The July 24 Hagedorn Report from First District Congressman Jim Hagedorn is out … and while there are a lot in the headlines (President Trump suggesting that he would send 75,000 law enforcement personnel into American cities, the 7,262 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the First District, the expiring of Pandemic Extended Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, the House passing FY2021 budget bills for the Departments of Defense and State as well as US Trade Agency and other agencies, and the removal of numerous statues memorializing Confederate States of America supporters from the Capitol grounds), Congressman Hagedorn focused on : Expanding Childcare Access; BUILDing Rochester; the annual Congressional App Challenge; and last, but certainly not least, that the Worthington Globe newspaper published his press release (more on that in a future MN Political Roundtable commentary.)
Yep, no mention that Congressman Hagedorn voted against the funding bills … or that he voted to retain Confederacy statues … instead he wants his constituents to know that is aware of the district’s needs for better roads and concerns over accessibility of affordable, quality childcare.
But is it #HagedornHype or #HagedornHoodwinking ? Well based on his prior votes, Congressman Hagedorn is not the baker who makes the cake, but instead the owner wondering if he can cut the cake into additional pieces, so that he has a piece to take home.
Take for example, Congressman Hagedorn alerts everyone that he is the co-led bipartisan sponsor of HR 7683 the Affordable Child Care for Economic Strategies and Success (ACCESS) Act. WOW !!! Are you impressed ?
The first questions that must be asked are, how many new dollars will be going into this program and is there any guarantee that Minnesota will get any of these funds ?
Here’s the short answer … the legislation will expand funding opportunities to “projects that directly or indirectly increase the accessibility of affordable, quality child care eligible for certain grants” … so the pie can be cut into small slices for more grant applications but funding is still the question. Actually, the child care advocacy community believes Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) should be funded at $50 billion BUT Congressman Hagedorn voted against even allowing $7 billion on May 15 (HR 6800 Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act).
The second major item in the Hagedorn Report is that he had a “productive call with Rochester Mayor Kim Norton and U.S. Department of Transportation officials about the city’s BUILD Grant application, which is critical to improving commerce, public safety and economic opportunity in Southeast Minnesota.”
WOW !!! Congressman Hagedorn wants federal dollars from the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) program to come back to his district … well, that should surprise no one. It should also not be a surprise that the Trump Administration wants the BUILD (formerly TIGER) discretionary grants to be $1 billion (Note, the last year of Tim Walz’s tenure, it was funded at $1.5 billion), so getting a piece of the pie may be a little tougher than if they set the funding to meet our infrastructure needs instead of pushing for monies for a border wall (anybody know when Mexico will start making its payments?) Also, in 2019, Minnesota did not receive any BUILD funding while other states received up to three grants (too bad he didn’t make that call last year but then again that was not an election year). Supporting access to jobs and services, is the reason why the House voted to approved H R 2 the INVEST (Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation) in America Act … and it should not be a surprise that on July 1st, Congressman Hagedorn voted NO on that bill.
Voting NO seems to be a pattern for Congressman Hagedorn … but once the funds become available after Senate action, you certainly can expect to see a press release announcing his success.
Congressman Hagedorn has been in office for 569 days and has proven that his “Mr. Conservative” was not hype … he hoodwinked some voters in 2018, the question is will he do it again on November 3rd ?