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WCCO DEBATE: Franken has strong bipartisan record

Investment banker Mike McFadden’s attacks on Sen. Franken’s voting record ring hollow. Sen. Franken has a strong record of working across party lines to deliver concrete results and has repeatedly stood up to the President and his administration when his policies, proposals or regulations don’t make sense for Minnesotans.

In their endorsement of his re-election, ECM newspapers wrote that Sen. Franken “has made a determined effort to work across party lines and achieve bipartisan agreements” and that “an examination of Franken’s work reflects bipartisan efforts that have produced results.”

The so-called “study” McFadden uses to call Sen. Franken the most partisan Senator also claims that Sen. Ted Cruz is more bipartisan than half the U.S. Senate—the same Tea Party Republican who led the charge to shut down the government last year.

MCFADDEN CITES “REPORT CARD” THAT CLAIMS THAT REPUBLICAN SENATOR WHO HELPED SHUT DOWN THE GOVENRMENT IS LESS PARTISAN THAN MORE THAN HALF THE UNITED STATES SENATE. Using the same GovTrack “report card” cited in McFadden’s, Texas Senator Ted Cruz would be the 42nd most bipartisan Senator. Senator Cruz was widely credited with leading the charge in 2013 to shut down the federal government. According to Huffington Post, “House Republicans give one person the most credit for bringing Congress to its current standoff over funding for the federal government: Ted Cruz. With the clock ticking toward the first government shutdown in 17 years, many lawmakers said they never would have been here had it not been for the junior senator from Texas.” [GovTrack, Joining Bipartisan Bills; Huffington Post, 9/29/13]


Star Tribune: “Franken Owes Much Of His Success So Far To His Ability To Forge Alliances, Even Friendships, With Republican Senators.” According to the Star Tribune, “Many of his other initiatives have been passed, nearly all of them with the help of Republican partners. Among Franken’s main interests: privacy, technology, workforce development, veterans, health care, renewable energy and agriculture … Franken owes much of his success so far to his ability to forge alliances, even friendships, with Republican senators. A sense of humor on both sides can break down a lot of barriers, he said. ‘They figured out pretty quickly that I laugh a lot.’” [Star Tribune, 2/7/14 (emphasis added)]

National Journal: “Franken … Has Proved A Surprisingly Effective Senator.” According to National Journal, “Franken, a Harvard-educated comic who once wrote a best-seller titled Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot, has proved a surprisingly effective senator, many of his colleagues say. Not only did he tackle the ratings agencies, he sponsored a provision considered one of the most effective elements of the new health care reform law — raising the ‘medical loss ratio’ to force insurers to spend far more on actual health care and less on CEO pay, marketing, and other nonmedical things.” [National Journal, 8/10/11]

WCCO’s Esme Murphy: Franken “Has Also Delivered On Substance.” According to an August 2013 blog post, “And then there is substance. While Franken has mastered the art of backing measures that no one could be against, (service dogs for veterans comes to mind), he has also delivered on substance. While the ultimate verdict on Health Care Reform will likely rest on the success of state Health Care Exchanges (MnSure in Minnesota), it was Franken who authored what is widely seen as one of the most successful provisions in the bill. His provision that large insurers use 85 percent of premiums for actual services or be forced to rebate customers has resulted in 8.5 million American getting rebate checks. The president himself singled out the provision at a White House event last month.” [WCCO, Esme Murphy Blog, 8/3/13]