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  • 11/11/2014

    Veterans Day

    On this November 11, we celebrate those who bravely choose to put on the uniform and swear an allegiance to defend our Constitution. While Veterans Day is set aside on the calendar to honor the sacrifices of those that serve and their families, the commitment and dedication shown by our troops 365 days a year is the reason we enjoy the freedoms we do.

    The stories of Americans answering the call to protect our country – even in the face of imminent danger – is inspiring and worthy of our reflection. We see this same courage in the men and women keeping our citizens safe at this very moment. Our democracy is only possible when patriots pledge to protect the ideals we hold firm – even if it means risking their lives.

    Sadly, our country has not always been kind or respectful to our troops as they’ve returned home from overseas. Thankfully, times have changed and members of the military are now seen in the high esteem that they deserve. More can still be done to honor our veterans and keep the promises made to them. I will continue those pursuits in Congress.

    To those members of our armed service on this Veterans Day, thank you.

  • 8/21/2014

    Getting Vaccinated for Meningitis B

    This past Sunday morning, I woke up early and travelled to Farmington Hills, Michigan to join a group of parents, students, and their families to receive a vaccine for the deadly Meningitis B (MenB) bacteria. I was joining the Emily Stillman Foundation on one of their ‘bus trips’ across the Canadian border to receive the vaccine, because it's not available in the United States. Despite being legal in 34 countries, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has dragged its feet on approving the vaccine in the U.S.  In the last four months, the foundation has taken over 200 people to get receive the vaccine in Canada. 

    Alicia Stillman is doing tremendous work bringing people to Canada so that they can protect themselves against MenB. Alicia lived every parent’s worst nightmare when her daughter, Emily, tragically passed away after contracting the deadly bacteria. Emily was a student at Western Michigan University with her entire life ahead of her when she was taken way too soon. And last year, fourteen other college students at Princeton, University of California, Santa Barbera and Drexel also contracted MenB that resulted in more deaths and complications that could have been prevented.

    You may have read my recent Star Tribune article about the dangers of MenB and the need to swiftly approve the vaccine in the U.S. The FDA has allowed incoming students at Princeton University to receive the vaccination, but still have not acted swiftly enough to ensure all other Americans can receive this important protection.

    Once we left Farmington Hills, we headed to the Windsor Tunnel border crossing into Windsor, Ontario. Joining me on the trip were 37 other parents, students and families who wanted to protect themselves from MenB. College students are most at risk of contracting the Meningitis B bacteria and many of those on the trip were hoping to get vaccinated with the beginning of the school year just around the corner. The dedication that Alicia has to make sure that no other parent loses a child from a preventable disease is nothing short of inspirational.

    After a ten minute drive into Canada, we arrived at the medical clinic to receive our shots. Since the vaccination is a two-part process, we received the second dosage to bring back with us to the United States. It feels good knowing that I am protected from a scary bacteria like MenB, but more importantly, Americans shouldn’t have to travel to foreign countries to protect themselves from preventable diseases.

    The loss of Emily should not be in vain. We have the scientific advances to make sure that no other parent goes through this loss and bureaucratic red tape shouldn’t keep us from reaching that goal. I’m committed to doing what I can in Congress and work with the FDA to expedite the approval of this vaccine so all Americans can be protected against the dangers of MenB. 

  • 6/27/2014

    Touring Flood Damage in Carver County

    Today, I toured areas damaged by recent flooding in Chaska, Chanhassen and other parts of Carver County.  Local officials, including Chaska Mayor Mark Windschitl, Chaska Council Member Jay Rohe, Chanhassen City Councilman Jerry McDonald, Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson, as well as Chaska Fire Chief Tim Wiebe and Chanhassen Chief Don Johnson hosted the tour.

    I was able to see firsthand the impact of the flood’s damage to local infrastructure, homes as well as Chaska’s Athletic Park.  It’s never easy to see your community go through a time like this, and I appreciate the fact our local community leaders are pulling together to prepare to assist residents and businesses wherever there are needs.

    While getting an up-close look at the Minnesota River, it’s hard to believe that the flooding has reached the third highest level ever seen.  I will continue to coordinate with local officials to ensure that the federal government is working closely with state and localities to help repair damage and keep disruption within the community to a minimum.

  • 5/26/2014

    Paulsen Statement on Memorial Day

    “As families get together for the backyard barbecues and other festivities that accompany Memorial Day weekend, I encourage everyone to take a moment to remember what this day is truly about. The freedoms that we often take for granted come from the brave men and women who have fought to defend them—even if it means giving their life. From Saratoga to Normandy to Tora Bora, Americans in each generation have answered the call in defense of liberty and freedom. For those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, we are forever grateful.”  

  • 4/15/2014

    Tax Day 2014: Fix the Broken Tax Code

    Today is tax day -- when taxes are due for families and businesses in Minnesota and around the country.  It's no secret that many are facing a tax system that is too complex, too costly, and too time consuming. Nine out of ten Americans have to hire someone to do their taxes or purchase financial software to complete them. That's not a tax system designed to help hardworking taxpayers. That's a tax system designed for expensive attorneys or high priced tax planners.  With a tax code consisting of 3.8 million words, we are handcuffing our economy and forcing small business owners to devote critical time, energy, and money ensuring compliance instead of creating jobs and growing their businesses. Families looking to save for retirement or plan for their children's college education shouldn't have to hire expensive tax professionals just to make sure they're following the law.

    The status quo is unacceptable and I will continue to work to reform and fix a broken tax code. Instead of the government picking winners and losers, we need a code that promotes savings, investment, hard work, innovation, and achievement. In today's global economy, we need to make the United States more internationally competitive and create jobs here at home while selling to new customers overseas.  By putting hard-earned dollars back in the pockets of Americans, we can grow our economy and help families better meet their financial needs.

  • 12/3/2013

    Your 2013 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

    This evening, I had the chance to watch the United States Capitol Christmas tree lighting ceremony. The 88-foot tall Engelmann spruce from Colville National Forest in Colville, WA will be on display through the new year. If you are visiting Washington D.C. over the holidays, please feel free to reach out to my office



  • 11/21/2013

    Paulsen, Klobuchar Discuss Bipartisan Effort to End Sex Trafficking

    via Minnesota Public Radio

    Minnesota lawmakers pushing bipartisan anti-child sex trafficking legislation

    by Cathy Wurzer, Minnesota Public Radio

    November 21, 2013

    ST. PAUL, Minn. — A law that hasn't even taken effect yet in Minnesota is inspiring federal legislation to take on the problem of child sex trafficking in the United States.

    In 2014, the Minnesota "Safe Harbor" law will define children under 18 who are sold for sex as "victims" rather than criminals.

    Campaigns by the Women's Foundation of Minnesota and other advocacy organizations are driving home the message that Minnesota is literally at the crossroads of a national problem of young people being exploited for sex.

    In Congress, members of Minnesota's delegation from both parties are pushing legislation to update laws against child sex trafficking.

    MPR's Cathy Wurzer spoke with DFL U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen from Minnesota's Third Congressional District about the issue.


  • 11/20/2013

    Our Daughters Are Not for Sale

    This week, I joined Google and the Human Rights Project for Girls to bring attention to the bipartisan and bicameral “Our Daughters Are Not for Sale” Resolution and the fight against domestic sex trafficking. Each month in Minnesota more than 200 girls are sold for sex. This is absolutely unacceptable. We owe it to these young women to treat them as victims, not as criminals, and to ensure that traffickers and buyers are prosecuted. We also need to ensure that our nation’s foster care system does all it can to protect vulnerable youth so they can live safe, happy, and successful lives. 

    In July, I introduced the "Child Sex Trafficking Data and Response Act" with Congresswoman Slaughter (D-NY). Our bill improves data systems that track missing children as well as provides proper designation to ensure victims receive the care and help they need. In October, I was able to testify before the Ways and Means Committee on his important legislation. 

    We can, and must do what we can to combat this tragic trend in our own backyard.


  • 11/11/2013

    READ: Remembering President Lincoln's Words


    Please take a moment to read my opinion piece in last week's Chaska Herald celebrating our nation's veterans! 

    Remembering President Lincoln's Words 

    Printed in the Chaska Herald for Veterans Day, November 11th, 2013

    On a muddy Pennsylvania Avenue near the United States Capitol in March of 1865, thousands of spectators gathered to hear President Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address to the nation. Our country was in its final weeks of the Civil War. In just over a month, the war would come to an end. That morning, Lincoln tried to assuage the unease and bitterness four years of conflict had created and chart out the difficult task of unification which lay ahead.

    In the speech’s final paragraph, the president laid out that path:

    “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace.”

    On Veterans’ Day, our community comes together to reflect on those words, honoring generations of brave Americans and Minnesotans who have donned the uniform of our armed forces in defense of freedom. It is fitting that we take time this Veterans Day to remember and thank those in our community who have served and to recommit ourselves to the task Lincoln laid out nearly 148 years ago: “to care for him who shall have borne the battle.”

    Minnesota is home to more than 400,000 veterans. Men and women who served on the battle fields of Europe and the Pacific; who trudged through the jungles of Vietnam; and our newest generation of veterans, who have heeded the call to service following the devastating attacks on September 11th. Remembering and thanking the families of those who wear our country’s uniform is equally as important. The family members who stay home when their loved ones go abroad do a lot to keep their household running, raising children, and caring for elderly parents and grandparents. They deserve our gratitude and care as well.  Our state has a rich history of service and a history of fighting for those who have fought for us. Veterans Day helps ensure we shine a spotlight on all of their service.

    But, beyond saying ‘thank you’, we must also work to help them transition back to civilian life and assist those who bear the scars of war. 

    Service members returning home or exiting the military often have trouble finding employment. The Minnesota National Guard is implementing new programs with a great rate of success that puts the focus on getting our veterans back to work, and I support the National Guard’s efforts. I am also a proud cosponsor of the bipartisan HIRE at HOME Act, which makes sure that those who have gained valuable experience while serving abroad as mechanics, nurses, or medical technicians, can now get their certifications in the civilian workforce much easier. Recently, I also partnered with the U.S. Army in holding a job fair to help Minnesota veterans who are looking for work connect with potential employers. The fair was a success, and we connected many veterans with companies to earn gainful employment. 

    Many of our returning veterans bear the scars – both seen and unseen – of war. It is imperative that we provide our service members with everything they need to heal their physical and mental wounds. One way I am helping in that effort is by ensuring that the TRICARE health care program serving Uniformed Service members remains accessible and affordable.  I also supported the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill that funds medical treatment for 6.5 million patients, including traumatic brain injury treatment, suicide prevention measures, mental healthcare, and rural health initiatives. 

    After visiting members of our armed forces both here in Minnesota, Iraq, and Afghanistan, I can attest to their steadfast commitment and professionalism in their service to our country. When they come home, it is our turn to provide them with the care and protection they deserve.

    So, as we celebrate Veterans Day, please take the time to remember the sacrifices of those who have served in our nation’s military as well as their families. If you know a veteran, make sure to say thank you; if you know someone currently deployed, write them a letter to let them know you are praying for them and their families. Though it is impossible for us to fully repay our veterans, this Veterans Day let us recommit ourselves to Lincoln’s request: “to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace.” To all the Minnesotans who have served and to their families, I extend my sincere appreciation and everlasting thanks.

    As printed in the November 8th edition of the Chaska Herald.


  • 10/29/2013

    Paulsen to hear testimony on health care website problems

    This morning I'll be joining my Ways and Means Committee colleagues for a hearing examining the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). You can watch live HERE. Also, check out the piece on today's hearing in this morning's Star Tribune:

    Paulsen to hear testimony on health care website problems

    Posted by: Corey Mitchell Updated: October 29, 2013 - 7:37 AM

    U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen will hear from Marilyn Tavenner, head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, today about the rocky rollout of the HealthCare.gov website during a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Capitol Hill.

    The website is supposed to allow uninsured people to sign up and register for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s health care reform law, but the site has been plagued by problems.

    Tavenner will be the first Obama administration official to testify before Congress about the efforts of her agency to implement the law. Her agency, which had experience running a site for Medicare drug plans, was tasked with responsibility for the site. Last week, the agency hired contractor Quality Software Services Inc., a subsidiary of Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group Inc., to be the general manager for the effort to fix the troubled website.

    Tavenner likely will face questions from Paulsen and others about the administration’s claims that everything was on track for a successful launch.