Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 6/21

Jun 24, 2013

On this day in 1788, the Constitution was ratified

Dear Friends,

Earlier in the week I met with Minnesota Corn Growers and Minnesota Farm Bureau as we prepared for the Farm Bill to finally come to a vote on the House Floor. On Thursday the Farm Bill got its vote, but a partisan amendment process dramatically changed the original bill and as a result the legislation failed to pass. This week we honor the contribution of entrepeneurs as we recognize National Small Business Week. Earlier this year Warroad businesswoman Penny Turgeon Kimble was named the Women in Business Champion of the Year in Minnesota, and this week we celebrate her and all our small businesses across the 7th!


Congressman Collin C. Peterson

Minnesota 7th District

Farm Bill Falls Victim to Partisan Politics

The House on Thursday failed to pass a new farm bill (H.R. 1947). It failed because the House Republicans could not control the extreme right wing of their party. The House adopted a partisan amendment process, playing political games with extreme policies that have no chance of becoming law. These amendments cost us votes.

From day one I cautioned my colleagues that to pass a farm bill we would have to work together. I repeated that sentiment in my comments on the floor at the start of debate. I’ll continue to do everything I can to get a farm bill passed but I have a hard time seeing where we go from here.

The Agriculture Committee’s farm bill is a bipartisan bill. It is a compromise between all commodities and regions, and urban and rural members. I didn’t get everything I wanted, other members didn’t get everything they wanted, but that’s ok. I’m hopeful that we can find a way to get back to this bipartisan bill and move forward. This process has gone on way too long.

This year we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of National Small Business Week.  President John F. Kennedy issued the proclamation announcing that this week be set aside to recognize the critical contributions of America's small business owners.  These entrepreneurs are the backbone of our nation's economy, and more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business.  In their honor, today Vikings legendary quarterback Fran Tarkenton spoke at a breakfast ceremony for National Small Business Week.

Penny Turgeon Kimble (WARROAD), President and Owner of the T-Shirt Barrel, was named the Women in Business Champion of the Year for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Minnesota District Office.  I congratulate Penny and all the hard working small businesses in the 7th District!

Enterprise Minnesota

On Wednesday I met with Bob Kill, President & CEO of Enterprise Minnesota. He was in town to speak with me about his organization's publication The State of Manufacturing. We had a good discussion about the effect that national issues are having on Minnesota's manufacturing industry.

Minnesota Farm Bureau

Kevin Paap (President) and Amber Hanson (Associate Director of Public Policy) of the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation stopped by to visit my Washington office just days before the Farm Bill came to the House Floor. Minnesota Farm Bureau represents 78 county Farm Bureaus and nearly 30,000 members, and has been a voice for American agriculture for more than 90 years.

Minnesota Corn Growers

Bruce Peterson (Treasurer), Tom Haag (President), and DeVonna Zeug (Board Member, WALNUT GROVE)

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association was in Washington the week of the Farm Bill to discuss process and outlook.  Founded in 1978, Minnesota Corn Growers has 6,121 members statewide and seeks to expand the use, marketing, and efficient production of corn for the benefit of corn producers.

Steve Wenzel, an adjunct faculty member from Central Lakes College visited this week.  Steve is a retired state legislator that served in the Minnesota House of Representatives for 29 years before taking an appointment as the State Director of USDA Rural Development for a number of years.

This Week in American History

The U.S. Constitution became the law of the land on June 21, 1788 when New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the document. Five states passed ratification after the Constitution was introduced. However, other states were strongly opposed because it did not give states enough power and failed to protect freedom of speech, religion, and the press. It took seven months for Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, and New Hampshire to ratify the Constitution after an agreement was made.  The agreement stipulated that twelve amendments would be sent to the states immediately following the Constitution’s ratification. Ten of the twelve amendments were ratified and became known as the Bill of Rights. The very first amendment guarantees freedom of speech, religion, and the press. Today the U.S. Constitution is 225 years old, and is the oldest written constitution in operation in the world.

Constituents from the 7th

Alex, Gwen, and Jack Olson (MILAN)

The Schommer Family (HUTCHINSON) and Holland Lind (APPLETON)


Summit Kuehn (WARROAD)
Entry for 2013 Congressional Art Competition