Missouri’s senior senator is defending her vote against the federal tax cut bill.

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill (D) speaks at a rally against right-to-work at the Missouri Capitol on March 28, 2018 (Brian Hauswirth photo)

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) was one of 48 senators who voted against the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017” in December.

“The pharmaceutical industry took a $50 billion windfall from that bill, gave it to their shareholders and didn’t lower the price of prescription drugs a penny,” McCaskill says.

McCaskill, who spoke to reporters at Wednesday’s labor rally outside the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City, says 83 percent of the money will go to one percent of the country, under the bill.

McCaskill also says $1.8 trillion in debt has been added in the last six months, under Republican leadership in Washington.

“All I heard from my Republican colleagues before they took power was deficit, deficit, deficit,” says McCaskill. “And they’ve blown this deficit up to places that one couldn’t even imagine it could go.”

U.S. Rep. Jason Smith, R-Salem, views the tax cut differently.

During a January interview with Missourinet, Smith said more than three million people have been receiving bonuses because of the tax cut.

Smith, who represents 30 southern Missouri counties, said during that interview that President Trump’s tax plan would benefit working families in his district.

“You’re looking at a family of four in southeast Missouri that makes $55,000 or less will pay not a penny in federal tax,” Smith said.

McCaskill says she’s glad workers are getting bonuses, but would prefer they receive raises instead. She also says gains by working families will be offset by higher prescription drug prices.

McCaskill is seeking her third Senate term in Washington this fall.

She spoke briefly to reporters after she delivered the keynote at the labor rally, telling Missourinet she believes Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley will win the GOP Senate nomination in August, and will be her November opponent.

“I believe he’ll be the opponent because that’s who the Koch Brothers support and that’s who (Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell (of Kentucky) supports, and generally when Mitch McConnell and the Koch Brothers support someone, they’re the nominee,” McCaskill told Missourinet.

Hawley’s campaign spokeswoman, Kelli Ford, responded to McCaskill’s comments, telling Missourinet that “Claire McCaskill has sold Missouri’s vote to Hollywood and she’s taking (former President) Barack Obama out there with her to pick up the cash,” referring to Beverly Hills.


Click here to listen to Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill’s full interview with “Jefferson City News-Tribune” reporter Bob Watson and Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth, which was recorded outside the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City on March 28, 2018: