Monday Report from Representative Rick Nolan

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Medical Miracles - Paid For With American Oil


As part of their efforts to develop next generation cancer treatments that trigger the body's natural defenses, researchers at the National Institutes of Health are mapping the position of genes within cells. Here, a single gene called Pem (purple) has been localized using fluorescence. DNA is stained blue; the cell is outlined in green.Targeted DNA therapy utilizes individual genetics to attack specific cancer mutations.


Dear Friend,


With overwhelming bipartisan support, the House last week passed legislation I cosponsored to provide the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with $8.5 billion for revolutionary new tools to accelerate the battles against Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other much rarer diseases. I was particularly delighted that the 21st Century Cure Act included $52 million for cancer research. That's in addition to my amendment to the defense bill providing an extra $1 million aimed specifically at lung cancer. My daughter, Katherine, and millions of others are benefiting from ongoing research into targeted DNA drug therapy that utilizes individual genetics to attack specific cancer mutations.

Largely paid for through sale of excess oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the bill also streamlines outdated rules and regulations that have hindered clinical trials. As a result, safe and tested new treatments and cutting edge medical devices will be available to patients and their doctors faster. Here in rural Minnesota and in small communities throughout our nation, the bill will advance new information technologies that allow doctors to more effectively communicate with one another for better diagnoses and treatments.

Beyond these and other next generation medical advancements, clinical research will continue to create good jobs across the health care industry Minnesota continues to lead. It’s estimated that research and public-private partnerships developed through the National Institutes of Health support nearly half a million jobs nationwide.

Moreover, this legislation stands as a shining example of what we can achieve when we work together in a spirit of bipartisanship. The measure is the product of more than a year of nationwide hearings and thousands of hours of work by Republicans and Democrats alike for the benefit of all our people. Our country and our world will be healthier for their efforts.

We will keep you posted as events proceed.  Meanwhile, I want to hear your thoughts.  Feel free to contact any of our offices listed below or 
send me an email.


Sincerely,


 


Restore Democracy - End Voter Suppression 


Thousands of people marched across Alabama in 1965 in support of the federal Voting Rights Act, which Congress passed to outlaw racial discrimination at polling places.


Every eligible American deserves the free and unhindered opportunity to vote for the candidates of their choice. Yet in the South and across many parts of our nation, minority voters still face intimidation at the polls. States continue to advance laws discouraging absentee, overseas and early voting. These actions must be stopped. This week, as part of our Restore Democracy initiative (H.Res.298), we will introduce legislation to put Congress on record that voter suppression must end. Congress should require every state to create and maintain an online voter registration system. And Congress should make Election Day a legal public holiday.

Beyond ending voter suppression, our Restore Democracy legislation also contains provisions to overturn Citizens United, limit the campaign season, ban partisan redistricting, prohibit fundraising when Congress is in session so Members can go to Washington to go to work governing, and return Congress to its traditional system of Regular Order. Under Regular Order, we find bipartisan agreement through the committee process – where every bill is debated under an open rule and every amendment gets an up or down vote. Our nation’s future depends on our ability to muster the will and determination to pass these reforms and restore our great democracy.


Republicans Raise The Confederate Flag  

The Confederate flag symbolizes hatred, racism, secession and division. Yet while the Confederate flag was being taken down in the South last week, Republicans in the North were voting to keep it up in cemeteries managed by the National Park Service. By sneaking an amendment to that effect into the Interior Appropriations bill, they touched off a huge Floor fight that ultimately forced Speaker Boehner to pull the entire bill from consideration. Later, the Speaker suggested that it's time for "adults" in Congress to address the "thorny" issues surrounding display of the Confederate flag. What nonsense. If the Confederate flag belongs anywhere, it belongs in museums to help remind us that racism, injustice and intolerance must never again be allowed to stain the fabric of our great nation.


Now Every Vet Gets Carded  


Every veteran is now entitled to an official Identification Card issued by the V.A.


Last fall, VA Secretary Robert McDonald quickly heeded my urgent request to allow veterans to once again obtain their official Veterans Identification Cards at the Twin Ports Outpatient Clinic in Duluth-Superior. The service cut was a financially costly and time-consuming burden for our veterans and we put a stop to it - at no cost to taxpayers or the VA. Now Congress has followed our lead, voting unanimously to require the VA to issue an identification card to any veteran who requests it. While not required for medical care, the Veterans I.D. card is necessary for many other benefits and services our vets have earned through their service to our great nation. It’s one more way we say thanks to those who have put themselves in harm's way to protect our freedoms and our way of life. 


A New Partnership To Preserve Our Forests


Click the image above to watch my remarks on the House Floor.

There’s an old saying that the shadows of those who live on the land are the best protectors and stewards of that land – including the great national forests we love so much here in northern Minnesota. Mary and I have planted more than 100,000 trees on our land over the years. So I was proud to speak on the Floor of the House last week in support of an amendment to permit American Indians and Alaska Natives to partner with the U.S. Forest Service to conserve and manage federal timber lands in Indian Country under the 638 Contracts program. Our amendment to the Interior Appropriations bill simply adds the Forest Service to the agencies allowed to execute these contracts with Tribes - giving them the ability to manage federal programs in Indian County. By doing so, we help create jobs for Tribal members. And we all become better stewards of our nation’s precious resources. 


Education Bill Marks Progress For Indian Schools –
Fails Every Other Test
 


Chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee John Kline (MN-02) and I toured the Bug-Oh-Nay-Ge-Shig school on the Leech Lake reservation in my district back in April to see the state of the school facility first hand. Click the image above to read the Star Tribune's coverage of our visit.  

We scored a big victory for tens of thousands of students in Indian Country last week. Included in the Education bill (H.R.5) was my bipartisan amendment making it the policy of the United States that Indian children do not attend school in buildings that are dilapidated or deteriorating.

With strong support from Republican Education Committee Chairman John Kline, the measure had passed the House unanimously during earlier debate. It’s an important step forward as we continue the battle to replace the Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig school on Minnesota’s Leech Lake Reservation – along with 62 other Bureau of Indian Education schools that force students to try and get an education in substandard buildings amidst truly Third World conditions.

Beyond the win for Indian schools, the Education bill itself is terrible public policy. We need to prepare struggling students for jobs – not welfare. Instead, this bill cuts funds to help poor families whose children attend under-funded schools in disadvantaged communities desperately in need of jobs and economic opportunities. The bill fails to hold states accountable for how they spend federal dollars, permits requirements for high school graduation to be weakened, siphons money away from public schools and allows students with disabilities and special needs to be taught to a lower standard. We will continue our efforts to substantially improve this bill as it continues through Congress. Our children deserve no less.


Republicans Close the Ex-Im Bank – And Kill Jobs


Click the image above to watch my remarks on the House Floor.
 

Having owned a small export company, I know that both the small business and banking communities support the Ex-Im Bank for the credit it can provide - and also for the expertise they offer to assure that foreign contracts are legitimate and correctly negotiated. To be sure, the Ex-Im Bank’s charter requires reform to ensure it makes no loan to one American company that hurts another. In the meantime, we need to reauthorize this valuable service to American companies and American workers, and I’ll continue to work toward that end.

The Export-Import Bank is out of business as of July 1st – and that’s a travesty.
Republicans continue to support billions of dollars in tax breaks for multi-national corporations and billionaires. Yet they have refused to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank, which has not only provided extremely valuable services to America's small town banks, businesses and manufacturers - but also generated nearly $7 billion for deficit reduction. Moreover, since 2007, the Ex-Im Bank has helped create and support an estimated 1.5 million private sector jobs and financed the sale of some $200 billion in U.S. exports. Over that same period, small companies in Minnesota's 8th District have used the Ex-Im Bank to help export $94 million dollars in goods and services – a simply remarkable partnership of achievement.

Katherine's Garden Grows


Our daughter Katherine Nolan Bensen and her family have been hard at work tending to her Victory Garden - and the fruits of their labor is plentiful! Katherine spent last week harvesting radishes, kale, arugula, spinach, and Swiss chard - with much more still to come. Even if you don't have your own garden, you can buy fresh produce - and homemade products like jam, sauce, cheese, etc. - at your local farmer’s market. Minnesota has nearly 150 farmer’s markets statewide – click here to find one near you.


Our Week in DC


Superintendent of Montevideo Public Schools Dr. Luther Heller was in Washington last week for the American Association of School Administrators Legislative Policy Conference, and visited our office to discuss Special Education funding, Educational Broadband and other important issues.
 
Our Week in Duluth 
 
Our Duluth office interns stepped right out of our front door to check out Sidewalk Days on Superior Street in Duluth.  The Sidewalk Days Festival is a great annual celebration of our small businesses in downtown Duluth. One of the best parts of having an office on Superior Street in downtown Duluth is the easy access for constituents and visitors.


Our Duluth staff noticed a Christmas tree atop the new Maurice’s building a couple weeks ago. At Duluth’s Central Labor Body meeting, a retired Iron Worker shared with us that it is tradition to place a Christmas Tree and an American flag on the each end of the last beam laid when constructing a building. He also noted that this particular construction project is proceeding without a single worker injury. Keep up the great work on this wonderful project - and thanks to Duluth City Councilor Zack Filipovich for sharing this photo.
 
Our Week in Center City 
 
Our field representative Rick Olseen joined Lindstrom Mayor Keith Carlson, Sally Barott of Swedish Circle Tours and Editor of the Chisago County Press Matt Silver to erect a Swedish Flag donated from a Swedish film crew in Lindstrom to film the Karl Oscar Days Parade and Celebration.  Karl Oscar Nilsson and his wife Kristina are the fictional characters of Swedish author Vilhelm Moberg, whose novels include stories of Swedish settlers who settled in the greater Chisago Lakes area.
 
Our Week in Baxter 
 
Our field representative Tom Whiteside delivered a legislative update to members of the Minnesota Housing Partnership at Arrowhead Lodge. They discussed issues such a lack of affordable units for low income seniors and families, as well as housing programs that appear to specifically exclude rural communities.
 
Our Week in Mt. Iron
 
Our field representative Jordan Metsa traveled to the West Two Rivers Campground in Mt. Iron to attend the annual SOAR picnic.  He spoke to attendees about the Keystone, Sandpiper, and PolyMet projects, in addition to discussions on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and pension stability.

 Our Week in Two Harbors

 
We joined Mayor Randy Bolen, State Senator Tom Bakk, and State Representative Mary Murphy to celebrate the Burlington Bay Campground addition in Two Harbors with a ribbon cutting ceremony.


Coming Up in Washington

This week:

  The House is expected to pass and clear for the President’s signature a bill to rename the Chisholm Post Office after the late former 8th District Congressman Jim Oberstar. 


Finally... 

Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War


Our Vietnam vets are patriots who served our nation honorably and with great courage during a difficult time in our history. On July 8th, Congress commemorated and honored the more than 58,000 Americans who gave their lives in this war, our veterans who returned home, and those still listed as missing in action. When our veterans return home, it is our sacred duty to protect and serve them. Our office has handled hundreds of VA cases for 8th District veterans, and we’ve recovered more than $100,000 to date for veterans not receiving the benefits they've earned. Don't go it alone - if you're a veteran, call my office for help navigating the VA: 218-464-5095


Nolan in the news...

Pine Journal: Northland resident appreciates Nolan’s support

Duluth News Tribune: Security via violence doesn’t, can’t work

KBJR: New RV site opens right between Two Harbors and Lake Superior

IFalls Journal: Nolan praises bonding win for Highway 53 relocation

IFalls Journal: OUR VIEW: Working toward change

IFalls Journal: Minnesota delegation seeks fishing guide fee exemption


For more on the issues in this newsletter...

Click here to learn more about our work on Health Care.

Click here to learn more about our work on Government Reform.

Click here to learn more about our work on Veterans.

Click here to learn more about our work on Native American Indian and Tribal Issues.

Click here to learn more about our work on Trade.

 
Washington, D.C.
2366 Rayburn HOB
Washington, D.C.20515
Tel: (202) 225-6211
Fax: (202) 225-0699
Duluth Office
Duluth Technology Village
11 E. Superior Street, #125
Duluth, MN 55802
(218) 464-5095
Brainerd Office
Brainerd City Hall
501 Laurel Street
Brainerd, MN 56401
(218) 454-4078
Center City Office
313 North Main Street
Center City, MN 55102
Tel: (218) 491-3131
Chisholm Office
Chisholm City Hall
316 West Lake Street
Room #7
Chisholm, MN 55719
Phone: (218) 491-3114
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