Nonprofit, independent journalism. Supported by readers.


State delegation in the midst of week’s congressional whirl

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Credit cards, a mortgage “cramdown,” Specter’s switcheroo, and Souter’s planned step-down, too — what hasn’t happened here this week?

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Credit cards, a mortgage “cramdown,” Specter’s switcheroo, and Souter’s planned step-down, too — what hasn’t happened here this week?
Here’s a look at some of the things your lawmakers were up to while financial, political, and judicial happenings whirled around them.

Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar helped to pass a bill that she had championed — the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act. The widely popular legislation sailed through the Senate by a 94 to 2 vote.

Meanwhile, her staff members busied themselves with education forums in Minnesota seeking input on No Child Left Behind. Go here for an updated schedule on future education gatherings.

Second District Republican Rep. John Kline said the public should be alarmed by what he identified as the government’s expanding reach into the private sector.

Kline also called the hate crimes legislation that passed the House this week “misguided.”

The provision expanded the federal “hate crime” laws to include attacks based on a victim’s sexual orientation, gender identity or mental or physical disability.

Article continues after advertisement

“Among the bill’s many flaws, it supersedes state laws, threatens free speech and erodes equal justice under the law,” Kline said in a statement on his website.

“I believe all violent crimes must be prosecuted – not just those against certain individuals and groups,” Kline continued.

Third District Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen gets a shout-out in the Wall Street Journal as an example of the GOP’s remaining ability to win Democratic-leaning districts with moderate candidates.

On that note, Paulsen broke with his party this week to vote in favor of a credit card “bill of rights” provision.

Fourth District Democratic Rep. Betty McCollum introduced a bill to end child marriage. Sen. Richard Durbin D-Ill. was expected to introduce a companion bill in the Senate.
Fifth District Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison, who made headlines Monday with his brief arrest outside the Sudanese embassy, co-hosted a youth violence protection forum Friday with Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak.

Eighth District Democrtaic Rep. Jim Oberstar was mentioned in a Wall Street Journal article headlined “FedEx CEO Warns Of ‘Air Trade War’ If Open Skies Rolled Back.”

Sixth District Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann joined the House GOP American Energy Solutions Group this week. Bachmann’s comments on the swine flu also got picked up by “The Daily Show” (a couple of minutes into the following clip).

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart M – Th 11p / 10c
Snoutbreak ’09 – What to Call Swine Flu
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic Crisis First 100 Days