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Maya Rao

Reporter | Washington Bureau
phone: 651-925-5043
Maya Rao wrote for The Press of Atlantic City and The Philadelphia Inquirer before moving to Minnesota in January 2012.
Recent content from Maya Rao
Tax reform could add up to billions for Minnesota's biggest companies

Tax reform could add up to billions for Minnesota's biggest companies

Minnesota's biggest companies would see billions in relief – but what about workers?
Paulsen backs bump stock ban, angering gun control opponents

Paulsen backs bump stock ban, angering gun control opponents

The Minnesota Republican's decision to cosponsor the measure to ban a device that allows semi-automatic rifles to fire at the rate of machine guns has drawn the ire of gun-control opponents.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar pushes for transparency in online political ads

Sen. Amy Klobuchar pushes for transparency in online political ads

The stronger proposed disclosure rules from Minnesota's Klobuchar and colleagues are aimed at diluting Russian interference in elections.
Klobuchar, other lawmakers dined with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump

Klobuchar, other lawmakers dined with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump

Minnesota senator, others from Judiciary panel discussed criminal justice reform with Trump, Kushner
Sen. Al Franken to donate campaign contributions from Harvey Weinstein

Sen. Al Franken to donate campaign contributions from Harvey Weinstein

Minnesota senator will give away contributions from Hollywood producer accused of sexually harassing women
Few signs that Vegas shooting will shake up the gun debate

Few signs that Vegas shooting will shake up the gun debate

Minnesota Republicans in Congress aren't interested in talking guns after the mass shooting in Las Vegas, while Democrats say some response is necessary.
GOP tax overhaul takes aim at widely used deductions

GOP tax overhaul takes aim at widely used deductions

Deductions on one-third of federal returns filed from Minnesota are on the chopping block.
Lawmakers call for swift, apolitical fix in Cuba attacks

Lawmakers call for swift, apolitical fix in Cuba attacks

WASHINGTON – The bipartisan Cuba Working Group in the U.S. House on Friday praised the federal government’s decision to withdraw all nonessential personnel from…
Minnesota Republicans, businesses praise GOP tax plan

Minnesota Republicans, businesses praise GOP tax plan

As Trump rolls out tax proposal, plan wins praise from GOP's Paulsen, skepticism from Democrats

Stephen Censky, a Minnesota native, set to for influential USDA slot

A Minnesota native awaits confirmation for No 2. post at the agency.
Minnesota gets $6 million from feds to fight opioids

Minnesota gets $6 million from feds to fight opioids

Nearly $250,000 will go to the White Earth Band of Ojibwe to combat drug overdoses.
Paulsen jumps into BWCA mining ban debate, backs moratorium

Paulsen jumps into BWCA mining ban debate, backs moratorium

Paulsen breaks GOP ranks as House votes to lift mining ban.
FCC's decision on 'net neutrality' looms; advocates push back

FCC's decision on 'net neutrality' looms; advocates push back

Foes, including Sen. Al Franken, say looser rules could lead to blocked content and higher prices.
Minnesota's Keith Ellison, in Democratic leadership role, central in party's rebuilding effort

Minnesota's Keith Ellison, in Democratic leadership role, central in party's rebuilding effort

Personal contact is key to building party, Ellison says.
Passage of 'Forever GI' Bill is touted as a way to get things done in D.C. in polarizing times

Passage of 'Forever GI' Bill is touted as a way to get things done in D.C. in polarizing times

Expanded college program zips through the U.S. House and Senate, but a health care battle awaits.
Franken introduces bill to save children trapped in hot cars

Franken introduces bill to save children trapped in hot cars

The measure would require newly manufactured cars to come with sensors that alert the driver if a child is still in the back seat after the vehicle is turned off.

Senate Democrats set their conditions for tax reform ahead of GOP's push in Congress

The Democrats' letter to Trump and GOP leaders asks for no cuts for wealthiest 1 percent.
Congressional Republicans regroup to focus on taxes

Congressional Republicans regroup to focus on taxes

"I think it's obvious that there were some lessons learned from health care," said U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen, who voted for the health care bill in the House.
U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer pushes to restore mineral rights

U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer pushes to restore mineral rights

The Sixth District Republican's move comes in response to the Obama administration's 11th-hour decision not to renew mining leases for Twin Metals in northeastern Minnesota.
House committee passes bill to trim EPA spending, but by far less than proposed by Trump

House committee passes bill to trim EPA spending, but by far less than proposed by Trump

Agency faces 6.5 percent cut in bill headed to the House.
Despite Minnesota GOP support, ban on transgender medical funding fails

Despite Minnesota GOP support, ban on transgender medical funding fails

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House on Thursday unexpectedly defeated a GOP-sponsored prohibition on military funding for transgender medical expenses. The amendment by Rep. Vicky…
Rep. Rick Nolan touts his PolyMet land-swap bill

Rep. Rick Nolan touts his PolyMet land-swap bill

The congressman testified on bill to exchange forest and mining firm's acreage.
Rep. Nolan tries to balance mining support, climate change opposition

Rep. Nolan tries to balance mining support, climate change opposition

He delicately balances support for PolyMet land swap and climate change work.
Hazelden Betty Ford to hold opioid town hall in D.C.

Hazelden Betty Ford to hold opioid town hall in D.C.

WASHINGTON – As lawmakers wrangle over the opioid crisis, the Hazelden Betty Ford Institute for Recovery Advocacy is sponsoring a town hall next Wednesday…

Another DFLer announces bid to succeed Rep. Tim Walz

Daniel Feehan, an Iraq war veteran, is fifth DFLer to enter the race.
Red Lake among tribes alarmed by proposed cuts to BIA programs

Red Lake among tribes alarmed by proposed cuts to BIA programs

Anti-suicide initiative among programs that would be cut, Red Lake leader says.
As GOP seeks looser financial rules, Emmer focuses on small banks

As GOP seeks looser financial rules, Emmer focuses on small banks

Emmer, saying the Dodd-Frank Act goes too far, is supporting measures that he says would ease the regulatory burden on small banks.
Rep. Rick Nolan first Minnesotan to join Climate Solutions Caucus

Rep. Rick Nolan first Minnesotan to join Climate Solutions Caucus

Nolan also recruited Rep. David Joyce, an Ohio Republican, to join him.
Opioid-linked deaths on rise, but federal response uncertain under Trump

Opioid-linked deaths on rise, but federal response uncertain under Trump

Treatment advocates and public officials in Minnesota are looking to Washington with concern that federal spending reductions could damage efforts to stem the crisis.
Minnesota, big user of food stamps, worries over Trump's proposed cuts

Minnesota, big user of food stamps, worries over Trump's proposed cuts

Minn. advocates organize against proposed cuts.
Gov. Mark Dayton supports President Trump's paid family leave plan

Gov. Mark Dayton supports President Trump's paid family leave plan

Governor says state should adopt proposal for six weeks of paid leave for new parents.
Klobuchar wants Senate briefing on Russian vote hacking attempts

Klobuchar wants Senate briefing on Russian vote hacking attempts

Minnesota senator wants briefing after new round of reports on Russian hacks into U.S. election process
Franken's new book takes on Trump, Republican colleagues (with jokes)

Franken's new book takes on Trump, Republican colleagues (with jokes)

"Al Franken, Giant of the Senate," hit bookstores Tuesday.
Franken rules out running for president in 2020

Franken rules out running for president in 2020

Minnesota senator, on the presidential wishlist of some Democrats nationally, categorically rules out run
$4.1 trillion Trump budget plan would reshape aid to Minnesota

$4.1 trillion Trump budget plan would reshape aid to Minnesota

The proposal also excludes further federal funding for the $1.9 billion Southwest Light Rail Transit project. Its first hearing is Wednesday before the House Budget Committee, which includes U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis, R-Minn.
Target CEO Brian Cornell to testify in DC against import tax

Target CEO Brian Cornell to testify in DC against import tax

Proposed rule could drive price increases for retailers.
Rep. Nolan meets Trump officials to revive copper mining near BWCA

Rep. Nolan meets Trump officials to revive copper mining near BWCA

The DFL congressman sees a chance that the administration will undo Obama decision.
Minn. GOP in D.C. back health care measure amid blowback

Minn. GOP in D.C. back health care measure amid blowback

U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen is defending his heavily scrutinized vote for the Republican alternative to the Affordable Care Act. He and fellow Minnesota Republicans Tom Emmer and Jason Lewis say it's an effort to bring down health insurance costs.
Minnesota native running for Virginia governor defends Confederacy

Minnesota native running for Virginia governor defends Confederacy

Corey Stewart, a Duluth native running for governor of Virginia, stirs up national controversy over defense of Confederate flag.
Ellison's failed bid to run DNC was costly venture

Ellison's failed bid to run DNC was costly venture

U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison's unsuccessful bid to chair the Democratic National Committee wasn't cheap.
Poll: Trump has 40% approval rating among Minnesotans

Poll: Trump has 40% approval rating among Minnesotans

As Donald Trump reaches Day 100 as president, the poll shows a stark divide: Most Minnesotans outside the Twin Cities area continue to back him.
GOP's Erik Paulsen spent big on last cycle, on track to do so again

GOP's Erik Paulsen spent big on last cycle, on track to do so again

In the previous election cycle, Paulsen spent far more defending his congressional seat last year than any other Minnesotan in Congress.

Ellison, Sanders, Democrats make new push for $15-an-hour minimum wage

Proposal reflects growing support among Democrats for higher base wage, but lacks GOP support.
Affordable housing advocates fear proposed HUD cuts would be devastating to Minnesota

Affordable housing advocates fear proposed HUD cuts would be devastating to Minnesota

Reduced federal spending on housing would affect constituencies as diverse as working families, seniors and people with disabilities, and those with criminal histories.
Senators push United Airlines for answers on overbooking

Senators push United Airlines for answers on overbooking

Minnesota Sens. Klobuchar, Franken are among those questioning airline's policy.
For Ellison, role with national Dems a chance to rebuild local parties

For Ellison, role with national Dems a chance to rebuild local parties

In DNC role, he's helping to rebuild the party from the ground up.
Rep. Jason Lewis charts own path on Capitol Hill

Rep. Jason Lewis charts own path on Capitol Hill

Approaching 100 days in office, Lewis' new congressional career is unfolding during an unusually chaotic era in Washington.
Midwestern farm interests closely watching Trump's ag secretary nominee

Midwestern farm interests closely watching Trump's ag secretary nominee

WASHINGTON – As Sonny Perdue moves toward becoming President Donald Trump's secretary of agriculture, Minnesota's congressional delegation and business leaders are hoping the former…
Walz's run for gov. raises stakes for southern Minn. seat

Walz's run for gov. raises stakes for southern Minn. seat

Republicans see a chance to reclaim the First District seat in the U.S. House, but Democrats say they'll fight to hold it.
Rural Minn. hospitals fear fallout as work visas slow

Rural Minn. hospitals fear fallout as work visas slow

As populations age in rural parts of the state and region, hospitals and clinics increasingly rely on immigrant doctors
Reps. Jason Lewis, Erik Paulsen voice disappointment over GOP health care bill failure

Reps. Jason Lewis, Erik Paulsen voice disappointment over GOP health care bill failure

The Minnesota congressmen say they'll keep working on the issue.
Supreme Court hears dispute over St. Croix property

Supreme Court hears dispute over St. Croix property

Justices posed tough questions to attorneys for the landowners and to the government regulators who blocked the transaction.
Selling rice to Japan? Minnesota tribes marketing wild rice to the world

Selling rice to Japan? Minnesota tribes marketing wild rice to the world

Leech Lake has hired a marketing specialist and is going to food shows to talk up the savory and nutritional qualities of the rice that grows on tribal waters. It's now backed by a USDA grant.
Twin Cities, Minnesota officials see big impact from Trump's budget

Twin Cities, Minnesota officials see big impact from Trump's budget

Concerns expressed about cuts in environmental cleanup programs, heating for poor households, AmeriCorps and airport service and security.
Older, poorer Minnesotans would lose most under GOP plan

Older, poorer Minnesotans would lose most under GOP plan

Minnesotans who are older and less affluent would get significantly fewer tax credits from the new Republican national health care plan, according to a new analysis.
Casseroles clash at Franken's annual hotdish competition for Minnesotans in Congress

Casseroles clash at Franken's annual hotdish competition for Minnesotans in Congress

Rep. Collin Peterson's bear dish wins Sen. Al Franken's yearly event.
Tom Emmer, Erik Paulsen, Jason Lewis praise House GOP health care plan

Tom Emmer, Erik Paulsen, Jason Lewis praise House GOP health care plan

Minn. Republicans in Congress stand by the measure, calling it an improvement.
Franken hands over $41K in contributions from Boston law firm under investigation

Franken hands over $41K in contributions from Boston law firm under investigation

Democrats have returned more than $1 million since FEC began investigating firm accused of reimbursement scheme
Ilhan Omar dominated among students, rival's analysis shows

Ilhan Omar dominated among students, rival's analysis shows

Maneuvering in a white suit and red bow tie, Brian Rice pointed to the board drawn over with an election analysis in the second-floor conference…
Relentlessness helped Ilhan Omar to seal historic win

Relentlessness helped Ilhan Omar to seal historic win

Her state House campaign to unseat Rep. Phyllis Kahn knocked on thousands of doors and spread its reach wide.
Fierce battle in Minnesota's 2nd District GOP primary

Fierce battle in Minnesota's 2nd District GOP primary

Voters are weighing four candidates in the Republican primary on Tuesday, in the nationally watched race to replace retiring Rep. John Kline.
With Capitol renovation in final stretch, state's crown jewel gleams again

With Capitol renovation in final stretch, state's crown jewel gleams again

Capitol's first restoration in more than 100 years is nearing completion.
Money flows into competitive Minnesota legislative races

Money flows into competitive Minnesota legislative races

The fight for funds is fierce, with all 201 seats and no governor up for election.
True believers bond over Trump at St. Louis Park tavern

True believers bond over Trump at St. Louis Park tavern

Emilie Maua cried as she watched Donald Trump accept the Republican nomination for president. It was not that her hero had said much of anything…
Hillary Clinton stops in Mpls., pledging strong support for teachers

Hillary Clinton stops in Mpls., pledging strong support for teachers

The presumptive presidential nominee tells nation's No. 2 union that it will have ally in the White House.
Stung by defeats, Democrats shift strategy on gun control

Stung by defeats, Democrats shift strategy on gun control

The party is bringing its case to the people, with leaders urging members to conduct sit-ins around the country as they try to sustain the flash of activism on the gun issue.
Minnesota gun enthusiasts hold fast to AR-15

Minnesota gun enthusiasts hold fast to AR-15

In the world of competition shooting, one of the country's most-feared weapons is favored
Rifle used in Orlando popular among Minn. gun enthusiasts

Rifle used in Orlando popular among Minn. gun enthusiasts

The AR-15 is a top choice among hunters and hobbyists. It has also been used in some of the worst mass shootings in recent years, including Sandy Hook.
Minnesota pension changes get pushed off to next year

Minnesota pension changes get pushed off to next year

Legislators put off the issue when a deal fell through this session.
State's new rail director will tackle oil-train safety, other issues

State's new rail director will tackle oil-train safety, other issues

The map above Alene Tchourumoff’s desk shows lines that appear, at first, to denote rivers — they sprawl and branch off, weaving and curving across…
Minnesota will spend $35 million to advance racial equity

Minnesota will spend $35 million to advance racial equity

  Amid the partisan rancor over a $260 million tax-break bill, Gov. Mark Dayton last week approved many racial equity measures that won broad support.…

The pre-midnight special: Bill runner a key player in last-minute frenzy

The man hand-delivering legislation from chamber to chamber had to race across street due to construction.
Tin Cup caucus convenes at St. Paul watering hole

Tin Cup caucus convenes at St. Paul watering hole

“I dare you to go talk to that dude in the hat,” the school bus lobbyist is telling me. We are sitting at Tin Cup’s…
In first crack in stalemate, Minn. legislators agree on $259M tax bill

In first crack in stalemate, Minn. legislators agree on $259M tax bill

Outstate Minnesota wins big in tax bill; St. Paul soccer stadium included.
Feb. 1: Minnesota leaders' full-page ad decries bigotry toward Muslims

Feb. 1: Minnesota leaders' full-page ad decries bigotry toward Muslims

From across a broad spectrum, hate messages declared "un-Minnesotan."
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