Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 5/10

May 10, 2013 Issues: Economy and Jobs, Foreign Affairs, Health

Libraries are such an important part of our communities, and they have a rich history in the 7th.  Pictured above is a group of students at the Moorhead Public Library (bookmobile in back). 

Rep. Peterson is pictured on the far right with a stack of books.

Dear Friends,

Winter seems to finally be leaving us these last few days as green grass appeared and the ice and snow melted.  This week I met with a number of organizations on issues ranging from foreign affairs to small businesses to agriculture.  On the House floor this week we voted on legislation to recognize donors who support Vietnam Veterans and also offer employees more options for overtime compensation.  A Smithsonian Exhibition about the history of the American workforce will be travelling to the 7th District starting this weekend, and more information is below.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson

Minnesota 7th District


National Association of Trailer Manufacturers

Steve Taub (U-Haul International), Pat Jennissen (Felling Trailers), Owen Shelton (Boat Mate Trailers), and Adam Dexter (Dexter Axle)

On Tuesday representatives from the National Association of Trailer Manufacturers stopped by my office to discuss their concerns about vehicle safety efforts and regulatory policies for light and medium duty trailers.  In the fall of last year I had the opportunity to tour the manufacturing and office complex for Felling Trailers in Sauk Centre.  Felling Trailers first opened its doors in 1954 as a small welding shop and has now grown to a trailer manufacturing line with locations in Sauk Centre and Litchfield.

Minnesota Peace Project

Members of the Minnesota Peace Project were in Washington, DC this week.  The Minnesota Peace Project is a network of citizen activists whose mission is to help build a more peaceful world.

Brunswick Boat

On Tuesday I met with Andy Graves, President of Brunswick Boat and his associates to discuss issues important to the boating industry.  As a member of the Congressional Boating Caucus, I understand the value of these businesses.  Brunswick Boat is the largest maker of pleasure boats in the world.  Its subsidiary Lund Boats has a plant located in New York Mills, which employs around 600 workers.

On the Floor

This week I voted for and the House passed H.R. 588, the Vietnam Veterans Donor Acknowledgment Act of 2013. The legislation will allow for the acknowledgement of donor contributions inside the Education Center at the Wall of the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial. It merely provides Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund the ability to recognize their donors. This recognition will lead to larger donations, a faster fundraising pace, and the quick and timely construction of the Education Center.

The House also passed and I supported a bill that would allow private-sector businesses to offer employees a choice between getting cash or paid time off for overtime. Current law restricts private businesses from offering their employees paid time off, often called comp time, in exchange for working overtime. The bill would keep current employee protections in law including the 40-hour work week.

Baudette Hosts Smithsonian Exhibition Tour

Work and the workplace have gone through enormous changes between the mid-19th century, when 60 percent of Americans made their living as farmers, and the early 21st century. The newest traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street program, “The Way We Worked,” celebrates the history of work in America. The exhibition is accompanied by a cell-phone tour that allows visitors to listen to featured stories particular to Minnesota.

Beginning this Saturday, "The Way We Worked" exhibition comes to Baudette.  The exhibition will be hosted by the Depot Preservation Alliance from May 11 - June 22, 2013.  Complete tour information is available online from the Smithsonian Museum at or you can visit the website for the Baudette Depot Preservation Alliance, Inc at

American Sheep Industry

I met with folks from the American Sheep Industry, including Minnesota President John Dvorak (WEBSTER), to talk about the Farm Bill and other issues important to the industry.  The American Sheep Industry is a national organization that represents the interests of more than 82,000 sheep producers around the United States.

Growth Energy

Tom Buis, Terry Stone, Richard Eichstadt, Kelly Manning, Mick Miller, and Mitch Krebs

I sat down with CEO Tom Buis and other members of Growth Energy to talk about ethanol.  Growth Energy represents the producers and supporters of American ethanol.  I'll continue to support the production and use of alternative fuels like ethanol produced in Minnesota to respond to an expanding market for renewable energy.  Formed in November 2008, Growth Energy has 78 plant members and 81 associate members.

May is National Stroke Awareness Month.
 Every year, 795,000 Americans experience a stroke and 137,000 people die. Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States.  Early detection and early treatment can vastly improve the prognosis and recovery rate from a stroke, so if you have any suspicion that you or someone you know may be having a stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately.  You can find more information at

This Week in American History

On May 8, 1945, Nazi Germany forces surrendered to the Allied Nations which officially ended the fighting in Europe.  Also known as Victory in Europe Day (VE Day), American and British soldiers and civilians poured into the streets of major cities while lifting flags and banners in celebration of Adolf Hitler’s defeat in the European Continent.  While Europe was celebrating, American and Allied forces were still fully engaged in warfare against the Imperial Japanese Army in the Pacific Ocean.  War with the Japanese would last until they officially surrendered on September 2nd, 1945, also known as Victory in Japan Day which finally brought World War II to a close.