Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 10/6/2017

Oct 11, 2017 Issues: Economy and Jobs, Education, Health

The start of fall in the Seventh

Dear Friends,

This week the House of Representatives passed its 2018 Federal Budget Resolution. While I did not support this legislation, I am hopeful that this budget will open the door to new bipartisan consideration of tax reform that helps people in the middle class and supports our rural economy. I also worked with North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer on a few issues including a push to expand resources for broadband in rural areas, and meeting with stakeholders about flood control strategies in the region. Making progress on these areas benefits the entire region by encouraging economic development.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Minnesota State Chancellor and Board of Trustees

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MSCU) Interim Chancellor Devinder Malhotra and the Board of Trustees visited my office this week to discuss workforce development and veteran re-entry education programs. MSCU has a long history of helping veterans earn academic credit for their military training, and I look forward to working with Chancellor Devinder to connect students with businesses across greater Minnesota.  

Drainage Water Management on a Watershed Scale

Bruce Albright, Administrator of the Buffalo-Red River Watershed District

This week North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer and I met with a number of stakeholders who are working to bring drainage water management on a watershed level to the Red River Valley to reduce the impact of flood waters while improving soil health and water quality. Drainage water management has the potential to be quickly implemented on the ground, since it benefits local landowners and improves agriculture yields. With the right federal, state, and local support, the work being done in the Buffalo-Red River Watershed district could quickly be expanded to other watersheds in the region.

Minnesota Public Radio

I gave Tom Weber with Minnesota Public Radio an update on farm bill consideration Tuesday morning. The Committee spent the summer holding listening sessions with the last session scheduled for Monday in New York. The feedback at these events will be helpful as the Committee continues its work on the farm bill in the coming months. As with all farm bills, it won’t be easy. The farm economy is in rough shape, and there most likely won’t be new money for the bill. Tom and I touched on this as well as the bill’s commodity programs and support for beginning farmers.

University of Minnesota Morris Chancellor Inauguration

Last Friday, I attended the inauguration of the sixth Chancellor of the University of Minnesota, Morris (UMM), Michelle Behr. The ceremony was attended by students, faculty, community leaders as well as distinguished guests and delegates from across the country. In her inauguration speech, Chancellor Behr spoke of how the power of place and culture inspires the campus and community. I enjoyed meeting Chancellor Behr and look forward to her leadership at the University of Minnesota, Morris.

NW Regional League of Minnesota Cities

The City of Thief River Falls hosted the NW Regional League of Minnesota Cities meeting. Cities attending the seminar were Baudette, East Grand Forks, Fisher, Fosston, Greenbush, Middle River, Moorhead, and Thief River Falls. The Executive Director of the Minnesota Association of Small Cities and members of my staff were also in attendance. 

It is the League’s mission to help cities keep running. Some special issues were discussed like cybersecurity, data practices and data storage, and getting more people to run for local offices.

As your Congressman, I appreciate all the work our local elected officials do to make our communities the best they can be for the residents of the 7th District.

Legislative Update

This week, the House considered a budget resolution for federal spending for fiscal year 2018 and a number of competing budget alternatives. All the budget alternatives were defeated, with one budget being approved by a narrow margin. I voted against this budget and am concerned that if it and its $10 billion in cuts for Agriculture Committee programs go into effect, we will not be able to pass a Farm Bill. In addition to setting spending targets, this budget also included instructions on tax reform. I am hopeful that tax reform can be done on a bipartisan basis. Our tax code is in need of reform, and a bipartisan effort will improve the chances of it getting done. This will provide businesses the certainty they seek to make the kind of investments which create good paying jobs.

Agriculture Committee Update

The Agriculture Committee on Wednesday met to consider five pieces of legislation. The bills were all approved by voice vote. The Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017 (H.R. 2936) addresses some of the concerns I’ve had regarding regulations stemming from lawsuits. The bill simplifies forest management activities as a means to reduce some of this behavior. The South Carolina Peanut Parity Act of 2017 (H.R. 2521) would add South Carolina to the Virginia-North Carolina region for Peanut Standards Boards appointments. The National Forest System Vegetation Management Pilot Program Act of 2017 (H.R. 2921) would help protect electric transmission lines from forest fires and other potential forest management issues. The Kisatchie National Forest Land Conveyance Act (H.R. 2941) authorizes USDA to sell land in Louisiana that can be used as campsites. H.R. 3567 would allow California’s Riverside-Corona Resource Conservation District to purchase, at the appraised value, the parcel of property on which it is currently located. The property is currently administered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and is being co-managed under a cooperative agreement.

Gray Wolf Legislation

On Wednesday, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed my bill to return the management of gray wolves back to Minnesota by a bipartisan 26-14 vote. This is an important step towards moving my legislation through Congress, so Minnesota can return to using its state management plan to balance safety and gray wolf population issues. To learn more about my bill, please click here.  


Rural Broadband Funding

This week, Congressman Cramer joined me in leading a letter urging the FCC to address the budget shortfall in the High-Cost Universal Service Fund (USF). The bipartisan letter, signed by 37 Members of Congress, argues that a lack of sufficient funding for rural broadband development puts millions of Americans at a significant disadvantage. More than ever, it’s important that we provide rural communities with comparable broadband services for comparable rates.

National Manufacturing Day

The first Friday in October is National Manufacturing Day. There are more than 14,000 manufacturing firms in Minnesota, and small business make up 99.9% of those. As a former small business owner myself, I know the important role our local entrepreneurs and manufactures play in our local economies.

World Livestock Auctioneering Contest

Mitch Barthel of Perham placed in the top 10 at the World Livestock Auctioneering Contest qualifying event in Imperial, Nebraska on September 30th. His great result has qualified him for the 2018 World Livestock Auctioneering Championship contest next June in Bloomington, Wisconsin. In June 1963, the Livestock Marketing Association held the first annual World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC) at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Denver, Colorado. The purpose was to spotlight North America’s top livestock auctioneers and to salute their traditionally important role in the competitive livestock marketing process. Since then, the WLAC has been held in conjunction with the LMA Marketing Industry Convention at member markets around the U.S. and Canada.

This Week in American History

On October 2, 1968, Congress passed the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, naming the upper St. Croix River one of eight rivers protected by this legislation. The National Wild and Scenic Rivers System was created by Congress to preserve certain rivers with outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations. The legislation is notable for safeguarding the special character of these rivers, while also recognizing the potential for their appropriate use and development. It encourages river management that crosses political boundaries and promotes public participation in developing goals for river protection. The lower fifty-two miles of the river are preserved on October 25, 1972.

Spotted in the Seventh

Can YOU guess what was Spotted in the Seventh? Each week, the newsletter will feature a landmark or site somewhere in Western Minnesota. The first person to name the location wins! The location of the photo as well as the winner will be revealed in the next newsletter.

This week’s landmark houses a club way up North where you can try your hand at an Olympic sport…

Congratulations to Craig Johnson of Grey Eagle, who was the first to correctly identify our last location as the Historic Todd County Court House in Long Prairie!

Share your guess on our website –

Christa Munsterman (FERGUS FALLS)