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Franken pledges to work across party lines

November 5, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Even though a Republican surge will make Democrats the minority party in the U.S. Senate, newly re-elected Democratic Sen. Al Franken pledged Wednesday to continue striving for bipartisan work.

Accompanied by his wife, Franni Bryson, Franken met with reporters after easily winning a second term over GOP newcomer Mike McFadden. But Republicans elsewhere won control of the Senate for the first time since 2006.

“Believe me, there’s going to be a lot of work across party lines,” said Franken, who added he’ll talk to his new colleagues.

Some issues such as infrastructure are nonpartisan, said Franken, who also said three Republicans voted with him on refinancing student loans, an issue that “resonates.”

On tax reform, Franken said, “There will be some divides, and we’ll have to work that out.”

While not indicating how he would vote if Republicans push to approve the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada through the United States, Franken said he wants to make sure steel for the project comes from Minnesota’s Iron Range.

Compared with his first race in 2008, when a months-long recount was needed to resolve the contest, Franken’s re-election was called soon after the polls closed. He said some Minnesota residents didn’t know what to expect when they sent the former “Saturday Night Live” writer and performer to Washington.

But, Franken said, “I got stuff done.”

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