The Buzz

TheChat: Claire McCaskill is reassured by refugee screening process

Good morning.

▪ “I would challenge any American to go and see the screening process and not be convinced that it is incredibly thorough and, secondly, to not have their heart pulled by the children, these children and their families, that are fleeing horrendous circumstances.” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill who traveled to Austria, Jordan and Israel last week and came away reassured about the screening process for Syrian refugees.

A Democrat, McCaskill was convinced that terrorists won’t get into the U.S. via the refugee route. Rather, they’ll come through Canada or some other way. She left open the possibility of supporting more Syrian refugees coming into this country.

▪ “Trump is actually doing us a favor because he’s reinvigorated these conventions to actually mean something in terms of providing value for the public in understanding what’s going on with this nominating process and what it’s supposed to mean.” — Missouri State University political scientist Brian Calfano on the possibility of a brokered convention this year.

He has a point. Even late states on the primary schedule, such as California, matter this year. (link via

▪ “If the Senate ultimately gets something out then we’ll have a caucus and see what the will of the body is.” — Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson on the possibility of a gasoline tax increase this year.

Richardson, a Republican, had appeared to close the door on such a possibility earlier this year. But now he’s saying he and the House will consider a hike from the Senate, which is looking at an increase of about 6 cents.

▪ “The potential is definitely that the property taxes will go up across the state.” — Jim Freeman, chief financial officer for the Wichita school district, on the possibility of higher property taxes under an education funding bill legislators approved last month to comply with a state Supreme Court order.

Under the school funding formula, school districts are allowed to impose property taxes to supplement state funding they receive for general operations. The bill would allow for extra flexibility for districts when it comes to property taxes.