North Star Newsletter: Defending Our American Principles

Senator Al Franken
2017-01-31 18:30:39
North Star Newsletter: January 2017 Defending Our American Principles “Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” is inscribed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, our nation’s symbol of freedom. And for centuries, the United States has served as a beacon of hope for the world’s immigrants and refugees. But President Trump has decided to turn his back on that proud tradition. His discriminatory Executive Order slams America’s doors shut on innocent people—refugees, immigrants, and even tourists and families trying to visit their loved ones who live here. Over the weekend, Senator Amy Klobuchar and I took time to meet with community members and discuss the affects of President Trump’s harmful Executive Order. Minnesotans told us that it’s bad for families, businesses, our state, and our nation. This Executive Order is disgraceful, and I’ll be doing everything I can to fight it. Improving Minnesotans' Healthcare Because of the Affordable Care Act, insurers can’t discriminate against the 2.3 million Minnesotans with pre-existing conditions, women are no longer charged more than men for coverage, annual and lifetime coverage limits won’t kick you off your insurance plan when you’re sick and need it most, young people can stay on their parents’ plans until age 26, and more than 20 million Americans have gained health insurance. Now, there’s no question that parts of the ACA need to be fixed—for example, we need to address the root causes of premium hikes, which are too high for Minnesota families—but I truly believe we should be working to build on and improve the law, not rip it up and pull the rug out from nearly 400,000 Minnesotans. I’ve been talking to a lot of families in Minnesota who are scared. And frankly, they don’t know what they’re going to do if their health insurance is taken away. So I'm calling on my Republican colleagues in Congress to do one very important thing before they vote to officially repeal the law: show us a replacement plan that covers as many people as the ACA, reduces health care costs, and provides essential consumer health protections. Standing Up For Education As a member of the Education Committee, one of my top priorities is to make sure that each and every student has the chance to get a world-class education. But during her confirmation hearing this month, Betsy DeVos—President Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Education—repeatedly demonstrated that she is not the right person to help us make strides toward that goal. Minnesotans deserve an Education Secretary who understands public education and can successfully address the profoundly difficult challenges that ordinary families face every day when it comes to education. And since her hearing, I’ve heard many significant concerns from advocates, educators, and students across Minnesota—including those I met with in Minneapolis last week. I do not believe that Betsy DeVos, a billionaire donor with no public education experience whatsoever, has what it takes to rise to the challenges that our kids need her to meet. After a full examination of Ms. DeVos’ record, it’s clear that she is not qualified for this demanding job, and I will vote no when her name comes up for confirmation. Helping Minnesota Farmers With one-in-five Minnesota jobs tied to agriculture, I’m committed to making sure Minnesota farmers have a seat at the table when it comes to our legislative and policy priorities. And that’s why I recently convened a talk with a group of producers at Bruce and Barb Blomgren’s fifth-generation family farm in Cambridge. I took a tour of the Blomgren’s 200-acre corn and soybean farm, and then I had the chance to sit and hear from Bruce, Barb, and several other local farmers. We talked farm policy, spoke about the toll that several years of low farm prices has had on Minnesota producers, and discussed their concerns about the Trump Administration’s proposal to slap a 20 percent tax on Mexican imports and the fear of trade retaliation by Mexico. I told everyone there that I plan on taking a very active role in the upcoming debate over a new Farm Bill, and that I’m glad I could hear directly from them about the policies they’d like to see pushed. You know, I authored several provisions in the 2014 Farm Bill—I helped write the energy title, for example—and I’m eager to get working on the next one to help Minnesota producers, rural communities, and rural business. To unsubscribe from these newsletters, please visit the unsubscribe page here.

North Star Newsletter: January 2017

Defending Our American Principles

“Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” is inscribed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, our nation’s symbol of freedom. And for centuries, the United States has served as a beacon of hope for the world’s immigrants and refugees.

But President Trump has decided to turn his back on that proud tradition. His discriminatory Executive Order slams America’s doors shut on innocent people—refugees, immigrants, and even tourists and families trying to visit their loved ones who live here.

Over the weekend, Senator Amy Klobuchar and I took time to meet with community members and discuss the affects of President Trump’s harmful Executive Order. Minnesotans told us that it’s bad for families, businesses, our state, and our nation.

This Executive Order is disgraceful, and I’ll be doing everything I can to fight it.

Improving Minnesotans' Healthcare

Because of the Affordable Care Act, insurers can’t discriminate against the 2.3 million Minnesotans with pre-existing conditions, women are no longer charged more than men for coverage, annual and lifetime coverage limits won’t kick you off your insurance plan when you’re sick and need it most, young people can stay on their parents’ plans until age 26, and more than 20 million Americans have gained health insurance.

Now, there’s no question that parts of the ACA need to be fixed—for example, we need to address the root causes of premium hikes, which are too high for Minnesota families—but I truly believe we should be working to build on and improve the law, not rip it up and pull the rug out from nearly 400,000 Minnesotans.

I’ve been talking to a lot of families in Minnesota who are scared. And frankly, they don’t know what they’re going to do if their health insurance is taken away. So I'm calling on my Republican colleagues in Congress to do one very important thing before they vote to officially repeal the law: show us a replacement plan that covers as many people as the ACA, reduces health care costs, and provides essential consumer health protections.

Standing Up For Education

As a member of the Education Committee, one of my top priorities is to make sure that each and every student has the chance to get a world-class education. But during her confirmation hearing this month, Betsy DeVos—President Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Education—repeatedly demonstrated that she is not the right person to help us make strides toward that goal.

Minnesotans deserve an Education Secretary who understands public education and can successfully address the profoundly difficult challenges that ordinary families face every day when it comes to education. And since her hearing, I’ve heard many significant concerns from advocates, educators, and students across Minnesota—including those I met with in Minneapolis last week.

I do not believe that Betsy DeVos, a billionaire donor with no public education experience whatsoever, has what it takes to rise to the challenges that our kids need her to meet. After a full examination of Ms. DeVos’ record, it’s clear that she is not qualified for this demanding job, and I will vote no when her name comes up for confirmation.

Helping Minnesota Farmers

With one-in-five Minnesota jobs tied to agriculture, I’m committed to making sure Minnesota farmers have a seat at the table when it comes to our legislative and policy priorities.

And that’s why I recently convened a talk with a group of producers at Bruce and Barb Blomgren’s fifth-generation family farm in Cambridge.

I took a tour of the Blomgren’s 200-acre corn and soybean farm, and then I had the chance to sit and hear from Bruce, Barb, and several other local farmers.

We talked farm policy, spoke about the toll that several years of low farm prices has had on Minnesota producers, and discussed their concerns about the Trump Administration’s proposal to slap a 20 percent tax on Mexican imports and the fear of trade retaliation by Mexico.

I told everyone there that I plan on taking a very active role in the upcoming debate over a new Farm Bill, and that I’m glad I could hear directly from them about the policies they’d like to see pushed.

You know, I authored several provisions in the 2014 Farm Bill—I helped write the energy title, for example—and I’m eager to get working on the next one to help Minnesota producers, rural communities, and rural business.

To unsubscribe from these newsletters, please visit the unsubscribe page