Washington Correspondent

Washington correspondent Jim Spencer examines the impact of federal politics and policy on Minnesota businesses, especially the medical technology, food distribution, farming, manufacturing, retail and health insurance industries.  

Previously, he worked as an enterprise reporter in Minneapolis, writing on topics including Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, lake pollution caused by residential development, unintentional shootings of children, suicide among senior citizens, and budget cuts to homebound care for the disabled.


Rep. McCollum calls federal report on Boundary Waters mining 'embarrassingly inadequate'

The Democrat said she hoped "Canada's elected leaders will call on the Trump administration to publicly release this confidential State Department report."


Tax reform may be more lucrative than advertised for corporations

National analysis finds that cuts may be more lucrative for corporations than advertised; some paid nothing.


U.S. Chamber: 'We would like to see Republicans and Democrats returning to things we need'

Partisanship is getting in the way of addressing key issues, business groups say.


Rep. Angie Craig's bill on payment reforms lands on Trump's desk

Plan to rein in improper government payments is likely to become law.


Two sides square off at hearing on bill to ban mining near Boundary Waters

Critics say McCollum bill would harm economy. Supporters say pollution risk to BWCA is too great.


For some Minn. businesses, the only certainty with tariffs is uncertainty

Despite the announcement of a Phase One trade deal with China, Chinese imports remain saddled with protectionist tariffs that raise costs and cut profits.


Impeachment trial pulls Amy Klobuchar from campaign trail in Iowa

Minnesota senator's family, friends and surrogates must fill the campaign void.


Why ethanol endures as important market for Midwestern farmers

The biofuel's intended uses for energy independence and greenhouse gas reduction have become matters of debate. But no one questions its political clout, economic importance or staying power.


Rep. McCollum introduces bill that would restrict 234,000 acres in northern Minnesota from mining

The Minnesota Democrat said her bill is an effort to treat Minnesota's iconic Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness "with the same respect as the Grand Canyon."


U.S. House directs EPA to declare 'forever chemicals' hazardous

Under the bill, the EPA would take action on PFOA and PFOS now and have five years to decide on all PFAS. The White House has indicated President Donald Trump would veto the measure, if the Senate even takes it up.