YEAR-AHEAD SERIES, DAY 8: Help from DC / Even after 2020, stage is set to build on successes

From the column: "As we head into the new year, I look forward to working with all of you, and President-elect Joe Biden, to build upon our successes, move Minnesota forward, and create a nation that is even stronger, more resilient, and self-reliant than ever before."

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With a new Congress ahead, I find myself reflecting on my first term and looking forward to my second. Over the past two years, my staff and I have made it our priority to travel all over Minnesota’s 8th District to listen and learn from you. Together, we have worked hard, and, with assistance from the administration of President Donald Trump, we have shared many successes along the way.

As we head into the 117th Congress, I remain committed to expanding on this success.

Early in 2020, Congress passed and the president signed the historic USMCA trade deal (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement) into law, which expanded our markets and leveled the playing field for Minnesota’s workers and farmers. Going into the new year, I will carry forward the mission of putting our workers first by reducing dependence on foreign nations like Communist China and bringing jobs back home. It is imperative we continue America’s promise of upward mobility and the protection of the blue-collar worker.

In Minnesota’s 8th District, we are blessed with rich deposits of critical minerals that provide the opportunity to reduce dependence on global threats like China and create high-wage jobs for Minnesotans. Fortunately, the president recognized the importance of Minnesota’s natural resources to our manufacturing, energy, and strategic national security needs, which is why his Interior Department renewed important mineral leases early in my first term. Next Congress, I will fight any attempt to overturn these leases or halt specific mining projects before they can go through a fair and science-based process.

I am especially appreciative of our successful quest to secure American energy independence. With construction on the Line 3 replacement pipeline officially underway, we have another exciting opportunity to contribute to America’s energy revolution. I will continue to advocate for the project’s completion and accompanying jobs.


I am proud to report great work has also been accomplished to protect our land and lakes. In addition to the enactment of the Great American Outdoors Act, milestone conservation legislation dedicated to maintaining our national parks and public lands, I secured a substantial increase in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding. Lake Superior is a national treasure and as a member of the Great Lakes Caucus, I will continue to advocate for increased funds to ensure its health and vitality.

Last year, the Trump administration established Operation Lady Justice, a task force dedicated to solving cases of missing and murdered indigenous women. Since then, we’ve seen cold-case offices opened nationwide, including here in Minnesota. To compliment this important work, my colleagues and I passed bills like Savanna’s Act, which will help address the disproportionate rates of violence facing Native American women. I remain committed to treating this issue with the urgency it deserves.

Prior to my first term, Congress successfully enacted criminal justice reform legislation that’s transformed countless lives. However, as a former law enforcement officer, I know additional steps must be taken to create a more just society. So I introduced police-reform legislation to restore accountability and best practices within police departments nationwide. Securing the passage of the JUSTICE Act will remain a top priority of mine next Congress as the bipartisan reforms included in this bill should’ve been enacted years ago. The philosophy of community policing should be cemented in the culture of every police department.

This past year has also been filled with unexpected challenges. Since the onset of COVID-19, I have fought to bring federal resources to our communities, keep small businesses open, and workers on payroll. Through the passage of the bipartisan CARES Act and subsequent establishment of the Paycheck Protection Program, over 100,000 jobs were saved across Minnesota’s 8th District.

While COVID-19 continues to pose challenges to public health and the economy, we are now more prepared than ever to confront this virus thanks to Operation Warp Speed. As more vaccines are administered, I believe it’s past time that our businesses and schools are reopened.

We have sufficiently set the stage to accomplish many more great things in the 117th Congress. As we head into the new year, I look forward to working with all of you, and President-elect Joe Biden, to build upon our successes, move Minnesota forward, and create a nation that is even stronger, more resilient, and self-reliant than ever before. Our best days are yet to come.

Rep. Pete Stauber of Hermantown represents Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District. He wrote this exclusively for the News Tribune at the invitation of the Opinion page.


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U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber

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