News from Representative Tom Emmer

Dear friend,

This week, we’re back in Washington. Up for consideration – among other legislation –  is the National Defense Authorization Act. This bill determines our nation’s annual defense priorities, and we will be closely examining this legislation to ensure any spending is laser-focused and responsibly allocated to defend our national security.

Read on to hear more about our work to support our men and women in uniform and the other initiatives we’re working on this week…

Honoring our Atomic Veterans

July 16th marks Minnesota Atomic Veterans Day, when we recognize the sacrifice of the brave servicemembers from our state who put their lives in jeopardy to develop the United States nuclear program.

From 1946-1962, more than 400,000 servicemembers were exposed to radiation during nuclear tests. Due to the sensitive nature of their work, many of these veterans kept their service a secret. Today, there are an estimated 195,000 atomic veterans who are still unaware of the benefits they are owed for radiation-related illnesses.

Watch a Minnesota Atomic Veterans Day message from Congressman Emmer above

Our atomic veterans deserve recognition for their sacrifice. In 2020, I led a bipartisan letter urging the creation of a military service medal for members of the Armed Forces who were exposed to ionizing radiation as a result of participation in the testing of nuclear weapons. This was in addition to a bipartisan amendment passed as part of the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act to honor our atomic veterans.

I am proud to announce that this month, the Department of Defense created the Atomic Veterans Commemorative Service Medal. Our atomic veterans’ sacrifice saved countless lives, and I am grateful that they will finally begin to get the recognition they deserve.

I also want to thank Sixth District resident and Atomic Veteran Keith Kiefer for his tireless advocacy on behalf of all Atomic Vets. Keith’s work to raise awareness for and support the creation of a service medal for these great Americans was key to securing this important recognition for all of the men and women who served our country in silence.

Young Women’s Leadership Program

Last week marked the first session of our annual Young Women’s Leadership Program. Every year, this program connects promising high-school-aged girls from the Sixth Congressional District with women leaders. Our first session, hosted at Metal Craft in Elk River, was focused on careers in manufacturing and the trades.


Congressman Emmer joins YWLP participants for a tour of Metal Craft in Elk River

We were joined by Traci Tapani, co-owner of Wyoming Machining and member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Policy Council, Della Ludwig, Workforce Strategy Consultant at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, and Melissa Fermoyle, Director of Human Resources at Metal Craft. They gave amazing insights into how to get started with apprenticeships and education options outside of a four-year college degree.

Thank you to our inspiring women leaders, and we can’t wait to host our next session of the Young Women’s Leadership Program in August!

Restoring Fiscal Sanity

Out-of-control government spending has driven up already-rising prices to their highest levels in forty years. We need to put our government on a strict spending diet—and that’s where one of my latest legislative proposals comes in. Read more about our work in my latest blog post, 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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