WASHINGTON -- Jack Rogers, the president of the Minnesota Tea Party Alliance, is deeply disappointed in his Republican congressman Rep. Tom Emmer.
Rogers, who lives in Ham Lake, published a blog post Thursday that alleged Emmer was avoiding conservative constituents' because he can't attend a Senate District 31 political convention on Saturday. Rogers said the liberty movement is angry about Emmer's recent vote to support funding the Department of Homeland Security.
On Saturday, Emmer will be in Selma, Ala., to join the 50th anniversary celebration of the historic civil rights march.
"We received word yesterday that Tom canceled his planned appearance due to a scheduling conflict," Rogers wrote on the Tea Party Alliance website. "When we asked about what the conflict was, Emmer stated he would be marching in a parade in Alabama that day."
Emmer's chief of staff David FitzSimmons said in an e-mail Friday that his boss had been planning to attend the weekend Selma events since January, and joins Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and more than 100 members of Congress.
"This is a historic event that commemorates the enduring resilience of the American ideal of liberty. It’s distasteful that individuals are attempting to minimize Emmer’s participation," FitzSimmons said.
Emmer's staff noted that the congressman took several hours Wednesday and Thursday to call concerned constituents about why he decided to challenge his own party and support a "clean" bill to fund DHS, which did not strip out any money for Obama's executive action on immigration.
Republican Reps. John Kline and Erik Paulsen also supported the measure, as did 67 other GOP House members.
Rogers acknowledged talking to Emmer this week about his DHS funding vote.
"He talked to me. Tom and I are friends and it's like we have a brother or a best friend and all of the sudden they're not thinking along the same paradigms as you are and you always thought they did," Rogers said. "It takes you off guard and that's exactly what happened."
Rogers said he also didn't support Emmer's vote to keep Rep. John Boehner as speaker of the House.
Emmer is actually speaking at a Tea Party event next week, according to a tweet by the Minnesota Tea Party Patriots.
WASHINGTON -- There has been so much drama with funding the Department of Homeland Security that the effort basically sucked all the energy out of the last two weeks of Congress.
Yet, today, the divided Minnesota House delegation all voted the same: To support a "clean" bill to fund the Department through this September.
The three Republican Reps. Tom Emmer, John Kline and Erik Paulsen joined Democratic Reps. Tim Walz, Betty McCollum, Keith Ellison, Rick Nolan and Collin Peterson in a yes vote.
Some Republicans last week disagreed with fully funding the Department because they didn't support -- or want to give money to -- enforcing President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration. Obama's executive action prioritized deporting felons, not people working without papers and provided temporary stay in the U.S. for people who have been here more than five years and pass a background check.
Back and forth, the House and Senate squabbled about a so-called "clean" bill -- without restrictions to funds -- versus a bill that stripped money from immigration enforcement.
Emmer, who was elected to replace Rep. Michele Bachmann last November, notably criticized his Republican colleagues over the weekend after the Department came within about an hour of shutting down.
Rep. Nolan said after the vote: "I am pleased to see that one-third of the House Republicans supported this clean bill, and I hope that we can all continue to support full-long term funding measures in the future."
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Al Franken said Monday he will not sit in the chamber during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress Tuesday, while his Democratic colleague Sen. Amy Klobuchar said she will be there.
In an e-mail, Franken said the speech had "unfortunately become a partisan spectacle."
The Israeli prime minister, amid his own re-election campaign,accepted an invitation by GOP House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to address a joint session of the Republican-led Congress. The two Republican leaders did not check with the White House or the State Department -- considered a breach of protocol.
Netanyahu is expected to talk about his opposition to talks the United States is having with Iran about its nuclear program. Obama is not expected to meet with Netanyahu when he is in town.
"I'd be uncomfortable being part of an event that I don't believe should be happening," said Franken. "I'm confident that, once this episode is over, we can reaffirm our strong tradition of bipartisan support for Israel."
Franken joins Democratic Reps. Betty McCollum and Keith Ellison, who said earlier this month they would boycott the speech.
Republican Reps. Tom Emmer, John Kline and Erik Paulsen said they will be there, as will Democrat Reps. Rick Nolan, Tim Walz and Collin Peterson.
WASHINGTON -- Mere weeks into his first term as a U.S. congressman, Republican Rep. Tom Emmer is challenging the right flank of his party.
Just after midnight Saturday, Emmer issued a statement calling out Republican House colleagues who don't support fully funding the Department of Homeland Security because of President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration.
Some House Republicans have said they only support funding the Department -- responsible for border and airport security, customs, immigration -- if cash is stripped out to execute Obama's immigration executive orders issued last year.
Democrats and the White House find this position unacceptable and the issue has sparked a stalemate on Capitol Hill. A few hours before DHS ran out of money Friday at midnight, the Senate approved a seven-day funding bill and the House did the same. This means it will have be resolved, again, by this Friday.
"I am disappointed that many of my colleagues chose to put the security of Americans at stake and waste time playing politics," said Emmer, who replaced Rep. Michele Bachmann in January. "Congress has a solemn responsibility. As a body, we should never hold America's safety hostage simply for political gamesmanship ... With recent terror threats to the Mall of America hitting so close to home and the potential need for natural disaster relief in Minnesota during the winter months, it is imperative we approve the funding the DHS needs."
Emmer said he disagrees with Obama's immigrations actions, but thinks it will be solved in the courts. Two-dozen states, led by Texas, are challenging the constitutionality of the immigration orders.
President Obama made good Tuesday on a promise to veto a bill approving construction of the Keystone pipeline. In his veto message, the president called the bill an effort to "circumvent" an established review process that needed more time to consider "security, safety and environmental" issues. Republican leaders in the U.S.. House and Senate must now decide if they will try to override the veto. Without a wildly unlikely change in Democratic votes, it will be impossible to override the president's veto and make the pipeline approval law. An override effort move would begin in the Senate and require a two-thirds majority vote, before moving to the House, where another two-thirds majority would be required to make the bill law. The Keystone bill passed the House with Minnesota's three rural Democrats - Collin Peterson, Rick Nolan and Tim Walz - voting for it with Republicans John Kline, Erik Paulsen and Tom Emmer. Democrats Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum voting against it. In the Senate, Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, both Democrats, voted against Keystone. Both have said they will not vote to override a Keystone veto. Neither will Minnesota House members Ellison or McCollum.