lawmakers after the Republican-led Legislature repeatedly rejected Medicaid expansion proposals in the 2013 session.

Committee chairman Noel Torpey of Independence and several other legislators on the 52-person panel emphasized that repairing what he called a "broken" Medicaid system is equally if not more important than broadening access.

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — With the help of some Democrats, Missouri's Republican-led Legislature appears prepared to override Governor Jay Nixon's veto of a high-profile bill that seeks to nullify federal gun-control laws in Missouri and make criminals out of federal agents who try to enforce them.

The Democratic governor contends the bill violates the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Several of his fellow Democrats told The Associated Press that they don't disagree, but they say a "no" vote on gun-control legislation in some parts of Missouri could be career ending.

The Republican-led Legislature is to meet in September to consider a veto override.

The gun bill originally passed with comfortable margins in the House and Senate.

Published in Local News

   NEW YORK (AP) - Anthony Weiner is pressing ahead with his bid for mayor despite growing calls for him to drop out of the race over a new sexting scandal.

   Weiner has been a favorite in the polls since he launched his political comeback attempt in late May. But he was greeted with boos as he took the stage at a public housing meeting Wednesday evening. By the end of his remarks, however, the crowd was cheering loudly.

   Afterward, Weiner said he had expected that revelations would emerge by the end of the campaign, adding "some of them have." But he says his campaign is too important to abandon over "embarrassing personal things" becoming public.

   The latest scandal erupted Tuesday after the gossip website The Dirty posted X-rated messages and a crotch shot it said Weiner exchanged with a woman last year while using the online alias "Carlos Danger."

   The first poll since the latest scandal broke is scheduled to be released Thursday afternoon.

 

Published in National News

WASHINGTON (AP) — Three years after campaigning on a vow to "repeal and replace" President Barack Obama's health care law, House Republicans have yet to advance an alternative for the system they have voted more than three dozen times to abolish in whole or in part.

Officially, the effort is "in progress" — and has been since Jan. 19, 2011. That's according to GOP.gov, a leadership-run website.

But internal divisions, disagreement about political tactics and Obama's 2012 re-election add up to uncertainty over whether Republicans will vote on a plan of their own before the 2014 elections.

Or, if not by then, perhaps before the president leaves office, more than six years after the original promise.

Sixteen months before the midterm elections, some Republicans cite no need to offer an alternative.

Published in National News
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