Talking Federalism with President Trump’s SCOTUS Nominee
It was an honor to sit down with President Trump's outstanding choice for the Supreme Court, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, on Thursday. We discussed her judicial philosophy, focusing on cooperative federalism and the proper role of states.
Judge Amy Coney Barrett is an accomplished jurist with an impressive legal mind. I am grateful she answered the call to serve, even as the left continues its overly aggressive and inappropriate attacks on her, her faith, and her family. I appreciate Judge Barrett taking the time to meet with me, and I look forward to watching her appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Watch my opening remarks at our meeting below:
Congress Passes Temporary Government Funding Bill
On Wednesday Congress passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government through December 11. President Trump signed it into law the same evening. While imperfect, the CR contains several of my priorities, including a one-year extension of the National Flood Insurance Program, funding for FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund, and a replenishment of the Commodity Credit Corporation, which is used to fund necessary farm assistance programs. The CR also provides a one-year extension authorizing appropriations for federal surface transportation programs.
I am grateful there won't be a shutdown, but I hope we can come together and pass a real appropriations bill.
Bill to Reform NRCS, Defend Property Rights
I joined Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD) in introducing legislation to reform the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), which is in charge of making wetland determinations.
Defending the private property rights of North Dakotans is one of my highest priorities. This commonsense bill would provide a more thorough appeals process, clearly delineate the confines of the law, prohibit bureaucrats from being retroactively punitive, and rightly place the burden of proof on the government rather than the landowner. I thank Senator Rounds for his leadership and look forward to working with him on these reforms.
Legislation Prevents Medicaid Funds from Supporting Abortion Providers
I joined Senator James Lankford (R-OK) in introducing the Women's Public Health and Safety Act, a bill to give states the authority to exclude abortion providers, like Planned Parenthood, from receiving Medicaid funds. Hardworking Americans should not be required to fund abortion under the facade of providing health care to our most vulnerable communities. Our bill gives states the authority to protect their constituent's tax dollars from going to the death of unborn children.
Bipartisan Bill Supports Veterans Transitioning to Civilian Life
Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and I introduced bipartisan legislation to strengthen and codify the Department of Veterans Affairs' Solid Start program. Created last year, this program contacts every veteran multiple times by phone in the first year after they leave active duty to check in and help connect them to VA programs and benefits if needed.
These patriots put their lives on the line each day. We should give them all the resources they need to make that transition as easy as possible.
Energy Committee Holds Hearing on Public Land Legislation
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee fulfilled my request to hold a hearing on my Federal Land Asset Inventory Reform (FLAIR) Act, a bipartisan bill to create a single database for lands owned by the federal government. At a recent ENR Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining hearing where my legislation was considered, I submitted comments for the record urging the committee to pass the bill.
There should be no discrepancy over how much land the federal government does or does not own. By adopting the FLAIR Act, we can improve federal land management, resource conservation, and recreational access, all while reducing land ownership conflict and saving taxpayer dollars in the maintenance of one efficient database.
Bipartisan Diabetes Legislation Increases Access to Treatment
I joined Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) in introducing the PREVENT DIABETES Act, a bipartisan bill to increase access to the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program Expanded Model by allowing CDC-recognized virtual suppliers to participate in the program.
Type 2 Diabetes can be prevented if people have access to proper care. Our legislation makes treatment more available to Americans living in rural areas or medically underserved communities.
Grants for North Dakota
$46 Million to NDDOT for Natural Disaster Repairs
The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Federal Highway Administration awarded 13 grants totaling $46,191,477 to the North Dakota Department of Transportation. According to DOT, these funds are awarded to North Dakota after President Trump issued a formal emergency declaration.
Eligible repair work includes emergency repairs needed to restore essential traffic, minimize the extent of damage, or protect the remaining facilities as well as permanent repairs necessary to restore the highway to its pre-disaster condition. These funds come after Senator Hoeven, Representative Armstrong, and I urged President Trump to declare a disaster for the spring flooding and applauded the Administration for approving Governor Burgum's disaster declaration.
$3 Million to Tribes for Sexual Assault Victims Programs
The U.S. Department of Justice awarded two grants totaling $3,123,685 to the Turtle Mountain Board of Chippewa Indians and the Spirit Lake Tribe. The funds will be used for sexual assault victims programs to provide one-on-one assistance, therapy services, and legal assistance.
$775k to Tribal Colleges
The U.S. Department of Education awarded two grants totaling $775,210 to United Tribes College and Turtle Mountain Community College. The funds will be used to improve the educational opportunities of preschool, elementary, and secondary Native American students.
$688k for Social Programs in North Dakota
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families awarded three grants totaling $688,041 to Native Community Development, Sitting Bull College, and Northern Lights Youth Services.
$300k to ND Dept. of Health for Community Health Programs
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded $300,000 to the North Dakota Department of Health. The funds come through the HHS Office of Minority Health and will be used for community programs to improve minority health.
$261k to Turtle Mountain Community College
The U.S. Department of Education awarded $261,888 to Turtle Mountain Community College. The funds will be used to provide resources for low-income, first-generation or disabled college students to increase retention and graduation rates, facilitate their transfer from two-year to four-year colleges, and foster an institutional climate supportive of the success of low-income and first generation college students and individuals with disabilities.
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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Grand Forks, ND 58203
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Minot, ND 58701
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400 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Weekly Radio and TV Schedule
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