News from Representative Tom Emmer
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Dear Friend,

This past week was a challenging week for my family following the passing of my father, Thomas Earl Emmer Sr. He was a loving father, grandfather, husband and mentor and will be remembered for his commitment to God, his wife of 60 years, Patsy Emmer, his family, and his country. Thank you to everyone who sent their sympathies and well-wishes over the last few days; they mean a lot to me and my family.


Visiting The Hess Farm

Last week, the Hess family invited me into their home and their farmstead in Foley. The Hess Farm was going to be one of the Sixth District Farms honored as one of this year’s State Fair Century Farms, but due to the fair’s cancellation, I still wanted to take some time to recognize their legacy in agriculture.

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Rep. Emmer visiting with the Hess family.  

The Hess Farm was founded over 120 years ago, when August Hess purchased eighty acres of land for just under $250 dollars. What began as an amateur venture became a family legacy. Today, the Hess family still operates the farm, which has grown to include 100 cows, 140 heifers and 950 steers.

I shared with the Hess family information about legislation I introduced to provide flexibility for dairy farmers who rely on the Dairy Margin Coverage program. My legislation will allow them to adjust their production history to more accurately utilize this vital tool. You can read more about this bill here.

This month, I will be highlighting several farms who would have been honored at this year’s State Fair celebration. While this year may look different, the recognition of these outstanding farm families should carry on. I want to thank the Hess family for having me to their operation to see the outstanding work they do. Stay tuned for more highlights from my farm visits this month!


Recognizing Health Center Week

This week marks National Health Center Week, which highlights the important care Community Health Centers (CHCs) provide for millions of Americans. Community Health Centers provide primary care and public health services for low-income and uninsured individuals. They operate with federal grant funding and serve as an important role providing health care services to those in need.

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Rep. Emmer touring Neighborhood HealthSource’s Central Clinic, a Federally Qualified Health Center in July of 2019.

Now more than ever, these centers are critical to fulfilling the health care needs of so many Minnesotans. The Coronavirus outbreak has led to 94% of CHCs adding capacity to offer Coronavirus testing, relieving the strain on local hospitals by caring for COVID-19 patients.

In honor of National Health Center Week, I signed on as an original co-sponsor to a resolution highlighting the importance of CHCs and advocating for their continued federal support. CHCs have supported those in need for over 50 years, they deserve to be recognized for the important role they play in keeping Americans healthy. Read the resolution here.


Supporting Community Credit Unions

Last week I introduced the Credit Union Governance Modernization Act, which updates the procedures of our nation’s credit unions and provides for enhanced employee and member safety. The bill also simplifies the member expulsion process while ensuring a fair process for reinstatement.

Currently, the law requires a federal credit union to hold a vote of its entire membership before it can expel a member who engages in egregious, sometimes dangerous or illegal conduct. This can include physical damage to property, harassment, or threats.

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I’ve seen the effort championed in Minnesota and know that it will make credit unions safer for both employees and members. Our community financial institutions support us, and it’s time we support them by eliminating this burdensome regulation. Local neighborhoods and businesses rely on credit unions, and more than 1.8 million Minnesota consumers are member-owners of their credit union.
 
This legislation will prioritize safety and give credit unions the latitude to serve their members more effectively. Last week, I caught up with the Minnesota Credit Union Network to discuss this nonpartisan effort and share my continued commitment to serving smaller financial institutions and their members. You can read the bill here.

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Rep. Emmer meeting with the members of the Minnesota Credit Union Network.


Visiting the St. Cloud VA Hospital 

During my time in Congress, I have made it a priority to regularly engage with the St. Cloud VA Medical Center to ensure our veterans are receiving the care and attention they deserve. Last week, I had the honor of accompanying Acting Deputy Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs Pamela Powers during her visit to St. Cloud.

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Rep. Emmer with Acting VA Midwest Health Care Network Director Gail Graham, Acting VA Deputy Secretary Pamela Powers and St. Cloud VA HCS Director Brent A. Thelen.

During our tour of the St. Cloud VA, we discussed an important piece of legislation I introduced in February, the Same-Day Accountability Veterans Enhancement (SAVE) Act, which would ensure the Veterans Administration has mechanisms in place to successfully offer same-day physical and mental health treatment to our veterans in need.

In recent years, Congress has studied the large amount of complaints from veterans regarding inadequate and delayed treatment. In response, the Veterans Administration offered same-day services in all 166 medical centers. This effort aims to provide prompt and improved care to our nation’s heroes. However, the Government Accountability Office has highlighted the need for oversight and metrics to make sure this care is provided to our veterans.

The SAVE Act would provide for accountability measures to ensure proper care is provided. In addition, the SAVE Act places special attention on those who need immediate mental health treatment.

Veterans deserve timely care, and it is Congress’ job to ensure they can provide it. Far too often we hear of veterans falling through the cracks, and not receiving the care they deserve. I am committed to ensuring veterans receive the same-day mental and physical health care they that is rightfully due to them. To learn more about this legislation, visit my website here

For veterans in need of assistance with the Veterans Health Care System, the Veterans Benefit Administration or any other federal agency, my casework staff stands ready to assist you. Whether you are waiting on a claim decision or would like to apply for a service medal, you can learn more on my website.


Donate plasma today!

As a nation, we continue to combat the Coronavirus, and search for medical solutions to stop this virus and its spread. Minnesotans who have tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19) and recovered can assist in this effort by donating plasma as part of the federally sponsored Expanded Access Program for convalescent plasma, a potential treatment program for COVID-19.

Convalescent plasma is the liquid part of blood that is collected from patients who have recovered from COVID-19. Patients develop antibodies in the blood against the virus, which might help fight the infection in others.

Learn how you can help below!

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Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Am I eligible?
    • You must have had COVID-19 documented by a laboratory test and recovered.
    • You must no longer be experiencing symptoms for at least 14 days prior to donation.
    • You must be at least 17 years old, and weigh 110lbs or more.

Until next week, if you are in need of assistance or would like to share your thoughts with me, please write me an e-mail here.

To keep up with what we’re doing in Washington, follow me on Twitter and Facebook for more updates!

Sincerely,
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