The Daily Digest (Bachmann in for long haul, farm bill prospects dim, Kline aims to reduce feds footprint in education)

Much of the attention today is focused on Capitol Hill, as Minnesota representatives push, respectively, for a new farm bill and a massive change to federal education policy.

And Rep. Michele Bachmann appears to be back. Only a week after she announced she wouldn’t seek re-election to Congress, she told Fox News that she would consider a run for another public office.


Bachmann: “I’m in the game for the long haul” (MPR News)

Despite choosing not to run for re-election to Congress, Rep. Michele Bachmann said on Fox News Thursday that she’s not retiring from public life, and that she may even run for office again. Bachmann told host Sean Hannity that she currently has no definitive plans to pursue another public office.

Revenue starts detailing cigarette tax hike (MPR News)

The state’s cigarette tax will jump to $2.83 a pack at the start of July. Retailers will also have to pay a floor stock tax, which will go to retire debt on the new Minnesota Vikings stadium.

Education Dept. Anticipates First Big Budget Hike In A Decade (WCCO)

The Minnesota Department of Education will see about $485 more per student this year. The Legislature has also set aside an additional $134 million to pay for all-day kindergarten.

Peterson says GOP efforts to push him out having the opposite effect (MPR News)

Republican operatives have been targeting U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson on his home turf. National Republicans paid for a truck carrying an anti-Peterson sign to drive around his hometown of Detroit Lakes, and GOP operatives have dropped rumors online that 69-year-old Peterson had plans to retire to Florida. Peterson said the campaign against him has just fired up his election efforts.

Mpls. mayoral candidate decries racism in city institutions (MPR News)

Minneapolis mayoral candidates vowed to crusade against racial inequality at a forum on Thursday. Former Hennepin County Board Member Mark Andrew suggested that racism in the Minneapolis Police Department could be addressed by providing more training.

Is it the content, or the communication? College Republicans offer harsh critique (MPR News)

MPR’s The Daily Circuit hosted a discussion Thursday on the relationship of college Republicans with older members of their party. A recent survey by the College Republican National Committee explored why the party is losing the support of young people, who describe the party as “closed-minded, racist, rigid, old-fashioned.” But college Republicans say the party needs to rebrand itself and refocus on economic issues.

Q&A with GOP 6th Congressional District candidate state Sen. John Pederson (MPR News)

The daily Policast includes a conversation with Sen. John Pederson of St. Cloud. He’s one of the GOP candidates who wants to succeed U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann in the 6th District.


Farm bill heads to full Senate, prospects in House dim (MPR News)

Cuts of $21 billion to food stamps could imperil the farm bill in the U.S. House. Democrats want fewer cuts; Republicans want more cuts. U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District said the quagmire is due to increasing political polarization at the Capitol as members try to maintain their ideological purity.

Kline introduces bill to overhaul No Child Left Behind Act (Star Tribune)

The bill would eliminate 70 programs including Race to the Top and Promise Neighborhoods. It would also give districts more spending flexibility and make it easier to open charter schools.

Monumental phone-records monitoring is laid bare (Associated Press)

The extent of government snooping in Americans’ private communications appears to extend far beyond the government order for Verizon phone records that was leaked this week. It likely also includes other phone companies, as well as programs to track people’s internet activities, email and contacts through government requests for information from internet companies.

Franken boosted by study of Obamacare premium limits (Star Tribune)

A part of the health care law designed to ensure providers spend much of the premiums collect on health care, rather than administrative costs, has saved consumers about $2.1 billion dollars, according to an estimate from the Kaiser Family Foundation. U.S. Sen Al Franken of Minnesota backed the provision.

Klobuchar, Franken-backed student loan plan fails to gain support (Star Tribune)

A Republican filibuster in the U.S. Senate killed a plan to lock in a 3.4 percent interest rate on subsidized student loans. The interest rates on those loans will double on July 1 if no action is taken.

As Wars End, a Rush to Grab Dollars Spent on the Border (New York Times)

Military contractors are shifting their focus to border security as American wars draw to a close. Billions of dollars will become available for border security if immigration reform becomes law.

Boehner accuses Obama of threatening government shutdown over budget plan (Washington Post)

President Barack Obama has said he’ll veto any spending bill that crosses his desk unless Congress approves a broad budget plan to fund the government. House Speaker John Boehner said this amounts to a threat of a government shutdown.

US regains wealth from recession, but not equally (Associated Press)

Rising stock prices account for about two-thirds of the regained wealth, which has inordinately enriched the wealthiest 10 percent of the population who own most of the stock. Economists worry that the increase in overall wealth won’t boost the economy because the wealthy are less likely to spend additional money than middle- and working-class people.

Skepticism Over U.S. Involvement in Foreign Conflicts (New York Times)

A dozen years of war have soured about six out of 10 Americans on intervention in foreign military conflicts, according to a survey from the New York Times and CBS News.

House passes measure to deport young immigrants (Associated Press)

Republicans in the U.S. House passed a largely symbolic provision in support of resuming the deportation of young immigrants brought into the United States illegally as children. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa said the measure was designed to block President Barack Obama’s executive order that deportations of these young people halt for two years starting in June 2014.

Attorney General of New Jersey Named as Interim Senator (New York Times)

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie picked Republican Jeffrey S. Chiesa to serve the remainder of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s term. Christie has called a special election for Oct. 16.

Guantánamo Bay hunger strike: quarter of inmates now being force-fed (The Guardian)

Although President Barack Obama vowed last month to again work towards the closure of Guantanamo Bay, the hunger strike of prisoners there is only gaining momentum. About 103 of 166 prisoners are now on hunger strike.