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Senator Cramer's Weekly Update SEPTEMBER 21-27

Filling the Vacant Supreme Court Seat

The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has left a vacancy on the Supreme Court. On Saturday, President Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett to fill the seat.

This is an excellent choice by the President, who is fulfilling his constitutional responsibility to put forward a well-qualified nominee. Judge Barrett seems made for this moment. She is a brilliant legal scholar who has come face-to-face with the appalling attacks of the far-left and won. While these radicals have already started repackaging their cookie-cutter, anti-Christian attacks on her and gone after her family, I trust President Trump is putting forward a nominee in Judge Barrett who is ready for this fight. I look forward to learning more about her and visiting with her to discuss her nomination.

Interview with Hallie Jackson on MSNBC

Tuesday morning I joined Hallie Jackson on MSNBC to discuss the Supreme Court vacancy.

The Senate has ample time and proper precedent to move forward on a Supreme Court nomination. The people who elected us gave us a mandate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is the Wizard of Washington, and he understands the political calculations around this issue better than anyone.

What I want in a Supreme Court nominee is someone who understands the importance of federalism and local governance, not universal control by Washington and the bureaucracy. I look forward to discussing this with Judge Barrett.

Interview with Chris Berg on Point of View

Tuesday evening I joined Chris Berg on Point of View to discuss the vacancy as well as negotiations over the Continuing Resolution (CR).

Senate Democrats think chaos works to their advantage, which is why they already amassed an army of lawyers to wreak havoc on Judge Barrett before she was even announced.

Interview with Maddie Biertempfel on KX News

I was also interviewed by Maddie Biertempfel on KX News regarding the vacancy.

I was fairly critical of the Senate during the 2016 Merrick Garland nomination because its members were not willing to take a vote to demonstrate they did not support Merrick Garland. This year's situation is different with the same party holding the White House and Senate, which was not the case in 2016.

Interview with Stuart Varney on Fox Business

On Thursday I continued the discussion with Stuart Varney, covering House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s absurd impeachment threats. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy is right to call her out and take action to prevent that. If the Speaker wants to try to pull crazy stunts, Republicans are ready to fight back.

Interview with Tony Perkins at the Family Research Council

I also shared some "North Dakota commonsense" with Tony Perkins from the Family Research Council as we talked about the vacancy.

Savanna's Act Passes the House

The House of Representatives passed the Savanna's Act on Monday. Our bill is named in memory of North Dakota resident Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, who was brutally murdered just a few years ago. It seeks to combat violence against the most vulnerable members of the Native American community.

Thanks to my colleagues in the House for getting our bill over the finish line. I look forward to President Trump signing it into law.

Introducing Legislation to Phase Out the Production Tax Credit

On Wednesday Senator Hoeven and I helped introduce the "PTC Elimination Act," a bill to completely phase out the federal production tax credit (PTC) for renewable energy sources like wind.

The wind production tax credit is fundamentally unfair and has long outlived its expiration date. Our bill helps level the energy market by forcing this disruptive tax credit to finally expire. It is being led by Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma.

House Passes Veterans Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Bill

On Wednesday the House of Representatives passed the "Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act," a bill containing provisions I wrote to expand the VA Department’s research into Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT).

Our legislation is a comprehensive approach to addressing veterans' mental health issues. I hope the HBOT provisions ultimately lead to more veterans being able to access this treatment. I applaud my colleagues in the House for offering their support, and I look forward to President Trump signing another meaningful piece of legislation for our nation's veterans.

Joining Fargo VA Community & Referral Center Grand Opening

I virtually joined the ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening of the Veterans Affairs Community Resource & Referral Center in Fargo on Friday.

Veterans without housing or access to proper health care treatment is a tragedy, and it is our collective responsibility to do something about it. This community resource and referral center will give North Dakota veterans a safe environment with access to resources to combat mental health problems, addiction, and homelessness.

Highlighting Trump Administration's Partnership in Nuclear Modernization Effort with Minot's Task Force 21

On Tuesday I spoke with members of the Minot's Task Force 21 Committee, fielding questions, providing an update on federal budget negotiations, and highlighting the Trump Administration’s strong support for the Minot Air Force Base.

I have been to Minot with Vice President Pence, Defense Secretary Esper, and Energy Secretary Brouillette, not to mention the host of generals and other high-ranking officials who have visited. The base is a high priority to me and clearly it is to President Trump's Administration as well. Thanks to Task Force 21 for hosting Tuesday's discussion.

Air Force to Prepare Environmental Impact Statement for Nuclear Modernization at Minot AFB

The Air Force is advising the public of its intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) basing action and Minuteman III demilitarization at the Minot Air Force Base.

An Environmental Impact Statement is a necessary step to keep nuclear modernization efforts moving forward. Minot residents should make themselves aware of the details and be ready to work with the Air Force as needed.

GAO Report Highlights Need for PPP Small Business Forgiveness Legislation

On Monday the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on the federal government's ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This report revealed the complexity of the loan forgiveness process creates a burden on borrowers.

The GAO report further demonstrates the need for Congress to pass our Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act. Our bill streamlines the forgiveness process for small businesses, removing the burden placed on them. It also simplifies the complexity and uncertainty of the status quo. Congress has to act to help our small businesses, and nothing should stand in the way of us meeting that obligation.

Calling for State-driven Reform to the Endangered Species Act

I stressed the need for reforming the Endangered Species Act (ESA) with Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon during an Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on Wednesday. One of my greatest frustrations is when the federal government tries to impose its mediocrity on North Dakota's excellence. Success for the Endangered Species Act should be getting species delisted after they have recovered. Over 2,300 species and plants are on the list today, and since 1973 only 60 have gotten off the list.

I also shared the importance of federalism with issues like the ESA. What is the proper role of states with our federal government in our federalist system? I think we have lost track of it for decades. That erosion needs to be stopped and reversed, and I think the Endangered Species Act is one of many exhibits.

New Rule to Allow ND Property Owners to Hunt and Fish on their Property

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) finalized a rule allowing North Dakota property owners whose land is designated a Limited Interest Refuge to once again hunt and fish on their property, a reverse in previous FWS policy. I urged the Trump Administration to enact these provisions after North Dakotans brought this issue to his attention.

Here we have, once again, the Trump Administration listening to North Dakotans, respecting their property rights and providing greater access for hunting and fishing. I am grateful the Fish and Wildlife Service heard the voices of our constituents and acted accordingly.

Raising Concerns About Netflix's Choice to Promote Film by Proponent of Uyghur Internment

I joined a letter led by Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) to Ted Sarandos, the Chief Content Officer of Netflix, expressing concern after the streaming platform decided to adapt and promote "The Three-Body Problem" by Liu Cixin as a live-action series on the network. Liu has propagated genocidal rhetoric regarding the Muslim Uyghurs, and has openly supported the religious minorities internment at "re-education" camps in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Netflix later responded by noting Mr. Liu’s comments are not reflective of the views of Netflix or of the show’s creators, nor are they about the plots and themes of the show.

SEC Modernizes its Shareholder-Proposal Rule

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted amendments on Wednesday to Exchange Act Rule 14a-8, the shareholder-proposal rule. I urged the Commission to make these changes in a letter to SEC Chairman Jay Clayton.

Meeting with Army Corps of Engineers Chief

I sat down with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Chief of Engineers and Commanding General Scott Spellmon in my office on Wednesday. I always appreciate his attentive ear when it comes to the important Army Corps issues facing North Dakota.

Recognizing Small Business Week

With last week being National Small Business Week, Congress should listen to the concerns of our small businesses across the country and pass the Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act. This bipartisan bill streamlines the Paycheck Protection loan forgiveness process. It would give them much-needed relief in this time of uncertainty.

Promoting Farm Safety and Health

Last week was also National Farm Safety and Health Week. In North Dakota and across the nation, we must prioritize the health and safety of those who provide the world with food, fiber, and fuel.

Grants for North Dakota

$4.19 Million to North Dakota for Substance Abuse Services

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded two grants totaling $4,194,478 to North Dakota State Department of Health Services and the University of North Dakota for substance abuse services.

$2.4 Million to Combat Crimes Against Women, Enhance Victim Services

The U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) Office on Violence Against Women awarded $900,000 to Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and $767,680 Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians to combat violent crimes against women. DOJ's Office of Justice Programs also announced $750,000 to the Mountain Plains Youth Service to enhance services for identified victims of human trafficking.

$644k to North Dakota Native American Agriculture Programs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture awarded three grants totaling $644,600 to The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, Dakota College at Bottineau, and Foundation for Agricultural and Rural Resources Management.

$607k to Spirit Lake Tribe to Combat Violent Crime Against Women

The U.S. Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women awarded $607,630 to Spirit Lake Tribe. The funds will be used to strengthen the ability of the tribe to exercise its sovereign authority to respond to violent crimes committed against women and to ensure perpetrators of violent crimes

Funds to Serve Those with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Education awarded two grants totaling $602,008 to Minot State University Pathfinders Service of North Dakota. These grants will fund transition and postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities and expand and improve rehabilitation services for individuals with severe disabilities.

$137k to Tribal Nations Research Group

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded $137,579 to the Tribal Nations Research Group. The funds come through the HHS Administration for Native Americans and will be used for the project entitled, "Social and Economic Development Strategies – Growing Organizations."

$130k to Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $130,000 to the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. The funds will be used towards surveying and taking inventory of brownfield sites, which are properties whose expansion, redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by the presence of hazardous substances to remediate and redevelop brownfields sites throughout the reservation.

Funds for Crime Prevention

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) awarded $135k in grants through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program to prevent and control crime. DOJ also announced a $24,488 award to the North Dakota Attorney General and a $31,602 award to the Bank of North Dakota through the John R. Justice Grant to support local, state, and federal prosecutors and public defenders.

Contact Me

In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended guidelines, our state offices in Fargo, Bismarck, Minot, and Grand Forks are closed for public meetings and appointments. Staff members are still available by phone or email. For more information, visit cramer.senate.gov/COVID19.

Bismarck

328 Federal Building

220 East Rosser Avenue

Bismarck, ND 58501

701-699-7020

Grand Forks

114 Federal Building

102 North 4th Street

Grand Forks, ND 58203

701-699-7030

Minot

105 Federal Building

100 First Street SW

Minot, ND 58701

701-837-6141

Fargo

306 Federal Building

657 Second Avenue N

Fargo, ND 58102

701-232-5094

Washington, D.C.

400 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

202-224-2043

Weekly Radio and TV Schedule

RADIO

What's On Your Mind with Scott Hennen

Fridays from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. central

KFYR 550 AM - Bismarck

1100 The Flag - Fargo

KLTC 1460 AM - Dickinson

KTGO 1090 AM - Tioga

The Jarrod Thomas Show

Thursdays from 10:00 to 10:30 a.m. central

KNOX 1310 AM - Grand Forks

Rick Jensen

Thursdays from 10:30 to 11:00 a.m. central

KHND 1470 AM - Harvey

Jay Thomas

Every other Tuesday from 3:00 to 3:30 p.m. central

WDAY 970 AM – Fargo

TELEVISION

Chris Berg - Point of View

6:30 p.m. central (Semi-Monthly)

Valley News Live - Fargo

Photo credit: North Dakota Tourism and the Office of U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer

Credits:

Created with images by Arteum.ro - "Energy field" • David Balev - "Watching Netflix from bed"North Dakota Tourism