Rallying in Support of Life at the North Dakota Capitol
On Friday, I had the privilege of joining the March for Life rally held on the North Dakota Capitol grounds hosted by the University of Mary.
Thank you to all who marched. Because of you and your incredible testimony on this very cold day in North Dakota, we are winning the battle for life, at a time when we seem to be losing ground in the preservation of most of our values.
Reintroducing Pro-Life Legislation
Ahead of this year's March for Life, my colleagues and I introduced numerous pro-life bills, including legislation to ban abortion after 20 weeks of fertilization, to protect unborn babies with Down syndrome, and to give states the authority to exclude abortion providers like Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid funds. Click the links below to learn more:
Checking President Biden's Harmful Energy Policies
President Biden has been quick to reverse many of President Trump's pro-American energy policies. I urge the President to reconsider his harmful approach and am working with my colleagues to reverse some of his executive actions.
Executive Order to Halt Oil and Gas Leases on Federal Lands
Pausing oil and gas leases on federal lands will raise energy costs for all Americans and eliminate opportunities for good-paying jobs; and the President’s promise to review existing leases means he isn't done yet. While he destroys jobs at home, the President is delivering wins to foreign competitors like Saudi Arabia, whose exports to the United States will only increase under these actions, further hurting our economy and weakening national security.
Bill to Prohibit the Administration from Unilaterally Blocking Leasing or Permitting on Federal Lands
I joined Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) in introducing Protecting our Wealth of Energy Resources (POWER) Act, legislation to prohibit the President or his secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture, or Energy departments from blocking energy or mineral leasing and permitting on federal lands and waters without Congressional approval.
Senate Democratic Leader Urges President Biden to Consider Declaring a Climate Emergency
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) suggested on Tuesday President Biden should declare a climate emergency. Such a suggestion is an early admission Democrats' climate proposals are too extreme to be passed by Congress, and while this rhetoric might play well in far-left media outlets, the Biden Administration has already launched a full-fledged attack on American energy producers that will disproportionately harm low-income workers and American families. Taking such extreme executive action would be a policy nightmare and a political disaster the Biden Administration would quickly regret.
Requesting Meeting with President Biden Following Action to Target Energy Workers
I joined a letter to President Biden led by Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) voicing our concerns about the Administration's executive orders on energy and requesting a meeting with him to discuss these issues.
Discussing President Biden's Energy Actions on Fox Business
I talked to Dagen McDowell on Fox Business about President Biden’s actions on energy, focusing on his plans to impose a moratorium on fossil fuel leasing on federal lands and revoking the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.
DAPL Appeals Court Ruling
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled the Army Corps of Engineers fell short of the National Environmental Policy Act when it allowed the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) to cross a federal reservoir in North Dakota and that the violation warranted scrapping the easement. The court also reiterated its previous ruling that the lower court overstepped when it ordered the pipeline to shut down.
The Court of Appeals is right to reaffirm that the original ruling ordering the DAPL to shut down was wrong. I believe DAPL was created in full compliance with the direction provided by the Obama Administration, and it has helped usher in an era of American energy dominance that is unfortunately now under attack. The Army Corps of Engineers should be allowed to proceed without political interference from the Biden Administration. This is not another opportunity to wage war on North Dakota's energy producers.
Opinion Piece on Rejoining the Paris Climate Accord
While I do not agree with most of President Biden's actions on energy, rejoining the Paris Climate Accord can be a success if the Administration takes an America First approach. Over the weekend, I shared my thoughts on what that would look like in an opinion piece for Fox News.
Reintroducing Constitutional Amendment To Keep SCOTUS At Nine Justices
I joined Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) in reintroducing a constitutional amendment to keep the number of Justices on the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) at nine.
Democrats have repeatedly promised to fundamentally alter a co-equal branch of government by adding Justices to the Supreme Court until there were enough liberals to make a majority. Court-packing undermines the Court's integrity and threatens the independence of the judiciary. It's another example of Democrats trying to upend our institutions and change the rules because they don't like the outcome, with blatant disregard for the consequences of their actions. Our amendment takes this dangerous plan off the table.
Opposing Antony Blinken's Nomination for Secretary of State
I voted against the nomination of Antony Blinken for Secretary of State on Tuesday.
Blinken was instrumental in the creation of the Iran Nuclear Deal, which jeopardized the security of our ally Israel and the American people as part of the Obama Administration's fruitless attempt to appease a state sponsor of terrorism. The Biden Administration's “strategic patience” approach to adversaries like Iran, Russia, and China is a return to the failed status quo and the threats to global safety that come with it. The United States needs to lead through strength, not appeasement.
Opposing Janet Yellen's Nomination for Treasury Secretary
On Monday, I voted against Janet Yellen's nomination to be U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.
Yellen backs policies proposed by President Biden I cannot support. She seems too eager to raise taxes on the American people, her energy policies are job killers, and her willingness to unilaterally double the federal minimum wage with little regard for its impact on jobs is frightening. The Biden Administration's approach to these issues would damage North Dakotans' pocketbooks and threaten to derail any significant recovery to the economic downturn the American people are fighting to reverse. Such harmful policy stances disqualified her from earning my vote to be Treasury Secretary.
Conversations with President Biden's OMB and CEA Nominees
I held phone conversations on Wednesday with Neera Tanden and Cecilia Rouse, who both reached out to discuss their nominations. Tanden is President Biden's nominee for Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and Rouse is his choice to chair the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA).
President Biden's recent Executive Orders have been bad for North Dakota and the country - especially on energy and immigration - and as I told these nominees, he should reconsider his approach. While we have our differences, I hope to work with both the Office of Management and Budget and the Council of Economic Advisors on the issues where we can find agreement for North Dakotans. I appreciate both of them taking the time and look forward to their confirmation hearings.
Discussing HBOT Treatment with VA Secretary Nominee
I had a good conversation on Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) with Denis McDonough at his Senate VA Committee hearing on Wednesday. I am a proponent of HBOT because I've seen it work. A number of veterans I know have had their lives changed, even saved, by this important therapy.
I also invited Mr. McDonough to Fargo to visit the HBOT clinic there.
Upcoming Impeachment Trial of Former President Trump
On Tuesday I joined my colleagues in being sworn in as a juror for the upcoming impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.
The Senate should not be wasting its time holding another impeachment trial. We do not have solid constitutional standing to impeach a former president, and even if we did, this is not the time to use it. As I have said repeatedly, President Trump's comments on January 6 were rash, ill-advised, even reckless, but I do not believe they meet the constitutional standard for impeachment. This is a gravely serious process Congress should never use flippantly, but as she has so many times before, Speaker Pelosi discarded due process and the integrity of our institutions in favor of what she thinks could be short-term political gain. If President Biden really cares about unity, he should join us in calling for the Senate to move on to tackling the actual issues facing our country.
I joined Tuesday's KX Conversation to discuss the trial:
Introducing Resolution in Support of New WOTUS Rule
I joined Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) in introducing a Senate resolution in support of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which replaced the Obama-era Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. The resolution cites clean water as a national priority and, if passed, signals the Senate believes the Navigable Waters Protection Rule should not be withdrawn or vacated.
OCC Pausing Publication of the Fair Access Rule
The U.S. Department of Treasury's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) paused publication of its rule to ensure large banks provide all customers fair access to their services.
The Fair Access rule was completed with no steps skipped, and all interested parties were allowed to offer their input. It is a good and necessary rule, designed to protect legal businesses from facing discrimination by big banks. There's no reason for this action by career officials in the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency other than bending to political pressure from big banks, and stalling or eliminating this rule will not stop those of us who support it from continuing these efforts. The Biden Administration should use this opportunity to demonstrate leadership and not just be puppets for the large financial interests who back them.
Introducing Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act
I joined Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) in introducing the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act, legislation to expand elementary, secondary, and vocational education opportunities for students by providing a federal tax credit to encourage individuals and businesses to donate to nonprofit scholarship funds.
Every child in America deserves a high-quality education. Our bill opens more doors for students, allowing them to pursue an education through private schools, community colleges, or apprenticeship programs they would not otherwise be able to afford. It would improve the education system and create a more properly trained workforce.
Reintroducing Sarah's Law as President Biden Rolls Back Immigration Enforcement Efforts
I joined Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) in reintroducing Sarah's Law, a bill to require federal law enforcement to detain illegal immigrants criminally charged with killing or seriously injuring another person.
The bill is named after Sarah Root, a 21-year-old woman struck and killed the night of her graduation by someone who entered the country illegally and was driving drunk. Her story is heartbreaking and should never be forgotten. Our legislation pays tribute to her memory by granting federal law enforcement officers the authority to detain illegal immigrants criminally charged with killing or seriously injuring someone. Backed by a powerful, tragic story, this commonsense legislation protects American citizens and better equips our law enforcement.
Stop Greenlighting Driver Licenses for Illegal Immigrants Act
I joined Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) in introducing the Stop Greenlighting Driver Licenses for Illegal Immigrants Act, legislation to block certain federal funds to sanctuary states, including states that defy federal immigration enforcement or that allow illegal aliens to get driver licenses without proof of lawful presence.
States that grant licenses to illegal immigrants are undermining immigration enforcement efforts and threatening public safety. Our legislation imposes real consequences on the states that ignore federal immigration law but still take millions in federal funds. It's a commonsense step to help make America safe.
Reintroducing the REINS Act
I joined Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and our colleagues in reintroducing the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act to help put the power back in the people's hands instead of unelected bureaucrats.
In recent decades Congress has largely abdicated its duty and deferred major policy decisions to federal agencies and the unelected bureaucrats who run them. This has created significant problems for our constituents and made Washington less accountable to the people we serve. The REINS Act gives Congress more authority over the decisions made by the bureaucracy and will spur Congress to write better bills.
Urging President Biden to Follow Good Government Practices
I joined a letter led by Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) urging President Joe Biden to follow good government practices regarding late-term federal regulations put forward by the Trump Administration.
“Officials and congressional leadership have used rhetoric that raises concern with those of us committed to good government and the well-being of the American people. It would be unwise to undo the achievements of the last several years with rushed actions that undermine the thoughtful regulatory reforms that have saved Americans $50 billion in regulatory costs. Absent action by Congress expressing its disapproval with any late-term rules issued by the outgoing administration, an incoming administration should carry out its duties and faithfully execute federal law—including by allowing lawfully issued final rules to go into effect.”
Introducing National School Choice Week Resolution
I helped introduce a resolution led by Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) declaring last week as National School Choice Week.
Our resolution applauds each part of the education system for its role in training the next generation and urges parents to explore the opportunities available to them.
Grants for North Dakota
USDA Awards Grant to UND for Environmental Research
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture awarded $392,868 to the University of North Dakota (UND). The funds will be used to identify strategies to support pollinators and improve habitat quality in intensively managed agricultural landscapes.
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.
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