Our Political Landscape, Part Three: Nolan calls government "dys - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Our Political Landscape, Part Three: Nolan calls government "dysfunctional"

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  • Our Political Landscape, Part Two: Al Franken

    Our Political Landscape, Part Two: Al Franken

    Wednesday, May 10 2017 11:57 PM EDT2017-05-11 03:57:37 GMT

    For a Democratic Senator, working to achieve goals could  be a major struggle in a Republican controlled Congress with a Republican president.   But U-S Senator Al Franken says his constituents might be surprised at the level of bi-partisan cooperation he sees on many issues.

    For a Democratic Senator, working to achieve goals could  be a major struggle in a Republican controlled Congress with a Republican president.   But U-S Senator Al Franken says his constituents might be surprised at the level of bi-partisan cooperation he sees on many issues.

U.S. Congressman Rick Nolan is not happy with the way the Federal government is operating.  In fact, he's so concerned that he's drafted a "Restore Democracy Bill" in Congress.

At the same time, he's also concerned about his home state of Minnesota, and says he's seriously considering running for governor to get the state back on track.

His concerns with Congress revolve around the process of getting bills passed. 

"The government is definitely dysfunctional.  It's hardly a Democratic institution anymore.  For several hundred years, everything came up through the committees, and open rules, went to the floor of the House or the Senate under open rules, where anyone could offer their best ideas, have them argued, debated. And that's how people, that's how we find common ground," said Nolan.

The Congressman says lawmakers are rushing through the nation's business in order to have more time to raise money. 

"Having everything come up under a closed rule that enables for the Republicans and Democrats to run across the street to the call center where members go and spend their time dialing for dollars and raising money for their campaigns."

In an effort to put a stop to that, Representative Nolan has introduced a "restore democracy bill".  

"I want people to go to Washington and work on the people's business.  And I see all this big money really corrupting public policy, corrupting the process, end-arounding the process."  

Big money like what was spent in Rep. Nolan's last Congressional election fight with Republican challenger Stewart Mills. 

"It never occurred to me that I would be running in $20-25 million contests, my God." 

Congressman Nolan says in Washington these days you have to be flexible and willing to work with Republican partners to get things done.  

One of those partners was President Trump on the issue of importing foreign steel. 

"We got tariffs up to, as high as 500-percent, tariffs and taxes on cheap, subsidized poor quality steel. We managed to get thousands of miners back to work. We've seen a nice improvement in the iron ore prices and the number of people working and investing in iron ore and there's a lot more good things to come."

But in most things, Congressman Nolan finds himself at odds with President Trump. 

"I've worked very closely with my Republican friend David Joyce from Ohio to secure the $300-million for the Great Lakes Restoration project and the president has zeroed that out of his budget, but I think you're going to see a good example of some bi-partisanship cooperation and I'm hopeful."

But Congressman Nolan's battles aren't all in Washington.  He's on a different side of the fence from Minnesota Democratic Governor Mark Dayton when it comes to mining. 

"To suggest that we should stop mining. You know I mean it's so critically essential for our national economy, our national security, our transportation, our communication, our health care... It's one of the reasons that compels me to maybe want to run for governor.  I want to be wherever I think I can do the most good for Minnesota.  And it's going to take a little time to assess that."  

He says he expects to make a decision by mid July.

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