Senator Cramer's Weekly Update septemer 7-13

Remembering 9/11

We lost 2,977 innocent American lives in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. It is our duty to never let them be forgotten. And while this act of terror represented the worst in humanity, our response exemplifies the best this country has to offer.

Commander of the U.S. Space Command Visiting North Dakota Today

Today I will host Commander of the U.S. Space Command, General James Dickinson, in North Dakota for a visit to the University of North Dakota and the Cavalier Air Space Station. I am looking forward to showcasing North Dakota's ability to be an important player in the future of space.

Democrats Block Relief for the American People

Senate Democrats, led by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, blocked a targeted COVID-19 relief bill for the American people on Thursday. Their message is clear: they would rather let people be hurt than give them help because they think it will give them an advantage in November. Their argument seems to be that if we won't give Democrats everything they want, the American people should get nothing at all. That is nonsense and unserious governing, resulting from blind partisanship and hatred for President Trump.

Choosing to Support Energy Security and Reliability

On Thursday I published an opinion piece in Newsweek on California’s rolling power blackouts. Californians spent August in the dark—literally and figuratively. At fault, at least in part, is the state’s over-reliance on unreliable sources of energy like wind and solar. These problems were preventable and should be a wake-up call ahead of this year's election.

I joined Stuart Varney on Fox Business on Friday to discuss the op-ed. With every coal plant retired, nuclear plant closed, or gas pipeline objected to, we put ourselves at greater risk.

Legislation to Meet Veterans' Mental Health Needs

On Thursday, World Suicide Prevention Day, Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and I introduced a bipartisan bill to build on the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) suicide prevention efforts. The VA Zero Suicide Demonstration Project Act would implement a Zero Suicide Initiative pilot program at five VA medical centers across the nation, one of which would serve primarily veterans who live in rural and remote areas.

On average, we lose 17 veterans a day to suicide. We need to find ways to lower that number and get these patriots the help they need.

Senate Space Force Caucus

Last week we officially launched the bipartisan Senate Space Force Caucus.

We established the Space Force to maintain America's advantage in space and protect us from foreign adversaries. It requires Congressional oversight, authorization, and funding to properly develop and carry out its mission.

Our Space Force Caucus will provide an avenue to craft bipartisan legislative ideas and further support America's newest military branch. The creation of the caucus was announced at an Air Force Caucus meeting with the head of the Space Force, General Jay Raymond.

Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) will serve as Chair of the caucus, and Senators Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and I will serve as co-chairs.

Honoring Fallen Corporal Nathan Goodiron

On Saturday I participated in a ceremony in New Town honoring Corporal Nathan Goodiron who was killed in Afghanistan on November 23, 2006, while on duty with the North Dakota National Guard.

As we remember the life and sacrifice of Corporal Nathan Goodiron, we grieve and we celebrate. Proverbs 10:7 tells us, “The memory of the righteous is a blessing.” I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be blessed on Saturday.

Introducing Chief Master Sergeant Merissa Schmidt

I've had the privilege of having Merissa Schmidt serve as a military fellow in my office this year. On Thursday she was promoted from Senior Master Sergeant to Chief Master Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force. I was honored to participate in the ceremony.

Merissa has met her responsibilities with incredible skill and a seemingly permanent smile. Congratulations to her and her family.

Air Force Awards Contract for Nuclear Modernization Efforts

The Air Force awarded Northrop Grumman a $13.3 billion contract for the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) program. The GBSD is the scheduled replacement for the Minutemen III ICBMs, which are housed at bases like Minot Air Force Base. According to the Air Force, the GBSD ICBM will have increased accuracy, enhanced security, and improved reliability to provide the United States with an upgraded and broader array of strategic nuclear options.

The importance of modernizing our nuclear deterrence cannot be overstated. The mere existence of these weapons makes our nation and the world a safer place, an advantage we cannot afford to lose. I am glad to see the Air Force take this timely action and I look forward to ensuring these funds are used efficiently and effectively.

Calling for Necessary Changes to the Endangered Species Act

I highlighted the need to reform the Endangered Species Act during a Senate Environment and Public Works hearing on Wednesday. How is it possible over 1,600 plants and species are listed on the Endangered Species Act with less than 2 percent ever being delisted? That is not a success story to me. That is a failure.

Too often lazy legislating gives too much power to the bureaucracy and the judiciary, which are unable to properly reflect the will of the people. We need a different approach to protecting endangered species, one that utilizes cooperative federalism and Congressional responsibility.

FEMA Approves FM Diversion Conditional Letter of Map Revision for North Dakota

On Monday the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) informed me the agency has approved the Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Conditional Letter of Map Revision for the North Dakota piece of the project. According to FEMA, the Conditional Letter of Map Revision is the agency's comment on a proposed project which impacts the hydrologic or hydraulic characteristics of a flooding source.

Once the Diversion project is complete, FEMA will be asked to certify it with this now-approved plan. This is the first step in certifying protection from a 100-year event. I am glad to see progress being made on this important project, and I look forward to working with the proper federal agencies to ensure it continues through to completion.

Letter Urging State Department Support For Religious Freedom Commission's Recommendations

On Wednesday I joined a letter led by Senator James Lankford (R-OK) to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback. In it, we urged the State Department to consider recommendations made by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) when determining Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) and placement of countries on the Special Watch List (SWL). CPC and SWL designations by the Secretary of State often differ from the USCIRF recommendation.

Grants for North Dakota

$15 Million for Construction at Minot Air Force Base

The Department of the Army has awarded $15,472,000 for construction at Minot Air Force Base. The funds will be used to provide a full interior demolition and reconstruction of the base’s Missile Command Headquarters Building. The project is estimated to be completed by August 2023.

$5.3 Million to Dickinson Airport

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration awarded $5,388,888 to the Dickinson Municipal Airport Authority. This grant is funded in part through the CARES Act and will be used to extend and shift the runway in order to meet runway safety area and protection zone standards.

$3 Million in CARES Act Funds for North Dakota Community Development

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded four grants totaling $3,112,947 in CARES Act funding on Friday. The funds go to HUD's Community Development Block Grant program, which focuses on assisting places with households facing higher risk of eviction, such as communities with high rates of individuals and businesses in industries with high job loss in states with high unemployment and those at risk of eviction.

$515k for Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Transitional Housing in Bismarck

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women awarded $515,000 to the Abused Adult Resource Center in Bismarck. The funds come through the Transitional Housing Assistance Program, which provides transitional housing assistance to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

$500k to the Community Violence Intervention Center in Grand Forks

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women awarded $500k to the Community Violence Intervention Center in Grand Forks. The funds come through the Rural Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking Program, which supports programs that identify, assess, and respond to child, youth, and adult victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking in rural communities.

$435k to NDSU for Vision Research

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded $435,000 to North Dakota State University (NDSU). The funds come through HHS's National Eye Institute and will go toward vision research.

$387k to UND for Alzheimer's Research

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institute on Aging awarded $387,750 to the University of North Dakota. The funds come through the Aging Research program and will be used to research chronic allergen exposure as a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease.

$197k to Serving Children with Disabilities in North Dakota

The U.S. Department of Education awarded $197,303 to the North Dakota Department of Human Services. The funds will go toward helping personnel in special education, related services, early intervention, and regular education to work with children with disabilities, as well as ensuring personnel have the skills and knowledge needed to serve children with disabilities.

$153k to Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians

The U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration awarded $153,000 to the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. The funds will be used to develop a strategy for strengthening the regional economy with collaboration from the public and private sectors.

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.


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Washington, D.C.

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Weekly Radio and TV Schedule


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


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


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