Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 12/14

Dec 14, 2012 Issues: Congressional Issues

Snowfall in the 7th

Dear Friends,

This week I met with the Economic Development Administration's Acting Assistant Secretary Matt Erskine to discuss a coordinated effort for long term economic growth.  The U.S. House passed legislation that I cosponsored to help eliminate fraud and waste of taxpayer dollars.  I am pleased to announce that Red Lake Nation was selected to receive funds to build a tribal college and government center, two facilities which will make a marked difference in the community.  In addition, I would like to congratulate MSU-Moorhead Student Magazine for their recognition in Editor and Publisher magazine's 2012 EPPY awards.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District


Military Matters

376th Birthday of the National Guard

Photo courtesy of U.S. Army, left to right: Gen. Larry O. Spencer, Vice Chief of the U.S. Air Force; Gen. Frank J. Grass, Chief of the National Guard Bureau; Maj. Gen. Steve Danner, NGAUS Chairman of the Board; Congressman Nick Rahall; retired Maj. Gen. Gus L. Hargett Jr., NGAUS President; Maj. Gen. Donald Dunbar, NGAUS Vice Chair (Air); CSM Brunk W. Conley, Command Sergeant Major of the Army National Guard

On December 13, 1636 the military organization we know now as the National Guard came into existence.  On that date, the Massachusetts General Court in Salem established that all able-bodied men between the ages of 16 and 60 were required to join this citizen-soldier militia.  In 2012, the National Guard celebrates its 376th birthday.  As we honor the tradition of our National Guard, we also remember the heroes who continue to serve our Nation here and overseas.

Meeting with Acting Assistant Secretary Erskine

I met with Acting Assistant Secretary Erskine from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to discuss various projects within the 7th District.  EDA's investment policy seeks to establish a foundation for sustainable growth and the building of durable regional economies throughout Minnesota and the U.S. (12/12)

House Passes Bill to Better Protect Taxpayer Dollars

On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4053, the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement Act (IPERIA).  I am a cosponsor of this legislation which is also endorsed by the Democratic Blue Dog Coalition.  The Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement Act will help us protect taxpayer dollars by identifying, preventing, and recovering payment error, waste, fraud, and abuse within federal spending.  Among other provisions, this legislation will help federal agencies cut down on wasteful spending by creating a government-wide Do Not Pay List to block improper payments before they go out and to stop payments to deceased individuals, such as for Social Security.

Red Lake Nation Receives Funds to Build Tribal College and Government Center

I am pleased to announce that the Red Lake Nation has been selected to receive two loans from USDA Rural Development to build a tribal college and tribal government center.  The existing facilities at Red Lake had outlived their useful lives.  Construction of these new buildings will help create jobs in an area with high unemployment, and will be a source of pride for the Red Lake Nation.  Loans from USDA will be used to build a tribal college building for an accredited school to increase educational opportunities.  Next to the college a tribal government center will also be constructed to replace outdated facilities.  You can find more information about Rural Development programs on the web at

MSU-Moorhead Student Magazine Receives Honor

Congratulations to Minnesota State University Moorhead's student-produced online magazine,, for their recognition in Editor and Publisher magazine's 2012 EPPY awards. The magazine's  2011 edition, "To Be Different", was a finalist in the best college journalistic or documentary report category. Click the following link to view their magazine:

More Flexibility on School Meals

In response to public comment, the Department of Agriculture will alter regulations from the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act to allow schools to serve more grains and meat.  USDA anticipated that some modifications would be required for such a large program, and valuable feedback contributed to the modifications that were made.

This Week in American History

Apotheosis of Washington in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol
Photo courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol,  

On December 14, 1799, our Nation's first president and resilient leader George Washington passed away.  Washington was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and served as Commander-in-Chief of our troops during the Revolutionary War.  While he is now buried at his home in Mount Vernon, Washington is remembered throughout the U.S. Capitol in various depictions.  Pictured above is the Apotheosis of Washington, a large circular painting in the center of the Capitol dome that literally translates to "Glorification of Washington."  This picture views the Apotheosis in the shadow of a statue of George Washington which sits on the floor of the Rotunda, hundreds of feet below the Capitol ceiling.