Thursday, November 17, 2005

A House Divided?

Kit Wagar reports in the Kansas City Star that the current chair of the budget committee, Brad Lager (R-Maryville) is being outsted by Speaker Rod Jetton (R-Marble Hill). Lager's conservative credentials are rock solid, however, losing his leadership position seems to have freed Lager to talk candidly about the budget situation. Wagar reports:

“Even with a strong economy, even with a growing number of jobs, even by doing all the things we’re supposed to do, we still have a problem…” Lager said. “In today’s environment, mandatory expenditures will consistently exceed our revenue.”

Lager’s comments reflect a growing realization among many Republican leaders that the state’s financial problems are significantly worse than they claimed over the last few years, when they blamed all the state’s woes on former Gov. Bob Holden, a Democrat

The bloggers over at RightMissouri see this article as nothing more than a hatchet job against the Republicans, which just as easily could have been a news release of the Missouri Democratic Party. What RightMissouri fails to acknowledge is that this is a debate within the Republcian party. When one party controlls the governor's manion, and both houses in the General Assembly, differences are sure to arise. The party discipline of the Repubicans has been incredible in the past several years. Legislators have taken their marching orders from their leadership and seem ready to speak from their party's talking points. As more legislators gain more experience, will we see this discipline waver in the following year?

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