News from Representative Tom Emmer

Dear Friend,

Tonight, we get to say goodbye to 2020. For many of us, this has been a tough year.  It is always important, though, to take the time to focus on the things for which we are grateful. I continue to be blessed with a wonderful family who helped one another through this challenging year and supported my work to represent the Sixth District in Congress. I want to thank you for that privilege and hope you will take the time to reflect on the positive influences and events that occurred in your life over these last twelve months.

It truly has been an unprecedented, yet productive year for the Sixth Congressional District. Our work is never finished and I look forward to an even busier 2021!

Read on to learn about the successes of 2020…


Like many of you, I commute to work. Although my job takes me to Washington, D.C. and Congressional Districts across the country, home is always top of mind. When I am back to the Sixth District, I try to make the most of my time with my fellow Minnesotans. Although the COVID-19 outbreak limited our ability to host more in-person town halls, we did our best to stay connected by hosting telephone town halls, something we will continue to do in the new year until it is safer to gather in large groups.

In all, we were able to connect with thousands of residents in the Sixth and provide vital information during a time of uncertainty and confusion. During our telephone town halls, our office hosted experts from the Small Business Administration, the IRS, CentraCare, and many more important agencies and groups who shared vital information about the outbreak.

To stay tuned for future town halls, please keep an eye on this newsletter and my social media by following me on Twitter and Facebook!

Aside from meeting many of you in person, I am always glad to be able to assist with problems you experience with federal agencies. My team in Minnesota consists of caseworkers who can work to solve problems you might face with the federal government. This year we assisted over 271 constituents with federal issues!

Casework is the backbone of constituent service for a federal office, and I am proud to say we have the best caseworkers in the business! If you or someone you know is struggling to navigate a federal agency, and need assistance, reach out to my office here. My staff is always ready to assist you!

Ending the Tax on Innovation

This Congress, we scored a major win for Minnesota by fully repealing the Medical Device Tax! The medical device industry supports over 30,000 jobs in Minnesota. When the tax was implemented between 2013 and 2015, 29,000 jobs were lost nationally. The repeal of this tax has allowed medical innovation to flourish in our state when we need it most!

The medical device industry is vital to Minnesota's economy. Companies like Medtronic, Smiths Medical, and Boston Scientific employ many Minnesotans. These companies work every day to provide critical research for life-saving devices.


I have always maintained that patients deserve access to life-saving devices, and companies dedicated to providing these innovations should not have their hands tied by the government's desire to tax innovation. Putting the discovery of new breakthrough technologies at risk only hurts patients all around the country.

I was proud to advocate for the full repeal of this tax throughout Congress. To read more about our work on work on health care and medical innovation, click here.

Providing Mental Health Care for our Agriculture Community
In 2018, we reauthorized a vital program for farmers in Minnesota: The Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN). This program was established to offer hotlines, community outreach programs, and other forms of assistance for our farmers, ranchers, and others engaged in agriculture-related occupations who are struggling with mental health issues. 

Historically, this program has lacked funding. This term, we were successful in ensuring it received full funding!

Every week Minnesota farmers commit themselves to providing the food and fuel our communities rely on. During this year’s outbreak, they kept our grocery stores full. The food they produce is also exported to markets around the world. Without the continued success of our farm economy, American families and - ultimately families everywhere - suffer.

It is easy to forget the people who ensure there is food in our grocery stores. Through their hard work and dedication, we enjoy the choices they provide for us. That is why I am so proud to see this program fully funded to offer them the mental health care they deserve.


Reducing Commute Times and Investing in Minnesota’s Infrastructure

This year, we have seen outstanding investments in infrastructure projects in Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation invested $40 million dollars to improve Highway 10. In addition, they awarded an additional $15 million for an infrastructure project in Anoka, which will construct a replacement of the Rum River bridge on U.S. Highway 10, as well as replace an adjacent 4th Avenue bridge over Highway 10.

I am grateful to Secretary Chao and the Department of Transportation for their attention and investment in Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District. We were in desperate need of this important funding, and we will finally be receiving the attention our infrastructure requires.

Earlier this year, I introduced the National Bridge Replacement and Improvement Act, which prioritizes funding for bridge improvements to ensure safety and address America’s deficiencies in bridge infrastructure. My priority is and will always be to ensure our roads, bridges, and transportation infrastructure are safe and efficient.

I am committed to continuing the momentum of this Congress and fighting for more transportation funding for our communities that need it.

Supporting Victims of Sexual Assault

During my time in Congress, I have led the effort to pass the Abby Honold Act, which is a very important piece of legislation inspired by Abby Honold, a fellow Minnesotan and former University of Minnesota student. The Abby Honold Act, which I first introduced in the 115th Congress, will help law enforcement investigate sexual assault cases, and improve care and treatment for victims.


After my first phone call with Abby, I knew that this legislation was vital in helping sexual assault victims across this nation.

When Abby reported her rape to police in 2014, the trauma she experienced prevented her from recalling important details about the crime that occurred - ones which would have immediately led to the prosecution of the perpetrator. Abby was taken to the hospital and cared for by a nurse who was trained to use a trauma-informed interviewing method. Through her nurse’s compassion and expertise, Abby was able to recall important details, which ultimately aided in the investigation of her case and led to the successful prosecution of her perpetrator.

The Abby Honold Act will utilize existing funds to train law enforcement agencies in evidence-based, trauma-informed interview techniques to prevent re-traumatization of victims, improve communication between victims and law enforcement, and ensure accurate and complete information is submitted to law enforcement.

 Congressman Emmer meeting with Abby Honold and nurse, Linda Walther to discuss the Abby Honold Act in 2018.

This year, the Abby Honold Act passed the House as an amendment to the Violence Against Women Act. While this legislation did not receive reauthorization in the Senate, I am hopeful that in the 117th Congress we can finally pass this vital legislation.

Sexual assault is a heinous crime and it is vital for law enforcement to have accurate and complete information to prosecute perpetrators. Stories like Abby’s happen far too often in our communities and communities across the nation, and I am proud to support her effort to get the justice these individuals deserve. As a Member of Congress, an attorney, and the father of a daughter, I will strive to do everything I can to see that sexual violence is prosecuted like the heinous crime it is.   

Advocating for Mental Health Care Access

This year, I introduced legislation to increase access to mental health care, something I have long advocated. Currently, a loophole called the IMD exclusion impacts Medicaid beneficiaries from seeking short-term inpatient care in mental health facilities with more than sixteen beds. My bill will eliminate this arbitrary cap on the amount of care a patient can receive from providers who receive a fixed reimbursement, and allows a patient’s routine of care to be determined by their needs and the guidance of their doctor - not a bureaucrat. Closing this loophole will mean that patients are able to receive the effective treatment they deserve, improving their outcomes and helping them heal.

Non-partisan legislation like this will directly impact Minnesota, and improve mental health care treatment. However, it is important that we continue this conversation with each other. There should be absolutely no stigma surrounding conversations about mental health, nor seeking treatment options.

I hope this legislation receives a hearing in the 117th Congress. I am more dedicated than ever following the passing of my friend and mental health advocate, former Representative Jim Ramstad to keep the fight for access to mental health care services open and expanding.

Ensuring Community Relations Between Police and Citizens

This year, Minneapolis was front and center in the national news media following the death of George Floyd. Protests turned to riots and our cities were shrouded in violence. In the wake of the unrest, I introduced the Community OutPost (COP) Outreach and Engagement Act to improve the relationship between communities and law enforcement.


Congressman Emmer with St. Cloud Chief of Police Blair Anderson and other leadership from the St. Cloud Police Department who spearheaded the COP House strategy.

Neighborhoods throughout the Sixth District are shining examples for their efforts to ensure the community has positive and regular contact with the local police and sheriff’s departments. St. Cloud is one of the many outstanding examples. St. Cloud invested in a Community OutPost to help law enforcement engage and communicate with residents in their surrounding communities. A COP House is a residential home where nearby residents can receive critical services and build relationships with local law enforcement in that community. With improved police-citizen communication, officers can more effectively establish trust and build rapport with the citizens that they are sworn to protect. 

Rather than calling for measures to defund the police, we should be thanking our police for everything they do to keep us safe and engage with the communities they protect. We must also ensure they have the resources to do their jobs well. I have always said that law enforcement is only as effective as their community relations are strong.

I am looking forward to 2021 and as we ring in this New Year, I look forward to working with you to build on the successes of 2020. From my family to yours, Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District is our home and I am honored to represent you in Congress.

Until next year, 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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