Politics

Political news

Ron Richard is about to spend his first full session as president pro-tem of the Missouri Senate.

He was elected to the post by his colleagues in September after Tom Dempsey resigned a year ahead of time, and shepherded the upper chamber through veto session. The Republican from Joplin also served as House Speaker from 2009 to 2010, and is the only elected official in Missouri history to lead both chambers.

Richard sat down recently with St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin and talked about what he hopes to accomplish, and about getting started as president pro-tem:

When the U.S. and Cuba reopened their embassies this year, American businesses started to look for opportunities on the island. They are quickly learning, though, that it will be a tough slog.

In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln saw his home state of Illinois become the first to ratify the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, banning slavery. He’d also live to see the end of the Civil War, in which he had declared slaves in Southern states, free under the Emancipation Proclamation, issued two years earlier, but he wouldn’t live to see the amendment itself become law, upon the vote of Georgia state lawmakers on Dec. 9, 1865.

The House has overwhelmingly voted to tighten the program that allows citizens of 38 nations to travel to the U.S. without obtaining a visa. The measure, which passed the House 407-19 and is supported by President Obama, will now require visas for anyone who has traveled to Iraq or Syria in the past five years.

President Obama used a rare Oval Office address Sunday evening to speak to a worried nation about the evolving threat of terrorism and the growing influence of the Islamic State.

One of the biggest messages the president tried to communicate to the American people was that a fear of terrorist attacks must not translate into a fear of all Muslims and spark unnecessary targeting. But judging by the immediate response after the speech, Obama did little to bridge the partisan divide.

Pages