In many statehouses, GOP confronts dissension
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Republicans set out a bold conservative agenda after taking control of state capitols across the Midwest and South in the last general election. They wanted to cut taxes and spending, put new limits on labor unions, crack down on illegal immigrants and give parents more alternatives to traditional public schools.
But after a series of notable achievements last year, the largest Republican wave in statehouses since the Great Depression is now splintering and action on key issues is stalled despite little meaningful opposition from outnumbered Democrats.
In Kansas, GOP lawmakers worked into the wee hours of a recent weekend to resolve serious differences after the most acrimonious legislative session in recent memory. Nebraska's governor sent his GOP-dominated Legislature home this spring with an angry press conference after issuing a barrage of vetoes and seeing his tax cut plan gutted. In Missouri, a Republican senator who held up the budget derisively referred to a rival GOP faction with the worst of party epithets — liberals.
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