Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 1/11/2019
As talks between Congressional leaders and President Trump move further apart, we need to look at this shutdown from a practical standpoint. First, the Trump Administration estimates that the government shutdown is costing our country more than $1 billion each week. This is not a partisan assessment and is consistent with what the Obama Administration estimated the 16-day shutdown in 2013 cost per week. Second, shutdowns hurt all Americans including those who rely on essential government services or depend on a paycheck.
I have heard from a large number of constituents who want more border security including having more wall, and also those that think a coast-to-coast wall is wasteful. To a certain extent, they are both right, and I know that a supermajority of Members from Congress would support increased funding for border security if it was done in a comprehensive way. I have talked to a number of Members of Congress who represent the border, and they would be the first to agree that walls are only needed or wanted in certain places and that they are just one part of an effective border security plan. It took years to build the miles of walls and fences we have in place now, and it will take years to build more. We should reopen the government now, and fund additional security for the areas that have the greatest need. From there, we should look at the facts on the ground, and work together to fund security priorities that will make our country safer without needlessly dividing our country.
Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District
Bipartisan Minnesota Delegation Lunch
(Left to right) Rep. Betty McCollum, Rep. Dean Phillips, Rep. Pete Stauber, Rep. Ilhan Omar, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Rep. Tom Emmer, Rep. Angie Craig, Sen. Tina Smith, Rep. Jim Hagedorn
Senator Amy Klobuchar hosted a lunch for members of the Minnesota Congressional Delegation on Wednesday. I was happy to spend time with new and returning Minnesota elected officials and I look forward to serving alongside them during the 116th Congress.
British Ambassador and HM Trade Commissioner
Commissioner Antony Philipson and Sir Kim Darroch
The British Ambassador to the United States and Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for North America provided insight on the current political state of Brexit, which is the removal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU). The UK held a referendum in 2016 and 52% of those who voted supported withdrawal. Plans for Brexit have proven complex and the British Parliament is currently reviewing Prime Minister Theresa May’s negotiated withdrawal agreement with the EU.
U.S. Coast Guard
Lieutenant Joe Springhetti, Lt. Commander Taylor Kellogg, and Senior Chief Will Kelly
Three servicemembers of the U.S. Coast Guard presented me with the military branch’s seal which will be hung in my Washington, DC office. The Coast Guard has a strong presence in Minnesota and monitors the northern border along Lake of the Woods and near Voyageurs National Park. Currently, Coast Guard servicemembers are not being paid during the government shutdown, despite working full-time.
This week, Hannah Tjoflat (HUTCHINSON) and Lori Pickell-Stangel (New Ulm) of United Way met with my staff to discuss priorities affecting charities across the country. They discussed how changes to the tax law will impact charitable giving around the country. Many charities, like United Way, are seeing a decrease in charitable donations due to an increased standard deduction that weakens tax incentives for charitable giving.
Market Facilitation Program (MFP) Application Deadline Extended Due to Government Shutdown
USDA announced on Tuesday that the application deadline for Market Facilitation Program (MFP) trade aid payments will be extended. The original deadline was January 15th, but Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices have been closed since December 28th due to the partial government shutdown. In this announcement, USDA stated that once the shutdown ends the deadline to apply for MFP will be extended by as many days as FSA offices were closed by the shutdown.
Six Months of Chinese Retaliatory Tariffs
The American Soybean Association released the following statement about Chinese retaliation to the Trump Administration’s trade war on Monday:
“It has been a full six months since China retaliated against President Trump’s 25 percent tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods. That tariff, which took effect July 6, 2018, has rocked the foundation of a decades-old trade relationship U.S. soybean farmers built with China, the largest market for American beans. And, it has resulted in halted sales, plummeting crop prices, and a lack of security for farmers seeking funding for the 2019 season.” – American Soybean Association
Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies
The House of Representatives passed H.R. 265 to fund federal agriculture, food and rural development programs through September 2019. If enacted, this legislation will reopen shut down Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices that farmers rely on for many aspects of business. FSA would be allowed to send out remaining Market Facilitation Program payments and work with FSA borrowers to cash and deposit checks and discuss farm loans for the coming year. This bill also appropriates funds for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a vital program that supports food-insecure families. I voted in favor of this bill because the government shutdown is hurting producers by holding up USDA activity and delaying the implementation of important new farm bill provisions, including the new dairy program, and many producers cannot afford to wait much longer.
Transportation and Housing and Urban Development
The House passed an appropriations bill to fund the Departments of Transportation Housing and Urban Development, and other related agencies through September 2019. I voted in support of the legislation because I understand the detrimental effect that the shutdown is having on the government’s ability to award grants to help Minnesota improve the safety and efficiency of its infrastructure. I have also heard from Minnesotan air traffic controllers, who are concerned about the shutdown’s effect on pay, training schedules, and the number of controllers able to take shifts.
Financial Servces and General Government
The House passed appropriations for financial services and general government through FY 2019. This bill would fund the Treasury, the IRS, the Judiciary, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, the Securities Exchange Commission, and the Small Business Administration. These agencies are vital for Minnesotans, especially as tax deadlines approach. I voted to fund these agencies to ensure folks receive the tax refunds they deserve on time.
Department of Interior
On Friday, I voted to reopen the Department of Interior and the National Park Service, so families can enjoy Minnesota’s outdoors at national parks. The National Park Service announced that there are closure alerts at 388 of 737 parks, historic sites, and national monuments, so check the specific park’s website if you are planning a visit.
This Week in American History
On January 6, 1996, Maude Kegg, elder of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and author of books on her childhood and Ojibwe stories, dies. Born on August 26, 1904, she was raised in the traditional Ojibwe culture. In 1990 she earned a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts for her traditional beadwork.
What’s the Story?
CNH Industrial is an implement manufacturing company that employs more than 63,000 people in 66 manufacturing plants and 53 research and development centers in 180 countries. They produce machinery under 12 different brands, including Case IH, New Holland, Steyr and Iveco. I visited the Case IH plant in Benson a few years ago and had a chance to ride in a Case IH Titan Floater that was manufactured there. The Benson plant employs more than 400 people and I appreciate the chance to see their work. I have this commemorative glass engraved with a CNH sprayer in my Washington, D.C. office.