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Politically Speaking: Congresswoman Wagner on combatting sex trafficking — and her political future

U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, a Republican from Ballwin
Ali Pardo/Wagner congressional office

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio's Jo Mannies welcomes back U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner to the program.

The Ballwin Republican represents Missouri's 2nd Congressional District, which takes in parts of St. Louis, St. Charles and Jefferson Counties. She recently filed to run for another term earlier this week.

Wagner was eager to talk about the sex-trafficking bill that she’s been shepherding for years – and which made it through the U.S. House this week.  (The measure includes some Senate provisions championed by Democrat Claire McCaskill.)

Wagner is pleased that Senate GOP leaders are promising a quick vote on the final version and expects to see the measure on President Donald Trump’s desk by the end of March.

During the podcast, she also offered her candid observations on a number of topics, including:

  •    Her support for the two investigations — one by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner and one by  state House Speaker Todd Richardson’s new investigative panel — focusing on Gov. Eric Greitens.
  •    Her commitment to running for re-election, and why she won’t revisit her decision to pass on a Senate bid.
  •    Her improved relationship with Trump, who she had not supported during the early days of 2016 (Wagner had been a backer of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.)
  •    Her belief that the federal tax cuts could improve the GOP’s prospects for this fall’s elections. Wagner predicts an unusually high turnout, because she believes conservatives are just as energized as progressives.

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter:@jmannies

Follow Ann Wagner on Twitter: @AnnLWagner

Music: "The Importance of Being Idle" by Oasis

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.