Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 1/15/2016

Lake of the Woods

Dear Friends,

Before returning home to the 7th, I voted for a measure opposing EPA’s Waters of the U.S. rule and joined other Members of Congress to listen to President Obama’s final State of the Union address. I gave my impressions of the speech and hopes for bipartisan compromise this year to KFGO’s News and Views. This week, my office welcomed representatives from the Minnesota Hospital Association to discuss methods of improving rural health care. Also included in this newsletter is important information regarding the REAL ID Act and its future impact on commercial travel.   


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

2016 State of the Union

On Wednesday, I joined KFGO Radio News and Views host Joel Heitkamp to discuss President Obama’s last State of the Union address. The President called on Congress to “fix our politics,” emphasizing the need for bipartisan compromise. It is my hope that Congress can work together to pass legislation such as Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization and annual appropriations bills with support from both sides of the aisle.

Minnesota Hospital Association

Ben Peltier (Vice President, Legal and Federal Affairs) and Matt Anderson (Vice President of Policy)

Ben Peltier and Matt Anderson, both members of the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA), visited my office this week to discuss the state of Minnesota’s hospitals. In particular, MHA plans to continue its efforts to support rural health systems, including critical access hospitals, outpatient services, and telemedicine. I look forward to working with the MHA and its members in advancing health care across Minnesota.

Delta Air Lines

Bob Letteney (Managing Director, Government Affairs)

Bob Letteney, Delta Airlines Managing Director of Government Affairs, met with my staff regarding Delta’s opposition to privatizing air traffic control. The current partnership between the Federal Aviation Administration and airlines has helped reduce delays, improve traffic flow, and enhance airline efficiency. I look forward to reauthorizing FAA and working toward improving and modernizing our current system.  

Legislative Update

Waters of the U.S.

I voted for S.J. Res. 22 this week, a resolution of disapproval that would prohibit the Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA from implementing the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule. The resolution has now passed in the House and the Senate under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The CRA gives Congress another legislative process to stop regulations where it has concerns. In addition to this action in Congress, the rule is being challenged in the courts.



In order to prevent fraudulent use of driver’s licenses and identification cards, states are required to meet the security standards established by the REAL ID Act. At present, Minnesota is non-compliant with these standards, and effective January 22, 2018, air travelers must present an alternative, TSA-approved form of identification before boarding a commercial domestic flight. There is no need for travelers to adjust travel plans until this date. 

Central States Pension Plan Session

On Monday, January 25, the U.S. Department of the Treasury will host a public session for individuals who will be impacted by the Central States Pension Plan’s application to reduce pension benefits under the Kline-Miller Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014. The session, taking place at the Coffman Memorial Union in Minneapolis, is an opportunity for the public to provide their input regarding the application. Interested attendees are encouraged to RSVP online.

Kandiyohi Deputy Helps Stranded Willmar Family

Kandiyohi County Sherriff’s Deputy Jason Keith responded to a call this week involving a Benson woman and her two small children. After receiving the wrong bus ticket and without enough cash to pay for a taxi to complete the leg of their trip, the family was left stranded at Willmar’s Affiliated Community Medical Centers. Deputy Keith instructed the family escape the sub-zero temperatures and wait in a neighboring restaurant, where, after work, he paid for their meals and drove them nearly 30 miles home. After news of his actions broke, Keith insisted that he was “just trying to help out” and that “it’s not much of a story.”

Discovering the 7th

The Dassel History Center & Ergot Museum, housed in the historic 1937 Universal Laboratories Building, features permanent and changing exhibits dedicated to the area’s agricultural and history. In 2006, the museum was named one of the Top 25 preservation projects in the state by the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota. The museum’s permanent exhibits tell the story of how ergot and seed corn helped shape the rural economy and feed the world.

This Week in American History
Institute of Science and Letters (St. Paul Auditorium) 1907 / Science Museum of Minnesota

The St. Paul Institute of Science and Letters, an organization dedicated to the “intellectual scientific growth of St. Paul,” was officially incorporated on January 11, 1907. Today, the institute is known worldwide as the Science Museum of Minnesota, a public science education center with renowned research, collection, and interactive exhibit facilities. The museum features nearly 2 million artifacts and specimens, an Imax Omnitheater, and numerous resources for teachers to help advance scientific literacy among its many visitors each year.

2015 Congressional Art Competition