Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 1/4/2019
A country church in Pennington County
This week, the government shutdown continued as the 116th Congress convened. New and returning members of Congress were sworn in and then got to work adopting the rules of the House and passing a funding plan that would end the shutdown by funding most affected agencies through September 30th. The funding bills were based on measures that have already passed by wide bipartisan margins in the Senate. Shutdowns are wasteful, and the effects only become more severe as time goes on. I have heard from a number of Minnesotans impacted by the shutdown, and I urge you to contact my office if the government shutdown is causing delays or difficulties in critical services. In positive news – I am pleased that the House included in its rules package the Pay-Go requirement that government must pay for spending and not further run up the deficit. This is a policy I have long advocated for as a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition.
Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District
Bipartisan Prayer Service
On Thursday morning, I attended the Bipartisan Prayer Service at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Washington, D.C. to play two hymns on guitar with Congressman Phil Roe (R-TN). We played Prayer of Saint Francis and Here I am, Lord while the congregation sang along. This service brought Democrats and Republicans together and was a nice way to begin the 116th Congress.
House Votes to End the Shutdown
On Thursday night, I voted to end the partial government shutdown by extending appropriations for Agriculture, Commerce and Justice, Financial Services, Interior, State and Foreign Operations, and Transportation and Housing and Urban Development through FY2019. In a separate vote, I supported a measure to extend Homeland Security funding through February 8th, 2019 to give the President and Congress time to negotiate appropriate border security priorities.
VA Caregiver Program
Last week, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it will no longer arbitrarily drop caregivers from its stipend program. The stipend program started in 2011 to support the families of veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan as they provide care at home rather than at a VA facility. Last week’s decision came after reports that the VA was cutting caregivers with little to no explanation.
This Week in American History
On January 5, 1928, Walter "Fritz" Mondale was born in Ceylon, Minnesota. A lifelong public servant, he represented Minnesota in the U.S. Senate, occupied the vice presidency under Jimmy Carter, ran for president against Ronald Reagan, and served as U.S. ambassador to Japan.
What’s the Story?
The Minnesota National Guard was officially formed from units of the Minnesota Militia following the end of the Civil War. Since then, the Minnesota National Guard has grown to a force of more than 13,000, serving the country abroad, and in our communities. They respond in homeland security and defense roles at the direction of the President, and work for the Governor of the State of Minnesota to assist during domestic disasters and emergencies within the state. I am proudly displaying the Seal of the Minnesota National Guard in my Washington, D.C. Office.