News from Representative Tom Emmer

Dear Friend,

As the holiday season is in full swing, I hope you and your family remain safe, healthy, and excited for a new year. Read on to learn more about government funding deadlines, the progress of COVID-19 vaccines, relief for employees and small businesses, and more…

Avoiding A Government Shutdown

This Friday, December 11th, funding for the federal government will lapse unless Congress passes new legislation to keep the government running. With this deadline looming ahead, terms like continuing resolution, debt ceiling, reconciliation, and other budgeting jargon will be used by politicians and the media. Government shutdowns happen when we fail to pass funding legislation to finance the government for its next fiscal year or reach agreement on a temporary funding measure. 

What happens next? Congress can adopt a stopgap funding agreement known as a Continuing Resolution to keep the government operating at current funding levels for a short period of time, or, it can pass what’s called an Omnibus spending bill that allocates new funding levels for every federal department and agency through the end of our fiscal year (September 30, 2021). Either option requires the House, the Senate, and the President to come together and agree upon the best path forward. 

Last week, Speaker Pelosi brought the House back into session to address our current funding crisis. However, instead of bringing forward proposals to avert a government shutdown or provide relief to small businesses struggling through the COVID crisis, she brought legislation like marijuana legalization and regulating private ownership of lions and tigers up for a vote. You can’t make this up!

Amid a global pandemic and less than a week before a government shutdown, the American people need help, not political messaging bills. 

One bill we should have considered is H.R. 8265, legislation I cosponsored to free-up $138 billion in unspent Paycheck Protection Program funds and extend the program until December 31, 2020. It would also allow businesses to take a second loan and pass that money on to employees.

This relief is so important that I also signed on to a discharge petition that would force a vote on this bill. By sending this measure straight to the Floor for a vote, we could get immediate relief moving to the small businesses who need it. 

This is no time for political maneuvering. We have to fund our government without driving our country deeper into debt. We have to provide targeted relief to families and businesses struggling to survive during the COVID crisis. 

As a Representative in Congress, your feedback is critical to my votes and actions. Please let me know your thoughts on government funding, and the importance of additional coronavirus aid.

Racing for a Vaccine with Operation Warp Speed

We’re all abuzz with the good news, a vaccine is on the way! Between Pfizer and Moderna, we are quickly getting closer to vaccine delivery. Both vaccines have demonstrated over a 90% efficacy rate! Currently, the companies have applied for Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA.

Recently, Health and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said that the FDA's outside advisors will meet on December 10th to consider authorizing Pfizer's vaccine candidate. If approved it could be distributed immediately, and Moderna’s vaccine would be one week behind that.

Operation Warp Speed is a historic effort. As vaccines begin to be distributed later this month, we will need to continue investing in the system of distribution. Our efforts for a relief package should have vaccine distribution as a central tenant of funding. Getting the vaccine out and to the public will allow individuals to return to work and kids to return to school, ensuring the health and safety of Americans and restoring our nation’s economy!


Supporting Minnesota Broadcasters

Recently, I joined local radio and television broadcasters as part of the Minnesota Broadcasters Association’s Annual Membership Meeting. When the pandemic hit, our commutes to work may have stopped, but we continued to tune in to local TV and radio stations in order to stay connected to the hosts and the shows we love, and to learn about lifesaving COVID-19 information. 

In Congress, I launched the Congressional Broadcasters Caucus to give these broadcasters a voice in the federal government. As a former radio show host, I have seen how local broadcasts bring people together, keep people informed, and serve as a marketplace for ideas and discussion.


Congressman Emmer with members of the Minnesota Broadcasters Association in Washington, D.C. in February of 2020.

During this outbreak, broadcasters across the country have donated a tremendous amount of airtime - worth nearly $100 million - to public service announcements aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19.

This industry has been a vital resource for 100 years, especially this past year, and I will continue to do what I can to preserve local radio and TV. Read more about the Congressional Broadcasters Caucus here.

"A date which will live in infamy”
Yesterday was the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. 79 years ago, our nation was left shocked and wounded. America formally enter World War II the very next day. 

President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed on December 7, 1941, that it was "a date which will live in infamy.” On Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, I took the time to reflect on the 2,403 Americans who gave their lives to defend the values of this nation that day. 

They lost their lives for the American ideal. They served their country because they believed in it. I see that spirit of hope, dedication, and commitment in my two sons, one is a United States Marine, the other, a sailor in the Navy. 

As we traverse these unprecedented times, I encourage you all to remember who came before us, those who fought to keep this country moving forward, who dedicated and sacrificed their lives to keep us free. I will always remember that this country is worth fighting for. The ideals we preserve, and the freedoms we enjoy, make us unlike any other nation in the world.


Today, a memorial sits in the middle of the harbor atop the USS Arizona which still lies beneath the water’s surface.

Moving Forward with Line 3

Construction on the Line 3 oil pipeline replacement has begun after receiving all of the necessary approvals and permits. I have long supported this project because it will replace an existing 34-inch pipe with a new 36-inch pipe for 13 miles in North Dakota, 337 miles in Minnesota, and 14 miles in Wisconsin. 

After many environmental reviews, public comment periods, and intense scrutiny, I am glad that the decision was made to replace the outdated pipeline. Minnesotans consistently prove that we can create jobs and improve infrastructure while protecting the environment!

The company rebuilding Line 3, Enbridge, and pipeline contractors and construction unions gathered a year ago at the Minnesota Laborers Training Center in Lino Lakes to sign a Project Labor Agreement. This means that the thousands of good-paying jobs on this project will be collectively bargained and ensure the pipeline will be done safely by union members. 

This project gets Minnesotans back to work, provides reliable energy, and ensures environmental safety for years to come. It’s great news for Minnesota!

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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