Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 12/8/2017

Dec 11, 2017 Issues: Economy and Jobs, Energy, Tax Reform

2017 National Christmas Tree


Dear Friends,

This week the House of Representatives passed a two-week Continuing Resolution as a stop-gap measure to keep the government funded. It is time that we worked together to create a bipartisan long-term funding solution that keeps our country running. Too many critical programs rely on our federal budget to allow partisan bickering to halt these deliberations. I will continue to work with all my colleagues to reach a deal that puts the American people first.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

International Franchise Association

This week, I met with members of the International Franchise Association to discuss tax legislation. At the same, I was awarded the Franchise Small Business Award for my efforts to promote a strong economy for small businesses. I will keep working to ensure our local businesses have efficient and responsible assistance to keep growing.

Western Peanut Growers

On Thursday, I met with representatives from the Western Peanut Growers. We discussed the swings in their market over the last couple of years as well as their priorities for the farm bill. Although the peanut program has been working well, the trouble with cotton has spilled over into peanuts. Farm policy needs to function for all commodities and I'm working to make sure that it does.

National Restaurant Association

This week, I met with Cicely Simpson of the National Restaurants Association to discuss issues that impact restauranteurs and franchises. We discussed how changes to the tax code would affect their operations as well as a few recent votes related to the food service industry. I am happy to keep working in Congress to create a more business-friendly environment so industries like the restaurant industry can keep serving consumers across Minnesota.

USDA Farm Service Agency

Last week, I met with senior staff from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) and from Secretary Perdue’s office to talk about plans to reform and simplify the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) in the upcoming farm bill. The meeting was a great opportunity to talk through the details of some projected proposals and how they would work. I will continue to work on proposals that increase the acres in CRP and allow more access for producers.

Fort Leonard Wood

I had the honor of visiting Fort Leonard Wood, an Army base about a two-hour drive from St. Louis, Missouri, where I trained before serving in the North Dakota National Guard from 1963 to 1969. The men and women at Fort Leonard Wood were gracious hosts, showed me around the installation, and allowed me to eat with those training at the facility. I remain impressed with the soldiers and officers that train and work at Fort Leonard Hood, and it was obvious to me that our nation’s defense is in exceptional hands.

Minnesota Ducks Unlimited

This week, Minnesota Ducks Unlimited State Chair Ruth Hoefs and Incoming State Chair Kyle Thaemlitz stopped by to visit with me. We discussed Ducks Unlimited’s plan to be more involved in the policy making process and their upcoming farm bill priorities. Ruth Hoefs is the first woman Chair of Minnesota Ducks Unlimited, a farmer, and a strong supporter of farmer-led conservation.

Red River Farm Network

I chatted with Don Wick on Red River Farm Network Wednesday morning. We discussed the outlook for passage of tax reform in Congress. I updated Don about my recent meeting with Chairman Conaway on Tuesday evening where we discussed our shared commitment to bringing a bipartisan bill to the House floor early next year. We also touched on NAFTA negotiations. You can listen to the entire interview here:

International Dairy Food Association

I met with the board of the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) this week to discuss their priorities in the Farm Bill and the importance of trade to the dairy industry. We discussed the challenges they face with Canada after the implementation of Class 7 and the importance of trade with Mexico. We also discussed improvements in the Margin Protection Program for dairy farmers and some new SNAP incentives for milk.

National Christmas Tree Lighting

While Washington, D.C. hasn’t gotten as much snow as Minnesota’s 7th District, our Capital has still found a way to show our holiday spirit. On Wednesday, the United States Marine Band played familiar Christmas carols as people gathered on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol to see a 79 foot Engelmann Spruce tree illuminate our Capitol Building. Each year, a different National Forest is chosen to provide what is now called The People’s Tree. This year’s tree was from Montana’s Kootenai National Forest. It was driven to Washington, D.C. to be adorned by 12,500 handmade ornaments, a multitude of lights, and a star on top. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Members of the Montana delegation cheered on as Ridley Brandmayr, a sixth grader from Montana, turned on the tree’s lights to commence the celebration.

Citizen’s Climate Lobby

My Chief of Staff Allison Myhre met with the newly-formed Fergus Falls Chapter of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL). The new group talked about how various energy sources effect our environment. CCL is a nonpartisan advocacy organization that meets with lawmakers and their staff in Washington and in the district. It is always great to see Minnesotans organize and get active on issues they care about.

Minnesota Food Charter Network

This week, my staff listened to a variety of food access presentations by schools, community action agencies, food banks, and more at an event hosted by the Minnesota Food Charter Network in Marshall. The presentations showcased examples of how to get reliable access to safe, healthy, and affordable food for all Minnesotans. This event was part of a series of nine events held across the state in November and December.

Northwest Regional Development Commission

The Northwest Regional Development Commission’s Annual Meeting took place this week, where participants had the chance to plan for the upcoming year. Among them, several programs that focus on housing and senior citizens where highlighted for their success in our district. These programs serve 21 Counties in Minnesota, and are a very important part of keeping our seniors active and healthy. I will continue to support the great work these programs provide.

Minnesota Governors Council

My staff assistant Meg Louwagie accepted an award on my behalf from the Minnesota Governors Council for Development Disabilities for our continued leadership and support of families and individuals with developmental disabilities.

North Country Food Bank

The North Country Food Bank in Crookston serves Northwest and West Central Minnesota and Grand Forks, ND. Started in 1983, they are the sole distributor of surplus quality food and non-food products. Food Banks give everyone an opportunity to help others who need food.

Legislative Update

H.R. 453 Wood Heater Relief Bill

On Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed my wood heater legislation, H.R. 453, on a bipartisan vote, 32-21. My bill would delay a particularly stringent set of air emission standards on wood and hydronic heaters by three years to give the industry time to develop and manufacture the technology needed to comply with the regulations. In my district alone, there are three wood or hydronic heater manufacturers who would be negatively impacted, costing jobs, if the air emission standards are not delayed. I look forward to my bill moving to the House floor.

This Week in American History

On December 5, 1873, Lincoln County was created. Named after President Abraham Lincoln, the County was established by Minnesota State Legislature in March before passing a public popular vote.

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 location is in one of the most populated areas of the Seventh and serves as the local government facility…

Congratulations to Brian Field of Barnesville, who was the first to correctly identify last week’s location as Red Lake Falls!

Share your guess on our website –

Christmas Decorations
in my Willmar Office