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.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

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.

Next Up

Malik Beasley

Timberwolves Malik Beasley suspended 12 games for offseason incident

Beasley was sentenced to 120 days in jail earlier this month.

Russell Wilson

Vikings fans should REALLY hope Russell Wilson doesn't go to the Bears

Wilson has a 6-0 record against Minnesota and could be on his way to the NFC North.

Ostroushko

Celebrated Minnesota musician Peter Ostroushko dies

Ostroushko, who learned his craft in the Ukrainian community of Northeast Minneapolis, had a versatile career including performances with popular artists and orchestras

Costco_Wholesale_Store_(34635636926)

Costco will bump its minimum wage to $16 next week

The company, which has 12 stores in Minnesota, is pushing ahead of retailers Target and Amazon with its new minimum wage

Seth Green/Gopher Football

Gophers wildcat QB Seth Green announces decision to transfer

Green will have immediate eligibility as a graduate transfer.

Minneapolis skyline

Minneapolis pays 3 times more than it receives in state funds, new report says

This report comes as state lawmakers are debating proposals opponents say would "bail out" the state's largest city.

Kirk Cousins

Coller: Is Kirk Cousins' contract extension helping or hurting the Vikings?

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

University of minnesota sign

U of M gets $5M donation for new center to address racial inequality in healthcare

Using a donation from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, the School of Public Health will work to address racial disparities in healthcare.

Related

Airline execs get called to D.C. to talk about their bad customer service

Minnesota Reps. Jason Lewis and Rick Nolan got to ask some of the questions.

Here's what Minnesotans in Congress said about Comey's testimony

The former FBI director's testimony drew attention on Capitol Hill

As primaries approach, controversies dominate Minnesota politics

Both Jason Lewis and Rick Nolan have been in the firing line this week.

A Republican not named Mills is running for Rick Nolan's seat in Congress

Another Nolan/Mills rematch is still possible – but there's a new wrinkle now.

One Minnesotan in Congress explains why he likes the House health care bill

Here's how Rep. Erik Paulsen explains his vote for the bill.

Here's what Minnesotans in D.C. said about the inauguration

Trump "speaks for the forgotten man and woman" ... "I reject Trump's disturbing vision" ... "Ready to find common ground where possible."

The races in 2 Congress swing seats are heating up in MN

Moves have been made in two tightly-contested seats.

Retire from Congress? Nope, Collin Peterson says he's running again

Peterson is reportedly ready to run for a 15th term in Congress.