News from Representative Tom Emmer

Dear Friend,

Last week, the House voted on legislation to fundamentally alter our system of elections and the way we work with law enforcement. Unfortunately, the partisan nature of both bills left me with significant concerns. Read on in this week’s newsletter to learn more about each bill and why every Republican in the House ultimately opposed them. 

In addition to these votes, I also introduced legislation to expand access to mental health care and announced the application is now OPEN for our Young Women’s Leadership Program. Apply here!

Looking ahead to another busy week in Washington, please do not hesitate to reach out if I can be of assistance to you or your family…

Legislative Update: Police Reform

One of the bills that came before the House of Representatives last week was the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. While this bill was purportedly written to reform our system of policing, there was one glaring omission from the outset: House Democrats opted not to solicit feedback from our law enforcement community.

If we want to improve the performance of law enforcement and change the culture of policing, we need to include police and peace officers in this discussion. If we want to ensure what happened to George Floyd never happens again, we need to put forth real policy changes with police as our partner, not as an enemy targeted for defunding.

Our nation’s men and women in uniform have been put under a microscope, but their job is critical to the safety and security of the American people.

There were many concerning aspects of the Justice in Policing Act. It would eliminate qualified immunity and defund the police. It also failed to include non-partisan solutions like our Community OutPost Outreach (COP) and Engagement Act. This bill would improve the relationship between law enforcement and those they serve by establishing a pilot program to promote the nationwide use of Community OutPosts, similar to what has been developed in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

These outposts, also known as “COP Houses,” are residential homes where residents can receive critical services, and law enforcement can build rapport and engage with members of the surrounding community.


Read more about my Community OutPost Outreach and Engagement Act here.

Our law enforcement officers work tirelessly to keep their communities safe. During times of heightened scrutiny, they should be viewed as partners for change instead of being vilified. Defunding our police threatens their ability to operate effective community relations efforts and hinders their ability to prevent crimes from occurring in the first place.

You can read my statement on the Justice in Policing Act here.

Legislative Update: Election Reform

Following the vote on the Justice in Policing Act, we considered H.R. 1, an election reform package that would fund partisan campaigns and federalize our elections. I simply could not support election reform that subverts our Constitution. The bill impedes the states’ ability to determine their registration and voting practices, as protected under Article 1, Section 4 of the Constitution. It also provides government funding for partisan campaigns, something I can’t imagine anyone supports except politicians.

I spoke on the House Floor in opposition to H.R. 1. Watch here.

It’s concerning that House Democrats have chosen to prioritize their own re-elections ahead of getting Americans back to work, improving our transportation infrastructure, or ensuring everyone has access to health care.

I voted against both the Justice in Policing Act and H.R. 1, but both passed the House on partisan lines. You can read my statement on H.R. 1 here.

Expanding Access to Mental Health Care


Read about the Expanding Access to Inpatient Mental Health Act here.

Over the past year, all of our routines have shifted as life as we knew it changed dramatically. With these changes, many of us are struggling with mental health challenges.

Last week, I reintroduced the Expanding Access to Inpatient Mental Health Act, a bill designed to eliminate an arbitrary cap on mental health services which has served as a barrier to individuals seeking the care and treatment they need.

Under current law, mental health care treatment is limited at some facilities due to the Institutions for Mental Disease (IMD) exclusion. Because of the IMD exclusion, caps are placed on the number of beds provided for patients, and the number of days a patient can receive care. Medicaid managed care, for instance, limits care for patients in an IMD to 15 days. This cap has harmed proper mental health care treatment and unnecessarily harmed the establishment of new mental health facilities.

The Expanding Access to Inpatient Mental Health Act would eliminate the 15-day cap for Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) and Prepaid Inpatient Health Plan (PIHP) beneficiaries receiving care in an IMD. This would allow individuals to receive care for the appropriate amount of time required to treat their mental illness.

We need to get people the proper care for the appropriate amount of time they need it, and we need to do it now.

ICYMI: Rep. Emmer on KASM & WCCO 


In April, our good neighbor and titan in broadcasting, Dave Lee, will be retiring from WCCO radio. It was great to connect with him and his listeners last week to discuss H.R. 1, funding for the St. Cloud Airport, and my vote against the misguided $1.9 trillion spending package. If you missed it, you can listen to my conversation with Dave Lee here!

I also joined Joe Gill on his show on KASM out of Albany. Listen here. We discussed my upcoming appearance at the Central Minnesota Farm Show hosted by the St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce.

We also discussed the Biden Administration’s climate agenda and its impact on agriculture, and my STRESS Under COVID-19 Act which instructs the USDA to expedite funding for the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN). You can read more about my work on issues related to the mental health of our agriculture community here.

Supporting Our Troops

It was also great to meet with Major General Shawn Manke of the Minnesota National Guard last week. We had an excellent conversation about the important work the MN National Guard’s Sexual Assault Program has done to combat instances of assault.

He also briefed me on the 133rd Airlift Wing’s C-130 mission and gave my office an update on the MN National Guards' activities. I always look forward to hearing from the men and women who serve in the Minnesota National Guard. We have one of the finest – and one of the largest – Guard contingents in the nation. I could not be more proud of the work they do on a daily basis to keep us safe.


Following our discussion, I also became a cosponsor of the Major Richard Star Act. This bill would remove an unnecessary penalty to veteran’s compensation. Starting in 2004, veterans with a disability rating of 50% or higher may receive both military retirement pay and Veterans Affairs compensation, which had previously been prohibited by law. However, military retirees that leave the service due to combat-related injuries after less than 20 years of service are excluded from receiving both, with their disability pay instead deducted from their retirement pay.

The Major Richard Star Act corrects this injustice for some 42,000 military retirees by expanding the concurrent receipt to those who had their careers cut short due to combat-related injuries before their 20 years of service.

I’ll always do what I can to support our men and women in uniform serving in our Armed Forces.

An Important Investment in MN06


Recently, I announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the St. Cloud Regional Airport a grant of $1,007,395. This is a significant investment in our regional airport!  

This money will be used for operation, personnel, cleaning, sanitization, janitorial services, and to combat the spread of COVID-19.

St. Cloud Regional Airport plays an important role in our region, and it even supports our Minnesota National Guard. St. Cloud is an economic hub for the region, and the airport helps solidify that. This investment will continue to help the region grow and thrive.

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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