Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 1/13/2020
Chris and Beth Hanson visiting from BOYD
As the House of Representatives starts the second session of the 116th Congress I met with a group of advocates from the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias. They were in town to testify about the importance of passing my bill, the Ensuring Lasting Smiles Act. I continue to get more Members of Congress to cosponsor this bill, and the hearing brings the bill one step closer to a vote on the floor.
No issue facing Congress is more important than the decision about whether to go to war. The House considered a resolution which reiterates Congress’s role in authorizing the use of military force. I voted to support this resolution, because I believe in our Constitutional role in debating declarations of war and not allowing the President the unilateral authority to go to war, and because I don’t support a war with Iran.
During the holiday break, President Trump signed the TRACED Act into law to increase penalties for robocallers that target many Americans. I continue to hear from constituents frustrated with robocalls, which is why I was proud to vote for this bill and cosponsor legislation that addresses this issue. Happy New Year!
Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District
Serving the 7th
Are you having problems with a Federal Agency? Need assistance with an immigration issue, IRS or Social Security? My staff is there to assist you in navigating the processes. If you need assistance please contact Meg Louwagie my Casework Coordinator at Meg.Louwagie@mail.house.gov
On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to speak to a gathering of members of the Farm Foundation in Washington. We talked about trade issues, including the House-passed USMCA, which I support, and the Administration's ongoing plan to compensate farmers hurt by the trade war. We talked about the coming farm bill and conservation, and how work on those important issues is made more difficult by political ideology and rhetoric.
Keith Olander, the Dean of Agricultural Studies at Central Lakes College and the Director of the CLC Ag & Energy Center was in Washington to participate in the Farm Foundation's annual Round Table event. The Farm Foundation's Round Table brings together folks from across the country to discuss the challenges and prospects facing our ag and food industries. Keith stopped by my office to catch up on the things he's working on at CLC as well as the state of the farm and rural economy in Western Minnesota.
Ensuring Lasting Smiles Update
I met with a group of advocates from the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias (NFED), including Karl Nelsen from Minnesota, who are supporting my bill, H.R. 1379 The Ensuring Lasting Smiles Act. The Ensuring Lasting Smiles Act seeks to close an insurance loophole so that children born with congenital anomalies such as ectodermal dysplasias can get the medically-necessary treatments that they need. Kevin Koser, an advocate with NFED gave testimony before the Energy and Commerce committee in favor of my bill.
Sara Beger (THIEF RIVER FALLS), a women's health nurse practitioner student at Georgetown University, along with Katie Daily, a local professor and nurse-midwife originally from Minnesota, visited Capitol Hill this week to talk about women's health. The two thanked me for my support of H.R. 2150, the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act, and talked about how home health care visits are important in their line of work. Especially in rural areas like western Minnesota, nurse practitioners play an important role in delivering health care. This bill cuts some of the red tape to allow nurse practitioners to certify patients under their care for home health care services, if needed. They also discussed legislation to support nursing and midwifery education and training programs.
United Way of Southwest Minnesota
Last week advocates from the United Way of Southwest Minnesota came to my office to share their work across communities in Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Yellow Medicine and portions of Cottonwood, Lac qui Parle, Nobles and Redwood counties. United Way partners with local leaders to improve health, safety, education, and financial stability within their community.
Teacher Shortage Meeting
My office joined educators from across Minnesota in Marshall for an education conference. Southwest Minnesota State University president Dr. Kumara Jayasuriya and Governor Tim Walz addressed topics such as demographic changes, teacher shortages and education funding. Our rural communities need continued support to recruit and retain educators. I have fought for new funding avenues, including competitive grant programs, so that Minnesota schools have the resources they need.
State Legislative Update
Meg Louwagie from my Marshall office attended a state legislative update with Senator Dahms and Representative Swedzinski. They talked about issues ranging from child care, health care, and renewable energy.
Farm Service Agency and Minnesota Extension Farm Bill Meetings
The Farm Service Agency FSA and the University of Minnesota Extension Service are teaming up for 46 meetings across Minnesota to help farmers better understand the 2018 Farm Bill crop commodity program provisions. Farm producers will have the opportunity to choose between two programs: Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC). These two programs provide income support through revenue and price loss payments to eligible producers for the 2019 through 2023 crop years. Working through the details can be a challenge so attend one of those meetings and talk to your local FSA office for help. You can also find meetings in your area and resources online at umn.edu/ARC_PLC.
Thanks to our FSA offices and the U of M Extension for these educational meetings.
Small Grains Update Meetings
Every year, researchers and grain groups meet for an annual Small Grains Update across Minnesota to discuss topics such as the best variety of grain to select, the latest soybean and corn research, how recent laws may affect farming, market analysis and trends from grain to fertilizer and wheat quality for use in some of the world’s finest baked goods. These meetings are sponsored by: Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers, Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council, University of Minnesota Extension, Minnesota Corn Growers Association and Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council.
For more information, visit www.mnwheat.org.
Fourtown Grygla Sportsmans Club Annual Meeting
The Fourtown-Grygla Sportsmans Club met at the Grygla Community Center for food, an annual update on activities and music. Over 100 people came to hear Club President Jack Nelson talk about the development of trails and the future of the ATV Campground at Clear River. In 2018. I worked with the club to help facilitate a land exchange between the Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to create the Dam 4 Trail connector, which connected Morehouse Road and Elkwood Road within the Beltrami Island State Forest and created a safer and more desirable trail experience for ATV riders.
Last week, I asked you about your thoughts on strategy. Here is what you had to say:
People across the country make New Years Resolutions as a yearly tradition. Some people might choose to be more financially responsible, or focus on paying down their debts. In the first week of 2020, the United States has already spent about $14 billion servicing the national debt.
As a fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrat, I have continually supported a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, which would require Congress to get our fiscal house in order. I have also fought for Pay-As-You-Go legislation to ensure legislation doesn’t add to our debt and voted against the Democratic budget which would have worsened our fiscal situation.
President Trump recently signed the TRACED Act into law. The TRACED Act gives consumers the power to block robocallers, increase penalties for these callers, and requires phone companies to offer call-authentication technology to everyone for free. I continue to hear from constituents about these annoying robocalls, so I was glad to vote for legislation that can help fix this issue.
This Week in History
On January 10th, 1975, a fierce, three-day blizzard struck, which brought one to two feet of snow (with some drifts reaching twenty feet) and winds up to eighty miles per hour, closed most Minnesota roads, stranded a train at Willmar, and killed thirty-five people and 15,000 head of livestock. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that an offshoot of an Arctic storm had blasted into the Midwest, commenting that the "Wind ain't whistlin' Dixie."
The Minnesota Delegation got together to wish the Vikings good luck on their game this weekend.