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Why We Need LAMP, the Local Agriculture Market Program

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UPDATE: Read the bipartisan letter sent to the Farm Bill conferees in support of including LAMP in final legislation. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), local food was a $8.7 billion market for farmers in 2015.  This market does not show signs of slowing down, as USDA estimates that the local food market will reach $20 billion in sales by 2019.…

Agriculture Victories in FY2018 Omnibus

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I'm happy to report that many rural, nutrition, and agriculture programs important to Maine saw funding increases in the FY2018 Omnibus Appropriations legislation that was signed on March 23 and funds the federal government through September 30, 2018. Since President Trump suggested severely cutting or even eliminating funding for many of these programs in his budget proposal, it's very…

2017: What A Year

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The last year has certainly been one of the most eventful—if not the most eventful—of my time in Congress. The presidency of Donald Trump has taken our country in new and frightening directions, making my work in Congress all the more important.  Throughout, I've been focused on how policy decisions in Washington and events around the nation and world impact the lives of…

Why I Oppose the GOP Tax Plan

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The following is a piece distributed to local newspapers in November 2017 Earlier this month, I sat down with a group of Mainers who would be negatively impacted by the House Republicans’ tax plan. Among them were a teacher, a cancer survivor, a recent college graduate, and a dairy farmer, who all told me how the plan would hurt them and their families. It was for them—and…

Keep America's Waterfronts Working Act Statements of Support

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"Working waterfronts are an integral part of the nation's coastal and Great Lakes economy and culture. Working waterfronts face multiple challenges, including permanent conversion to non-water-dependent uses and storm damage to already compromised waterfront infrastructure. Businesses that depend on working waterfront, from commercial fishermen to tour boat operators to waterborne trade,…

Why Congressional Appropriations Matter for Maine

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The following is a column distributed to Maine newspapers in July 2017. One of the most important committees in Congress is also the least understood: Appropriations. And it’s not surprising. From “302(b) allocations” to “manager’s amendments,” the workings of this committee are nearly indecipherable to anyone outside Washington. But it’s also…

Changes in IRS collection

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The following is a press release from the IRS. Starting this month, the Internal Revenue Service will begin sending letters to a relatively small group of taxpayers whose overdue federal tax accounts are being assigned to one of four private-sector collection agencies. The new program, authorized under a federal law enacted by Congress in December 2015, enables these designated…

Affordable Care Act Stories

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When I put out a call for people to share their stories of how the Affordable Care Act has helped people in Maine, I received over a thousand responses in just a few days. Here's just a small sample of those powerful stories. --Chellie "Under Obamacare, we now pay one-third of our old premium and have a $2,500 deductible. I had my first physical in over 20 years."  -…

President-elect Trump's proposed Cabinet

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A run down of my thoughts on President-elect Trump's choices for the cabinet and other high-ranking posts. --Chellie  Steve Bannon, Chief Strategist “We’ve been asked to give President-elect Trump the ‘benefit of the doubt,’ but I think this dispels any hope that he would finally distance himself from people who promote hateful, racist…

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