News from Representative Tom Emmer
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Dear Friend,

Yesterday, we celebrated the American worker. Labor Day is an opportunity to recognize the outstanding tradesmen and women who have built this nation. This year, more than ever we reflect and honor this nation’s entrepreneurial spirit and the dedicated workers who keep our economy moving.

During the Coronavirus pandemic, we were presented with a new term for the American worker – “Essential Workers” – who are individuals on the front lines of the crisis. Nurses, health care professionals, first responders, mail carriers, truck drivers, grocery store clerks, and others were asked to show up during a trying time in our nation’s history – and they did. These heroes served their fellow Americans and continued to keep the American economy moving during a dark time in our country.

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Congressman Emmer visiting front line health care workers at Fairview Clinic in Princeton, MN.

I advocated for several measures to support these essential workers. For our agricultural workers in our nation’s food supply chain, I cosponsored the Assistance and Gratitude for Coronavirus Heroes in Agribusiness who are Invaluable to the Nation, or the AG CHAIN Act, which would provide a federal tax holiday and a payroll tax exemption for all essential employees in the food and agriculture industry. As we struggled to keep the supply chain moving, we needed to act to support those who are vital to its success.

For many Minnesotans in our workforce, affordable and safe childcare is essential to returning to work. Childcare providers are more critical to working families than ever, which is why I supported the Back to Work Child Care Grants Act, which would promote resources to help childcare providers reopen and stay open by allowing states to design plans to support childcare centers, operators, and other providers.

I also sent a letter to House Leadership urging continued support for childcare providers, both home-based and center-based, who are still in need of timely and targeted assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bipartisan Policy Center reported that 43% of Americans working remotely said they currently need childcare and 49% of Americans working in-person need formal childcare. Currently, one-third (34%) of parents who are working remotely are alternating work hours with someone else in their household to care for their children. These numbers show a staggering need for childcare facilities to support the American workforce.

For our nurses, I became a cosponsor of the National Nurse Act which will designate the Chief Nurse Officer of the U.S. Public Health Service as the “National Nurse for Public Health.” Like the Surgeon General, the Chief Nurse would be tasked with advocating for nurses.

The Coronavirus pandemic showed our nation how vital our nurses are to heath care delivery. They monitored ventilators, administered tests, and continue to support our nation through a difficult crisis. Millions of Americans rely on their care every day. This legislation would allow for them to have a louder voice in the federal policies that impact our nation’s hardworking nurses.

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Congressman Emmer with Seema Verma, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  

Last week, I joined Medical Alley in hosting a very important visitor in Minnesota: Administrator Seema Verma, who oversees the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS is on the frontlines of the health care needs of our nation. With nearly 10,000 seniors entering Medicare every day, it’s important to improve their health care delivery, especially during a pandemic.

Since the Coronavirus posed a higher threat to seniors and aging Americans, CMS has had to adjust their services. They are working to empower those they serve by producing tools like the Out of Pocket Cost Calculator and the Medicare Plan Finder to help individuals understand and maximize their plan services. They have lowered the Medicare Advantage premiums by 23 percent and added 1,200 new plan options in the last two years!

Another important update was that CMS has proposed to permanently allow some telehealth services, such as home visits and visits for patients with cognitive impairments. Telehealth is vital for individuals in rural areas and for seniors who are faced with a higher risk of Coronavirus complications.

All these efforts have the same goal: that by working together, we are able to overcome every crisis this nation faces and reemerge stronger and more prosperous…


Ensuring We Never Forget

Even in our darkest days, I am comforted by the simple truth that America is a bastion of freedom, equality, and prosperity. Nearly nineteen years ago, our country was faced with an unfathomable act of terror. We lost 2,996 American lives on September 11, 2001.

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To the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, and daughters who never returned home to their loved ones, we remember you. To the first responders and countless heroes that emerged that day – firefighters, police officers, and civilians who rushed into danger to save their fellow Americans, we are grateful for you.

Our work continues, but we must always take the time to return and reflect on the moments in America’s history where we come together in unity. Many risked their own lives on September 11th, 2001, and many of them continue to struggle with the long-lasting health impacts of that service. We will never forget their selflessness, which is why I was proud to co-sponsor the Never Forget the Heroes: September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act which funds the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund through the year 2092, and allows victims to file for compensation until October 2090. This will ensure that 9/11 responders and survivors who have become ill due to exposure to toxic chemicals and construction materials will be compensated. 

We will also never forget the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93, like Todd Beamer, Jeremy Glick, and Mark Bingham, and Minnesotan Tom Burnett Jr.; who courageously fought the flight’s hijackers to prevent the airplane from reaching its intended target – the U.S. Capitol. Even on our darkest day, the bravery of Americans was unwavering.

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 Flight 93 National Memorial in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. 

As President Bush stated after the September 11th attacks, “We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail"— I cling to the hope these words bring and I share them with you today in the hope that you will remember that despite the challenges we face, we will overcome and our nation will always emerge stronger.  

Thank you to the American worker, our first responders, and the civilian heroes that help their fellow Americans every day.

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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