Welcome to this week’s edition of the D.C. Memo. This week in Washington, we’re back! A new year means the impeachment process continues, the 2020 Census draws nearer, and I get to make a few predictions. Let’s get on with this.
Shortly before the end of 2019, the House voted to impeach a president for the third time in U.S. history. But there’s still a ways to go before the Senate puts President Donald J. Trump on trial. The House still has to officially transmit the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate. And it needs to pass a resolution affirming who will serve as impeachment managers — effectively the House’s prosecutors during the trial.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year
Minnesota is bound to have a big role in defining the news out of Washington this year, whether that means the state’s (potentially) declining influence in shaping agricultural policy, increasing influence with federal funding allocations, or its home state Senator continuing on with her presidential campaign.
I have nine predictions as to what stories from Washington will drive the year, but you’ll have to…
A losing prediction
Other people have 2020 predictions as well. The 2020 census will define not just Minnesota’s federal funding allocations, but whether or not the state will lose a congressional seat.
Lately, signs point to a shortfall in terms of population growth, meaning there’s a strong likelihood the state could lose one congressional seat.
“A year ago we were saying that Minnesota was close,” one prominent census analyst told the Strib. “Now all … of the projections show that you’d lose a seat.”
Vin Weber returns
Former Minnesota Congressman Vin Weber has spent the last few years embroiled in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian election interference.
The Justice Department recently ended its probe into whether Weber, now a lobbyist, failed to properly register under foreign lobbying rules. Patrick Condon at the Strib caught up with Weber and has the story.
The president next door
Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s presidential campaign continues into the new year, surpassing several of her Senate colleagues for a place on the debate stage and a percentage in the polls.
December 31st was the year end fundraising deadline for the presidential field. On Friday, Sen. Amy Klobuchar said she raised $11.4 million this quarter. The campaign says the money was raised from 145,126 donors, with an average online contribution of $32. Campaigns will have to release a more comprehensive breakdown of fundraising and spending by January 31.
In other news
- Civil rights icon and U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
- A recent survey by the Hubbard School of Journalism at UMN found most Minnesotans disapprove of current U.S.-Mexico border policy.
- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says he is no longer bound by a self-imposed moratorium on nuclear weapons testing.
Quote of the week
“Who drinks this?” said CNN’s Anderson Cooper, after being presented with a shot of Jägermeister on New Year’s Eve.
What I’m reading
Cindy Carcamo for the LA Times: Love in the Time of DACA
What do relationships look like when they are in-part defined by U.S. immigration policy? Cindy Carcamo at the LA Times asks this question of those on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (or DACA), a policy, challenged by the Trump administration, that allows more than half a million immigrants who arrived here as children to work and live in the United States.
Katelyn Burns for The New Republic: When “Biology” Becomes a Cover for Anti-Trans Bigotry
Katelyn Burns does a deep dive on what an employment legal case (and J.K. Rowling) mean for trans rights internationally. Highly recommend reading, but if you don’t, I’ll leave you with this:
Commonly held beliefs don’t develop in a vacuum. Trans people have never had control over their own narrative, in science or in media. That has started to change recently, but by and large, cis people still hold the power to frame trans lives for the masses. Maintaining that power to define trans lives is what ultimately drives anti-trans activists, not only in their online presence but in the courts and more broadly.
That’s all for this week. Thanks for sticking around. Until next week, feel free to send tips, suggestions, and sound advice to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow at @gabemschneider. And don’t forget to become a MinnPost member.