Missouri Republicans move to create a “Rush Limbaugh Day”
On May 6, the Missouri House voted in favor of a bill that would designate every Jan. 12 as “Rush Limbaugh Day.” Jan. 12 was Limbaugh’s birthday. He died at age 70 after a battle with cancer.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Hardy Billington (R-District 152), was tacked on to a provision on another bill before passing to the chamber.
This is one of multiple attempts by the GOP-led house to designate a Rush Limbaugh Day, in honor of the radio host from Missouri who was known for his racist, sexist, and overall crude remarks.
“Rush demonstrated courage to speak boldly and encouraged his listeners and viewers to reach for their dreams and to push onward beyond the naysayers and discouragers that we all encounter in life,” Ashland Republican Rep. Sara Walsh said.
Democrats opposed the bill, due to the decades of remarks Limbaugh made that directly condemned, threatened, and spewed hatred towards women, minorities, and LGBTQIA+ people, among others.
House Republicans included the “Rush Limbaugh Day” proposal on a bill that would honor famous Black Missourians like Buck O’Neil and George Washington Carver.
As well, the legislation included: designating each April 11-17 “Black Maternal Health Week”; designating each Aug. 31 “Random Acts of Kindness Day”; designating July 2 “Mormon War Remembrance Day” to recognize members of the Mormon church “subjected to injustice and undue suffering” in 1838 when Missouri Gov. Lilburn Boggs issued an order authorizing the “extermination” of Mormons if necessary.
Democrats were unable to speak to oppose the bill, according to Reps. Ashley Aune (D-District 14) and Emily Weber (D-District 24).
Weber and Aune also shared derogatory quotes Limbaugh said—showing the man that the Missouri GOP is fighting to honor.
This is not the first time Limbaugh has been honored by the Missouri legislature despite his historical abuses and vitriol. In 2012, Limbaugh called a Georgetown University law student a “slut” and a “prostitute” because she favored no-cost contraception coverage in health insurance plans. In that same year, then-House Speaker Steve Tilley selected Limbaugh for the Hall of Famous Missourians. A bust of Limbaugh sits just outside the House chamber in the Capitol Building.
Republicans also put forth a bill to name a 6-mile stretch of Interstate 55 in Cape Girardeau “Rush Limbaugh Memorial Highway.” That bill is currently in the Rules-Legislative Oversight Committee.
In witness testimonies, there were 73 formal oppositions to the “Rush Limbaugh Day” bill—including one submitted by a “Missourians Against Rush Limbaugh Day,” which comprises nearly 4,000 Missourians across the state. There were only four testimonies in favor of the bill. The bill still needs to be approved in the Senate.