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It’s Not a Trade War

As we renegotiate the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and redefine our relationship with China, many of the national and local headlines have warned Americans the United States is headed for a trade war.

After China put forth a list of potential tariffs on American pork, soybeans, corn and beef, President Trump responded aggressively by threatening to add an additional $100 billion on Chinese goods to his initially proposed threat of $50 billion.

Farmers in Minnesota and across the nation have raised the red flag – and for good reason. The tariffs on soybeans and pork in particular would add to an already highly stressful line of work, one in which there is quite a bit of anxiety due to low commodity prices and reliance on factors outside their control.

The President’s aggressive tone is unsettling, but let’s take a look at what’s happened just in the past few days.

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No to a Broken Process

Congress met another funding deadline last week, this time with a massive $1.3 trillion omnibus to fund the government through September.  The 2,200+ page bill was given to me and my colleagues approximately 17 hours before we were scheduled to vote.

When I came to Washington, I made a commitment to Minnesotans to uphold the fiscal conservative principles on which I was elected and do everything possible to fix the broken processes of Congress.

The commitment I made to you is why I voted ‘No’ on the omnibus bill last week.

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Block(chain) The Rush to Regulation

Recently, we have been hearing more and more about a new kind of technology called blockchain.  It’s perhaps more recognizable by the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, created in 2008. Blockchain, the underlying technology behind Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, may prove to be one of the most groundbreaking advancements in our history.

This exciting new technology doesn’t just affect currency and finance. It permeates all sectors of our economy, from healthcare to retail, into data, national security and beyond.  Among other reasons, blockchain is incredible because it gives advantage to the individual, not to the government.

As blockchain technology continues to grow, it catches the attention of the federal government. Congress has certainly taken a closer look, myself included. Read More

Weighing Words and Actions

In a recent commentary in the Wall Street Journal, the writer observed “thoughtful conservatives” can agree with most everything President Trump has done and disagree with almost everything he has said. It’s an interesting point.

I fully support the policies this President has enacted: appointing Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, rolling back countless harmful regulations for small businesses, expanding vocational and technical education, opening the Keystone Pipeline, establishing a National Vetting Center, signing the largest tax cuts in 30 years into law, and putting America and its citizens first, to name a few.

Now if only when we turned on the news we heard more about what’s working and not what’s being tweeted. Of course, the liberal media doesn’t want to report on anything that would paint a picture of success for this president. Like most Americans, you probably missed:

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About the Budget…

Last week, Congress passed a massive spending bill that raises spending caps and ultimately increases our nation’s $20 trillion debt. Despite some positive provisions in the deal, including funding for our nation’s military, I could not support it.

Here’s why: Over the next two years, this deal raises spending by nearly $300 billion, including an increase to non-defense spending by $131 billion. It fails to pay for these spending increases and provides another debt limit suspension until 2019. Read More