Daily Digest: Emmer readies NRCC for 2020

Good morning. Here’s your Wednesday Digest:

1. Emmer upbeat in new NRCC role. Rep. Tom Emmer spent last Monday in a briefing on an email hack that plagued the National Republican Congressional Committee this year. As that news broke the next day, the incoming chairman faced a public back-and-forth with a fellow member who declared plans to play in primaries to combat the party’s dwindling number of women. Meanwhile, lawyers prepared him for the increasing likelihood of a new election in a North Carolina district rocked by election-fraud allegations against a Republican operative. “I’ve had a pretty interesting week,” Emmer said in an interview at the committee’s headquarters. (National Journal)

2. State Senate balance shifts to GOP. The Minnesota Senate is now officially back under Republican control. Republican Jeff Howe was sworn in Tuesday to fill the vacancy left by state GOP Sen. Michelle Fischbach’s resignation in May. She is Minnesota’s lieutenant governor now but had held down both jobs all of last session, over the objection of DFLers and as litigation wore on. Fischbach took part in Howe’s ceremony in in the Senate chambers. Howe won a special election last month. His arrival breaks what had been a 33-33 tie. (MPR News)

3. Mining projects top Stauber’s congressional agenda. Barring action in Washington, D.C., before the end of the year, Congressman-elect Pete Stauber plans to take up legislation early in 2019 that would stem a series of legal challenges to copper-nickel mining in northern Minnesota, he said Monday, Dec. 10, in a news release. Stauber, R-Hermantown, encouraged the current Congress to pass legislation ratifying a land exchange between PolyMet Mining Co. and the U.S. Forest Service. If not, Stauber said he would take up the mantle from predecessor Rick Nolan and try to press the land swap into law. “We both strongly agree on the importance of environmentally safe mining in northern Minnesota,” Stauber said in his news release statement. “If this legislation doesn’t become law, one of my first acts in the 116th Congress will be to introduce Nolan’s land exchange bill so we can unleash the economic engine in the 8th District and create good-paying jobs for working families in our region.” (Mesabi Daily News)

4. Farm bill passes Senate. Details of an $867 billion bill that funds food stamps, crop insurance, conservation and other agriculture-related programs have been released to the public as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, otherwise known as the farm bill. The U.S. Senate approved the farm bill Tuesday afternoon, and the House is expected to vote on it this week. Meanwhile, commodity groups, environmentalists and advocates for the poor are studying the details to see if changes are coming to the programs they care about. The legislation is 540 pages long with lots of confusing details, but here’s a breakdown of some of the bill’s major provisions, with an eye toward how they affect Minnesota. (MPR News)

5. Picking through the midterm demographic numbers. Democrats took the U.S. House in this fall’s elections, and women made historic gains. But who sent them there? Now that the election results are finally in, here is what the data from our Representing US project are telling us. (APM Research Lab)


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