Our Representative in Congress hasn’t held a public town hall since February 10, 2010. There’ve been last minute meetings announced on social media shortly before they happen, tele- town halls where questions can be vetted before being forwarded, appearances at local businesses and school — but no traditional town hall.
The following article by Meghan Davy Sandvold was posted on the Eden Prairie News website June 22, 2017:
EDEN PRAIRIE — Faith leaders and constituents of District 3 recently gathered outside U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen’s Eden Prairie office. They said they were mourning the potential deaths of those who may not be alive for long if significant changes are made to their health care plans.
Clergy and faith leaders from Congressional District 3 gathered outside of Paulsen’s oce at 250 Prairie Center Drive in Eden Prairie, on Wednesday, June 21, to raise awareness of the impact the proposed American Health Care Act could have on thousands of Minnesotans. (more…)
The following article by Lorraine Chow via EcoWatch was posted on the Alternet website June 13, 2017:
The 22 Republican senators who urged Trump to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement received millions of dollars from fossil fuel interests.
The 22 Republican senators who recently sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement received more than $10 million dollars in campaign funds from fossil fuel interests.
The two-page letter was signed by a number of Republican heavyweights from coal/gas/oil-rich states, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma and Ted Cruz of Texas.
The Guardian calculated that the 22 senators received a total of $10,694,284 from oil, gas and coal money in just five years. (See the breakdown below.)
However, that sum does not even come close to the amount of undisclosed funds coming from the deep pockets of Charles and David Koch‘s coal, oil and gas conglomerate, Koch Industries, and other outside groups.
As the Guardian explains:
“Visible donations to Republicans from those industries exceeded donations to Democrats in the 2016 election cycle by a ratio of 15-to-1, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. And that does not include so-called dark money passed from oil interests such as Koch industries to general slush funds to re-elect Republicans such as the Senate leadership fund. (more…)
The following article by Thomas Huelskoetter and Emily Gee was posted on the Center for American Progress website June 9, 2017:
Recent reports indicate that the emerging Senate version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) may not include the House version’s provision permitting states to waive the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) community rating provision, which prevents insurers from charging sick people higher premiums than healthy people.
Even without community rating waivers, the Senate bill would still critically weaken protections for people with pre-existing conditions. By allowing states to waive the ACA’s essential health benefits (EHB) requirements, it would enable insurers to effectively screen out sick people by excluding certain services. (more…)
NOTE: Minnesota CD3 Representative Erik Paulsen vote to enact this bill.
MESSAGE FROM THE DEMOCRATIC WHIP
This week, House Republicans passed the Wrong Choice Act, which would dismantle consumer protections and allow Wall Street to engage in the same kind of risky practices that led to the financial crisis in 2008. The bill would gut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has returned $12 billion to 29 million Americans who were wronged by financial institutions, as well as eliminate rules of the road to prevent another financial crisis and taxpayer bailouts.
Unfortunately, the Wrong Choice Act is another example of Republicans rolling back protections for workers, consumers, investors, teachers and students, public health, and others – instead of addressing the priorities of the American people. Republicans have had control of both chambers of Congress and the White House for nearly six months, and they have failed to deliver for the American people. Among other failures, they haven’t yet put forward a single jobs bill or an infrastructure bill; they haven’t proposed a budget or started the process to fund the government; and they haven’t introduced comprehensive tax reform.
In the Senate, FBI Director Comey testified before the Intelligence Committee yesterday, and he reiterated that Russia interfered in the election and that they will do it again if we do not get to the bottom of what happened. He was right – this isn’t a partisan issue. We must work together to protect the integrity of our democracy. That is why I continue to call for an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election and ties between Russia and President Trump’s campaign. The American people deserve a public investigation and the full truth, and Democrats will continue to urge Republicans to work with us to establish such a commission.
NOTE: Minnesota CD3 Representative Erik Paulsen voted to enact this bill June 8, 2017.
The following article by Aaron Klein was posted on the Fortune Magazine website June 7, 2017:
Congress this week is considering the Choice Act, which would roll back regulations enacted after the 2007 financial crisis, particularly those designed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Yet, the legislation goes even further and limits consumer access to information that could help them make better choices.
One of the hallmarks of conservative regulatory philosophy is that educated and empowered consumers are preferable to government bureaucrats, regulations, and prohibitions. Yet, the conservatives in the House of Representatives appears ready to pass the CHOICE Act this week and in the process legally prohibit publishing data the government collects on consumer complaints on financial services. This is a mistake and would cost consumers and businesses. It would also go against the universal values of fair markets and informed consumers. (more…)
Status: Passed in the House of Representatives
SUMMARY: Rolls back the Dodd-Frank regulatory protections that were implemented following the 2008 economic crash. The bill weakens the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB would be restructured as an executive branch agency with a single director who could be removed at will by the President. The bill would remove the CFPB’s authority to police abusive acts and practices, including removing oversight of payday loans and arbitration agreements.
The bill removes the authority that provides regulators with a process for winding down large financial institutions in distress. It would eliminate the ability of regulators to designate large non-banking financial institutions as systematically important, a label that comes with heightened oversight. (more…)
NOTE: Minnesota Third CD DFL was not involved in the organization of this meeting.
The following article by Jon Tevlin was posted on the StarTribune website June 6, 2017:
Across the country, angry crowds have gathered at public forums on health care changes, booing and heckling members of the U.S. House of Representatives who voted for President Donald Trump’s American Health Care Act (AHCA). On Monday, more than 200 people in Eden Prairie, in Minnesota’s Third District, flipped the script, giving standing ovations to a congressman.
That congressman, however, doesn’t represent that district, and most of the people in the crowd can’t vote for him. (more…)
The following article by Sam Brodey I was posted on the MinnPost website June 1, 2016:
What’s more American than the town hall meeting? Open debate, confrontation of those in power, yelling — town hall meetings, where communities gather for discussion and debate of the day’s issues, have it all, and they’ve persisted as a civic practice throughout U.S. history.
There’s a specific kind of town hall that gets the most attention these days, however: one in a school auditorium or coffee shop or library, where a member of Congress stands before his or her constituents and answers their questions about what’s going on in Washington. (more…)
The following article by Mike Mullen was posted on the CityPages website May 24, 2017:
Last week GOP U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen picked up a Democratic challenger: Dean Phillips, heir to the Phillips liquor brand and grandson to the nationally syndicated advice columnist Dear Abby. Not unlike Dear Abby, Paulsen’s been getting a lot of questions by mail lately.
Dear Congressman Paulsen,
We don’t see you around here much anymore, but I know how busy the people’s work must keep you! I write because I think you made a mistake when you voted in support of the American Health Care Act. I myself am a physician — with “one foot firmly on the golf course,” my wife says — and I worry about the effect this plan will have on my lower-income patients, facing less-certain retirements than mine. Won’t you reconsider?
Sincerely, Uneasy in Eden Prairie (more…)