WASHINGTON -- Democratic Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar will ride out with President Barack Obama Thursday to Minneapolis and attend events with him both days, staffers confirmed Wednesday.
Both Franken and Klobuchar say they want to talk to the president on the plane about the recent flooding in Minnesota.
Klobuchar will speak at the Lake Harriet Bandshell Friday, where Obama is scheduled to make a speech on the economy.
Neither office was able to confirm attendance Tuesday because the Senate voting schedule was still in flux.
Other confirmed Democrats from the Congressional delegation attending at least some of the events with Obama: Rep. Rick Nolan, Rep. Tim Walz, Rep. Betty McCollum and Rep. Keith Ellison. Rep. Collin Peterson will not go to any of them.
Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton was enthusiastic about the visit earlier in the week, telling the Strib: "I would be glad to appear with President Obama," he said. "I would want to appear with any president of any political party."
Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann and Fox News host Neil Cavuto tangled Wednesday during a debate on the House GOP plans to sue President Obama, alleging that he's failed to carry out laws passed by Congress.
Speaker John Boehner announced Wednesday that the Republican-led House will vote next month on legislation authorizing a lawsuit.
“Has the president overreached with his power? Absolutely he has,” Bachmann said. “The Constitution is a stop sign for the president … You can’t do anything you want.”
Cavuto called the proposed vote and lawsuit an “enormous waste of effort.”
Later in the five-minute interview, Bachmann suggested Republicans vote to defund the executive branch.
“Make it hurt,” she said. “If they don’t have money, they don’t have power.”
In response, Cavuto accused Bachmann of “being silly.”
“I think you know in your heart of hearts this is a waste of time now. There are far more important things you guys have to be addressing than filing lawsuits past each other,” Cavuto said. “Think about what you are saying. The Democrats would be in their right mind to laugh you out.”
WASHINGTON -- President Obama plans a town hall meeting in Minnehaha Park, an economic speech at Lake Harriet, an overnight in Bloomington, along with the Minneapolis Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser, in his two-day Twin Cities trip, White House officials said Tuesday.
White House officials told the Star Tribune late Monday the president was also spending part of Thursday in the shoes of a Minneapolis mother who wrote him a compelling letter about her struggles trying to keep afloat in the middle class.
"There are actually policies out there that could end up making a difference in her life if we could get Washington to work on her behalf," Obama said in a Youtube video the White House released broadly Tuesday in advance of the trip.
General public tickets will be distributed on Wednesday beginning at 12:00 p.m. at Lake Harriet Bandshell, 4135 W Lake Harriet Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55419.
One ticket per person will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Due to limited space, the White House will only be able to distribute a limited number of tickets.
WASHINGTON -- White House officials confirmed Friday that one of the reasons President Obama decided to visit Minnesota next week was because of the state's recent minimum wage boost.
"We shouldn't have Americans raising their children in poverty," said White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, speaking to reporters at a roundtable. "A very important pillar of the foundation for a viable sustainable economy is having a living wage. We are extraordinarily supportive (of Minnesota) which is part of the reason why we're going there next week."
President Obama will also attend a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser at a private home with Minnesota's Congressional Democrats on Thursday.
White House officials have been mum about Obama's schedule beyond the fundraiser while he's in the Twin Cities. Local DFL officials say they expect the president to do at least one public event, as well.
Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton in April signed into the law the largest minimum wage increase in the state's history, giving raises to more than 325,000 Minnesotans. The move to a $9.50 base hourly wage catapults the state from one of the lowest minimum wages to one of the highest once it is fully phased in by 2016.
WASHINGTON -- Rep. Tim Walz was among six Democrats and eight Republicans tapped Wednesday on the House side to work out differences between passed House and Senate legislation to reform the Veterans Administration.
Walz, who served 24 years in the Army National Guard, is a member of the House Veterans Committee.
In a statement, Walz said, "My number one goal as a veteran myself and a member of this conference committee is to ensure our veterans and their families are able to get the care they need, and in a timely manner."
The differences between the House and Senate versions of the reform legislation are not great, staffers say, but both chambers are eager to get VA reform passed and sent to the president promptly.