Government Matters: Week in review, May 8-12

Peters, Carper, Hassan, Harris Urge DOJ Inspector General to Investigate Political Interference with Russia Investigation

U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Tom Carper (D-DE), Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) all members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, sent a letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General calling for an inquiry into possible political interference with the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged involvement with Russia during the 2016 presidential election. Peters, Hassan and Harris are members of the Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management Subcommittee, and U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) serves as Ranking Member of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.


In the letter, the Senators call on the Inspector General to investigate the allocation of resources for the Russia investigation; the intent and timing of Comey’s termination, including the role of Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the termination despite his decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation; and whether any actions of the DOJ or the White House constitute political interference in the FBI investigation.


Peters, Stabenow Call on Trump Administration to Protect Worker and Retiree Pensions

U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow led a group of 14 Senators outlining the importance of protecting pensions for workers and retirees. The Senators requested information from the Administration on its plan to address critical issues in the multi-employer pension system.


“As you may know, millions of American workers and retirees — through no fault of their own — are at risk of losing a substantial portion of their pensions because their plans are at imminent risk of becoming insolvent and being unable to pay earned benefits on time and in full,” wrote the Senators. “Some multi-employer pension plans across the country, including Central States with its more than 400,000 participants, are in dire financial situations.”


Peters Speaks on Firing of FBI Director James Comey

Peters: The past four months suggest that our president thinks he can simply tweet and fire his way out of this problem while continuing to cozy up to Russia.


U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) spoke on the Senate floor about President Trump’s firing of Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Director James Comey in the midst of an FBI investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Peters reiterated his call from March for a special prosecutor to conduct a nonpartisan, independent investigation into Russia’s involvement in our elections.


Watch his remarks here:



Peters Leads Bipartisan Group of Senators in Calling for Farm Service Agency Loan Funding

U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) today led a bipartisan group of 28 Senators in a letter to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture urging them to support robust funding for the Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) loan programs. FSA provides direct loans and loan guarantees to help struggling family farmers start and maintain viable farming operations.


“These loans are cost-efficient and work in tandem with private credit to serve farmers in need,” wrote the Senators. “Because of these loans, family farmers can get their crops in the ground and continue to serve their customers, even during tough economic times. Without FSA loans, these farmers would lack access to the operating capital that is necessary for any farm business to stay afloat.”


FSA loans aim to help small farms that cannot otherwise obtain favorable credit, including beginning farmers, women and minorities, and other disadvantaged borrowers. FSA’s loan programs include operating loans, which fund expenses such as livestock, equipment and seed, and ownership loans that help farmers develop land. Recent years have seen increased demand for FSA’s loan programs. In June 2016, hundreds of farmers whose loans had already been approved could not receive the funds due to a shortfall in funding for FSA operating loans. As a result, Congress was forced to pass an emergency appropriation in December of 2016 to address the shortfall.