Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 12/18/2015

Christmas in Washington

Dear Friends,

We extend our sincere thanks to the men and women in uniform whose sacrifice allows us to celebrate tradition and family during the holidays. Some of our servicemen will be overseas during this holiday season so we extend special thanks to those who are away from their families and keeping us safe.

This week Congress passed much-needed tax credit extensions to provide more certainty for Americans and an appropriations bill which will fund our government in 2016. Finally, as the New Year approaches, I would like to wish you the best this holiday season.



Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Agri-Pulse Open Mic

Last week, I joined Agri-Pulse host Jeff Nalley for an Open Mic interview about current farm law and risk management tools. I also offered my perspective on the recent Agriculture Committee review of the Farm Credit System, the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, Cuba policy and nutrition programs.

Legislative Update

This week Congress passed a comprehensive tax credit extension bill and an appropriations package which will fund our government next year. I supported both of these bills on the floor.

The tax extenders bill provides much-needed certainty to the marketplace for businesses, farmers, and families. Small businesses will be able to better plan ahead as several tax extensions were made permanent or extended several years. The legislation permanently extends increased expensing limits under Section 179 of the tax code, a provision that is used by farmers and small businesses and is critical to keeping our rural economy strong.

This bill also includes deductions for charitable giving, such as tax-free charitable distributions from individual retirement accounts, and makes permanent the option to claim an itemized deduction for state and local general sales taxes. Other extensions include enhanced versions of the child tax credit, American Opportunity Tax Credit, and Earned Income Tax Credit.

The appropriations bill funds programs like the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Institute of Health, and the Department of Agriculture. Although it was important that we passed this bill to fund our government, I was disappointed it left out policies I strongly support like delisting gray wolves from federal protection and addressing EPA’s overly burdensome regulations that redefine waters of the United States. Next year I will continue to look for solutions to these problems and provide relief from federal policies like these that make no sense.

Discovering the 7th

The Olaf Swensson Farm Museum in Montevideo consists of a 17-acre farmstead complete with a timber-frame barn, grist mill, and hand-cut granite monuments. The 22-room brick farm house, included on the National Historic Register in 1972, rests on a foundation of local granite. Tours of both the house and the grounds are available to the public. 

This Week in American History

Maria Sanford (1910) / Capitol Visitor Center

Maria Louise Sanford was born in Saybrook, Connecticut on December 19, 1836. After a distinguished career as a teacher, principal, and superintendent, Sanford became one of the first women named to a college professorship at the University of Minnesota in 1880. During her tenure, Sanford was a professor of rhetoric and elocution and occasionally lectured on literature and art history. Sanford was also a champion of women’s rights, advocating for women’s suffrage and integrated education in her public speeches. Sanford Hall, a residential dormitory on the University of Minnesota campus, is named in her honor. A statue of Professor Sanford represents Minnesota in the Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, DC.    

2015 Christmas Display
U.S. Botanic Garden