You might sign the petition expecting lawmakers to read it, but that's not likely the case. It's meant instead to glean information to help fundraisers find you later -- part of the latest way campaigns are learning more about potential supporters and donors.
Remember those food stamp cuts that were part of the federal farm bill debate? They were supposed to add up to more than $8 billion in savings. But it turns out many states are finding a way to get around the cuts, in a scenario that many federal lawmakers did not anticipate.
A federal safety official says the rail tank cars being used to ship crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken region are an "unacceptable public risk," and even cars voluntarily upgraded by the industry "may not be sufficient."
If the $45 billion merger goes through, it would create the country's largest cable company, reaching nearly one in three households. The company would also have a major position in broadband internet and TV production. The deal, however, needs federal approval, and Franken has established himself quickly as one of its critics.
Since 1991, U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, a gun-owning, guitar-playing conservative Democrat, has represented Minnesota's 7th District in the U.S. House. Peterson, the state's longest serving member of Congress, hasn't yet announced whether he will run for re-election this year.
Both chambers of Congress are preparing to hold hearings next month about the theft of sensitive consumer data from Target Corp.
With about 8,500 Minnesotans among those who lost benefits, the state's two Democratic senators are fully behind the effort, which Democrats believe is good policy -- and possibly even better politics.
Dysfunctional. Broken. Do-nothing. Those are a few of the more polite adjectives slung at Congress, which has set a record for passing the fewest laws in decades.
The minimum wage issue will help frame Democrats' message as they campaign during midterm elections. "Even if we don't pass it, I think that we should do that because I think the American people need to know who stands where," said Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison.
The U.S. Senate agreed to a budget deal Wednesday designed to prevent a government shutdown for the next two years.
After nearly three years of almost nonstop parliamentary combat, the U.S. House today passed a bipartisan budget. The last-minute deal puts both the Republican-controlled House and the Senate led by Democrats on the same page regarding federal government spending over the next two years.
Farmers looking for some certainty in federal farm policy will have to wait until January.
With less than two weeks before federal lawmakers take a holiday break, prospects in Congress for a speedy passage of the long-delayed farm bill appear to be fading.
The House and Senate farm bills take different approaches to rewriting commodity programs. But the biggest obstacle to agreement on a farm bill is the food stamp program, which makes up about 70 percent of the bill's overall spending of about $100 billion annually.
Members of Minnesota's Congressional delegation are displeased that Obama administration has proposed new rules that would maintain a limit on the use of corn ethanol in gasoline. That could slow the growth of ethanol producers in Minnesota, the nation's fifth-largest producer.