Missouri’s two U.S. Senators have differences of opinion over the crafting of the federal stimulus bill that is making its way through Congress.
A conference committee of Senators and Representatives has worked to reconcile the differences in the two chambers’ versions of the legislation. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) praises Senate Republicans who worked with moderate Democrats to come up with that chamber’s bill. And she expects Republicans to be a play a role in working with Democrats in the future.
"We decreased spending, we increased tax cuts," said McCaskill in a radio conference call. "That’s what the Republicans wanted."
McCaskill added, "I think they did have – the Republicans that were in the room – had an impact on the final bill."
But Senator Christopher "Kit" Bond doesn’t see it that way. He says while some Republicans took part in putting together the Senate version, and there were Republicans taking part in the conference, the issue was already settled as House and Senate Democrats met- behind closed doors – to hammer out their proposals.
"That’s where they made the final decisions," said Bond in his weekly radio conference call. "This is another one of the bait and switch … We were promised bipartisanship, transparency. We’ve got partisanship – doing these deals in secret."
Bond doesn’t hold out too much hope for the spirit of bipartisanship in the coming days. "So much of this new era began on a promise of transparency and bipartisanship. You may see it someplace, but I haven’t found it yet and I’m right in the middle of the firestorm."