The Daily Digest

Welcome to the Daily Digest, where we get an update on the fallout from Koch’s departure as Senate Majority Leader and who wants to take her place, the House is poised to reject a Senate-passed payroll tax cut, and we look at a series of new polls.

Around Minnesota

MPR has an update on how state Senators are handling fallout from Sen. Amy Koch’s abrupt announcement that she is stepping down as Majority Leader.

The Star Tribune has a story, too.

In a video, Sen. Mike Jungbauer, R-East Bethel, argues why he’d be a good Senate Majority Leader, or a member of the chamber’s leadership team in general.

Capitol Chatter reports that Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria, will “insist on the proper sanctions” when it comes to the Koch situation.

Minnesota National Guard officials testified at a legislative hearing about what they’re doing to stop soldiers from committing suicide.

The Duluth City Council passed a resolution Monday against a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

A Lake City police officer was shot while on duty Monday morning.

Daniel Schlienz faced charges in last week’s courthouse shooting in Grand Marais.

Today: Prime Therapeutics is expected to announce a major expansion in Eagan, Minn.

In Washington

The House will use an unusual procedural move to reject a Senate-passed extension of the payroll tax cut rather than vote against the legislation, which would put many Republican members in a tough spot. At the same time, the House will ask to go right to conference with the Senate on the legislation. That’s where all the differences between the two chambers will be worked out. The New York Times has more.

A Gallup poll shows that only 11 percent of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing it. It’s an all-time low for the organization, which has been gauging Congress’s job approval since 1974.

Meanwhile, Obama’s job approval numbers are improving, according to a Washington Post -ABC News poll.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments on the health care overhaul in March.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has chosen three Minnesota health systems to take part in an effort to improve Medicare patient care and lower costs.

North Korea

The New York Times profiles North Korea’s heir apparent.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urges a stable transition.

On the Campaign Trail

There are two polls out Monday that tell us Newt Gingrich’s appeal is fading, Mitt Romney’s support isn’t growing, and Rep. Michele Bachmann is still behind just two weeks from the Iowa caucuses.

Meanwhile, a separate poll has Romney with a substantial lead in New Hampshire.

Gingrich’s decline may be the result of an onslaught of negative ads in Iowa, reports the Associated Press.

Gingrich is attacking activist judges in Iowa.

He’s getting outspent on Iowa’s airwaves.

Politico profiles Callista Gingrich.

Rep. Ron Paul told Jay Leno that Bachmann “hates Muslims.” Bachmann says that’s not true.

Bachmann went after Romney and Gingrich over health care.

You can keep up with Bachmann’s tour of Iowa’s 99 counties via Twitter @99CountiesMB.

Romney’s firm made profits at the cost of South Carolina jobs.

  • Ralph Crammedin

    Others, like Julianne Ortman of Chanhassen evaded reporters after a committee hearing. – from linked MPR story

    GOP leaders haven’t yet figured out they need to do a Letterman, and release the details of the Koch Scandal. So long as they seek to conceal, they will pique reporters’ curiosity. At the current rate of disclosure, we’ll still be reading about this story in April.