May 9, 2019 Media

DFLers Criticize Mike Pence’s Attacks on Minnesota Farmers, Families, and Health Care

Today, Minnesota DFLers and progressives issued a strong rebuke to Vice President Mike Pence, who is visiting the state to sell his administration’s disastrous trade policies.

DFL Chairman Ken Martin spoke about Trump and Pence’s record of broken promises when it comes to supporting agriculture:

“Instead of following through on their promise to help Minnesota farmers, Donald Trump and Mike Pence have spent years making their lives more difficult at every given turn. Thanks to their disastrous trade wars, exports are down, crop prices are down, and farm bankruptcies are up. More empty promises will not change their abysmal record.”

Tim Velde, a 4th generation farmer from Hanley Falls, spoke about the impact the Trump – Pence administration has had on farmers across Minnesota:

“The disregard shown to farmers and rural America by the Trump – Pence administration must end. Farmers have invested millions of dollars developing foreign markets for our crops and livestock and built a reputation as a trusted trading partner with countries like China, Mexico and Canada. With the stroke of a pen and a few tweets, our foreign market was gone.

“The Trump – Pence administration is not a friend to farmers or rural Minnesota.”

DFL Senator Scott Dibble spoke about Trump and Pence’s failure to deliver on infrastructure:

“My colleagues at the Capitol and I have been working to deliver much-need transportation and transit so Minnesotans who rely on our roads, bridges, and ports to create successful lives, businesses and communities. Unfortunately, Trump and Pence’s infrastructure promises have failed to deliver. Instead of boosting Minnesota’s economy, Trump and Pence seem to find it more important to target and exclude LGBTQ people by rolling back equal rights protections and banning transgender people from the military.”

One of the biggest hallmarks of the Trump – Pence administration has been an all-out assault on the health care so many Minnesotans rely on. At the recent National Rifle Association convention, President Trump bragged about repealing the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. Trump then promised he will be “going for the rest” of the law, which would take health insurance from over 265,000 Minnesotans.

Dawn Burnfin, a home care worker from the Iron Range, shared her family’s experience about why the Trump/Pence/GOP plan to take away protections for pre-existing conditions would hurt thousands of Minnesota families like hers:

“I have degenerative tissue condition that is genetic. Unfortunately, my five children all won the 50-50 lottery and got the same conditions. This same condition killed my fit, active father at 61. The yearly heart check-ups for this condition are expensive for one person, so you can imagine what it means for five children. There is no way we could afford this without the ACA. Doing away with the ACA could kill someone in my family.

“As a mom, to know that my kids have a risk of needing heart surgery or having an aneurysm, it is scary when I hear about people wanting to cut the ACA that protects people with pre-existing conditions like my family. As Mr. Pence visits Minnesota today, I want him to know that Minnesotans want our elected leaders in Washington D.C. to protect and expand healthcare, not cut it.”

Sarah Stoesz, President of the Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund spoke about the Trump Pence administration’s attack on basic health care and family planning services:

“Regardless of race, region, or political affiliation, the vast majority of adults in this country know from experience that birth control is a basic part of a healthy life. This is not controversial. It is a normal part of our lives.

“And yet, this administration has forced us over and over again to assert the most basic truths: that women are human beings who deserve autonomy, that science is real, that denial of human rights is wrong.”