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Senator Cramer's Weekly Update October 26 - November 1

Senate Confirms Justice Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court Nomination

History will look back on Monday as the day the Senate confirmed one of the most impressive judicial nominees we've seen in a generation, Justice Amy Coney Barrett. She is a brilliant, virtuous jurist who is ready to serve. I am honored to have cast my vote to confirm her.

After the confirmation I delivered remarks at a Senate Republican press conference. Watch below:

Earlier that day, I joined Greta Brawner on C-SPAN to outline my support for Justice Barrett's nomination.

Joining Minot's Airmen in a B-52 Flight

It was my privilege on Thursday to join the remarkable airmen at Minot Air Force Base and take flight in a B-52 Bomber. It is helpful to get a firsthand look at their mission as I serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Discussing Energy Policy on Bloomberg, Fox Business

On Monday I joined Kevin Cirilli on Bloomberg TV and Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business to discuss the op-ed I wrote regarding comments Joe Biden made about energy policy during the last presidential debate.

In addition to Joe Biden's ridiculous comments, Maria and I discussed Justice Barrett's Supreme Court nomination, and Kevin and I covered the likelihood of getting a COVID-19 relief package done this year. Watch both interviews below.

Senate Commerce Committee Holds Hearing on Big Tech Censorship

The Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing on Wednesday with the CEOs of Twitter, Facebook, and Google to examine Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

Section 230 is being used for censorship. It needs to be reformed. Look no further than the answers from the Big Tech CEOs at Wednesday's hearing for proof. Whether it's their inconsistent rule enforcement or subjective standards, big tech companies are abusing an outdated law, and conservative voices are paying the price. Now it's time for my colleagues and I to develop some solutions.

Introducing the UNSHACKLE Act to Reform NEPA

Senators Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, and I introduced the "Undoing NEPA's Substantial Harm by Advancing Concepts that Kickstart the Liberation of the Economy" (UNSHACKLE) Act this week. This legislation would reform the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulatory process so federal agencies and state and local governments are better empowered to carry out NEPA's original purpose and not get bogged down in bureaucracy.

NEPA is a 50 year-old law designed to ensure infrastructure and energy projects consider environmental factors prior to development. Without congressional action, the bureaucracy has turned NEPA compliance into an overly complicated process where permitting often takes longer than building the project itself. Leave it to the bureaucracy to turn a law meant to help something move forward into rules that are only good for holding something up.

FCC Takes Steps to Bridge the Digital Divide in Rural America

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) unanimously approved a Report and Order on Tuesday to reduce the regulatory barriers preventing TV white space technology from being utilized.

The digital divide holds back too many of the students, seniors, farmers, small businesses, and tribes in North Dakota. Allowing greater use of TV white spaces creates opportunities to bridge that divide, and I thank the Commission for taking that step.

President Trump Signs Wildlife Conservation Legislation

President Trump signed the bipartisan America's Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act into law on Friday. The ACE Act - backed by a broad group of stakeholders - helps conserve wildlife, their habitat and addresses the threats of emerging diseases, protects livestock from predators, and combats invasive species.

As Teddy Roosevelt would note, we should treat our natural resources as assets for us to give to the next generation in better shape than how we found them. President Trump is carrying on that conservationist spirit, signing another piece of bipartisan legislation which will help preserve our wildlife, combat invasive species, and protect our livestock.

Outlining Progress of Space Force at UAS Summit

At the 14th annual UAS Summit and Expo, which met virtually this year, I outlined the progress being made to stand up the United States Space Force.

I am pleased with how Space Force is building its staff and initial cadre. Slow and deliberate, with as much focus on what they don't need while still growing to what they do need.

In addition to my remarks, Director of the Space Development Agency (SDA), Dr. Derek Tournear, accepted my invitation to speak at the Summit about the Defense Department's efforts to bolster American presence in space.

Space Force also provided me with a recruitment video to play at the Summit.

EPA Approves Three Dicamba Registrations Through 2025

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved new five-year registrations for two dicamba products, XtendiMax and Egenia, and extended the registration of an addition dicamba product, Tavium Plus, until 2025.

Following the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit's decision earlier this year to vacate the registrations of three dicamba herbicides, Senator Hoeven, Congressman Armstrong, and I worked with North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and the Trump Administration to develop a solution for producers. The EPA subsequently issued an order enabling applicators and growers to use existing stocks of the three affected dicamba products through July 2020.

This is a welcome relief for producers, especially North Dakota’s soybean growers, who have faced numerous challenges in recent months.

Trump Administration Strengthens Ties with India

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper recently held meetings with leaders in India aimed at strengthening and solidifying strategic ties between India and the United States.

Bolstering this bond makes both of our countries safer and sends a clear message to adversaries like China and Russia. I am encouraged by the progress President Trump's foreign policy team is making to strengthen this strategic partnership. This will also open the door for further economic opportunities.

North Dakota Delegation Members Receive NFIB Guardian of Small Business Award

Senator Hoeven, Congressman Armstrong, and I each received the 2020 Guardian of Small Business Award from the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB). This award is given to legislators whose votes consistently align with the interests of small business owners and workers.

Small businesses are a foundational part of North Dakota's local communities. They exemplify the best of what our state has to offer. I am honored to receive this award and grateful for the opportunity to work on behalf of our small businesses.

Trump Administration Makes National Park Entrance Free for Gold Star Families, Veterans, 5th Graders and Their Families

The Department of the Interior recently announced it will make entrance into national parks, wildlife refuges, and other federal lands free for Gold Star families and military veterans, as well as 5th graders and their families who were unable to use the Every Kid Outdoors Annual 4th Grade Pass.

Our national parks and public lands are a venue for Americans to get outside and experience our rich heritage, and the ones in North Dakota are among the best in the nation. I am thankful President Trump and Secretary Bernhardt value our national parks and public lands and want to increase access to them, especially for our nation's best and brightest. North Dakotans should take advantage of this opportunity and invite all Americans to come see what our state has to offer.

Urging FEMA to Work with Local Stakeholders, Ensure Map Accurately Reflects Flood Risk

Senator Hoeven, Congressman Armstrong, and I pressed Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials to grant the City of Minot's appeal of FEMA's preliminary flood insurance rate map for the City of Minot and Ward County. In a letter to FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor, we urged FEMA to work with local stakeholders to ensure the flood map accurately reflects the flood risk and to accept Minot's appeal.

Grants for North Dakota from the Trump Administration

USDA Authorizes $120 Million for North Dakota Community Facility Improvements

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Office of Rural Development (RD) awarded over $120,000,000 to the following recipients for rural community facility improvements:

  • $95,000,000 as a loan to the City of Willston for its new airport. The city also received $19,000,000 as a loan guarantee.
  • $20,964,000 as a loan to Cooperstown Medical Center for a 60,098 square foot facility. The center also received $2,000,000 as a loan guarantee.
  • $3,500,000 as a loan to Hill Top Home of Comfort Inc., of Killdeer, to construct a memory care unit and expand services to address the needs of current residents.
  • $664,500 as a loan and $55,500 as a grant to Dickey County to renovate the lower level of the Dickey County courthouse in Ellendale.

USDA Awards $2 Million for Affordable Housing in Devils Lake

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of Rural Development (RD) awarded $2,385,000 to I.O.O.F. Retirement Village Group in Devils Lake. The funds will be used to build adequate affordable housing for the elderly population.

HHS Awards Funds for Maternal and Child Health Services

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded $344,775 to the North Dakota Department of Health. The funds will be used to provide maternal and child health services.

Trump Administration Awards Funds to Restore Historic ND Opera House

The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved a loan of $130,000 to O.P.E.R.A. Inc. The funds will go toward restoring the Ellendale Opera House in Ellendale, North Dakota, and it will benefit rural residents who live in Dickey, Logan, and McIntosh counties.

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 Dario - "Samsung TV with Sonos Playbase on Ikea stuff" • Meredith Petrick - "untitled image"North Dakota Tourism