Category: Updates

A Boost for Minnesota’s Airports

Last week the House passed, and I supported, a major boost for American infrastructure.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act is the first major installment in a larger infrastructure plan to rebuild our crumbling roads and bridges. Among other important advancements, the bill:

  • Reauthorizes the Airport Improvement Program;
  • Extends and reforms the Federal Contract Tower Program, like the one in Saint Cloud, allowing for new contract towers, and improves the cost benefit analysis for existing towers;
  • Reauthorizes funding for many small airports used by general aviation, such as the Saint Cloud Regional Airport and the Anoka County–Blaine Airport;
  • Improves FAA safety workforce training; and
  • Prohibits bumping passengers that have already boarded the plane.

These needed improvements are critical to job creation, economic growth, and our daily lives. Additionally, the long term reauthorization provides certainty to the aviation industry, which is especially important for the region with Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport and for local airports in the Sixth District.

It Doesn’t Add Up

This month, the National Center for Education Statistics released results from the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress.  It is an assessment of American students in the core subjects of reading and math.

Disappointingly, American students showed no improvement. What’s worse: the lowest performers fell even further behind.

Minnesota is no different.  We generally perform better than others, but our state’s scores remained nearly flat.

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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