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Senator Cramer's Weekly Update November 2-8

Letter Urging France to Stop Blocking U.S. Natural Gas Deal

I wrote a letter to the President of France Emmanuel Macron on Monday urging France to stop preventing a commercial agreement between a United States liquefied natural gas (LNG) company and French power company Engie. Reports suggest the French government delayed and possibly canceled the contract based on misplaced environmental concerns about natural gas coming from the United States.

The United States has the ability to provide France with access to the cleanest and most efficient source of natural gas in the world. Importing more U.S. LNG strengthens the U.S.- France trade relationship and provides France significant environmental and geopolitical benefits. Unfortunately, Engie has since backed out of the deal because of France's opposition.

Delivering the Keynote Address at the Eide Bailly Bank Seminar

Wednesday morning I delivered the keynote address at the annual Eide Bailly Bank Seminar. My remarks focused on efforts to advance regulatory relief and reform the bureaucracy, such as my legislation to streamline Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness for small businesses and my work to repeal Current Expected Credit Losses (CECL) regulations.

I'm grateful to Eide Bailly and its clients for letting me speak with them and for being strong and consistent partners who offer invaluable and innovate insight into how Congress can better assist their important industry.

USDA Extends Comment Period for PRF Rainfall Index Crop Insurance Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) recently extended its public comment period on recommended changes to the Pasture, Rangeland, Forage (PRF) Rainfall Index Crop Insurance Program. I have repeatedly heard from North Dakotans on this issue and worked with the Administration and my colleagues through my seat on the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Committee to improve the program.

As we often see when dealing with the bureaucracy, the PRF insurance program tries unsuccessfully to use a national model to predict a very local issue. I am glad to see the department is extending the comment period to hear from more livestock producers about the changes being proposed. All concerned citizens should offer their input.

FCC Takes Steps to Help Close the Digital Divide for Tribes in North Dakota

The Federal Communications Commission issued the first set of spectrum licenses to Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, Standing Rock Telecommunications Inc., Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation, and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.

Better connectivity creates better opportunities. It is good to see the FCC taking steps to close the digital divide for tribes in North Dakota. I look forward to working with the Commission to make sure these efforts are successful.

Urging HHS to Ensure Free COVID Testing

I joined a letter led by Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar requesting clarification on the department's guidance for ensuring individuals who need a COVID-19 test can receive one without any out-of-pocket costs.

“For Americans who wish to safely return to school and work, access to testing is critical. No one should have to pay for a test. If someone wants a test, they should be able to get a test, and that test should be covered by insurance without any out-of-pocket costs.”

Grants for North Dakota from the Trump Administration

$1.7 Million to Improve Public Safety

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) awarded three grants totaling $1,752,667 to the following recipients:

  • $999,638 to North Dakota Department Of Corrections And Rehabilitation to identify innovative approaches to address persistent or emerging crime and public safety problems;
  • $676,596 to the North Dakota Attorney General to, in collaboration with Minnesota, purchase an Automated Fingerprint Identification System replacement system;
  • and $76,433 to the North Dakota Attorney General to support gang task forces to reduce violent crime, firearms offenses, human trafficking, and drug trafficking.

$749k for Environmental Protection

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded $749,985 to the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality (NDDEQ) for programs which protect access to clean air and water and ensure the proper management of hazardous materials.

$466k for Rural Community Development

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Office of Rural Development (RD) approved a loan of $466,044 to the Dakota Horizons Fund. The funds will be used to improve quality of life via job creation and retention in 22 counties and rural communities in North Dakota.

$82k to Improve the Economy and Quality of Life on Standing Rock Sioux Reservation

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Office of Rural Development (RD) awarded $82,072 to the OYATE Community Development Corporation to improve the economy and quality of life on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation through education, training, and direct lending of money to support community and business development.

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 Glenn Carstens-Peters - "If you feel the desire to write a book, what would it be about?" • Mufid Majnun - "a laboratory worker takes a swab test"North Dakota Tourism