Delivering Remarks at the North Dakota House of Representatives
On Friday I delivered remarks before the North Dakota House of Representatives on American exceptionalism and the intersection of state and federal policies.
I was invited to speak in the House Chamber by Speaker of the House Rep. Kim Koppelman (R-West Fargo).
Support Grows for the Fair Access to Banking Act
On Monday I highlighted the support we've received from outside groups for the Fair Access to Banking Act, legislation I introduced earlier this month. These groups include the National Rifle Association (NRA), Lignite Energy Council, Independent Petroleum Association of America, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The legislation is now up to 30 supporters in the Senate, with Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Richard Shelby (R-AL) cosponsoring it this week.
I appreciate the strong support we've received from a wide array of stakeholders. Financial service providers do not have the right to circumvent the Constitution or the law to create de-facto bans on legally-compliant businesses like energy producers or firearms manufacturers when they believe it is politically convenient. Our legislation makes it illegal to do so and imposes serious consequences on those who choose to violate the law.
Highlighting Importance of Direct Market Access for Individuals
On Tuesday the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing on recent stock market volatility caused by incidents involving companies such as GameStop and Robinhood. During the hearing I highlighted the importance of letting individuals have access to the market and control their assets.
Pressing Indo-Pacific Navy Commander on Iran, China, and ISR Capabilities
On Tuesday the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing with United States Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) Commander, Admiral Philip S. Davidson. I questioned him on the impact of lifting sanctions on Iran following reports that the regime is moving record amounts of oil to China. We also discussed Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) efforts important to North Dakota.
Effort to Protect North Dakota Cities' Access to Important Federal Programs
I joined a bicameral letter led by Senator John Thune (R-SD) to the Office of Management and Budget urging the acting director to reject recommendations which would increase the population threshold for communities to be classified as metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs). Doing so could cause certain communities with populations less than 100,000 like Bismarck or Grand Forks to be stripped of their MSA classification, potentially affecting their eligibility to receive funding through federal programs.
"We strongly encourage you to reject any increase in the minimum urbanized area population needed to qualify as an MSA. Adhering to this recommendation has the potential to harm communities across the nation."
Promoting Nuclear and Coal Energy, Grid Resiliency, and Achievable Energy Goals
On Wednesday the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing on responding to climate change in the electricity sector. I delivered remarks on the importance of grid resiliency and highlighted the failed Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) resiliency docket, which closed last month with zero recommendations for federal resiliency policy.
I also discussed carbon capture technology and fostering innovation to meet workable climate goals.
Senate Continues to Consider President Biden's Nominees
Supporting Michael Regan for EPA Administrator
The Senate confirmed Michael Regan to be U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, whom I supported. I am under no illusion our policy preferences are aligned, but I take him at his word that cooperation will be the cornerstone of his time as Administrator. I expect to see his rhetoric turn into real results.
Supporting Marcia Fudge for HUD Secretary
I also voted to confirm Congresswoman Marcia Fudge as U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Wednesday. I served with her in the House of Representatives and have appreciated her outreach and willingness to learn more about North Dakota's unique housing challenges.
Opposing Merrick Garland for Attorney General
I voted against the confirmation of Judge Merrick Garland for U.S. Attorney General. The United States needs an Attorney General ready to rise above the fray, follow the rule of law, and uphold the Constitution. That is not Merrick Garland. His anti-Second Amendment record, combined with his obvious disinterest in protecting our nation from criminals entering the country illegally, paints the picture of a person too extreme to run the Justice Department. I urge him to put partisanship aside and take his role as the country's top law enforcement officer seriously.
Opposing Deb Haaland for Interior Secretary
I will vote against Representative Deb Haaland's nomination to be U.S. Secretary of the Interior. From wanting to ban fracking to cosponsoring the Green New Deal, Representative Haaland's vision for America would destroy the economy and ruin our energy security. Her refusal to recuse herself from decisions involving the Dakota Access Pipeline — after participating in the DAPL protests that terrorized North Dakota — is enough of a reason to oppose her. She is an environmental extremist who would rather lock up our public lands than manage and utilize them to the benefit of the public. I hope my colleagues join me in opposing her.
EPA Seeking Public Comment on Toxic Chemical Rules Affecting Manufacturers
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has extended a public comment period for 60 days on its rules under the Toxic Substances Control Act aimed at reducing exposures to certain persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals.
As written, the EPA's rules would have unintended consequences on the ability of American equipment manufacturers to build and sell their products. I appreciate the agency's willingness to reopen the comment period and gather further input from affected stakeholders. Any North Dakotans impacted by these decisions should engage in the process and make sure their industry and market will not be unnecessarily halted.
Introducing Bipartisan Bill to Expand Veterans' Access to Service Dogs
Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and I introduced the bipartisan Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers (PAWS) for Veterans Therapy Act, bipartisan legislation authorizing the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to create a pilot program on dog training therapy and provide service dogs to veterans with mental illnesses, regardless of whether they have mobility issues.
Many veterans with mobility impairments have had their lives changed — in some cases, saved — by service dogs. Our bill would expand this treatment by launching a pilot program to make veterans with mental health issues such as depression eligible to receive service dogs.
Introducing Bill to Protect Faith-based Child Welfare Providers
I joined Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) in introducing the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act, legislation to protect child welfare providers from being discriminated against for acting in accordance with their deeply held religious beliefs.
Anyone trying to improve the lives of struggling children should never have to choose between helping kids and violating their personal religious beliefs in order to comply with bureaucratic regulations. Our bill ensures child welfare providers can continue to operate and defend themselves properly without the threat of discriminatory government rules hanging over their heads.
Introducing Legislation to Examine America's Sister City Partnerships with China
I joined Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) in introducing the Sister City Transparency Act, legislation to shed light on the 157 sister city partnerships between United States and Chinese communities.
The Chinese Communist Party regularly exploits its sister city partnerships around the world to aggressively advance its own agenda. Our bill would give us a better understanding of China's reach into the United States and allow us to address that accordingly.
Reintroducing The English Language Unity Act
I cosponsored the English Language Unity Act, a bill led by Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) to establish English as the official language of the United States.
A strong majority of Americans support making English the official language of the United States. Our bill recognizes this desire and provides clarity to those who wish to emigrate to our country.
Dakota Prairie Grasslands to Receive Maintenance through Great American Outdoors Act
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has selected four projects in the Dakota Prairie Grasslands to receive funding for maintenance through the newly established National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund to address deferred maintenance. This fund was created under the Great American Outdoors Act, a bill I cosponsored last year which addresses deferred maintenance on public lands.
Meeting with Commander of U.S. Northern Command
I met with Commander General Glen D. VanHerck, who leads the U.S. Northern Command, to follow up on our conversation last July on North Dakota's defense priorities. I’m glad he could provide insights on Over the Horizon testing at Camp Grafton and the importance of Cavalier Air Force Station.
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
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Grand Forks, ND 58203
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Minot, ND 58701
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Fargo, ND 58102
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Williston, ND 58801
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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
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
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