News from Representative Tom Emmer

Dear Friend,

On Wednesday, April 28, 2021, President Biden addressed a joint session of Congress during a week when Members of Congress were scheduled to be back home in their districts. Throughout his speech, President Biden echoed his promises of bipartisanship and collaboration. The day he gave the speech was his 99th day in office, and his actions up to that point have shown his true lack of interest in building consensus. 

As our country works to recover from mandated lockdowns and economic uncertainty, President Biden’s proposals are not targeted to the areas of greatest need and will only increase costs, destroy jobs, grow government, and make the United States less competitive. Adopting trillions in new spending, raising taxes, and expanding the size and scope of the federal government is not what I came to Congress to do. You can read my full statement on President Biden’s speech here.

There’s a lot of work that must be done to get our country back on the right track. Continue reading to learn more about what we’re working on…

Community Policing is Essential

The conversation continues, both nationally and locally, regarding the role of law enforcement in our communities. President Biden mentioned police reform during his speech to Congress. He urged police reform happen by the end of this month to commemorate the anniversary of the death of George Floyd.

Improving the way our law enforcement engages with our communities is always something we should be focused on, but it should not be rushed and should involve the very men and women who risk their lives to serve and protect: our law enforcement. In March, the House passed a police reform bill and refused to include bipartisan solutions from Republicans. Until we can work together and include police and peace officers in the discussions, these efforts will not successfully reform policing in the United States.

This Congress, I reintroduced an important bill, the Community OutPost (COP) Outreach and Engagement Act. This bill would establish a national federal pilot program using one of our local initiatives as an example: the St. Cloud COP House.

St. Cloud invested in a Community OutPost to help law enforcement engage and communicate with residents in their surrounding communities. The “COP 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.

Lately, the St. Cloud COP House has received high praise for its efforts to bridge the divide between the St. Cloud Police Department and the community they serve. At the forefront of the conversation is St. Cloud Police Chief, Blair Anderson. He recently joined John Lauritsen on WCCO TV to discuss the COP House and the future of policing.

WATCH HERE: St. Cloud Police Chief Talks 1-On-1 On Future Of Policing


The COP House was also featured by KARE 11. Boyd Huppert visited the COP House to talk with some of the community members who attend events there and to talk with the police officers who work there. Of the residents surveyed, 90% agreed the conditions in the neighborhood had improved since the COP House was established. This showcases how the local effort works.

KARE 11: New model for policing lives at St. Cloud 'COP House'


I’m proud to take Minnesota-inspired solutions to a national level. These concepts are transforming communities and should be replicated in communities around the country. Chief Anderson said it best, the COP House and the St. Cloud Police Department have, “already made huge deposits into the reservoir of trust. When stuff goes sideways, they aren't coming to burn stuff down. We're humanizing the badge."

Supporting Our Small Businesses

One thing is certain: our small businesses continue to need our help as we recover from this pandemic.

Last week, I sent a letter to Governor Tim Walz, along with my Minnesota Republican colleagues Reps. Hagedorn, Fischbach, and Stauber, urging the Governor consider the needs of our state’s small businesses and their employees who have endured so much uncertainty and pain in the past year.

Specifically, we asked that he declare forgiven Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans will not be taxable. Minnesota is one of only 11 states left in the nation to tax forgiven loans.
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has served as a lifeline for businesses across Minnesota. It has helped our local communities across the state by providing an avenue for employers to keep their employees on the payroll, to feed their families, and to serve their community’s needs.
In December 2020, Congress affirmed that forgiven PPP loans are not considered taxable income and will therefore be tax-exempt. I supported this initiative at the federal level.

In response, most states across the nation followed suit and similarly declared that forgiven PPP loans will be tax-exempt. Minnesota, however, failed to do so. More than 100,000 businesses in Minnesota received PPP loans to continue serving their communities and taking care of their employees over the past year.

The government-mandated shutdowns in Minnesota have hurt our business communities, and with the state’s projected $1.6 billion budget surplus, it is an unnecessary and inconsiderate burden on our great businesses to tax these loans.


Investing in the American Worker

Last week, we also introduced the bipartisan Investing in American Workers Act which will reward businesses for providing their workforce with on-the-job educational and technical training opportunities. Attending a four-year college isn’t – and shouldn’t be – the only path to a successful career and financial security.

The Investing in American Workers Act establishes a tax credit for employers who increase their spending on worker training and incentivizes high-quality training by detailing allowable providers and programs. It also encourages small businesses to train their workers by providing a simplified filing process and allowing them to apply the credit against payroll and alternative minimum taxes. This bill will help put more Americans on the path to good-paying jobs when they need it more than ever.

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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