Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 12/2/2016

Dec 2, 2016 Issues: Defense and National Security, Health

Pipestone County

Dear Friends,

The House passed several important pieces of legislation this week, including the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act and the 21st Century Cures Act, both comprehensive bills that benefit many Americans. I welcomed representatives of the National Milk Producers Federation and Alexandria Police Department Captain Scott Kent to my office to discuss upcoming legislation. I also paid tribute to USDA Secretary Vilsack at his official portrait unveiling.

Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Honoring Secretary Vilsack

I was honored to speak at the unveiling of USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack’s official portrait on Thursday. The portrait was painted by Rose Frantzen, an Iowa artist, and features Secretary Vilsack seated at his desk. I was chairman of the House Agriculture Committee when Vilsack became Secretary in 2009, and we worked closely together during the implementation of the 2008 Farm Bill. In fact, he and I sat down for lunch nearly every week during the implementation process. Our close relationship has continued throughout his tenure, working together on the 2014 Farm Bill and GMO Labeling legislation among many issues overseen by USDA. I commend him on his service to agriculture and rural America and wish him the best in his future endeavors.

National Milk Producers Federation

I met Thursday with Jim Mullhern, CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) to discuss necessary changes to the farm bill’s dairy Margin Protection Program. NMPF is working through their economic policy committee to explore changes and improvements to the current program. They are hopeful, as am I, that we can move forward with the Farm Bill next year to help dairy producers around the county. I look forward to hearing what ideas come out of their committee work early next year.

Captain Scott Kent

This week I was fortunate to meet with Captain Scott Kent of the Alexandria Police Department. Captain Kent was in Washington, D.C. for some specialized training with the FBI. We had a great conversation about the FBI, the status of law enforcement in rural Minnesota, and what we can do to keep rural Americans safe. I appreciate his commitment to his community and I look forward to working with Scott in the future to provide the adequate resources our law enforcement professionals need to properly do their jobs.

American Crystal Sugar

On Thursday, American Crystal Sugar Company and the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association held their joint annual meeting in Fargo. Attendees heard from company executives and elected their leadership teams. Guest speaker Paul Stajduhar of Ocean Spray gave a keynote address about the cranberry industry and its connection to sugar.

PTC Therapeutics, Inc.

My staff met with representatives of PTC Therapeutics this week to discuss efforts to treat Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. As the author of the Muscular Dystrophy Community Assistance, Research, and Education (MD-CARE) Act, I understand the need for effective therapies and will continue to support efforts to deliver them to the Duchenne community.

Minnesota National Guard

Representatives from the Minnesota National Guard met with my staff aide Chris Iacaruso to discuss on-going constructions projects the Guard is pursuing. As a former member of the Minnesota National Guard, I believe we should always honor those who serve in our nation's military, and I thank them for the important work they do. 

Legislative Update

National Defense Authorization Act

This week the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act for 2017. I voted for the bill, which would reorganize the Pentagon, expand the size of the armed forces and prohibit another round of base closures, among many other changes.

21st Century Cures Act

This week, the House passed the 21st Century Cures Act. I voted in support of this bipartisan legislation. The 21st Century Cures Act helps user in a new wave of medical innovation. The bill funds research and initiatives to meet unmet medical needs. The bill also makes improvements to mental health services, modernizes the drug approval process, and provides resources to help states fight opioid abuse. I look forward to this bill being signed into law.


Civil Air Patrol Day

Thursday, December 1, 2016, is Civil Air Patrol’s 75th Anniversary. Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is a non-profit, benevolent corporation created by an Act of Congress and the Auxiliary of the United States Air Force. CAP provides emergency services, aerospace education and a cadet program for youth. Governor Dayton has issued a Proclamation declaring December 1, 2016 as Civil Air Patrol Day in Minnesota.

This Week in American History

Sen. Henry Mower Rice, the current State Capitol, Sen. James M. Shields

On December 2, 1857, the Minnesota state legislature convened for the first time, five months before Minnesota was admitted to the Union. Despite its questionable legality, the session passed more than ninety laws and elected Henry M. Rice and James M. Shields as U.S. Senators. The pair traveled to Washington, D.C., and waited for official statehood to begin their terms.

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 is the first installment of a three-part citywide mural project…

Congratulations to Amy Rucker of Lake Wilson for being the first to correctly identify our last location as the Kirkbride Regional Treatment Center in Fergus Falls!

Share your guess on our website –