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Senator Cramer's Weekly Update May 13 - May 20

Lifting the Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

The United States and Canada lifted the tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

This is encouraging news for the North Dakota industries who felt the pain of these tariffs and an important step towards approving USMCA. The threat of limited market access and greater uncertainty caused by these tariffs, enacted during USMCA negotiations, will no longer be a concern. If approved, this trade agreement is a resounding win for North Dakota, which exported nearly $5 billion in goods to Canada and Mexico last year; the deal includes fixes to grain grading for our farmers, and automotive and machinery provisions that will help our manufacturing workforce. I am encouraged by this development, and I urge the administration to continue working with Congress to pass USMCA as soon as possible.

Immigration Reform

This week, President Trump proposed an immigration plan that offers a merit-based, high-security vision to keep our country safe and prosperous by fixing our broken immigration system.

The crisis at the southern border requires that we adequately equip our immigration law enforcement officers, and I support the administration’s plan to develop a more merit-based system that includes diversity safeguards.

The President's commonsense proposals are a step in the right direction that will bring Republicans together; now Democrats should offer a plan of their own. They would be foolish to not take their seat at the negotiating table just because they oppose the person sitting on the other side.

May is National Military Appreciation Month

I took to the Senate floor this week to commemorate Military Appreciation Month.

North Dakotans are very proud of our military heritage. This month we stand to do something we ought to do every day. Something we ought to do in church when we are sitting next to them in the pews or when we are talking to our neighbors and family members: say "thank you." Part of the reason we do not say thank you often is because we are unaware of the dangers around the world because our service members do their jobs so very well.

Watch the full speech below in which I also touch on Peace Officers Memorial Day, the Minot and Grand Forks Air Force Bases, the Cavalier Air Space Station, the Happy Hooligans, and the National Guard’s role in protecting North Dakota during the Dakota Access Pipeline protests.

National Police Week

The Senate passed three bipartisan bills supporting our local law enfocement during National Police Week.

First, we passed the "Protecting America's First Responder's Act" fixes deficiencies in a federal benefit program that prevents first responders with certain injuries from receiving benefits. We reauthorized the "Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant," which reimburses states up to 50 percent of the cost of body armor for law enforcement. Lastly, the "Supporting and Treating Officers in Crisis Act of 2019" reforms and expand the family-support grant program and allows these funds to be used for mental health care and suicide prevention for law enforcement officers.

Thank you to those who have dedicated their career to keeping our cities and towns safe.

Honoring Chris Bacon

I attended a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Valor Memorial and Wreath Laying Ceremony for Christopher T. Bacon, an Intelligence Collection Operations Manager who was stationed in the Air Security Operations Center of the Grand Forks Air Force Base at the time of his death.

By all accounts, Chris was a loyal friend and a faithful family man who offered his life in service to our country. The stories of his camaraderie and servant’s heart personify the spirit of North Dakota’s military community. I am grateful for his sacrifice, and for the sacrifice of all whose names are engraved on the memorial; what they have given us we can never repay.

The CBP Valor Memorial is a monument that lists the names of all CBP agents who died while serving their country. The addition of Chris Bacon’s name was unveiled this week.

Cooperstown and Mayville Mobile Office Hours

While it’s not always easy or possible for people to get to my state offices, mobile office hours bring our services closer to constituents. I will have members of my staff in Cooperstown and Mayville on Tuesday, May 21, to give North Dakotans more time to explore solutions to the problems they face with people who are in a position to help.

Individuals from the Cooperstown and Mayville areas are encouraged to stop by the mobile office for help with veterans and Social Security benefits, Medicare difficulties, immigration issues, military records or medals, or assistance with federal agencies.

Good News for our Producers

Japan agreed to lift their restrictions on U.S. Beef. This is good news for our country as a whole and very good news for our cattle producers. North Dakota ranks 14th nationally in beef exports and beef is an important part of our agricultural economy. This deal will have an accumulative effect while we continue bilateral negotiations with Japan. You can listen to Scott Hennen's and my discussion about these new developments at the link below.

Congratulations to Lance Yohe

The Senate unanimously confirmed Lance Yohe to the International Joint Commission Thursday night.

I urged President Trump to appoint Lance- and my Senate colleagues to support him- because of his extensive knowledge and impressive record on regional water issues, especially in the Red River Basin.

I know Lance will put his years of experience to good use at the IJC, and I offer him my sincerest congratulations on being confirmed to this important post.

I am honored to have received the Spirit of Enterprise Award from the US Chamber of Commerce in Bismarck. I’ll always stand in support of pro-growth economic policies that empower taxpayers and get the government out of your pocket and out of the way.

Spoke about Immigration and China with Stuart Varney on Fox Business

I joined Stuart Varney on Fox Business to discuss my merit-based immigration plan.

The Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act is a bipartisan plan to meet the immediate workforce needs in states like North Dakota. I support a more merit-based immigration plan that eliminates per country caps but also includes diversity metrics for immigrants from smaller countries. Passing it would help resolve the workforce shortage, such as the high demand for physicians and engineers, in our state.

I also discussed the Administration's ongoing trade discussions with China. Tariffs have a disproportionately negative affect on our farmers, and we must protect them. But to end this trade war we must win it. China’s bad faith negotiating is as predictable as the morning's sunrise.

Watch the video below for the full interview.

Providing Diapers to Families in Need

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, Alabama Senator Doug Jones, Indiana Senator Mike Braun and I introduced a bipartisan resolution recognizing the importance of diaper banks across the country.

Diapers can be costly, and diaper banks provide them free of charge to families in need. Diaper banks play a crucial role in helping families, especially in aftermath of natural disasters.

Moved by a strong belief in the dignity of life, public servants across the country have established diaper banks to assist families in need and to help parents in areas recently affected by natural disasters.

Agencies, like Fargo’s Great Plains Food Bank, demonstrate how local communities can recognize and collectively resolve to meet the needs of the most vulnerable among us.

Incentivizing Cybersecurity

I joined a bipartisan, bicameral group of representatives in introducing the Cyber Ready Workforce Act. Cyber attacks are an emerging threat to our nation, and we need a well-trained workforce able to combat them.

This bipartisan bill authorizes U.S. Department of Labor to incentivize cybersecurity apprenticeship programs which provide an alternative to four year degrees in cybersecurity, reduce the need for burdensome student loans, and ensure the next generation has the skills needed to protect our country.

Read more about our bill, lead by Nevada Senator Jacky Rosen, by clicking the button below.

North Dakotans in Washington, D.C.

After calling me on KNOX last week, Mick (Wilhelmi) Nett, Kindred native (Go Vikings) & husband Rod stopped by my DC office for a hometown visit. It is great to catch up with folks from home.
Discussed North Dakota’s military community and local expansion projects with the Fargo Moorhead Chamber of Commerce. I’m grateful for their continued support of our military members and their families stationed in the area.
Flood Insurance, infrastructure, and opportunity zones were among the shared priorities the North Dakota Association of Realtors discussed with me during our meeting this week.
Met with Justin Forde from Midcontinent about rural broadband. I’m encouraged by their developments to provide connectivity to remote areas.
Many people serve our country by serving our military, and they deserve recognition. I was honored to spend an evening at the North Dakota Military and Congressional Reception with some of our military members and the community that supports them.
I share Grand Forks BRIC’s enthusiasm as the 319th Air Base Wing brings back flying missions and the great potential that will bring to the Grand Forks area

Contact Me

I currently have offices in Fargo, Minot and Washington, D.C. Offices in Grand Forks and Bismarck will open in May. You can stop by or call any of the following offices. You can also visit my website at www.cramer.senate.gov.

Minot

105 Federal Building

100 First Street SW

Minot, ND 58701

701-837-6141

Fargo

306 Federal Building

657 Second Avenue North

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

Wednesdays 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

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

PODCAST

Rob Port - Plain Talk Podcast

Thursday mornings

Say Anything Blog

TELEVISION

Chris Berg - Point of View

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

Valley News Live - Fargo

Photo credit: North Dakota Tourism Department, Office of U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer, U.S. Senate Photographers

Credits:

PC: North Dakota Tourism, Senate Photographers

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