WASHINGTON, D.C. — Things were a bit calmer at the Capitol this week, as Congress rebounded from Specter shock and Souter (sort-of) surprise. Here’s a look at some of the many things Minnesota lawmakers here were up to this week.
• Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar spoke at the 36th annual Washington Caucus, hosted by the Computer & Communications Industry Association, which graded her voting record on technology and innovation measures at 80 percent. (PDF 11MB)
She also expressed worry over the demise of investigative reporting as newsrooms continue to shrink.
“I’m afraid that we’re going to lose that watchdog, and that check, if we don’t figure this out,” Klobuchar said, according to The Dallas Morning News.
• First District Democratic Rep. Tim Walz helped revive a bill to restore offshore drilling and introduced another piece of legislation intended to make it easier for some veterans to finance their mortgages.
• Second District Republican Rep. John Kline introduced a bill that would fully fund the federal Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
• Third Distirct Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen R-Minn. went to Yemen and brought Doritos for a special delivery.
•Fourth District Democratic Rep. Betty McCollum D-Minn. focused on the flu.
• Fifth District Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison successfully helped to include renters’ rights provisions in the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act, which passed the House this week.
• Sixth District Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann lambasted the developing cap-and-trade energy proposal.
“At a time when the American economy is experiencing a serious recession, the last thing Washington should do is restrict the development of cheaper energy and increase taxes to pay for retro energy ideas,” Bachmann said in a statement. “Our government needs to slow down and think twice about enacting an energy policy…”
She also lost her showdown with Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.
• Seventh District Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson opposed portions of the energy program.
“I want this message sent back down the street. I will not support any climate change bill. I don’t trust anybody anymore,” he said.
• Eighth District Democratic Rep. Jim Oberstar wanted uniformity for a future transportation and infrastructure national funding system. The chair of the House Transportation Committee also continued to clash with airline heads over legislation that would seek to regulate cooperation between U.S. and foreign carriers.