Government Matters: Week in review, June 5-9

By Victoria Mullen, WKTV


Peters Floor Remarks on Urgent Need to Upgrade Soo Locks

“We cannot continue to rely on infrastructure investments made by our grandparents and great-grandparents.”


By Allison Green


U.S. Senator Gary Peters spoke on the Senate floor about legislation he has introduced with Senator Debbie Stabenow and other Members of the Michigan Congressional delegation to authorize funding for construction of another Poe-sized lock at the Soo Locks.


“Since 1855, locks at the St. Mary’s River have allowed ships to pass between Lake Superior and Lake Huron,” Peters said.


“The Soo Locks are the most important link in a critical supply chain that connects iron ore mines in Minnesota and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with steel mills and manufacturing facilities all over the country.


“Today, there is only one Soo Lock – the Poe Lock – that is large enough to accommodate modern freighters, especially the one thousand foot-long vessels that move millions of tons of iron ore each year.”


A disruption of the Poe Lock likely will cause an almost complete shutdown of Great Lakes steel production.

Stabenow, Bergman and Michigan Delegation Members Introduce Bipartisan Soo Locks Modernization Act

By Matt Williams


The Soo Locks

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Representative Jack Bergman, U.S. Senator Gary Peters, and Representatives Sandy Levin, Fred Upton, Bill Huizenga, Tim Walberg, Dan Kildee, Mike Bishop, Debbie Dingell, Brenda Lawrence, John Moolenaar, Dave Trott, and Paul Mitchell have introduced the bipartisan Soo Locks Modernization Act. The legislation authorizes the necessary level of funding to construct another Poe-sized lock. Introduction of this legislation comes just days after seven Members of Michigan’s Congressional delegation and Governor Snyder toured the Soo Locks, which are critical to both our state’s and our country’s economy and national security.

Senators Peters, Stabenow Call for Robust Funding for National Sea Grant College Program

By Allison Green


U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow joined a bipartisan group of 25 senators in a letter calling for robust funding for the National Sea Grant College Program, which President Trump proposed to eliminate in his fiscal year 2018 budget. The National Sea Grant College Program provides vital support to local businesses and is a crucial resource for Michigan’s coastal communities.


The Sea Grant program conducts critical research and economic development work that helps support coastal communities in Michigan. The $67.3 federal investment in the program from fiscal year 2015 yielded a $575 million economic benefit to communities across the country—an 854% return on the federal investment. In 2013, Sea Grant was funded at $57 million and delivered $485 million in economic development, created or retained 3,400 businesses, and created or retained 15,000 jobs nationally.


In Michigan, Sea Grant Extension educators live and work in coastal communities around the state to provide scientific expertise and other services to local government and community leaders. In Michigan alone, the estimated economic benefit of Sea Grant activities in 2011 was $1.3 million.

Stabenow Statement on President Trump’s Infrastructure Proposal

By Miranda Margowsky

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow


U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow released a statement following a speech by President Trump today discussing his infrastructure proposal:


“Rather than making a commitment to rebuilding America’s roads, bridges, and waterways, the Administration’s proposals would put special interests in control of our roads and bridges and propose new tolls for Michigan drivers. These are not ideas I can support.”

Peters, Capito Reintroduce Bill to Help Prevent Diabetes in Seniors

By Allison Green


U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) reintroduced the Preventing Diabetes in Medicare Act to improve health outcomes for individuals at risk for diabetes and save long-term costs for Medicare. Under current law, Medicare will only cover medical nutrition therapy services for individuals already diagnosed with diabetes or renal disease. This bipartisan legislation would extend Medicare coverage for medical nutrition therapy services for Americans with pre-diabetes and risk factors for developing type-2 diabetes.


Nearly one in every three Medicare dollars is spent on diabetes, a number that has increased considerably in recent years and will most likely continue to increase without action. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates approximately 30 million Americans or 9.3% of the population have diabetes and approximately 86 million American adults – about 30% of the population – have pre-diabetes.


There is significant evidence to suggest that medical nutrition therapy can prevent the onset of diabetes for at-risk individuals. Medical nutrition therapy includes an initial nutrition and lifestyle assessment, review of eating habits, one-on-one nutritional counseling and follow-up visits to check on patients’ progress in managing their diet to prevent or manage their condition.

Huizenga Votes to Support Small Business Job Creation, Pass Financial CHOICE Act

Congressman Bill Huizenga

Congressman Bill Huizenga (MI-02) has issued the following statement after voting in support of the Financial CHOICE Act:


“Dodd-Frank has made it more difficult for hardworking Americans to secure a future for themselves and their children by denying them the economic recovery they deserve. The Financial CHOICE Act enacts commonsense reforms that reduce the federal deficit by $34 billion, stop taxpayer dollars from being used to bailout Wall Street, and provide much needed relief to community banks and credit unions. If we want small businesses to continue to be the engine of economic growth, we must remove the regulatory red tape that is preventing community financial institutions from supporting small business job creation. While the Democrat-led Congress made the wrong choice with the Dodd-Frank Act, the Republican-led House has made the right choice to strengthen capital formation, support job creation, and grow the economy by passing the Financial CHOICE Act.”