Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 2/8

Feb 8, 2013 Issues: Congressional Issues, Health


Artwork displayed in the Cannon Tunnel

Dear Friends,

Entries are now being accepted for this year's Congressional Art Competition, and further information can be found in this newsletter as well as on my website.  It was announced that the United States Postal Service will seek to limit mail delivery to 5 days a week, a decision that concerns me.  Recently the House voted unanimously to pass the Veterans EMT Support Act of 2013 which will help more veterans find jobs and address EMT shortages across the nation.  This week I became co-chair of both the Lyme Disease Caucus and the Bi-Partisan Mississippi River Valley and Tributaries Caucus.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District


Congressional Arts Competition

Artwork entered in the contest may be paintings, drawings, collage, prints, mixed media, computer generated art, or photography

High-school students who live in Minnesota's Seventh District are welcome to submit their artwork for the 2013 Congressional Art Competition. The competition is open to all high-school students, and the overall winner of each participating district will be displayed for one year in the Cannon Tunnel leading into the U.S. Capitol.

The Congressional Art Competition began in 1982 to provide an opportunity for Members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents. Since then, over 650,000 high school students have been involved with the nation-wide competition. Each spring, this nation-wide high school arts competition is sponsored by the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives. The Congressional Art Competition is an opportunity to recognize and encourage the artistic talent in the nation, as well as in each congressional district.

For more information and guidelines for submission, please refer to my website at

U.S. Postal Service Announces Plans to Eliminate Saturday Delivery

On Wednesday the United States Postal Service announced that it will seek to stop Saturday mail delivery. 

The United States Postal Service is a vital public service that our rural communities in particular rely on. Limiting mail delivery to five days a week will place a burden on those communities that still use the postal service on a daily basis to serve their needs.

While I believe there is a need for significant postal reform that addresses their continuing deficits, there should be a way to fix the problems without limiting the services that remain a lifeline to rural America and many small businesses. There needs to be a pathway for USPS to generate additional revenue instead of focusing on cutting costs. Congress also needs to address the pre-funding mandate for future retirement benefits, which totaled nearly $5.5 billion and accounted for a large part of the postal service’s losses last year.

There should be an open dialogue to allow for meaningful reform to address the postal service’s issues and needs, and not simply limit services for rural Americans and small businesses who still count on the USPS.

Bi-Partisan Mississippi River Valley and Tributaries Caucus

This week I joined my colleagues from both sides of the aisle in heading up the Bi-Partisan Mississippi River Valley and Tributaries Caucus.  As co-chair, I look forward to working with members of this caucus in a climate of cooperation on a host of issues as we address the River's infrastructure needs.  We will work hard on important issues impacting the Mississippi River Valley and its tributaries, an area that covers 41 percent of the nation. 

Lyme Disease Caucus

I am also a co-chair of the Congressional Lyme Disease Caucus.  In the last 25 years, more than 15,000 Minnesotans have been reported to have Lyme Disease, with those numbers dramatically increasing in recent years.  My hope is that the Lyme Disease Caucus can help to spread awareness, and I look forward to working with my fellow co-chair Rep. Chris Smith and others on this important issue.

February is American Heart Month

This year in the spirit of American Heart Month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is offering weekly tips for better heart health.  Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, but this illness is preventable and controllable.  Take a moment today to educate yourself and your loved ones about heart disease by visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website to learn more about keeping a healthy heart. 

Meeting with John Anderson, Belgrade farmer

Anderson Farms is undeniably a family endeavor, with fourth and fifth generations now running this diverse business.  As a farmer myself, it was good to speak with John about what it takes to keep his family's farm running and the importance of passing a farm bill.

This Week in American History

On this day in American History, the statue of Henry Mower Rice was unveiled in the U.S. Capitol in 1916.  His statue is now one of two representing the state of Minnesota as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection.  Each individual state is represented by two statues donated to honor persons notable in their history.  Henry Mower Rice was a pioneer, fur trader, and Minnesota U.S. Senator.  Rice played an instrumental role in lobbying for then Minnesota Territory to become a state, and in 1858 Rice was elected as one of Minnesota's first senators.  He served in the U.S. Senate until his retirement in 1863.