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Senator Cramer's Weekly Update September 28 - October 4

Wishing the First Family a Speedy Recovery

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump announced on Thursday evening they have tested positive for COVID-19. Kris and I will be praying for them to have a full and speedy recovery, and we urge the country to do the same.

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.

Democrats Block PPP Small Business Relief on Senate Floor

On Wednesday I led a group of senators in delivering remarks on the Senate floor urging Congress to pass the Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act, which streamlines the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness process for small businesses. I requested unanimous consent to pass this bipartisan legislation, but that effort was blocked by Senate Democrats.

Six months ago, the federal government told small businesses to take Paycheck Protection Program loans to keep their workers employed and, if they followed the rules, the loans would be forgiven. It is time for the federal government to fulfill that commitment, but the current forgiveness process is overly complex and burdensome. Our Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act would fix that, and I hope to see Democrats come to the table and help us provide this relief to our nation's small businesses.

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 Legislation Reduces Russian Uranium Imports

I joined Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) in introducing the Russian Suspension Agreement Extension Act of 2020, bipartisan legislation to extend and expand limits on Russian uranium imports.

America's nuclear energy industry should not be controlled by Vladimir Putin. Our bill codifies the good work of the Trump Administration and bolsters America's economic and national security.

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.

Letter on Bolstering Private-Sector Deployment of 5G

On Wednesday I joined Senator John Thune (R-SD) in writing a letter to President Trump applauding his Administrations' successful efforts to empower the private sector to build multiple 5G networks. Our letter also expressed concerns regarding a request for information released by the Department of Defense which contradicts the successful free-market strategy that has embraced 5G.

“Nationalizing 5G and experimenting with untested models for 5G deployment is not the way the United States will win the 5G race. While we recognize the need for secure communications networks for our military, we are concerned that such a proposal threatens our national security. When bad actors only need to penetrate one network, they have a greater likelihood of disrupting the United States’ communications services.”

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.

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.

Bismarck

328 Federal Building

220 East Rosser Avenue

Bismarck, ND 58501

701-699-7020

Grand Forks

114 Federal Building

102 North 4th Street

Grand Forks, ND 58203

701-699-7030

Minot

105 Federal Building

100 First Street SW

Minot, ND 58701

701-837-6141

Fargo

306 Federal Building

657 Second Avenue N

Fargo, ND 58102

701-232-5094

Washington, D.C.

400 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

202-224-2043

Weekly Radio and TV Schedule

RADIO

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

TELEVISION

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

Credits:

Created with images by Jack Young - "untitled image" • Drew Hays - "Baby shoes" • Benjamin Faust - "Military gear" • Matt Chesin - "Insulin Level Test Conducted by an EMT"North Dakota Tourism