By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Between the government shutdown, dramatic testimony from President Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen and debate over controversial remarks by Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, there have been a lot of distractions for this Congress.

But members on both sides are hoping to get down to business

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Both parties say they want to move past recent distractions and focus on trying to get something done. For Democrats, the No. 1 policy issue is health care. It’s the issue they campaigned on and it’s the issue that helped them flip the U.S. House from Republican to Democratic control in November.

The top priority: making prescription drugs more affordable and lowering health care premiums. Minnesota freshman Congresswoman Angie Craig recently introduced a bill aimed at lowering premiums, especially those purchased on the individual market and through MNsure. Congresswoman Craig was a guest on WCCO Sunday Morning.

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“My first bill on health care would lower the individual marketplace by about 10 percent,” Craig said. “That is what we are talking about. Putting high-cost claims reinsurance program in place so that the cost, the premiums for my constituents and Minnesotans goes down.”

Any proposals coming out of the Democratically controlled House will almost certainly hit roadblocks in the Republican-controlled Senate. Senate Republicans’ top priority is continuing to push through and confirm as many conservative federal judge nominees as possible.

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As for the distractions, they will soon return. House Committees have subpoenaed a wide range of President Trump’s business and political associates as they expand their own investigation of his conduct.

Esme Murphy