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Congressman's View: Election over, let's unleash the economic engine

Nearly two months ago, voters in the 8th Congressional District made a choice to send me to Congress. Today, just before the 116th Congress convenes, I continue to be humbled by the responsibility and trust bestowed upon me.

Rep. Pete Stauber.
We are part of The Trust Project.

Nearly two months ago, voters in the 8th Congressional District made a choice to send me to Congress. Today, just before the 116th Congress convenes, I continue to be humbled by the responsibility and trust bestowed upon me.

Despite what is seen on the 24/7 cable news networks or what can be read via social platforms on mobile phones, the election is over. When it comes to fighting for you and your neighbors in this district, I am going to work with both Republicans and Democrats to get things done.

You, my constituents, are my true north.

Throughout the 18-month campaign, voters occasionally asked me what "unleashing the economic engine" meant. It is a phrase I use often. In a nutshell, it means I believe in you. I believe in Minnesotans making Minnesota better. I believe in the ingenuity and entrepreneurialism of individuals throughout northern Minnesota.

In Duluth, unleashing the economic engine means recognizing the need for a Coast Guard law that preserves jobs and protects our Lake Superior waterways and signing into law ballast rules that do just that.

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On the Iron Range, it means pushing for Rep. Rick Nolan's bipartisan legislation that would finalize the land exchange for PolyMet Mining, which would create good-paying jobs and provide an economic boost for nearby communities.

For all of northern Minnesota, unleashing the economic engine means allowing to advance an Enbridge Line 3 Replacement Project that not only protects our environment with a safer oil pipeline but will create several thousand new, good-paying jobs.

In Two Harbors, unleashing the economic engine means advancing a fairer and simpler tax code that helps a small business owner there provide profit-sharing checks for his employees this Christmas, allowing them to invest in their own families and boost their local economy.

In Sebeka, Minn., unleashing the economic engine means trusting a farmer because he and his wife - not the federal government - know best on their family farm how to feed their livestock and put food on our tables.

Unleashing the economic engine means putting you first.

In the first week of January, I will be sworn into office. From day one, I will fight for you. You have my word.

It is no secret this district has been blessed with endless, God-given resources. Serving on the House Natural Resources Committee seems to be a logical fit, and I would be honored with the opportunity to fight for miners and manufacturers and loggers and truckers and all of the other industries that make this region a limitlessly robust economic engine.

Another committee where I could best serve you would be House Transportation and Infrastructure. Our roads and bridges, railways, waterways, and runways are vital to our way of life. This district spans 27,583 square miles, and I would be honored to fight to ensure our transportation and infrastructure needs are met. I look forward to updating you as soon as committee assignments are issued.

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As the month of December winds down and we prepare to turn the page on 2018, I encourage you to pause, consider your blessings, and try to spend time with those you hold dear. May you and all of the residents of the 8th District have a safe and enjoyable holiday season and a happy and healthy new year!

Pete Stauber of Hermantown was elected in November as the Republican representative of Northeastern Minnesota's 8th Congressional District. He wrote this at the invitation of the News Tribune Opinion page.

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