Last week House DFL members laid the framework for scathing attacks on House Republicans, hoping to connect them to the controversial presumptive Republican Party nominee for the Presidency, Donald Trump.
On May 5, House DFL members Rep. Erin Murphy (St. Paul), House Deputy Minority Leader, Rep. Melissa Hortman (Brooklyn Park) and a plethora of other representatives called a press conference to convey to the state of Minnesota that they believe the House Republicans’ agenda matches that of Trump, calling it “anti-women” and “anti-family.”
The House DFL argued in a press release that House Republicans are pushing a “Trump Agenda” that allegedly restricts access to women’s health care, puts the interests of the rich ahead of children and ignores childcare costs, and blocks attempts to keep women and children safe. Most notably, specific policies cited as examples of the House GOP’s “extreme” agenda include the blocking of universal pre-k, paid family leave, universal background checks on firearms, and their willingness to defund Planned Parenthood.
Phyllis Kahn (DFL-Minneapolis) sent out a press release connecting the House GOP to Trump, after the GOP’s passage of the Omnibus Legacy Bill, which contains “roughly $110 million in funding from the Outdoor Heritage Fund for habitat projects, and minor provisions related to two of the other Legacy funds.” Republicans voted down Kahn’s amendment to include “diversity and equity goals in Legacy funded habitat projects and work,” and she was also disappointed that a habitat project for White Earth Nation had been
Kahn thrashed House Republicans for not including her amendment or the White Earth Nation project, asserting that, “the priorities of the Republican House majority are not those of ordinary Minnesotans, rather they’re of their extreme ‘Donald Trump’ exclusionist base and their wealthy corporate backers.”
It is likely that DFL members will continue to link the Minnesota GOP to its party’s new standard bearer, seeing as though Trump has record unfavorable ratings as a candidate. It will be interesting to see if Republicans will seek to capitalize on Hillary Clinton’s record unfavorable ratings as well, in hopes of winning the public relations battle that lay ahead in the last few weeks of the session.