Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 10/4

Soybean harvest wrapping up, sugar beet harvest underway

Dear Friends,

This week the House passed a bill that would name the Federal Court Building in Fergus Falls after the Honorable Edward J. Devitt. The U.S. government shut down Monday at midnight after Republicans in the House continued to try to hold back implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Minnesotans are already feeling the pain of the shutdown as our fiscal future becomes uncertain. The only way the Senate and House can agree on a single budget plan is to stop sending partisan budgets and focus on working together to find a compromise. The current farm bill expired at the end of September, so this is one of many reasons that we need to find a middle ground here.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson

Minnesota 7th District

Bill Honoring Judge Devitt Passes House

Federal Courthouse in Fergus Falls

Over the weekend, the House passed legislation I introduced which would name the Federal Court Building in Fergus Falls after the Honorable Edward James Devitt. Judge Devitt was appointed by President Eisenhower to serve at the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota in 1955. Four years later he was named chief judge for the MN district, a position he held for nearly three decades.

Judge Devitt served on the federal bench for 38 years and became a role model to several judges throughout his distinguished career. It was my honor to introduce this legislation that would name the "Edward J. Devitt United States Courthouse and Federal Building" after a judge who has earned this recognition. The bill now awaits further action in the Senate.

To view the text of the legislation and a brief biography submitted for the record, click here.

On Tuesday morning I went on KFGO News and Views with Joel Heitkamp to discuss the government shutdown and how it affects the Farm Bill. Click here to listen to the interview.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Col. Daniel Koprowski and Judy DesHarnais

I met with Colonel Daniel Koprowski, Commander of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers St. Paul District, and Judy DesHarnais, Deputy for Program and Project Management, during their biannual meeting to discuss all their work in the Seventh Congressional District.  The Army Corps of Engineers is actively engaged in over sixteen projects within the Seventh District and an additional eighteen projects across the entire state of Minnesota.  We officially meet twice a year as part of the mission to deliver vital public and military engineering services.

Military Matters

VA Services during Federal Government Shutdown

There is a lot of confusion surrounding the current shutdown, and the information below details what services will continue to be available from the VA. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 202-225-2165.

Benefits: Veterans receiving a compensation, pension, education and vocational rehabilitation payment from VA will continue to receive them. VA has not indicated that there will be a delay in payments. However, in the event of a prolonged shutdown, payments in these programs may be suspended when available funding is exhausted. VA is estimating that this may occur in late October. 

Medical Care: Veterans will be able to receive medical care at VA facilities. Because the Veterans Health Administration receives advanced appropriations all medical facilities and clinics will remain fully operational. This includes: inpatient and outpatient care, prescriptions, surgeries, dental treatment, extended care, mental health care, nursing home care, and special health care services for women veterans.

Claims Processing: If you have a pending claim at the VA, claims processing will continue, but there may be some additional delays because VA will not be able to continue overtime for claims processors. Also, VA has indicated that, in the event of a prolonged shutdown, claims processing may be suspended when available funding is exhausted. VA is estimating that this may occur in late October.

Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)

Samantha Severance (HERMAN), Courtney Mensen (LAKE BENTON), Kaija Kottke (Waconia), Breann Hogie (LAKE PARK), Rick Osborne (Spring Lake Park), and Wendy Ambrose (Columbia Heights)

I met with members of the State Executive Council of the Minnesota Association of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America in my Washington office.  The mission of FCCLA is to promote personal growth and leadership development through family and consumer education.  This was a sharp group, and I have no doubt they will go far!   

Manufacturing Day

Friday, October 4th is National Manufacturing Day. I am proud to honor the manufacturers in the 7th district today as they are the backbone of Minnesota’s economy. Manufacturing supports the largest payroll of any business sector in the state, providing nearly $18 billion in 2012 wages. Each manufacturing job supports about two other jobs elsewhere in the economy through supplier purchases and employee spending. In all, manufacturing accounts for nearly 920,000 jobs or about 35 percent of all jobs in Minnesota.

This Week in American History

One hundred fifty years ago on October 2nd, 1863, the United States received 11 million acres of fertile agriculture land after signing a treaty with the Pembina and Red Lake Bands of Ojibwe. The Red Lake tribal council recently voted unanimously to create a tribal holiday called the Old Crossing Treaty Day. The holiday will recognize the generous contribution of the Red Lake Nation to the United States. On Wednesday there was a ceremony hosted by Red Lake officials which commemorated the treaty at the signing site.

Click here to read an article from the Grand Forks Herald about the event

“Fall Foliage”
Matt Andreasen (FRAZEE-VERGAS)
2013 Congressional Art Competition