Congressman Rick Nolan

Representing the 8th District of Minnesota
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Trump's Right About This...

Mar 5, 2018
the Monday Report

Nolan Doubles Down in Defense of Trump's Decision to Impose Tariffs on Foreign Steel

Steelworkers rally in support of tariffs and taxes to put a stop to the illegal dumping of millions of tons of sub-par foreign steel into the U.S. marketplace. 

Dear Friend,

He’s taking a lot of heat, but President Trump did the right thing by imposing a 25% tariff on foreign steel last week, and I’m defending his decision to the hilt. Using his authority under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act, Trump’s move came after the Commerce Department determined that illegal dumping of millions of tons of sub-par foreign steel into the U.S. marketplace is threatening U.S. national security by undermining the domestic iron ore and steel industries and putting thousands of miners and steelworkers out of work.

Specifically, the President’s decision with respect to these tariffs is the right one, for three important reasons: 

Reason number one: The decision concurs with the overwhelming consensus of the U.S. House of Representatives – that last July unanimously passed the bipartisan Nolan amendmentto the Defense Authorization Bill declaring that America’s iron ore and steel industries and the good paying jobs they support are essential to our national economy and our national security.

Reason number two: In anticipation of the President’s action to impose these tariffs, China and other trade cheater nations have stepped up their illegal steel dumping into the U.S. marketplace – often through third party nations employed to disguise the real source – and further undermining our iron ore and steel industries and thousands of good paying jobs. These new tariffs, which the President has applied to all nations, should help put a stop to the flood of illegal steel that continues to find its way into the United States.

And reason number three: We know tariffs and taxes work to level the playing field so American workers can complete fairly in the global marketplace. I was proud to work with President Obama and his administration to impose tariffs and taxes of up to 520 percent against a variety of steel products from China and other trade cheater nations. As a result, the domestic market improved and stabilized, making it possible for thousands of Iron Range miners and steelworkers across the Nation to go back to work.

Moreover, in my judgment, dire predictions that this latest round of steel tariffs will spark a trade war with other nations are overblown. The fact is that no such events took place after the much higher tariffs imposed on foreign steel products under the Obama Administration.  

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.


Mr. President, Arming Schoolteachers is a Terrible Idea

President Trump’s suggestion that teachers be armed with guns in their classrooms has drawn strong opposition from teachers, law enforcement officials, students and parents across the Nation. 

In response to the Parkland shooting, the President has suggested the misguided idea of arming schoolteachers. As a former teacher, I am deeply concerned by this proposal and vehemently opposed to it.

The simple truth is, teachers enter their profession to educate students - not to serve as armed guards. That type of professional armed protection is the job of law enforcement and the military, not schoolteachers. 

Moreover, requiring teachers to carry guns could actually make classrooms less safe by increasing the risk of gun-related accidents, homicides, and suicides. Studies of firearm ownership show that the presence of a firearm in a house increases the risk of homicide by a factor of three to five, and increases the risk of suicide with a firearm by a factor of 17. Just last week, a Georgia high school teacher who was carrying a gun barricaded himself in a classroom and fired off a shot. This type of terrifying incident could become increasingly commonplace if thousands of teachers are required to carry guns. 

Rather than moving to arm teachers, Congress must debate and vote on common-sense gun safety measures like banning assault rifles, bump stocks, high-capacity magazines, and instituting comprehensive background checks. Mr. President, I urge you to focus on pragmatic and proven legislative steps to curb gun violence, and let teachers do their job: teaching students.

Congrats to Our Minnesota Olympians!

Our Minnesota Olympic athletes dominated the world stage, and we congratulate each and every one of them, along with their coaches and supportive families and friends.

We are all so proud and inspired by the 24 Minnesota athletes who represented Team USA in these 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang. From ice hockey to curling to cross country skiing, these athletes gave just outstanding performances - and provided Minnesotans bragging rights for years to come. In fact, our state's athletes did so incredibly well that the New York Times even ran a story with the headline "Team U.S.A.? More Like Team Minnesota." And a Washington Post reporter pointed out that 13 of the 36 U.S. athletes involved in winning gold medals are from Minnesota - and more than half of the Minnesotans who went to the Olympics won gold medals.  

Watching and cheering from home, there were simply so many amazing performances. Overcoming great challenges and adversity, Duluth’s John Shuster and “Team Shuster,” the U.S. men’s curling team, took gold after beating Canada in an unprecedented victory in the semifinal.Lindsey Vonn took bronze in the women's downhill ski racing. Jessie Diggins of Afton won goldwith Kikkan Randall in the cross-country skiing team sprint - the first-ever medal by American women in that discipline. And capping it all off, the U.S. women's hockey team, who boasted seven players from Minnesota, won the gold after beating Canada in a shootout.  

To everyone from Minnesota who represented Team USA in these Olympics, I want to express my heartfelt admiration and congratulations. Our state and Nation are so proud of you, and back here in Minnesota, we look forward to celebrating you for many, many years to come!

Despite Promises to “Hire the Best People,” Trump Administration Awash in Firings, Resignations and Vacancies

Now-former White House press secretary Sean Spicer was one of the first top Trump appointees to be shown the door, as Pulitzer Prize winning Star Tribune cartoonist Steve Sack notes with this gem. 

During his campaign for the presidency, Donald Trump repeatedly promised to “hire the best people, drain the swamp,” and make government work for the American people. The record so far hardly inspires confidence.  

Just over a week ago, senior presidential advisor and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and other top White House officials had their temporary Top Secret security clearances downgraded over concerns about possibly shady backgrounds and business dealings.Basically, that means they will no longer have access to highly sensitive national security information they need to do their jobs. And it begs the question – were they the “best people” to hire in the first place?

Meanwhile, at last count 18 top Administration officials have either been fired or resigned since the President took office – including a White House Chief of Staff, several communications directors and press secretaries, the FBI Director, Ethics Director, National Security Advisor and Attorney General.

Moreover, nearly two-thirds of the important posts that must be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate have yet to be filled. And hundreds of lesser but still critical jobs in government agencies like the Department of Veterans Affairs are still either vacant or being staffed by temporary appointees who have exceeded the 300-day limit - after which time any decision they make can be challenged in court.

As the CEO of his privately held company, Donald Trump could run things any way he liked. But this is the United States government, and the American people deserve better from their CEO.

Our Week in DC

It was great to attend the Ocean Conservancy’s advance screening of Blue Planet II, a British nature documentary series on marine life. Our oceans are extraordinary, surreal places - but ones that are especially vulnerable to the consequences of climate change and human pollution. We must continue to safeguard our precious waters through strong regulations, based on facts and science. I was also delighted to see my former Press Secretary, Samantha Bisogno, who now works as Communications Manager of Government Affairs at the Ocean Conservancy (on left). On my other side is Janis Seamless Jones, CEO of the Ocean Conservancy. 

It was a real honor to welcome Minnesota National Guard Major General Jon Jensen and other senior leaders to the office last week to discuss the great work of the Guard and ways Congress can help to better support these brave public servants and their families. 

We welcomed representatives of the Minnesota Credit Union Network to the office last week. The Network works on behalf of nearly 400 credit union locations that serve more than 1.6 million Minnesotans. 

Minnesota has some of the best radio and television stations in the Nation, and I was delighted to welcome representatives of the Minnesota Broadcasters Association to the office to discuss ways Congress can better support these vital communications outlets. 

Our Week in Minneapolis

It was an honor to deliver the keynote address to more than 1,000 delegates to the annual conference of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Engineering (SME) last week. The audience included these folks, who stopped to chat after the speech.

Our Week in Duluth

The Duluth Lift Bridge is an iconic sight in winter, or any season. Our District Director, Jeff Anderson, snapped this shot on the frozen shore of Lake Superior. 

A wintery view from the bridge of the Edwin H. Gott, a 1,004 foot long ore boat at winter layup in the port of Duluth.

Nolan District Director Jeff Anderson spoke on my behalf at Duluth's Construct Tomorrow event held last week at the DECC. The annual event is designed to give high school students exposure to building trades and apprenticeships.  The event attracted thousands of high school students and community members from around the Twin Ports.

Our Week in North Branch 

The Chisago County Work Skills Day was held last week at Trinity Lutheran Church in North Branch, and Nolan Congressional Field Representative Rick Olseen attended on my behalf. Area schools have jointly hosted this regular event since 1977. Rick snapped this picture as keynote speaker Aaron Cross delivered an inspirational speech about how rebuilding his life after being paralyzed in a bicycle race. Booths are set up for students featuring other opportunities for them after high school.

Our Week in Pine City

Pictured here is another group of women graduating from the Women Welding Class at Pine Technical and Community College. These classes are geared to working woman who are looking to increase their skills and looking for a higher paying career. Minnesota DEED has provided a grant to train 85 women in classes of 12 each, they’ve moved the locations around the region, partnering with some school districts where day care was provided for the evening classes. Pictured here are the graduates, instructors, college leadership and my Field Representative Rick Olseen (back row, far right) who is a former welder.

Our Week in Eveleth 

Last week my Congressional Field Representative Jordan Metsa took this photo while attending the quarterly Iron Range Economic Alliance (IREA) Meeting hosted at the Iron Range Resource and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB). Nearly 45 local, county, and state officials attended the meeting to share their 2018 state and federal legislative priorities. 

Our Week in Nisswa 

More than 50 people attended a sneak peek and celebration of the Nisswa Lake Park and Recreational Area hosted by the Friends of Nisswa Lake Park to honor Millie Gjertson for her generous contributions. The park connects the lake with the downtown of its namesake city and will include trails, restrooms, a parking lot, boardwalk, and dock system. Pictured above is Lee Seipp, the Friends of the Nisswa Lake Park Co-Chair, as she addresses the group. Nolan Congressional Field Representative Tiffany Stenglein attended the event on my behalf.

Our Week in Bemidji

Last week my Congressional Field Representative Tom Whiteside stopped in at Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota in Bemidji. LSS provides on-going support and coaching for employees with disabilities and their employment and job performance. Pictured from left to right are: Marie Peake, Alyson Allen, Tatiana Robinson, and Melody Raw. During the visit, Tatiana proudly shared stories about her work experiences.

Coming Up in Washington

This week:

  • Our House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure holds two hearings this week - one on the Administration’s infrastructure proposal, where the Secretary of Transportation will testify, and another on “Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America: Long-Term Funding for Highways and Transit Programs.


Celebrating Women’s History Month, and Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger

In honor of March, National Women's History Month, we recognize and celebrate Margaret Sanger, birth control activist, educator, nurse, and founder of Planned Parenthood.

Margaret Sanger believed that in order for women to exert greater control over their lives and health, it was essential for them to be able to engage in family planning. In addition, she wanted to eradicate unsafe, so-called "back-alley abortions" which are dangerous, often painful, and can lead to harmful complications for women. Through tireless advocacy, Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in America, which later evolved into the organization we know today as Planned Parenthood.