News from Representative Tom Emmer

Dear Friend,

Please join me tomorrow for another telephone town hall – these events serve as a great way to discuss the issues you care about most!

Tomorrow at 7pm, I will be available to answer your questions and discuss the important legislative items coming before the House of Representatives. I will also be joined by an expert from the IRS to answer any questions related to Economic Impact Payments and tax season.

As stimulus checks continue to be dispersed and the individual tax filing deadline was pushed back to May 17th – there are plenty of important tax questions to address. If you would like to join the call tomorrow, please dial 855-962-1252. You can learn more here.

Read on to learn more about our recent work…

Celebrating a Hockey Legend

Last week, I had the opportunity to introduce an important bill that would honor Willie O’Ree with the Congressional Gold Medal. Alongside my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, Mike Quigley, Brian Higgins, and John Katko, we introduced the Willie O’Ree Congressional Gold Medal Act.  

Willie is known as the “Jackie Robinson of Hockey” – he broke historic barriers in 1958 when he became the first Black player to compete in the National Hockey League as a member of the Boston Bruins. More than 60 years later, O’Ree continues to have a profound impact on one of our nation’s major sports as an active champion for diversity and opportunity – in hockey and beyond.

Willie O’Ree as a member of the Boston Bruins

On January 18, 1958, Willie O’Ree was called to the Boston Bruins to face off against the Montreal Canadiens, becoming the first Black player in League history. Despite adversity, he spent a long career spanning more than 22 seasons as a professional hockey player in both the NHL and minor leagues.

Following his professional hockey career, O’Ree became the NHL’s official Diversity Ambassador – a role he continues to hold today. In the 1990s, he established the Hockey is for Everyone initiative to offer marginalized, disadvantaged, and underrepresented children an opportunity to play hockey and develop important life skills both on and off the ice – empowering them with lessons about leadership, inclusion, and perseverance. The initiative now includes 26 non-profit organizations with over 40 program centers and has welcomed more than 120,000 new children to the game since its inception.

It was also wonderful to see, less than a week prior to reintroduction of our legislation, that the Ontario Reign, the American Hockey League affiliate for the Los Angeles Kings, formed the first all-black line since 1942. None of this would have been possible without Willie O’Ree’s contributions to the expansion, growth, and accessibility of the game of hockey.

Supporting Innovative Technologies

ImageCongressman Emmer participating in a panel at the Security Token Summit

I had the opportunity to join the virtual Security Token Summit to discuss blockchain and cryptocurrency regulation. This event was focused on security tokens and digital currencies, and covered custody, compliance, regulation, investing, marketing issues.

I recently  about the revolutionary impact fintech can have on our financial system for The Hill. Read my op-ed here. Last week, the Star Tribune wrote about my work on blockchain technologies, like cryptocurrency. You can read that article here.

As a member of the House Financial Services Committee and the Ranking Member of the Task Force on Financial Technology, I am interested in the way emerging technologies can serve the unbanked and underbanked. I believe these technologies have huge implications for countless aspects of our lives, and it will give us the power to do things, like improve access to our financial markets from our phone or computer.

You can read more about my work on my website here.

Honoring Our Vietnam Veterans

Yesterday, March 29, we recognized National Vietnam War Veterans Day, taking some time to focus on the bravery and sacrifice of those who fought for the United States. Over 1,079 Minnesotans lost their lives in Vietnam, and tens of thousands of Americans and their families had their lives changed forever by the conflict. The service men and women who risked their lives for our freedom will not be forgotten.


Congressman Emmer visits with retired servicemen at Minnesota Veterans Home in Minneapolis

The legacy of the Vietnam War is closer than you might think. You can hear first-hand stories from Minnesotans who served in the Vietnam War, and explore the Minnesota Remembers Vietnam Story Wall, a project of Minnesota PBS.

As your Member of Congress, I fight every day to ensure that those who served are given the respect and care they deserve. My newly-reintroduced SAVE Act will help veterans receive timely primary and mental health care by creating accountability measures for same-day treatment initiatives at Veterans Administration health facilities. You can read more about the SAVE Act and my work for our veterans here.

Bringing Local Police Engagement Nation-wide

Community policing is more important now than ever. As we continue a nation-wide discussion about the role of law enforcement in our communities, we should be focusing on efforts that connect police officers to the people they are sworn to serve and protect.

I recently reintroduced an important bill, the Community OutPost (COP) Outreach and Engagement Act. This bill would establish a national federal pilot program using as an example one of our local initiatives: the St. Cloud COP House.
Last week, the Star Tribune wrote about the COP House in St. Cloud. The house is a residential home where local residents can receive critical services like health screenings, and attend afterschool education programs while building relationships with 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.


Congressman Emmer with members of the St. Cloud Police Department, including Chief Blair Anderson

When the St. Cloud Police Department embarked on this new initiative, my office was honored to assist them in securing the location. Last week, KNSI wrote about our efforts, and you can read more here.

Recently, the St. Cloud Times also wrote about the COP Outreach and Engagement Act, my proposal would issue grants to establish COP Houses nation-wide. This effort works in St. Cloud and it can work in cities across this country if we are willing to invest in the community relations needed to build rapport between law enforcement and communities. As Chief Anderson puts it, this effort is helping to “humanize the badge,” and efforts like this should be supported and expanded.

You can read more about the COP House here.

Investing in Our Regional Airports

Recently, I announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded both the Blaine and Buffalo airports with grant funding. Collectively, they received $104,162 to help support operations and services at both facilities. 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. These grants are funded by the Coronavirus Relief and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, which I supported. 

Regional airports play an important role in our region, and they make areas in our community economic hubs. These airports serve as vital connection points to ensure the region grows and thrives. You can read more about these investments here.

SURVEY: Vaccine Distribution

As you know, states across the country have been distributing COVID-19 vaccines. Currently, Minnesota is in Phase 1a of this distribution, meaning that the elderly, health care and other frontline workers are eligible.

However, many have expressed frustration with getting an appointment to receive the vaccine, even if they are eligible. Have you or a loved one struggled to get a vaccine? 
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Having trouble, please click 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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