News from Representative Tom Emmer

Dear Friend, 

Yesterday the Senate decided to follow the House’s lead and do its job by passing appropriation legislation to fund the government, ending the shutdown. Unfortunately, it’s another short-term funding bill, called a “continuing resolution” or “CR.”  When I came to Congress, one of my priorities was to get America back on track and pass appropriation (or spending) bills on time. I’m proud to report that the House, back in September and for the first time in over a decade, passed all twelve appropriations bills on time. 

Regrettably those bills have been stuck in the Senate, as it requires 60 votes to move forward on legislation. Since Republicans only hold a 51 seat majority, at least nine Democrats are needed to come to the table and discuss next steps for setting our government’s budget. The House last week voted on a bill to fund the government for four weeks, as well as ensuring our troops were paid and a six year reauthorization of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Once again, this was not good enough for Democrats in the Senate to join Republicans in keeping the government open, resulting in the shutdown.

The bill that was passed yesterday to reopen the government has no new provisions from what the House passed. In fact, the only difference is that instead of four weeks, it only provides funding for three. 

As Members of Congress, we are required to lead. It’s vital that we tackle complex issues like immigration reform separate from funding issues for the government. One thing both sides can agree on: A government shutdown is not good for this country.

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If you have ideas on how we can solve our nation’s complex problems like immigration reform, write to me here.


Protecting the Unborn

Yesterday, 45 years to the day of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to legalize abortion in Roe v. Wade, Minnesotans from all over gathered in our state Capitol to honor the sanctity of life. They marched to the Capitol for the 54 million aborted since 1975. They stood together to mourn, to remember and to commit to defending our nation’s most vulnerable. My fellow Minnesotans that strive to give a voice to the voiceless inspire me, and I stand with them in the defense of the unborn. 

Last week, I was proud the House passed – and I supported - the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 4712) to ensure care for babies who survive abortion procedures. This important legislation asserts our commitment to care for the unborn and their mothers and ensures abortion survivors will receive immediate medical care. It also establishes criminal penalties for practitioners who intentionally kill or harm a baby born alive or attempt to harvest body parts.  Sanctity of life is paramount, and medical professionals should remember their pledge to “First, do no harm,” in saving and preserving life. 

Ensuring Care for the Vulnerable

We are called to protect the meek, the defenseless and the most vulnerable among us. I have consistently advocated for the reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) which provides care to low income children. In fact the House has prioritized CHIP and took steps to ensure its solvency well before the passage of yesterday’s CR. 

In early November the House passed H.R. 3922 to fully fund CHIP with the Championing Healthy Kids Act. When that measure failed to be taken up by the Senate, and with Minnesota’s looming deadline for CHIP funding, I introduced the State CHIP Flexibility Act, which would have allowed Minnesota to use carry-over funds to fund the program without penalty.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune published an op-ed in which I called upon the Senate to take action on CHIP, as time was running out. 

After our state’s CHIP funding expired, I teamed up with members from the House Energy & Commerce Committee to introduce the CHIP Stability Act to keep states’ CHIP program afloat – including Minnesota’s. This measure was signed into law, but was only a short term funding.

I am proud to say a solution for CHIP was included in yesterday’s CR. The program’s funding was reauthorized for six years and finally, low income children will be able to get the care they need.

Congressman Emmer tours Guardian Angels in Elk River.

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