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Congresswoman Betty McCollum's eNewsletter

September 24, 2010

Congresswoman McCollum Votes to Help Create Small Business Jobs
After months of Republican obstruction, the U.S. House finally passed the Small Business Jobs Act (H.R. 5297), which enacts eight small business tax cuts to help spur economic recovery and close loopholes that reward corporations for shipping jobs overseas. Congresswoman McCollum supported this legislation to strengthen small businesses. H.R. 5297 passed the House by a vote of 237-187 with only one Republican "yes" vote.

"The Small Business Jobs Act addresses the common struggles that many small businesses continue to face - a lack of credit and tight lending standards," said Congresswoman McCollum. "Given that small businesses created two-thirds of new jobs over the last 15 years, Congress cannot afford to let this important sector struggle any longer."

GOP's "Pledge to America" is Pledge to Nowhere
Yesterday, GOP leadership issued the "Pledge to America" - a document outlining the Republicans' future legislative goals. The pledge has many destructive elements, including: repealing the new health care law; freezing funds for Social Security and veterans programs; and extending all tax cuts, which would drastically drive up the federal deficit.

"This is nothing more than a bunch of failed old policies with new lies tied up in a ribbon," Congresswoman McCollum said. "This plan does nothing to alleviate the deficit. Instead it increases the deficit by extending the Bush tax cuts."

An analysis of the "Pledge" by the Center for American Progress, a Washington-based think tank, states that the GOP plan would result in $11.1 trillion in deficits over the next ten years. This GOP declaration to fiscal responsibility falls flat as it adds $1.5 trillion more to the deficit than President Obama's budget.

Congresswoman McCollum Joins Legislation to Fight Drunk Driving
On Thursday, Congresswoman McCollum cosponsored two pieces of legislation in support of the fight against drunk driving. The ROADS SAFE Act (H.R. 4890) would fund the research and development of vehicle technologies to end drunk driving, and the Drunk Driving Repeat Offender Prevention Act (H.R. 4891) would require the installation of ignition interlock devices in the automobiles of convicted drunk drivers. A proud supporter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Congresswoman McCollum will continue advocating policies that fight drunk driving and save lives.

Congresswoman McCollum Helps Kick Off "Farm to School" Week
This week, Congresswoman Betty McCollum joined local advocates to celebrate the start of Minnesota's inaugural "Farm to School Week." The event was launched by the Minnesota School Nutrition Association (MSNA) and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP).

"I introduced the National Farm to School Act as a win-win solution for our children, our farmers and our communities," said Congresswoman McCollum. "Farm to school is a way to link local farmers to healthier school meals for our children. Instead of eating tater tots and sloppy joes, thanks to farm to school programs, St. Paul's students are getting to eat Minnesota apples, sweet corn and squash."

Earlier this year, Congresswoman McCollum introduced the National Farm to School Act of 2010 (H.R. 5456). The legislation has already received bipartisan support, and it will promote the consumption of fresh, local food in schools by helping to connect school lunch programs with local farmers.

Click here to view Farm to School recipes.

Schools in St. Paul's East Side Receive Critical Federal Funds
This week, the Department of Education announced that Summit-University and Frogtown neighborhoods in St. Paul will receive a $500,000 Promise Neighborhood grant. These funds will help improve communities around Jackson and Maxfield Elementary Schools with the goal of closing the achievement gap and fostering an expectation of higher education.

"As the economy continues to slowly recover, the best investment we can make is in our children and public education, which is I support programs such as ‘Achievement Plus'," said Congresswoman McCollum. "Targeting underserved St. Paul neighborhoods, this program helps close the achievement gaps that consistently affect low-income and minority students. These federal funds from the Promise Neighborhoods program will help struggling students successfully attain a high-quality education so they will be better prepared for college or a career when they leave high school."