High flyers make history!
Duluth's Own Cirrus Aircraft Flies into Aviation History - Wins Flight Industry's Top Award for Excellence and Development
As the Cirrus delegation proudly pointed out during the awards ceremony, the incredible Vision Jet is the world’s first single engine, personal jet aircraft equipped with a parachute system that actually floats the aircraft safely to the ground if trouble arises.
Joining the likes of Orville Wright, the Apollo 11 Moon astronauts, legendary aviator and inventor Howard Hughes, and a host of others sky pioneers dating back to 1911,Cirrus Aircraft of Duluth has received the most historic and prestigious award in American aviation – the Robert J. Collier Trophy – for developing the company’s groundbreaking, high-technology Vision Jet aircraft.
Famed publisher and philanthropist Robert J. Collier commissioned the trophy in 1910 to encourage the aviation community to strive for excellence in growing the then new aircraft industry. The 520-pound Collier Trophy, featuring Cirrus as its 106th recipient, is on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
As the Cirrus delegation proudly pointed out during the awards ceremony, the incredible Vision Jet is the world’s first single engine, personal jet aircraft equipped with a parachute system that actually floats the aircraft safely to the ground if trouble arises. The company reports that 153 people have returned home safely thanks to Cirrus’s Airframe Parachute System, which is included in the Vision Jet and all Cirrus Aircraft.
Now employing more than 1,400 people across our Duluth region, Cirrus is only one of four small aircraft companies ever to receive the award they now share with industry giants including Boeing, Sikorsky, Pratt & Whitney, Gulfstream, Northrop Grumman and Cessna.
The presentation ceremony took place in Washington last Thursday night, and I was so honored to join Cirrus Co-Founder and CEO Dale Klapmeier and numerous other company leaders who traveled from Duluth for an event that included representatives from America’s top aviation technology, design, and production companies.
So hats off to Cirrus Aircraft, and to all of the company leaders, employees and stakeholders who have made Minnesota, and especially Duluth, so proud by winning this award. Keep flying high!
We will keep you posted as events proceed. Meanwhile, I want to hear your thoughts. Feel free to contact any of our offices listed below or send me an email.
JFK's "Peace Speech" - As Relevant Today as 53 Years Ago
Historians now see President John F. Kennedy’s “peace speech” - delivered almost exactly 53 years ago at American University in Washington, D.C. - as the beginning of the end of the old Cold War – an appeal to both America and the Soviet Union to reject the idea that nuclear war is inevitable, and to think about peace in practical, sensible terms.
As I have said many times before, the pursuit of diplomacy is the only path toward brokered peace with North Korea or any other adversary. Our Nation cannot afford the burden of endless wars of choice that have cost us so dearly in blood and treasury. In what many historians consider his greatest speech, President John F. Kennedymade that same point almost exactly 53 years ago, on June 10, 1963, in his commencement address at American University in Washington, D.C.
Historians now see Kennedy’s “peace speech” as the beginning of the end of the old Cold War – an appeal to both America and the Soviet Union to reject the idea that nuclear war was inevitable, and to think about peace in practical, sensible terms. Here’s part of what President Kennedy said, as relevant today as it was then.
“Let us focus on a more practical, more attainable peace, based not on a sudden revolution in human nature but on a gradual evolution in human institutions -- on a series of concrete actions and effective agreements which are in the interest of all concerned.
“There is no single, simple key to this peace; no grand or magic formula to be adopted by one or two powers. Genuine peace must be the product of many nations, the sum of many acts. It must be dynamic, not static, changing to meet the challenge of each new generation. For peace is a process -- a way of solving problems.
“With such a peace, there will still be quarrels and conflicting interests, as there are within families and nations. World peace, like community peace, does not require that each man love his neighbor, it requires only that they live together in mutual tolerance, submitting their disputes to a just and peaceful settlement.
“And history teaches us that enmities between nations, as between individuals, do not last forever. However fixed our likes and dislikes may seem, the tide of time and events will often bring surprising changes in the relations between nations and neighbors.
“So let us persevere. Peace need not be impracticable, and war need not be inevitable. By defining our goal more clearly, by making it seem more manageable and less remote, we can help all people to see it, to draw hope from it, and to move irresistibly towards it.”
You can view the entire speech here – well worth the 27 minutes or so it will take.
Minnesotans Benefit From Strong Trade Relationship with Canada
A trainload of Minnesota Iron Range ore heads for Duluth to be loaded onto laker ships bound for Canada. Canada is Minnesota’s 8th District’s largest trading partner. Range iron ore tops the list of exports, with over $60 million in products flowing into the integrated U.S.-Canadian steel and manufacturing industries.
Before the President does any more damage to the U.S. relationship with Canada and Prime Minister Trudeau, he ought to stop and remember that first and foremost, our two nations are friends and partners. The simple fact is that job-generating trade and commerce between the U.S. and Canada are vitally important to Minnesota as a whole, and to the 8th Congressional District in particular.
In fact, Canada is Minnesota’s largest trading partner. We export some $4.045 billion dollars in goods and services across our northern border every year according to the Minnesota Trade Office.
Moreover, Canada is the 8th District’s largest trading partner, with nearly 18,000 good paying jobs directly dependent on trade – and exports to Canada totaling more than $429 million every year. Range iron ore tops the list with over $60 million in products flowing into the integrated U.S.-Canadian steel and manufacturing industries. Iron ore exports are followed by motor vehicles ($38 million), paper and forest products ($23 million), agricultural and construction machinery ($17 million) and basic chemicals ($16 million).
On the service end, 8th District exports to Canada involving travel, transportation, insurance and business and technical services lead the way, accounting for another$51 million annually.
Like all partners, our two nations have issues to work on and disagreements to negotiate. As friends and allies, I believe we can meet those challenges, and maintain the strong and mutually beneficial economic relationship our two nations enjoy for many more generations to come.
Merger Mania Gone Wild - $85 Billion Union Between AT&T and Time Warner Adds to the List
Our old friend, Pulitzer Prize winning Minneapolis Star Tribune cartoonist Steve Sack, had this take on the Time Warner-Comcast merger back in 2014.
If the federal courts won’t step in to put the breaks on merger mania in America, Congress ought to do it.
Last week’s federal court decision allowing the $85 billion merger of AT&T and Time Warner to proceed without conditions is the latest case of mergers gone wild. CVS has gobbled up Aetna Insurance. Amazon has merged with Whole Foods. Four major airlines now control 80 percent of that marketplace. The mega merger list goes on and on – picking the pockets of consumers, stifling competition in the marketplace, and lining the pockets of already ridiculously wealthy corporate executives.
In fact, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes could be the biggest winner of all in this latest merger. According to reports, he could leave the company with a total exit package of $434 million – the largest severance plan in corporate history.
Meanwhile, by ruling that the government failed to make a case against the AT&T-Time Warner merger on any grounds, the court effectively gave the go-ahead for media giants Comcast and Disney to battle it out in a $65 billion bid for Fox’s entertainment business.
While the government decides whether or not to appeal the AT&T-Time Warner decision, I’ve already joined fellow members of our new Congressional Antitrust Caucus in introducing the Retrospective Mergers Act – a bill that would require the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department to conduct annual investigations to determine the effect these huge mergers have having on prices, workers, and local economies.
The results will provide Congress with more ammunition to protect workers and consumers with stronger laws to curb, regulate and ultimately put a stop to these market-grabbing monster deals from doing damage.
Our Week in DC
I was lucky enough to get a newly minted Voyageurs National Park quarter last week. The quarter is the third America the Beautiful Quarters® coin minted in 2018 and the 43rd released as a part of the series highlighting what many have termed "America's Best Idea," our National Parks.The U.S. Mint so aptly decided to feature our iconic Minnesota Loon on the back of the quarter! Aside from hot dish, there’s nothing more purely “Minnesotan” than our loons. Behind me in the picture above is a large photo in my office of a beautiful landscape shot of Voyageurs National Park.
Here is a close up of the new Voyageurs National Park quarter. As you can see, the artists did a wonderful job designing this beautiful coin.
The North Branch Lakes Region Emergency Medical Services (EMS) team stopped by my office in Washington to discuss emergency medical services among other important topics. They also presented me with the "Partner Award" for supporting efforts to advance medical care and services throughout Minnesota and across the country. I was honored to receive this great award.
Hats off to Colin and Chase for receiving 1st place in the National History Day Competition. It was great to meet 6th graders Colin McShane and Chase Baumgarten who attend Stella Marias Academy in Duluth. Colin and Chase came to Washington to compete in the National History Day Competition held at the University of Maryland. The two 6th graders conducted over 100 hours of research on their project titled, The U.S. Government vs. the Reserve Mining Company: A Compromise of Environment and Industry. Their project came in 2nd place at the state competition out of 1300 students. Here I am giving Collin, Chase and their families a tour of the United States Capital.
The Executive Director of the North Star Family Advocacy Center in Braham, Jeremie Reinhart, along with Jeff Edblad, Chair of the East Children's Resource Center, came to my office for a meeting to discuss the collaborative effort between the two organizations to address the needs of abused children.
It was great meeting with the Communications Workers of America's Minnesota State Council. We discussed several important topics including issues with the GOP tax bill and protecting collective bargaining rights.
Members of the Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce came by my office to discuss my efforts regarding the National Loon Center, workforce related needs and successes, and local mandates for the Brainerd Lakes area.
We've been very fortunate to have another great group of interns with us this year! Here I am with some of them in front of the U.S. Capitol Building. Pictured from left to right are, Jordan Sedlezky, Heidi Hutchins, Yours Truly, Polina Mateo, Renae Ford and Collin Kiley
Our Week in Duluth
Duluth's annual Grandma's Marathon kicked off with thousands of spectators and runners from around the state, country, and world participating in the marathon. Nolan District Director Jeff Anderson captured this photo of runners lining up at the starting line.
Members of the Red Cross had family, friends, and Duluth locals sign a thank you banner to honor the 148th active duty members who were returning home from duty. The Red Cross set up a table right outside my Duluth office. Nolan Congressional Field Representative's Hannah Alstead (right) and Tom Whiteside (left) stopped by to say hello and thank returning military Veterans and their families for their sacrifice.
Our Week in Brainerd
The Brainerd Elks Lodge #615 organized a traditional Flag Day ceremony on the west lawn of the Historic Crow Wing County Courthouse. In this picture, Dan Graven presents the history of the flag, with assistance from the Civil Air Patrol. Nolan Congressional Field Representative Tiffany Stenglein snapped this photo.
Our Week in International Falls
Voyageurs National Park Superintendent Bob DeGross (left) and United States Mint Director David J. Ryder (right) pour two bags of the newly minted Voyageurs National Park quarters into a commemorative birch bark canoe in celebration of the new coin. The launch event took place at the Voyageurs National Park Headquarters in International Falls. The quarter is the third America the Beautiful Quarters® coin minted in 2018 and the 43rd released as a part of the series.
Coming Up in Washington
- The House is expected to consider another batch of bills to address the opioid crisis. It is also likely to consider Republican proposals on immigration.
A Year After Being Shot, Steve Scalise is Back on the Field!
Just a year after being severely wounded by a shooter during practice for the annual Congressional Baseball Game, my friend and colleague, GOP Majority Whip Steve Scalise, (left) returned for the 2018 contest last week in Washington and delivered a strong performance in the infield. Democrats won the game - which raises some $500,000 a year for Washington, D.C. children’s charities - by a score of 21-3. But Steve Scalise won the night for his courageous rehabilitation over the past year. It was great to see him back on the field.