The filibuster is over.

The Missouri Senate has given initial approval to a hospital tax bill to help pay for Missouri’s Medicaid costs. Members of the far-right leaning Freedom Caucus spent just over 40 hours Tuesday through Wednesday holding up the federal reimbursement allowance bill, also known as the FRA. It taxes Missouri hospitals to help with those expenses.

Sen. Bill Eigel, R-Weldon Spring, called it a “good day” in the Missouri Senate.

“The message I was feeling from that, was don’t be afraid,” he said. “This whole debate has been about folks trying to convince this tireless, irate, minority that we should be afraid. ‘Oh, we won’t pass this bill in time, we won’t pass these bills in time. If we don’t pass this bill, terrible things are going to happen.’”

The legislation would extend the expiration dates for the reimbursement allowance to September 30, 2029.

A similar bill was derailed three years ago when conservative Republicans loaded it down with anti-abortion amendments before it was eventually passed by a coalition of moderate Republicans and Democrats. This time, the conservative Republicans that make up the Freedom Caucus held up floor business, putting at risk the nearly $4.5 billion in federal aid.

“Don’t be afraid,” exclaimed Eigel. “You know, this idea that — you’ve heard me say this — that the Lord has a plan for everything. You know, we shouldn’t shy away from our opportunity to fight for what we believe in, right here, right now.”

Eigel is also running for governor in the August Republican primary.

The bill requires one more vote of approval before going to the Missouri House for consideration.

Notably, because of the filibuster, the Missouri Senate has adjourned for the rest of the week, meaning that next vote won’t happen until next week at the earliest. Senate members also left Jefferson City without passing the state budget. Next Friday is the constitutional deadline to send the Fiscal Year 2025 budget to Governor Parson.

Click here for previous coverage of this bill.

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