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Congresswoman Betty McCollum's eNewsletter

May 27, 2011

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House Passes Congresswoman McCollum's Amendment to Limit Pentagon Spending on Military Bands
This week, the House of Representatives passed Congresswoman McCollum's amendment to reduce the Department of Defense's spending on military musical bands by $120 million. Adopted as part of the fiscal year 2012 defense authorization bill, this amendment will cap Pentagon spending on military bands at $200 million. In Fiscal Year 2011, the Department of Defense estimates will spend $320 million on its music programs.

"There's no question that we need to get America's budget under control. The question is how," said Congresswoman McCollum. "Families and communities across this country are being asked to make incredible sacrifices in the name of fiscal responsibility. It's time to ask the Pentagon to make a small sacrifice in their own musical budget. Military bands have an important place in our nation's history, but in a fiscal crisis, $200 million should be enough to continue that tradition."

Congresswoman McCollum Continues to Oppose Klobuchar-Bachmann $700+ Million St. Croix "Mega-bridge"
Today, Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Al Franken (D-MN), Herb Kohl (D-WI), and Ron Johnson (R-WI) introduced legislation to replace the Stillwater Lift Bridge with a $700 million mega-bridge over the St. Croix River.  The result of the Senate bill would authorize a freeway style bridge that is currently prohibited by the National Park Service because it violates the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, which would produce the same outcome as Congresswoman Bachmann's legislation (H.R. 850).

"This Senate legislation is a disappointment.  It achieves exactly the same outcome as Congresswoman Bachmann's bill by removing protections for taxpayers in favor of an excessively large and costly bridge that overwhelmingly benefits Wisconsin," said Congresswoman McCollum.

Defunding the Affordable Care Act May End Prescription Drug Benefits
In a recent letter, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) stated that Republican efforts to permanently defund the Affordable Care Act could end Medicare Part D, making it more difficult for seniors to purchase necessary prescription drugs.  This week, The Hill newspaper covers the issue.

Congresswoman McCollum Commends Students Selected for U.S. Military Academies
Earlier this month, Congresswoman McCollum congratulated nine students from Minnesota's Fourth Congressional District on their acceptance to four U.S. military academies. These military institutions require a nomination from a Member of Congress for admission.

"These nine students represent some of our state's most talented and brightest individuals. By taking this next step, they are preparing themselves to face tomorrow's challenges as leaders of our nation's armed services," said Congresswoman McCollum. "Each of them has earned this privilege, and now they have the challenge and the responsibility that comes with this privilege. I congratulate all of these outstanding individuals."

Congresswoman McCollum Honors Veterans and Their Families This Memorial Day 2011
Each year on Memorial Day, Americans come together to remember those who have sacrificed their lives on behalf of our country in the name of freedom and democracy.  The debt owed to them is immeasurable.  Their sacrifices and those of their military families are freedom's foundation.  Without the brave efforts of all the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen and their families, our country would not live so freely. 

This Memorial Day, I will be attending the ceremony at Lakeview Cemetery in Mahtomedi.  Following that, I'll be joining my friends at the American Legion Post #39 for lunch in North St. Paul.  It's my honor to share this special day paying my respects to Minnesotans who have given so much to our country.