Capitol Catchall: A busy week for Klobuchar, Bachmann


Amy Klobuchar may be Minnesota’s only U.S. senator, but she is also the state’s first elected female senator, a fact that has her looking out for women’s issues. She’ll be in Iowa this weekend to greet the Iowa Democratic Women’s Summit. Klobuchar also authored a breast cancer awareness bill. “While Minnesota has among the highest rates of breast cancer, it has among the lowest deaths,” Klobuchar told “We believe health care isn’t just about taking care of people after they have fallen sick.”

Politico reports that Minnesota’s sole senator shops at Target to save money (the corporation has given her $23,300 in campaign contributions).

Klobuchar and a DFL colleague, U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, got some face time with President Obama this week as they urged him to make a disaster declaration recognizing that the Minnesota side of the Red River has been devastated by flood waters.

U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar took big transportation corporations to task this week.

FedEx says it will hold back shipments of airliners if a bill supported by the Minnesota DFLer becomes law. The bill would allow FedEx employees to unionize. Oberstar called FedEx’s statements “huffing and puffing.”

Oberstar also raised the ire of the airline industry with a bill that would repeal airline antitrust immunity.

“I’m not very tolerant of this whining about antitrust immunity,” Oberstar said. “They don’t want to have to stand up and justify their getting a piece of the antitrust law of the nation? That’s nonsense. That’s un-American.”

DFL Rep. Keith Ellison spoke at a Color of Wealth Summit in Washington, D.C., to discuss closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap. Ellison also held a forum on the Employee Free Choice Act. “There is nothing in the Employee Free Choice Act that deprives workers of the right to a secret ballot,” the congressman said at the forum. “It’s just not in the law. It’s not true; it’s a scare tactic.”

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann had a busy week. She and fellow Republican Rep. John Kline put forward a bill to ban Guantanamo Bay prisoners from coming to Minnesota. She wants to ensure that the dollar stays the currency of the United States. Bachmann also grilled the treasury secretary about the Constitution and “metaphorically” called for an armed revolt over cap and trade taxes. Despite all the fuss, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce gave her an award.