11 of the so-called “flimsy 15” stood with House Republican Leaders in an apparent show of caucus solidarity ahead of debate, and likely a vote on, Senate tax cut legislation this afternoon.
The House has taken up Senator Will Kraus’ (R-Lee’s Summit) legislation, SB 509, for possible passage to Governor Jay Nixon (D). It would cut income taxes by one-half percent over several years beginning in 2017. The “flimsy 15” was what a pro-business lobbying group called 15 Republicans who voted with Democrats last year to veto a proposed income tax cut.
One of the most vocal opponents of last year’s bill was Representative Nate Walker (R-Kirksville), who called that legislation “flawed” and said he had to do what was right for his constituents. Walker says he was not coerced to stand with his caucus’ leadership today.
“It was my choice to be there and I support [Kraus’] bill,” Walker tells Missourinet.
He says the lawmakers among that 15, 14 of which are still in the House, met after the veto session and talked to House Republican leadership about their concerns.
“I think this is a good step and I think we need to try this,” Walker says, “and I think the economy will benefit from it.”
“I know why they called us,” says Representative Mike Thomson (R-Maryville), another of the 15. “But we’re a part of the caucus. We always vote our district and our feelings.”
Thomson asks why similar attention hasn’t been paid to Republicans who voted against Right to Work last week in the House. “I don’t know why we were singled out on this to be quite honest.”