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Nolan heads to a bitterly divided Capitol

Newly elected U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., returns to Washington this week for freshman orientation sessions. Nolan will arrive with some instant seniority after serving three consecutive terms in the U.S. House from 1975 to 1981. However, Jessica Taylor, who follows Congress for the Rothenberg Political Report, told MPR "He's going to be dealing with a more polarized Congress."

GOP challenger claims Rep. Ellison is 'militantly anti-America'

Congressman Keith Ellison’s Republican opponent calls the 5th District Representative ‘militantly anti-American. Minnesota Public Report reports Chris Fields claims Ellison "attacked the Pledge of Allegiance, voted countless times to throw our troops serving in harm's way to the wolves and teamed up with Barney Frank to destroy the banking industry." Ellison's campaign calls Fields’ email ‘divisive’ and ‘toxic’.

White House threatens to veto bill repealing medical-device tax

The U.S. House is expected to vote Thursday on legislation to eliminate a 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices, included in President Obama's health-reform law. The bill is proposed by Minnesota Republican Congressman Erik Paulsen. The Business Journal notes the tax, set to go into effect next year, would impact large companies like Fridley-based Medtronic Inc. and Little Canada-based St. Jude Medical Inc.

U.S. Senate renews Violence Against Women Act

Fifteen Senate Republicans helped pass legislation reauthorizing assistance to victims of domestic violence. Sen. Amy Klobuchar said the bill was a "great victory for women." Bloomberg reports she's "very hopeful" the U.S. House will also renew the legislation.

U.S. House passes Walz's insider trading bill

The House of Representatives voted 417-2 in favor of Tim Walz's STOCK Act. It prevents lawmakers and staffers from trading stock based on nonpublic information. U.S. Senators passed its version last week by a vote of 96 to 3.

MN tanning salons getting burned

A federal tax hike has hurt the industry with nearly 14 percent of state salons closing since 2009. Big Government says a proposed bill to reverse the ten percent excise tax awaits a vote from the U.S. House.

House members balk at balanced budget amendment

Lawmakers, including DFL Rep. Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum, voted down a GOP proposal Friday to make federal deficits unconstitutional. It was the first House vote of its kind in 16 years and was a central issue of the Republican fiscal agenda.