Tim Jones, likely Missouri's next House speaker, lauds Stream and attacks McCaskill
Six months before he’s slated to be Missouri’s next speaker of the House, state Rep. Tim Jones, R-Eureka, is putting his stamp on state policies and politics.
Jones – who expects that he and other state Republicans will win re-election this fall – announced Monday that he’s already chosen several GOP legislators to take over several key committee posts next January.
They include state Rep. Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, who was named the new chairman of the House Budget Committee. Stream would succeed state Rep. Ryan Silvey, R-Kansas City, who’s running for the state Senate.
Jones cited Stream’s experience as the panel’s vice chair under Silvey. “Rick is a true steward of taxpayer dollars and someone who adheres to the principles of fiscally responsible budgeting,” Jones said in a statement. “I know he will continue the fine work of Rep. Silvey to make the budget process one that is transparent and accountable to the people and the taxpayers of this great state.
“As chairman of the Budget Committee, Stream will oversee the appropriations process in the House,” Jones’ office said in its announcement. “He will have the responsibility of filing all appropriations bills and assigning them to their designated appropriations committees.”
Said Stream: “I am honored that Speaker-designate Jones has shown the confidence in me to preside as the budget chairman. I will work in a bipartisan fashion to continue to manage the budget for the state of Missouri in a fiscally responsible and prudent manner.”
Jones chose state Rep. Tom Flanigan, R-Carthage, to serve as the Budget Committee’s vice chairman. State Rep. Jeanie Riddle, R-Mokane, will head up the House Rules Committee.
Meanwhile, Jones also issued a fiery attack Monday against U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who is holding a fundraiser in Kansas City with Vice President Joe Biden.
Jones, who didn’t name any of her Republican opponents, reaffirmed the longstanding Republican attack – that McCaskill is too close to the Obama administration.
"It is no surprise that President (Barack) Obama would send his top surrogate, Vice President Biden, to Kansas City to help Sen. McCaskill raise campaign contributions,” Jones said. “During her time in the Senate, she has been a reliable vote for liberal policies, and for the past four years she has served as a rubber stamp for the Obama administration. On every big issue, including the stimulus and Obamacare, Claire McCaskill has been right beside President Obama, voting against her state.”
McCaskill has contended that it’s the Republicans who are voting against Missouri’s interests and asserts that her GOP opponents want to privatize Medicare, Social Security and student loans.
She also has criticized state Republican legislators in general, including Jones, for opposing provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act. McCaskill says expanding Medicaid would save the state money and increase access to hundreds of thousands of uninsured Missourians.
Jones has pledged to block such a move, saying the program would be too costly in the long-term. He also has emphasized his opposition to anything that expands the size of government.