Tension in the Missouri Senate continues after a vote was forced last week by Republicans on a measure involving businesses and religious organizations opposed to gay weddings. Democrats stalled Senate business Monday by requesting that Thursday’s entire journal be read.
After the reading, Senator Jason Holsman (D-Kansas City) told fellow Senator Scott Sifton (D-Affton) that Republicans refused to compromise, and said that’s not how the Senate operates.
“How often is that going to continue to be the playbook? Bring out a proposal on Monday at 4. Put it in front of us and say we’re not coming off this bill until you agree to 100% of our demands,” said Holzman.
“Or, 98% in this case,” said Sifton.
“There were many of us, who going into last week, were becoming increasingly concerned about what happens when you put a bill on the floor at four ‘o clock on a Monday and nobody is willing to negotiate,” said Sifton.
“Not only that but you say we’re not going to take half a loaf,” said Holsman. “We want the whole loaf or we want nothing at all.”
Senate leader Ron Richard (R-Joplin) isn’t concerned about the slow down yet.
“I think the Majority Floor Leader has indicated that he’s just going to stay on the calendar just like he would before,” said Richard. “I don’t see that anything is going to change. The pace may change. It may not. Let’s just see.”
Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City) hopes that business can move forward sooner rather than later.
“We have a lot of bills on the perfection calendar. Outcome or no outcome, what you like or don’t like about last week, we ate up a lot of time that we’d like to try to make up and get some perfection bills moving,” said Kehoe.
Republicans killed a filibuster last week by Democrats on a proposal that would ask voters if businesses and religious organizations should be shielded from penalties if they decline to offer goods and services for gay marriages.
The measure was passed to the House.