Getting home from Congress turned into a bipartisan road trip for 2 Minnesotans

Rick Nolan and Jason Lewis sat through a long airport delay and a 6 hour drive together.
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With apologies to Bill and Ted, you might call it "Rick & Jason's Excellent Adventure."

Stormy weather that canceled thousands of flights on the East Coast Thursday and Friday made getting home from Washington D.C. a 30-hour experience for a pair of Minnesota Congressmen. But Democrat Rick Nolan and Republican Jason Lewis made the best of it, using the time to get to know each other better.

Lewis and Nolan were booked on the same flight to the Twin Cities, which was supposed to leave Washington on Thursday. After waiting through 24 hours of delays, they finally decided to board a flight to Madison, Wisconsin.

Madison is where Nolan's granddaughter, Ellie, is studying at the University of Wisconsin. She agreed to make the six hour drive the rest of the way to Minnesota. Lewis documented some of the journey with a Facebook livestream he dubbed the "Lewis & Nolan Great American Adventure."

Both men told the Pioneer Press their conversation mostly stayed away from politics, though they agreed they'd like to see President Trump consult with Congress before launching missile strikes like the one against a Syrian air base this week.

Instead of debating, they used the time to get to know each other better. Lewis is in his first term in Congress, representing the Second District which includes the southern suburbs of the Twin Cities. Nolan's Eighth District covers the northeastern part of the state.

At a time when the partisan divide in the country seems as sharp as ever, their road trip provided a respite. Lewis told the Pioneer Press “The red vs. blue tribalism has gone probably a little too far in the minds of most Americans. Showing that folks can get along, and even if they don’t get along… can converse in a respectful way and have fun doing it, is important.”

Their odyssey home might give Nolan and Lewis some fuel for future discussions on Capitol Hill, since both sit on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

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