Joe Biden Sworn in as Our New President
On Wednesday Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States with Kamala Harris as his Vice President. While I did not vote for him or support his campaign, I appreciate President Biden's desire to be a President for all Americans, and I look forward to working with him on issues where we agree and to having spirited debates on policies where we differ.
As he was sworn in, I thanked President Trump, Vice President Pence, and the members of their Administration for their four years of service to our country. Through their unprecedented partnership and attentiveness to the needs of our state, we were able to accomplish a great deal for North Dakota and get our constituents a seat at the table like never before. And we are better off because of it.
NDAA Unlocks North Dakota's Defense Potential
As the first-ever North Dakotan to serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee, it was an honor to help craft the Fiscal Year 2021 NDAA, which fulfills the federal government’s most foundational obligation of providing for our national defense. I wrote an opinion piece on how this bill unlocks North Dakota's defense capabilities and potential.
Senate Confirms New Defense Secretary
The Senate confirmed General Lloyd Austin as Secretary of Defense on Friday. His nomination placed us in a precarious position. Because he retired from military service within the last seven years, General Austin required a waiver - approved by both chambers of Congress - to be eligible to serve as Defense Secretary. Either we granted him a waiver to serve, further normalizing our disregard for protections put in place to ensure civilian control over our military; or we rejected his waiver and ran the risk of President Biden choosing a more extreme nominee who's unaware of the threats we face and unappreciative of the important work we've done to rebuild our military over the last four years.
I supported General Austin's confirmation and wish him the best as he leads the Pentagon. I look forward to working with him to make sure we continue to build off the Trump Administration's success of rebuilding our military and hope to host him in North Dakota soon.
Questioning Secretary Austin at his Nomination Hearing
Before the Senate confirmed him, I questioned Secretary Austin, President Biden's nominee for Secretary of Defense, during his Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) nomination hearing Thursday about his support for the nation's intelligence capabilities and the Iran Nuclear Deal.
I first raised the issue of the nuclear triad - especially the two legs of it housed at Minot Air Force Base (AFB) - and the importance of advancing nuclear modernization efforts. I've been using my seat on SASC to ensure the timeline for replacing the Minutemen III’s housed at Minot AFB with the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent intercontinental ballistic missiles stays on track.
$160 Million for Water Infrastructure Projects
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced it will allocate over $160 million to North Dakota during Fiscal Year 2021 for the construction of water infrastructure projects. This includes funding for the Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Project, Pipestem Lake, the City of Napoleon, and the City of Strasburg.
I am pleased to see the Army Corps is making significant investments for important projects in North Dakota. I look forward to ensuring these funds are utilized successfully and these projects continue to receive the support they need.
Effort to Boost COVID-19 Vaccine Funding for Smaller States
Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and I led a bipartisan letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding the formula used to distribute federal funding to states for COVID-19 vaccine administration efforts, which leaves smaller states at a distinct disadvantage.
“If HHS and CDC do not act to provide additional resources to support smaller states that were shortchanged by this round of grant funding, our communities will not be equipped to meet the challenge of vaccine administration during this deadly pandemic. We strongly encourage CDC to utilize additional discretionary funding at its disposal to provide more funding to our small states.”
Grants for North Dakota
Over $11 Million for Vaccinations, Assistance for People Suffering from Mental Disorders and Substance Use during COVID-19
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded a total of five grants to North Dakota health organizations and tribes.
These grants will help fund immunization and vaccines for children, a family healthcare center, and substance abuse and addition recovery services.
1.2 Million in Head Start Funds to Three Affiliates Tribes
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office Administration for Children and Families Office of Head Start awarded $1,204,111 to the Three Affiliated Tribes. Head Start and Early Head Start programs promote school readiness for young children and toddlers from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social, and emotional development as well as early learning, health, and family well-being.
As recommended by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), our in-state offices are taking precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our staff members are available by phone or email and are taking in-person meetings by appointment only.
328 Federal Building
220 East Rosser Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58501
114 Federal Building
102 North 4th Street
Grand Forks, ND 58203
105 Federal Building
100 First Street SW
Minot, ND 58701
306 Federal Building
657 Second Avenue N
Fargo, ND 58102
125 Main Street
Williston, ND 58801
400 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
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
WDAY 970 AM - Fargo
The Jarrod Thomas Show
Thursdays from 10:00 to 10:30 a.m. central
KNOX 1310 AM - Grand Forks
Thursdays from 10:30 to 11:00 a.m. central
KHND 1470 AM - Harvey
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
North Dakota Tourism