Clergy Shut Down the Senate, Demand Action on Medicaid Expansion

Today, clergy and people of faith from across Missouri traveled to Jefferson City to implore their lawmakers to pass Medicaid Expansion. They stressed that lives are at stake, as Missourians are currently dying from lack of healthcare and 700 more will die each year without Medicaid Expansion. After a rally in the rotunda, clergy filed into the Senate and, in an act of civil disobedience, disrupted the senators' debate. They announced: "We stand together as people of faith. Expand Medicaid! Do your job! Expand Medicaid!"

Senate Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, who was at the dais when the protest began, paused debate and instructed police to clear the gallery. Medicaid Expansion supporters filed into the hallways and began to pray and sing aloud. Twenty-three clergy members refused to leave the gallery and were arrested. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports they were "processed" and released by police. As the clergy exited the Senate gallery one by one, they were welcomed and cheered by supporters waiting in the halls.

The Washington Post covered the events that unfolded in the Senate:

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