News from Representative Tom Emmer

Dear Friend,

I am honored for the opportunity to continue serving you in Washington. I know the 117th Congress will present new ideas and important votes that impact you and your families. Thank you for your support, and I will continue to serve with the privilege you have entrusted me with. My work is dependent on your input, so please write to me here to share your thoughts at any time.

Honoring Our Veterans

Last week, we had the privilege of participating in the democratic process by voting. We have our veterans and service members to thank for our freedoms and liberties.

Tomorrow is Veterans Day, where we celebrate these heroes and their sacrifices for our nation. Veterans Day is always on November 11th, to commemorate the formal end of World War I which occurred in the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Watch my video here thanking our veterans. 

In Congress, I keep this responsibility at the top of my mind: to defend our defenders and make sure our veterans and their families are afforded the services and support that they have earned.

With that in mind, I introduced the Same-Day Accountability Veterans Enhancement (SAVE) Act to ensure the Veterans Administration has accountability mechanisms in place to successfully offer same-day physical and mental health treatment to veterans in need. I believe accountability and oversight are vital, and I will continue to ensure the Veterans Administration is holding to their promise to care for our veterans.

The SAVE Act is an important piece of legislation that I will continue fighting for. For veterans like Sgt. Brandon Ketchum, who inspired the Sgt Brandon Ketchum Never Again Act, which I am a co-sponsor – this legislation seeks to improve and localize the delivery of mental health care for our veterans. This bill is working its way through the House of Representatives and will ultimately help reduce the number of veteran deaths by suicide that occur every day.

Finally, I recently co-sponsored the National World War II Commemorative Coin Act, which would have the U.S. Treasury mint coins in commemoration of the National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. The proceeds from the sale of the coins will go to the Friends of the National World War II Memorial for the maintenance and repair of the National World War II Memorial, and educational and commemorative programs.

While policy solutions may help, I want to remind everyone to never underestimate the impact that a simple “thank you” can have. These heroes are throughout our communities in Minnesota and deserve our acknowledgment and admiration.

Efforts like these show our veterans we honor their service, and to all the veterans, I want to say thank you for serving in our Armed Forces. I am grateful for your sacrifices to protect our nation. Thank you for upholding and fighting for our freedoms and liberties we hold so dear.

ICYMI: Mental Health is an American Crisis

Recently, the Star Tribune published an opinion editorial I wrote discussing one of the cornerstones of my work in Congress: improving access to mental health care services for all Americans. No one is immune from mental illness, and I am dedicated to ensuring access for all who require mental health care.

Earlier this term, I also ensured funding for the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) to give states vital resources to provide mental health services for farmers, ranchers, and rural communities. Suicides within agricultural and rural communities are rising due to lack of mental health care and work-related stress, and this will help Minnesota’s rural communities.

I also introduced the Expanding Access to Inpatient Mental Health Act, which would eliminate a loophole that limits mental health treatment.  Under current law, some patients can be forced out of psychiatric facilities, called Institutes for Mental Disease (IMD), for days at a time, with the individual's needs left unmet. While the reduction in the number of beds for psychiatric care started as a well-intentioned response to mass institutionalization, it has led to mental health providers being routinely ill-equipped to serve those in need. This legislation would eliminate the arbitrary 15-day cap for individuals who need to stay longer to receive life-saving care.

This COVID-19 outbreak forced many of us to seek new and alternative ways to get the care we need. I joined a letter with several of my colleagues in a non-partisan effort to urge House Leadership to extend the emergency telehealth waivers, specifically for behavioral health services. For those most vulnerable, telehealth visits give the opportunity to engage with the care they desperately need, while protecting them from coronavirus. 

I also signed on as a co-sponsor of the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act, which would waive current telehealth fees for Medicare recipients, including services in the home. It also eliminates geographic restrictions and includes the home as an acceptable site for mental health and emergency medical services.

I’ll continue to fight for access for all Americans to get the help they need, where they need it. Read my op-ed here.

Mental Health Resources: 

  • If you are in need, visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s website here for help.
  • Know the warning signs, risk factors, and ways to prevent suicide by visiting here
  • For resources related to mental health care during the Coronavirus outbreak, visit my COVID-19 Mental Health Resource Page here.
Crisis Resources:
  • If you are in crisis or are experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255).
  • If you’re uncomfortable talking on the phone, you can also text NAMI to 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line.

Winter Hazard Awareness Week: Winter is Coming! 

As of late, we’ve been spoiled with some outstanding weather in Minnesota! However, we all know that the inevitable snowfall will begin and continue for months. As temperatures drop, and the risks and dangers of winter set in, take this time to prepare yourself and your family.

You can never be too prepared and now is the time to brush up on your winter safety knowledge and skills! Winter Hazard Awareness Week gives us that opportunity. See below for some helpful resources!



  • Winter storm resources and information can be found here.
  • Outdoor winter safety tips can be found here.
  • Information on how to keep your home safe in winter and avoid house fires can be found here.
  • Information for staying safe indoors in winter can be found here.
  • Tips for safe winter driving can be found here

Until next week, 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!


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