Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 8/2

Aug 2, 2013 Issues: Energy, Social Security

Honoring Education in the 7th
School pennants hang in the entrance to my office

Dear Friends,

Another week went by without House Republican Leaders appointing their conferees and further delaying our work to get the Farm Bill to a conference committee. Following the August recess there will be just nine legislative work days before the bill expires on September 30. I visited Iowa City to update local farmers on the latest developments in the Farm Bill. I also met with Chairwoman Vizenor of White Earth Nation and Missouri River Energy Services. This week marks the 48th anniversary of Medicare, and we also celebrate fifty-five years of space exploration through the NASA program.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Farm Bill Update

Rather than naming farm bill conferees before adjourning for the August recess, House Republican Leaders appeared to reach an agreement on a stand-alone nutrition bill that would cut $40 billion from food aid programs. Adding an additional $20 billion in nutrition cuts, on top of the poison pill nutrition amendments that brought down the Agriculture Committee’s bipartisan farm bill in June, effectively kills any hopes of passing a five-year farm bill this year.

We don’t have to do this. If the House would just name conferees, members can conference the House “farm only” bill with the Senate’s farm bill during August and produce a compromise for both Houses to pass. I believe that this nutrition bill shows that the House Majority clearly has no interest in getting a farm bill done.

Visit to Talk Farm Bill

Last Saturday I was invited to a Farm Bill Forum with Iowa Second District Congressman Dave Loebsack and agriculture community leaders in Iowa City. I look forward to visiting with folks in Morton at FarmFest to talk about the future of agriculture in our country.

Celebrating the 48th Anniversary of Medicare

President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Medicare program into law on July 30, 1965. Forty-eight years later, nearly 50 million Americans are receiving health care benefits through Medicare. Before Medicare became law, 50% of seniors lived without health insurance, and 35% of seniors lived in poverty. Today, over 41 million Americans 65 and older have health insurance through Medicare because they cannot be denied coverage based on their medical condition or income.

White Earth Tribal Nation

Chairwoman of the White Earth Tribal Nation, Erma Vizenor, visited my office to discuss issues that are impacting the White Earth Nation.

Missouri River Energy Services (MRES)

Deborah Birgen (Sioux Falls), Vernell Roberts (DETROIT LAKES), Bill Schwandt (MOORHEAD), Larry Buboltz (DETROIT LAKES), Mayor Sara Carlson (ALEXANDRIA), Corinne Stefanson (MOORHEAD), William Radio (Sioux Falls), and Al Crowser (ALEXANDRIA)

Missouri River Energy Services is a not-for-profit joint-action agency headquartered in Sioux Falls. Missouri River's Board of Directors is elected by representatives from the 61-member communities it serves in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa. I met with representatives of MRES to discuss energy, taxes, and other issues affecting the industry. 

Fifty-Five Years of NASA

On July 29, 1958, Congress passed legislation which established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). For fifty-five years NASA has been exploring space and launching satellites to orbit the Earth to advance global communication technology. Three years after the creation of NASA, President John F. Kennedy set a national goal to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. In 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first person to step onto the moon saying his famous phrase, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

This Week in American History

Using an engraved silver trowel, former governor Alexander Ramsey set the cornerstone in today’s Minnesota State Capitol on July 27, 1898. The first capitol was destroyed by a fire in 1881 and the second was poorly constructed and too small for the growing state legislature. The third and current Minnesota Capitol building was designed by St. Paul-native Cass Gilbert. He made the capitol a reflection of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. and the Basilica of St. Peter’s in Rome. The dome was built with bright, white Georgia marble and the base used Minnesota-quarried granite and sandstone. The Capitol was entirely modernized for its time with all-electric lighting, a new heating plant, and even newly invented telephones. Visitors can take guided tours of the building; to set up a tour, call (651) 296-2881 or send an email to

"Rich Red"
Gabriele Grassi (FRAZEE-VERGAS)
2013 Congressional Art Competition