News from Representative Tom Emmer

Dear Friend,

The start of 2020 brings with it another busy year. See below for a list of recent actions I am working on which are important to Minnesota.

The end of 2019 brought about major wins for Minnesota. We were finally able to secure the permanent repeal of the medical device tax, the health insurance tax, and the Cadillac tax - all of which were crippling Minnesota’s innovative medical industry. I have long helped lead the effort to introduce legislation to end these taxes, and have continually advocated to end these policies that tax the very medical innovation that improves our health care.

Looking ahead, I am hopeful that the Senate will consider the United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA) and send it to the President's desk. This agreement will have major benefits for manufacturers and farmers throughout Minnesota. I wrote about its importance for the St. Cloud Times, which you can read here.

Stay tuned on Facebook and Twitter for updates on what we're working on in Washington! 


Legislative Updates: 

War Powers Resolution:
Last week, I voted no on H. Con Res. 83. This resolution would direct the President to stop using the U.S. Armed Forces to engage in hostilities against Iran or any part of its government or military. Although Congress has a Constitutional duty to declare war, this was a partisan resolution which procedurally had no chance of being presented to the President, nor becoming law.

The resolution was a result of the death of the terrorist and mass murderer, Qassem Soleimani. Soleimani was responsible for the murder of hundreds of Americans. He dedicated his life to spreading terror and discord in the region, harming American soldiers and our nation’s interests. The military action which ended his life is a victory for peace, and I understand the Administration's swift action to thwart further attacks orchestrated by Soleimani and Iran.

However, only Congress has the power and ability to declare war. I believe the President took decisive action in ordering the strike that killed an enemy combatant of the United States. The unfortunate passage of this resolution sends a message that will embolden Iran to take further harmful actions towards our troops abroad. The Administration has made clear and public efforts to avoid war and bring Iran to the negotiating table. They are working towards a responsible diplomatic de-escalation in the Middle East, and I support those efforts.

FCC's Rural Digital Opportunity Fund

Last week, Chairman Pai of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) outlined the final rules for the deployment of the $20.4 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. This is a strong initiative to deploy broadband in rural areas across America. That’s why I was proud to join my colleagues in writing a letter to Chairman Pai in support of efforts to deploy broadband in rural areas, which you can read here. This renewed effort to expand broadband to every American would reach areas that were previously entirely unserved. Broadband is a critical part of America’s infrastructure, and these investments will help ensure we keep a strong and flourishing economy in an increasingly connected world.

Investments in Transportation

This week, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Secretary Elaine Chao announced an additional $900 million for the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) discretionary grant program. This program stands to be an important source of funds for Minnesota roads and bridges. It’s a huge opportunity for Minnesota's Sixth District and communities across Minnesota to receive funds to improve roads, like Highway 212. This road goes from the Twin Cities, to cities like Waconia, Chaska and Carver, and out to the western states.

Investments in transportation are a top priority of mine and I appreciate that the administration is making these funds available to large states like Minnesota. The development of roads and bridges is a critical role of government and has a major impact on our economic growth.


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