JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The public squabble between members of the Senate Conservative Caucus and Republican House committee chairs continued Thursday — spilling onto social media.
Sen. Denny Hoskins, held court on the Senate floor twice this week, lambasting two House committees for blocking Senate legislation, particularly bills that are priorities for conservatives in the upper chamber. Hoskins specifically pointed to two bills — his SB 283 removing a sunset on a higher education grant program for veterans, Sen. Eric Burlison’s SB 145, the HAILEY’S Law bill reforming the state’s Amber Alert system.
SB 283 was up for a vote in Rep. Holly Rehder’s House Rules – Administrative Oversight Committee Thursday morning, but the Republican chairwoman prevented a vote on it, citing Hoskins’ opposition to her bill that would establish a statewide prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP).
As it stands, Hoskins and other conservatives oppose the creation of a government database, but he told The Missouri Times he hopes the legislation can be brought up before session ends so he can attach amendments to it.
After Rehder thwarted a vote on his bill this morning, Hoskins said, “That’s pretty petty and shameful to hold up a veterans survivor bill.”
Other members of the Conservative Caucus came to his defense on social media.
“Veterans issues are important to my constituents and I — why would someone hold hostage help for surviving spouses and kids?” Sen. Bill Eigel tweeted.
— William Eigel (@BillEigel) May 9, 2019
“Has [Rehder] lost her principles? Stop this shameful pettiness,” Sen. Andrew Koenig said.
— Andrew Koenig (@Koenig4MO) May 9, 2019
Not to be outdone, Rehder and Rep. Rocky Miller, the Republican chair of the House Rules – Legislative Oversight Committee also took to Twitter to defend their positions.
“Perhaps you’re having trouble keeping up with the efficiency of the House Rules Committee. We voted this program out of our Rules Committee on March 5th,” Rehder said. “House Bill 715 sponsored by Rep. Lynch. Looks like it’s been sitting in the Senate just waiting to be voted on.”
Perhaps you’re having trouble keeping up with the efficiency of the House Rules Committee. We voted this program out of our Rules Committee on March 5th. House Bill 715 sponsored by Rep. Lynch. Looks like it’s been sitting in the Senate just waiting to be voted on. 🤷🏼♀️ https://t.co/PfjLygQuxQ
— Holly Rehder (@hrehder) May 9, 2019
“There’s two legislative bodies working here. House Bill 715, the Veteran’s Survivor Grant Program, is ready for a final vote in the Senate,” she said in another tweet. “So what that means is … it could actually be done as soon as the [Missouri Senate] wants.”
Oh wow. Ok. Let me try to be more helpful, I don’t mind. There’s two legislative bodies working here. House Bill 715, the Veteran’s Survivor Grant Program, is ready for a final vote in the Senate. So what that means is….it could actually be done as soon as #MOSenate wants. https://t.co/FdHZkKFLi2
— Holly Rehder (@hrehder) May 9, 2019
Miller added: “I thought that bill sounded familiar. We voted on it so long ago, I must have forgotten. I’m sure the Senate will do the right thing and vote it out.”
HB 715, from Republican Rep. Steve Lynch, passed out of the Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Committee in late April.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a reporter with The Missouri Times. She joined the newspaper in March 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City. Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S. and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa. She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. Contact Kaitlyn at email@example.com.