The clock is ticking closer to a state government shutdown and the length of the meetings between Gov. Dayton and GOP legislative leaders is getting shorter.
On Monday, they met for 45 minutes. Watch video of the newser here.
They have a 9am meeting scheduled for today but Dayton has other events scheduled at lunch and the evening.
On Monday, the fight was over the fate of the Stillwater Bridge on Monday.
MnDOT says the bridge will now stay open.
Former GOP candidate Tom Emmer wrote an op-ed saying the GOP must not back down in the budget fight.
MPR says a potential shutdown could cost the state millions.
MPR compiled a list of the potential costs of the shutdown.
MPR is also reporting that FEMA wants to know what the state's plans are if a nuclear incident occurs during a shutdown.
A hearing was held in Ramsey County Court to determine if the judiciary should continue if a shutdown occurs. Read a story and listen to the hearing here.
GOP legislative leaders sent a mass e-mail to state workers defending their position on the budget. MAPE criticized the e-mail.
State employees are nervously anticipating the shutdown and the job losses that come with it.
The shutdown could force Hennepin County to lay off one in six workers.
Moorhead officials are spending most of their time planning for the shutdown.
AP takes a look at the differences between the 2005 shutdown and the upcoming shutdown.
The Star Tribune reports that retailers are suing over the ban on synthetic pot.
The Minneapolis Federal Reserve downgrades its economic outlook.
A jury convicts the former Illinois Governor on nearly all of the corruption charges filed against him.
President Obama enters the debt talks.
Salon points out House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has a conflict of interest when it comes to the debt ceiling. He owns a fund that would skyrocket if the nation defaults on U.S. Treasury bonds.
The White House is considering a big boost to the fuel economy of automobiles.
Minnesota's ethanol industry faces an uncertain future.
Congress pays $6.1 million in bonuses to staffers as it debates spending cuts.
The Supreme Court rejected California's ban on violent video games.
DFL Rep. Tim Walz held a town hall meeting on the budget.
A panel of lawmakers, including DFL Rep. Keith Ellison, heard about the economy at an event in Detroit.
Race for Congress
Politico says no Republicans are actively looking at Bachmann's seat.
Race for President
President Obama is in Iowa today. The Washington Post says he's working to convince skeptical high dollar donors.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott's sinking poll numbers may put Florida in play.
The Des Moines Register publishes an interview with Mitt Romney.
Tim Pawlenty delivers a foreign policy speech today.
He will reportedly push back against "Isolationist Republicans."
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann's official announcement strikes a chord with the Iowa crowd.
Bachmann mixes up John Wayne (the actor) and John Wayne Gacy (the serial killer) during her speech.
The New York Times says Bachmann's run will test the breadth of the Tea Party's appeal.
AP says Bachmann's bomblets raising eyebrows.
PolitFact says Bachmann's claims on the strategic petroleum reserve are false.
Politico says Bachmann has never had a bill or resolution signed into law.
Bachmann says she's never had a "cross word" with Sarah Palin.
Former MNGOP Chair Ron Carey has an op-ed in the Des Moines Register saying Bachmann is not ready to be president. Carey, who touts Pawlenty in the op-ed, was Bachmann's Chief of Staff but the two parted ways quickly.
Tim Pawlenty's first ad in Iowa that features "results not rhetoric" is targeting Bachmann.
Pawlenty also scrubbed Bachmann's reference from his website.
Pawlenty downplays his standings in the recent poll.
Rudy Giuliani will be in New Hampshire in July.
A memorial service for DFL Sen. Linda Scheid will be held today.(1 Comments)
Tim Pawlenty's campaign for president has released advance excerpts of today address to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City. Pawlenty will make his remarks this morning at 8:30 Central.
Here are the remarks released by the campaign.
On America's response to the Arab Spring:
But President Obama has failed to formulate and carry out an effective and coherent strategy in response to these events. He has been timid, slow, and too often without a clear understanding of our interests or a clear commitment to our principles.
President Obama has ignored that lesson of history. Instead of promoting democracy - whose fruit we see now ripening across the region - he adopted a murky policy he called "engagement."
"Engagement" meant that in 2009, when the Iranian ayatollahs stole an election, and the people of that country rose up in protest, President Obama held his tongue. His silence validated the mullahs, despite the blood on their hands and the nuclear centrifuges in their tunnels.
Israeli-Palestinian peace is further away now than the day Barack Obama came to office. But that does not have to be a permanent situation. We must recognize that peace will only come if everyone in the region perceives clearly that America stands strongly with Israel.
On the Republican Party and Foreign Policy:
What is wrong, is for the Republican Party to shrink from the challenges of American leadership in the world. History repeatedly warns us that in the long run, weakness in foreign policy costs us and our children much more than we'll save in a budget line item. America already has one political party devoted to decline, retrenchment, and withdrawal; it does not need a second one.(1 Comments)
WASHINGTON - Speaking before an audience in New York at the Council on Foreign Relations, former Gov. and presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty sought to differentiate his approach to foreign policy from other Republicans and President Obama.
Pawlenty, who frequently cites his foreign travel while governor as an example of his foreign policy bona fides, said President Obama had "failed to formulate and carry out an effective and coherent strategy" in response to the democratic uprisings in the Arab world this year.
He repeated a criticism of the President's multilateral approach to foreign policy made by fellow candidate and Minnesotan, Rep. Michele Bachmann, saying that, "America never leads from behind."
In a veiled attack on some of his GOP presidential rivals, Pawlenty said some elements of the Republican Party "now seem to be trying to out-bid the Democrats in appealing to isolationist sentiments."
Pawlenty criticized Obama's policy of engagement with Iran and Syria, saying that the U.S. had failed to promote democracy in the region with enough vigor.
When pressed during the question period about what he would do in Syria, Pawlenty ruled out using military force, saying "there are other things we can do."
While the speech concentrated on democracy in the Arab world, it was notable that there was just one reference in the delivered remarks to Iraq, where the U.S. has been actively involved in building the country's democracy since its invasion in 2003.
Pawlenty said the the country, which is still beset by internal divisions and acts of terrorism was "further along on its journey toward democracy," a position he stuck to during questions.
In addition the foreign policy speech, Pawlenty's trip to New York included at least one high-dollar fundraising event hosted by real estate developers and bankers.
The fundraiser comes as the June 30 deadline approaches to close the books on this quarter's fundraising. Pawlenty's campaign has reportedly struggled to gain traction with donors.
Listen to the speech here.
DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders met behind closed doors this morning for about an hour and 15 minutes, but there were apparently no breakthroughs.
Both sides continue their self-imposed "cone of silence" regarding negotiation specifics.
"It was a constructive meeting," Dayton said as he returned to his Capitol office. We still have our differences."
Dayton said the talks would resume at 2:00 p.m., with a focus on the Health and Human Services area of state spending. He said negotiators would be leaving later in the afternoon to attend a memorial service for state Sen. Linda Scheid, DFL-Brooklyn Park, who passed away earlier this month.
Republicans had little else to add.
"We had a good meeting, said Senate Deputy Majority Leader Geoff Michel, R-Edina. "We hope to be able to provide you guys with more of an update about mid-afternoon."
This was the fifth consecutive day of private talks. A state government shutdown is set to begin Friday if there's no budget agreement in place.
The day before formally announcing her candidacy for president, Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann did a wide-ranging interview with CBS's Face the Nation.
When host Bob Schieffer quizzed Bachmann about the congressional showdown over raising the debt ceiling, she said President Obama's administration is using "scare tactics" to convince people that it's necessary to increase the amount the nation can borrow.
"The interest on the debt isn't any more than 10 percent of what we're taking in... And so, the Treasury secretary can very simply pay the interest on the debt first then we're not in default."
Bachmann's strategy is easier said than done.
Congress must approve increases to the nation's debt limit, but Congressional leaders and the president have been unable to reach agreement. If Congress doesn't raise the $14.3 trillion ceiling by Aug. 2, the U.S. will be unable to borrow more money to pay for its spending obligations. As a result, it will face default.
Let's now consider the Bachmann's proposal: Delay default by paying bondholders the interest due to them before covering other government costs.
Bachmann's staff didn't respond to our requests for sourcing, but according to the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) baseline budget projections, the U.S. will bring in about $2.6 trillion in fiscal year 2012, and it will owe about $257 billion in interest payments.That's about 10 percent of revenue, which means Bachmann is correct that the U.S. has enough money to cover the interest payments.
Theoretically, it works: The U.S. never has to raise the debt ceiling and could continue to prioritize making interest payments to avoid default. But budget experts think Bachmann's approach provides a false sense of security and ignores significant spending commitments. The U.S. spends more than it collects in revenue, and that means all sorts of other financial obligations, including federal worker salaries, tax refunds, and Medicare and Medicaid payments, could be delayed.
"Even though it's not as bad as debt default, it still would paint the U.S. as a deadbeat," wrote Donald Marron, director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center and former CBO director, in a recent commentary.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has argued that paying interest on the debt - and not fulfilling other obligations -- could ruin the country's reputation in the global market. To underscore that point, he made this analogy:
"A homeowner could decide to 'prioritize' and continue paying monthly mortgage payments, while opting to cease paying other obligations, such as car payments, insurance payments... Although the mortgage would be paid, the damage to that homeowner's creditworthiness would be severe."
Bachmann is correct that there's plenty of revenue to cover U.S. interest on its debt. But her claim is misleading because she makes it sound as if the strategy is a quick fix. In fact, freezing the debt ceiling and paying interest only could create big problems for the U.S. when it comes to other financial obligations.
Face the Nation, transcript, June 26, 2011
The Congressional Budget Office, An Analysis of the President's Budgetary Proposals for Fiscal Year 2012, April 2011
The Economist, Dancing on the ceiling: Talk of America defaulting on its debt is just that, Jan 13. 2011
The Economist, The debt ceiling and default, Jan. 13, 2011
The Treasury Department, Debt Subject to Limit, accessed June 27, 2011
The Washington Post, What's the debt ceiling and why is everyone talking about it?, by Ariana Eunjung Cha, April 18, 2011
The Christian Science Monitor, America is playing with fire with its default talk, by Donald Marron, June 23, 2011
The Treasury Department, Secretary Geithner Sends Debt Limit Letter to Congress, Jan 1, 2011
The Treasury Department, letter to Sen. Patrick Toomey, Feb. 3, 2011
Interview, Alan Viard, resident scholar, the American Enterprise Institute, June 27, 2011
Interview, Daniel Mitchell, senior fellow, the Cato Institute, June 27, 2011
Interview, Eileen Appelbaum, senior economist, the Center for Economic and Policy Research, June 27, 2011
Interview, Bill Frenzel, guest scholar, the Brookings Intitution, June 27, 2011
A judge has ruled that Minnesota's Judiciary should continue running even if state government shuts down on July first.
Retired Judge Bruce Christopherson has ruled that the state's courts should continue operating even if Gov. Dayton and the Legislature fail to agree on a budget. In his order, Christopherson said the state should continue to fund the courts at least through July 30th.
The decision comes one day after the Attorney General, the governor's office and public defenders argued in court that the judiciary should continue to receive funding. In his order, Christopherson said that due process and other constitutional protections require the courts to continue running.
A ruling is still pending from another judge on whether other essential government functions should continue if no budget deal is reached by Friday. Update: A clerk for Ramsey County Judge Kathleen Gearin says order will NOT come down today. She said they're working for Weds. or Thurs release.
You can read the order here.
At a luncheon hosted by womenwinning, a group that helps female candidates who support abortion rights get elected to office in Minnesota, Democratic Rep. Betty McCollum's fundraising pitch was straight forward:
Give money to keep lawmakers like GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann at bay.
Bachmann's agenda "is to take away our rights," McCollum said, "and she's going to do it with a big smile on her face."
"So for women who care about reproductive freedom, for women who care about keeping Social Security strong so our elder sisters can retire with dignity, for the next generation of women to be able to know that Medicare will be solvent to keep women healthy and living longer, the answer is not blowing in the wind in Iowa with Michele," McCollum said.
Bachmann formally announced her campaign for president yesterday in Iowa.
Governor Dayton and legislative leaders intend to hold another budget meeting tomorrow morning as the clock ticks closer to a Friday deadline. The two sides met privately today but still didn't reach a deal on a two-year budget. Gov. Dayton and GOP lawmakers declined to discuss what they talked about in the private meetings, but Dayton said they need to reach a deal soon if they hope to avert a government shutdown.
"We have two days until July 1," Dayton said. "That's the timeline. So obviously the Legislature would have to act to avert a shutdown so the time is down to hours."
Republican Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch says she's telling lawmakers to be ready to return quickly to the Capitol in case a budget deal is reached.
"We're optimistic," Koch said. "We put those gears in motion, if you will. We fired up the Legislature this week and so they're standing at the ready."
Dayton and Republicans in the Legislature are at odds over the best way to erase a $5 billion projected budget deficit. Dayton wants to raise income taxes on Minnesota's top earners to help balance the budget. Republicans say the deficit can be erased through spending cuts.
Nancy Pelosi is headed to Minnesota in July, says Rep. Betty McCollum.
The U.S. House of Representatives Minority Leader will be in the state July 16 raising money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the campaign arm for House Democrats, and will host a fundraiser for McCollum the following day at a private home.
McCollum made the announcement during a fundraising luncheon hosted by womenwinning, a group that helps pro-choice female candidates get elected to office in Minnesota.
Calls to Pelosi's office to confirm those dates were not returned.