Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 7/26

Jul 26, 2013 Issues: Education, Health

Stuart and Mallory (FFA Officers) Visit DC

Pictured above in Cannon Tunnel
Behind them is the Congressional Art Competition

Dear Friends,

This week USDA joined Red Lake Nation in breaking ground for the new Tribal College, which is currently scheduled to open to the public in the summer of 2014. I am the lead Democrat on legislation that will eliminate burdensome regulations and help our rural hospitals better serve the health needs of our communities. This week I met with a number of folks, including FFA officers (pictured above) and Case New Holland plant managers.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Groundbreaking for Red Lake Nation Tribal College

Pictured above at the groundbreaking ceremony are USDA Rural Development staff, including State Director Colleen Landkamer, and Red Lake Tribal Chairman Floyd Jourdain

Red Lake Nation was recently selected to receive over $21 million in loans from USDA Rural Development to build a tribal college and tribal government center. Construction of these new buildings will help to create jobs and will be a source of pride for the Red Lake Nation. The existing facilities at Red Lake have outlived their useful lives. Both loans come from Rural Development’s community facilities program, which finances essential buildings and equipment in rural areas.  Since 2010, Rural Development has helped Red Lake tribe with financing to build or improve water and wastewater treatment systems and essential community facilities in the community.

The new Tribal College will host a 5,330 square-foot library, tribal archives/library center, Ojibwe Language Center and an Ojibwe Language Immersion Head Start and Daycare Center for up to 60 children. Included also is a Student Café, Wellness and Fitness Center, and a Sweat Lodge to promote healthy lifestyles and strong cultural living. The College is a key part of the new Red Lake Nation Capitol that will feature a new Tribal Government Center building and a new Red Lake Nation College campus. Completion and grand opening of both new facilities are planned to take place in summer 2014.

Farm Bill Update

I talked to Mick Kjar with AgNews 890 on Wednesday. It looks like Congress will adjourn for the August recess before addressing the farm bill. You can listen to my comments here.

Major Jon Pontius

On Tuesday Major Jon Pontius stopped in to see me. He is originally from Fergus Falls, but now Maj. Pontius is stationed here in the DC area at Fort Belvoir, VA. Jon was one of the first young men that I nominated to the West Point military academy back in 1992. He went on to graduate from West Point in 1997 and has had a fine career serving in our armed forces. It was great catching up with him and hearing about his work in the military.

To apply for a military academy nomination, simply visit my website. Applicants should be in high school and entering their senior year.

Protecting Access to Rural Therapy Services Act

This week I became the lead Democratic cosponsor on the House companion to the Protecting Access to Rural Therapy Services Act (S. 1143/H.R. 2801). This legislation will allow general supervision by a physician or non-physician practitioner for many outpatient therapy services. Specifically, the bill will require CMS to allow a default setting of general supervision, rather than direct supervision, for outpatient therapy services and create an advisory panel to establish an exceptions process for risky and complex outpatient services.

H.R. 2801 will create a special rule for critical access hospitals (CAH) that recognizes their unique size and Medicare conditions of participation. It will hold hospitals, including CAHs, harmless from civil or criminal action for failing to meet the “direct supervision” requirements applied to services furnished since 2001.  I am happy to be working in a bipartisan bicameral way to finally fix this regulatory problem for our rural hospitals.

Minnesota FFA

Pictured above with Rep. Tim Walz (MN-01), Stuart Schumacher (Heron Lake), and Mallory Pagel (FULDA)

Congressman Walz and I met with Minnesota FFA State Officers Mallory Pagel (President) and Stuart Schumacher (Vice President) in the Rayburn Room of the Capitol building.  FFA is an organization for youth that focuses on developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success.

Case New Holland (CNH)

Erik Olson (Plant Manager in Fargo), Bill Muth (Director of Labor and Employee Relations), Nate Burgers (Plant Manager in BENSON), Frank Colarossi (Plant Manager in Saskatoon SK, Canada), John Daniels (Plant Manager in New Holland, PA)

I met with Case New Holland plant managers across the US and Canada to discuss the farm bill and other issues of importance.  Case New Holland is a global leader in agricultural and construction equipment business.

The Case New Holland manufacturing plant in Benson produces crop control application equipment (sprayers, floaters and applicators) and cotton pickers. The plant occupies over 368,000 sq.ft. on a 128 acre site. The Benson Plant exports approximately 30% of its production to other countries. The plant recently underwent expansion, and CNH now employs over 550 people in the state.

Congressional District Stats Available 

Ever since Thomas Jefferson directed the first census in 1790, the census has collected detailed characteristics about our nation’s people. My Congressional District is the first interactive tool geared exclusively at using this information to help folks better understand their congressional districts. This Web app uses the latest annual statistics from the American Community Survey, providing a great portrait of America's towns and neighborhoods.
Summary level statistics include education, finance, jobs and housing, as well as basic demographic information. For more information other tools available from the U.S. Census Bureau, visit the mobile app page.

Return of the Titan

This week visitors to Washington DC had the opportunity to view a special flower that rarely blooms, with the time between flowering spanning from a few years to a few decades. The titan arum, also known as the corpse flower due to its smell, bloomed at the U.S. Botanic Garden beginning on the evening of July 21. Just three nights later, the flower had already closed. By the time the flower bloomed, it had grown to eight feet tall.

This Week in American History

The Second Continental Congress established the U.S. Postal System on July 26, 1775 with Benjamin Franklin serving as its first postmaster general. Before the Postal System was created, mail was typically left at inns and taverns and placed on the next mail shipment. Mail would arrive sporadically around the nation since there were no set delivery schedules. Franklin, who served as postmaster of Philadelphia, reorganized the mail structure so colonial routes and mailmen relay teams could deliver letters throughout the country. He also introduced the first rate chart which charges delivery on a standard scale depending on a package’s size and weight. When Franklin left office in 1776 to become a diplomat to France, he left a postal service that could deliver letters from Maine to Florida. In 1789, the United States had 75 post offices. Today, there are more than 40,000 post offices that deliver mail to some of the most rural parts of the country.


"Dot Lake"

Kaitlyn Wurst (FRAZEE-VERGAS)
Entry for 2013 Congressional Art Competition