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Senate Republicans Shut Off Debate, Force Vote on Voter Photo ID Requirement

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/senaterepu_1833.mp3

At 1:30 this morning, Republicans in the Missouri Senate used a rare procedural maneuver to shut off debate and force action on voting legislation. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports from Jefferson City.

The senate moved the previous question or PQ, something that's only happened a handful of times in the history of the senate. The PQ shuts off debate and forces a vote...The bill before the senate would require voters to show government-issued photo identification at the polls, a bill that democrats say is objectionable.

The PQ motions and the bill passed on straight party line votes.

Democrats tried to stop the PQ but failed to get recognized by Republican Senator Chris Koster who presided over the senate.

The motion to shut off debate came in the early morning hours on the last day of the legislative session.

The most senior member of the legislature Democratic Senator Pat Dougherty said he hated to end his legislative career on such a bitter note.

After the votes, he pointed to the words etched into the walls of the senate chamber.

Senate Republicans say they had no choice.

They say that Democrats had made it clear that they intended to use the filibuster to block the bill from coming to a vote.

Senate President Pro Tem Mike Gibbons says the filibuster should be a tool for forcing compromise, not for killing bills.

He offered his own take on the words etched on the senate wall.

Democrats say they're especially disappointed that Senate Republicans shut off debate on a voting bill that Democrats say will disenfranchise thousands of voters.

Again, Democratic Senator Pat Dougherty.

Republicans say they know they took a serious step when they voted to shut off debate.

Senate President Pro Tem says Republicans forced a vote only because it was their last resort.

Now that the bill has final senate approval, it moves to the House. If approved by the House, it would go to the governor's desk to be signed into law.