Missouri House Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Haahr (R-Springfield) says Thursday’s emotional floor speech by State Rep. Don Rone (R-Portageville) is the best speech he’s heard in five years in the Legislature.

State Rep. Don Rone (R-Portageville) speaks on the Missouri House floor in March 2017 (file photo courtesy of Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications}

Rone blasted fellow Republicans Doug Libla (R-Poplar Bluff) and Gary Romine (R-Farmington), saying they oppose his efforts to give the Public Service Commission (PSC) the right to negotiate affordable power rates for an aluminum plant Rone hopes can reopen. Libla and Romine are State Senators.

Rone also blasted another fellow Republican, State Sen. Rob Schaaf (R-St. Joseph).

“The first thing Schaaf did (at a meeting) was pull a piece of paper out and slap it in my face and said, ‘this is how much money that these senators got.’ And do you know what my reply to him was? I don’t give a care what they (senators) got. I don’t take money,” Rone said on the floor.

During his floor speech, Rone described the Poplar Bluff State Senator as “King Libla”, and referred to Senator Romine as “Prince Romine.”

Rone says his PSC amendment would help restore about 400 jobs at the former Noranda site, and would help create 200 jobs at a new Bootheel steel mill.

“But I have never dealt with, don’t ever want to deal with, the most selfish, the heartless, egotistical people as (Senator) Libla, as (Senator) Romine, in my life.”

Democrats and Republicans in the Missouri House gave Rone a standing ovation after the speech. House members brought Rone boxes of tissues on the floor, when he began crying.

Rone describes the two projects as “shovel-ready”.

The Missouri House passed the Rone amendment on a vote of 148-2.