Politics Friday: Klobuchar on how the new party dynamic is reshaping Washington

A woman in a blue suit speaks at a podium
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar ahead of President Biden’s appearance at the Cummins Power Generation Factory in Fridley, Minn. on April 3.
Kerem Yücel | MPR News

Washington has been in recess for the past couple weeks, allowing members like U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar to travel back to Minnesota.  

In that time, she has met with President Biden to champion the bipartisan Infrastructure Act and visited the town of Winona as residents prepare for spring flooding.    

MPR News guest host Brian Bakst talks to Sen. Klobuchar about bipartisan efforts to pass the Honoring Our Fallen Heroes Act, judicial ethics concerns at the Supreme Court and the looming debt ceiling.  

A side by side photo of two women
Sen. Julia E. Coleman, R-Waconia (left) and Sen. Alice Mann, DFL-Edina (right).
Courtesy photos

Later in the program, a conversation on a paid family and medical leave proposal. 

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The bill would guarantee almost every Minnesota worker time off around the birth or adoption of a child to tend to a family member’s serious illness or cope with their own health emergency. 

But there’s a big price tag to get it off the ground within a few years — more than $660 million in startup money that would be taken from the state’s surplus. The program would later rely on a new payroll tax on both employers and employees to cover the partial wage replacement benefits. 

Sen. Alice Mann, DFL-Edina, author of the paid family and medical leave bill, and Julia Coleman, R-Waconia, who has offered alternative approaches to paid leave in the past, explain where they currently stand on the issue before the Legislature votes on the bill in the upcoming weeks.  

And political reporters from MPR and Axios break down the biggest news from the Capitol this week.     


  • U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar  

  • Sen. Alice Mann, DFL-Edina 

  • Sen. Julia E. Coleman, R-Waconia 

  • Dana Ferguson is a politics reporter for MPR News 

  • Torey Van Oot is a reporter for Axios Twin Cities  

Subscribe to the Politics Friday podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or RSS. 

Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.