A proposal to honor late conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh with an official state designation is one step closer in Missouri.
The state’s GOP-led House approved legislation Thursday that would designate Jan. 12 as “Rush Limbaugh Day,” marking the Cape Girardeau native’s birthday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
The measure now needs approval from the Senate prior to the end of the legislative session next Friday. The sponsor of the proposal, Rep. Hardy Billington, R-Poplar Bluff, tacked it onto another bill regarding several other proposed state designations, according to the report.
Limbaugh, 70, died in February after a yearlong battle with lung cancer. Tributes immediately poured in for the conservative firebrand following his death, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy saying he “revolutionized American radio” and guided the conservative moment for millions of Americans.
President Trump also awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the nation’s highest civilian honor – during his last State of the Union speech in February 2020.
“Here tonight is a special man, someone beloved by millions of Americans who just received a Stage 4 advanced cancer diagnosis,” Trump said. This is not good news, but what is good news is that he is the greatest fighter and winner that you will ever meet.”
The honor came one day after Limbaugh, a heavy cigar smoker, announced he had advanced lung cancer.
Democrats in Missouri, meanwhile, are opposing the effort, claiming Limbaugh’s history of racism, misogyny and homophobia makes him ineligible for official state recognition.
“Have you ever heard him say any negative things on the radio about any race or another?” Rep. Jerome Barnes, D-Raytown, asked Billington Thursday, the Post-Dispatch reported.
“To me, he had been an outstanding deal,” Billington reportedly replied. “He had done so many great things. Now I think I told you before he probably had not been perfect by no means of the imagination, but he had done an outstanding job.”
Ashland Republican Sara Walsh said Limbaugh showed “courage to speak boldly” while encouraging his followers to “reach for their dreams.”
But other lawmakers, including Kansas City Democratic Rep. Ashley Bland Manlove, blasted his “constant attacks on black people and other people of color.”
The successful House vote, meanwhile, came after a failed Democratic-led proposal to dub Jan. 13 as “Walter Cronkite Day” after the St. Joseph native who died in 2009 after anchoring the CBS Evening News for nearly two decades.
With Post wires