Minnesota

Gorsuch Avoids Missteps at Supreme Court Hearing
“I have no difficulty ruling for or against any party”

Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch testifies on the second day of his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Hart Building, March 21, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch spent 11 hours Tuesday abstaining from giving personal opinions on controversial issues and reassuring critics that he isn’t beholden to President Donald Trump, generally avoiding the kind of major slip that could trip up his confirmation.

Gorsuch adopted a solemn tone at times and tried to add dashes of levity at others, as he fielded gentle Republican questions and fended off Democratic queries on abortion rights, campaign finance and his previous decisions on administrative law and workers rights.

Minnesota’s Tim Walz Close to Decision on Gubernatorial Run
He could leave open a top target for Republicans in 2018

Minnesota Rep. Tim Walz, seen here campaigning for fellow DFL Rep. Rick Nolan last fall, will likely decide about a gubernatorial bid within the next week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Minnesota Rep. Tim Walz is close to making a decision about running for governor in 2018, which would leave open a congressional seat Democrats barely won in 2016. 

“I am interested in doing it, I feel very strongly about it, am passionate about Minnesota. I believe the issues that are coming up are going to be fought at the state level, and so I expect to make a decision in the very, very near future,” Walz told Roll Call on Monday night outside the House chamber. 

What It Costs to Educate New Members of Congress
Recent House disbursement report includes total for fall orientation, though number could grow

Newly elected Minnesota Rep. Jason Lewis arrives at the Capitol Hill Hotel in November 2016 — the day freshman members checked in for orientation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As empty nesters know, getting a freshman prepared for college can be expensive.

The same goes for a freshman in Congress.

Ethics Watchdogs Make a Career of It
Norm Eisen and Richard Painter are among Trump’s most vocal critics

Norm Eisen served as former President Barack Obama’s ethics czar. (Courtesy Brookings.edu)

Norm Eisen, Barack Obama’s White House ethics czar, was such a stickler for enforcing the rules that even some colleagues privately expressed relief when he traipsed off to Prague for an ambassadorship.

Now, people can’t get enough of him.

Word on the Hill: Mid-Women’s History Month
Congressional basketball lineup is out

From left, Reps. Grace F. Napolitano, Jackie Speier, and Nancy Pelosi of California, Cheri Bustos of Illinois, Barbara Lee and Nanette Barragán of California, Nydia M. Velázquez of New York, Katherine M. Clark of Massachusetts, and Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico wear red as they descend the House steps to support “A Day Without Women” on March 8. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s the middle of Women’s History Month and we want to hear about your experiences so far this March.

We covered International Women’s Day last week. Do you have another story to share or plans coming up?

Photos of the Week: Health Care, Health Care and More Health Care
The week of March 6 on Capitol Hill as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., held a presser Thursday on the GOP plan to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law, complete with a PowerPoint. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans started the week by rolling out their option to repealing and replacing the 2010 health care law on Monday evening. From there, several news conferences held by GOP leaders — and one headlined by Speaker Paul D. Ryan with series of charts — began the sale of the bill to House members. Some conservatives, however, are on not on board with the plan despite it passing two committees. 

Heard on the Hill This Week: Al Franken’s Hotdish and the Tallest Senator in Modern History

This week Roll Call’s Heard on the Hill reporter Alex Gangitano checked out a Minnesota cooking competition hosted by Sen. Al Franken. In addition to sampling some North Star State “hotdishes,” Alex sat down with new Sen. Luther Strange, the tallest senator in modern history.

More States Join Legal Challenge to Trump Travel Ban
Washington joined by Massachusetts, Minnesota New York and Oregon

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Thursday announced the state will fight President Donald Trump’s new executive order on immigration.  (Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

More states are joining the legal challenge to President Donald Trump’s new travel restrictions on immigrants from Muslim-majority countries.

Washington, which was the first state to sue over Trump’s original executive order, said it would renew its challenge and state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said New York asked to join its effort, The Associated Press reported.

Service Academy Grads Bond on Capitol Hill
Tim Bertocci and Jakob Johnsen founded the Service Academy Graduate Staff Association in the 114th Congress

Service Academy Graduate Staff Association co-chairmen Jakob Johnsen, left, and Tim Bertocci say group members share similar values and backgrounds. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The importance of brotherhood and sisterhood is ingrained as a core value of service academy graduates, which is why two staffers decided to form an association for them. 

The Service Academy Graduate Staff Association was started last Congress by Tim Bertocci, legislative director for Minnesota Democratic Rep. Tim Walz, and Jakob Johnsen, military legislative assistant for Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young.

Al Franken Explains the Minnesota Hotdish During Annual Cook-Off

The Minnesota Congressional Delegation Hotdish Competition was held Wednesday on Capitol Hill and Roll Call was there. Watch for who won (hint: it featured bear meat), who cheated (spoiler alert: someone didn’t just submit a hotdish to the hotdish cook-off) and lots and lots of warm food.