Senate leader Charlie Shields says thousands of jobs are more important than the political philosophy of a fellow Republican. That’s why he has temporarily fired Senate Fiscal Affairs Chairman Chuck Purgason from his committee job. The firing clears the way for a vote to send the Ford bill to the Senate floor today.

Shields expects Purgason to be a strong opponent of the tax incentive bill when it gets to the floor for debate at midday. But he’s gotten Purgason out of the way so the bill can get to the floor to begin with. Purgason had blocked a committee vote for two weeks.

Shields will be acting committee chairman when the vote is taken to recommend passage of the bill.

Purgason says the Missouri Republican establishment sent him to the guillotine for standing on the party’s principles. Shields says he appreciates Purgason’s political philosophy but differs with it. He says one Senator is not more important than the bill.

He expects Purgason to block a Senate vote as long as he can during debate. But Shields thinks the Senate will get to a vote tonight.

AUDIO: Bob Priddy interview with Senator Shields