WASHINGTON -- Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar is heading to Iowa in August.
The senator has plans to campaign for Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Braley who is vying against GOP state Sen. Joni Ernst in an open seat.
A Klobuchar aide confirmed over the weekend that Minnesota's senior senator would be campaigning for Braley Aug. 23.
Iowa is the first-in-the-nation presidential primary contest, which always means the state is a veritable runway for presidential hopefuls and those with higher ambitions -- even in off-years.
The Iowa precinct caucuses are the first week of January in 2016.
WASHINGTON -- Citing the national mood and Minnesota's "generally competitive nature," political analyst Stu Rothenberg altered his projection of the state's November Senate race, making it slightly more competitive, from "Safe Democrat" to "Democrat Favored" Monday.
Rothenberg, who handicaps House, Senate and gubernatorial races nationally and authors the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report, said in a post Monday that the "change reflects the broad national environment" more than any advantage or disadvantage among the candidates.
Democratic incumbent Sen. Al Franken is vying for the seat against GOP businessman Mike McFadden and GOP House Rep. Jim Abeler. (Abeler and McFadden face a primary in August.)
"McFadden continues to run cutesy videos ... that focus on his coaching to introduce himself to voters, while Franken raises money and generally acts as if he has no opponent," Rothenberg writes.
Franken raised $3.3 million in the second quarter while McFadden raised $1.1 million.
WASHINGTON -- It's been five years and one day since Sen. Al Franken was sworn in to represent Minnesota.
Franken and former GOP Sen. Norm Coleman tangled by mere hundreds of Minnesota votes in the 2008 election in what was one of the closest Senate races in the history of the union. It took seven months of legal battles before a three-judge panel concluded Franken narrowly won the election by 312 votes.
Coleman appealed that decision to the Minnesota Supreme Court, which ultimately rejected the appeal June 30, 2009. The junior senator was sworn in July 7, 2009.
Franken joked at the DFL convention in May that he was going to win again in November, "by more than last time."
On Tuesday he said his bid for re-election is really just "building on the work I've been doing day in and day out."
"There's a cliche in the Senate, which is kind of true, which is there are showhorses and workhorses," he said. "I knew I wanted to be a workhorse and get things done."
WASHINGTON -- Sens. Amy Klobuchar and John McCain introduced legislation Tuesday that would allow people to import personal pharmaceutical drugs from Canada.
The Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act allows individuals to import cheaper drugs in the same dosage, form and potency as drugs in the United States. Americans spent an average of almost $1,000 per person per year on prescription drugs -- roughly 40 percent more than the next highest country.
"In Minnesota, we know that Canadians often pay much less for their prescription drugs, but current law prevents Americans from importing these cheapar alternatives and benefitting from these savings," Klobuchar said, in a written statement. "This bipartisan bill would ... inject new competition into the U.S. pharmaceutical market."
The likelihood of a big bill like this to pass the chamber at this late stage -- the Senate has just a little more than three working weeks ahead of the August recess -- is slim, though Klobuchar staffers said Tuesday they hoped to get something through in the lame duck session after the November election.
"This is a commonsense, bipartisan bill that would mean real savings for families and that's why Sen. McCain and I are going to continue to push to get this done," she said, in a statement.
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."