Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 11/3/2017
The House Republicans released their tax proposal this week and I have been hearing from constituents all over the Seventh about how it would affect them. Our tax code is in need of reform and changes should help strengthen our middle class and our rural economy. I will continue to study the impact the various provisions will have on constituents in the district, but I am concerned that the rushed partisan process to dramatically change our tax code is repeating the mistakes of the failed process to address the problems in our healthcare system. This week the House also passed H.R. 2936, the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017, which will give the Forest Service the tools it needs to successfully manage our federal forests. As an original co-sponsor of this bill, I am glad to see it move forward in helping keep our federal forests managed properly.
Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC)
(Marlis Carson, Chuck Conner)
This week, I met with Chuck Conner and Marlis Carson about tax provisions and their impact on farmers and ranchers. Because cooperatives pass their profits and losses to their member owners, the loss of domestic manufacturing tax credits will have a direct negative impact on our agriculture economy. While ag and non-ag manufacturers currently use the Section 199 provision, the elimination of this provision in the Republican tax bill would disproportionately be felt by those who market their crops, milk, or other agriculture products through a cooperative system.
Lake Region Hospital
This week, I met with Bill Adams and his wife Ginny to discuss the future of health care in rural community hospitals. Community hospitals are an important part of the continuum of care in greater Minnesota, and I will do everything possible to ensure that they have the resources necessary to keep the 7th district healthy and productive.
American Association of Crop Insurers
Last week, Chairman Conaway and I spoke with a group of representatives from the crop insurance industry. Crop insurance agents, companies, and loss adjusters play an important role in making sure farmers can manage their risk and can make it through tough times. We discussed the next farm bill and the process that's likely to begin soon to consider the bill in the Ag Committee.
Mark Traynor (pictured far right) and other representatives of UCare visited my office to discuss their services for Medicare and MinnesotaCare enrollees in the 7th District. I look forward to working with Mark, who was recently elected President and CEO of UCare, to improve care and lower costs for beneficiaries.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Meeting in Roseau
Recently, I’ve heard from concerned constituents about the reduction of hours for crossing at the Roseau and Lancaster ports-of-entry. My staff attended a public meeting regarding this issue this week, and the concerns presented there highlight how important these ports-of-entry are to our local economies. Senator Klobuchar and I have submitted testimony in opposition to the reduction of hours and pointed out the negative impacts across northwest Minnesota.
Northwest Private Industry Council and Workforce Development Meeting
My staff attended the Northwest Private Industry Council and Workforce Development meeting this week. The meeting provided the opportunity for good discussions about where the employees of the future will come from to fill the needs of healthcare, manufacturing, and education. I am constantly aware of the importance of our education system, businesses, manufacturers, healthcare providers, and agricultural industry to keep our economy growing. Making all of these work for the benefit of our communities is important.
Red Pine Wind Project
My staff aide Meg Louwagie attending the Blade signing celebration for Red Pine Wind Project
Approximately 140 landowners are included in the project, many hosting turbines for the Red Pine project. To round out the project, roughly 34,000 acres are signed into the project. The 200 MW project will be fitted with 100, 2.0 MW turbines and all the turbines will be within Lincoln County. Red Pine Wind is expected to be operational in December 2017.
In addition to job creation, Red Pine will invest an estimated $1 million annually during its production life to local schools and Lincoln County through the Minnesota Wind Energy Production Tax. And on top of that, they anticipate $18 million will be spent on supplies, equipment, utilities and fuel, all sourced from local businesses, during the construction phase.
Veterans Affairs (VA) Modernization Listening Session
My staff attended the VA Modernization Listening Session this week and was briefed on the up and coming improvements to the VA hospitals systems to improve services to Veterans. We must work to ensure that we provide every veteran and service member with the care they’ve earned.
Minnesota Red River Basin
My staff attended the Area II Minnesota River Basin Projects Meeting. Area II has completed 18 different grade stabilization projects this past year and will be requesting $1,000,000 for flood retention project in 2018.
H.R. 2936, the Resilient Federal Forests Act
On Wednesday, the House passed H.R. 2936, the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017. I’m an original cosponsor of this bi-partisan legislation and helped the bill move through the Agriculture Committee so it could be taken up by the whole House. The bill is an important forest management bill to finally give the Forest Service the tools it needs to successfully manage our federal forests. For too long our forests have not been managed properly, leading to overgrowth and poor forest health that harms wildlife, the timber industry, and leads to catastrophic wildfires. H.R. 2936 allows the Forest Service to expedite environmental reviews, aims to stop advocacy litigation that stalls good forest management projects, and makes an important step in solving the problem of how the Forest Service pays for fighting wildfires.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Arbitration Rule
This week, President Trump signed into law the House’s Congressional Review Act resolution on the CFPB’s Forced Arbitration Rule. The vote passed along party lines and Vice President Pence had to break the tie in the Senate. The resolution will make it so financial institutions and credit card companies can continue to block consumes’ ability to sue if they are harmed as a pre-condition for using their product. I voted to support the rights of consumers to protect themselves through our legal system when this issue came to a vote in the House.
Farm & Rural Helpline
A Farm & Rural Helpline is available to Minnesota farmers and rural residents. The service, funded by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), is free, confidential, and open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Farmers and rural communities face unique stresses and emotional situations, including financial challenges, unpredictable weather, physically demanding work, and more. The Farm & Rural Helpline is also available to those unsure of what to do about family or friends who may be experiencing anxiety, depression or a mental health crisis.
Farmers and rural Minnesotans can call the toll free number as often as needed at 833-600-2670. Learn more here.
Litchfield High School FFA Win Title
Litchfield High School FFA students took 4th place in the nation in the Conduct of Chapter Meetings Leadership and Development event at the national convention in Indianapolis. It was only the third time in 82 years that the Litchfield chapter had a nationally qualifying team, and Litchfield is the first Parliamentary Procedure team from Minnesota to compete in the final rounds at the FFA National Convention. Out of numerous teams from around the nation, only 4 finalists are chosen. I’m proud to see our local students succeeding and look forward to their future work.
This Week in American History
This week in 1991, the “Halloween Blizzard” began. Beginning on October 31, the storm deposited upwards of 32 inches of snow before subsiding on November 3. The Blizzard maintains the record as Minnesota’s largest recorded snowfall in a single storm.
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 an elusive bird was spotted in the 7th District at a Cenex Station. Do you know what it is..?
Congratulations to Roland Rauenhorst of Olivia, who was the first to correctly identify our last location as the Morris Fire Department in Stevens County!
Share your guess on our website – http://collinpeterson.house.gov/contact-me/spotted-seventh
Laure Jarveus (PRINSBURG)