Senator Cramer's Weekly Update September 14-20

Remembering RBG

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second female justice to serve on our nation’s highest court, died on Friday at the age of 87. Heaven gained an American giant.

Honoring a World War II Hero

On Friday I attended the funeral services of Albert Renner, a Navy sailor from Mandan who died in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II. His remains were only recently identified by the military.

Photo from Bismarck Tribune

It was an honor to join the Renner family as we welcomed our hero home.

Commander of Space Command Visits North Dakota

General Dickinson was the first Deputy Commander of the newly-formed combatant command before becoming its Commander. He replaced General Jay Raymond, who was confirmed to oversee the U.S. Space Force, America's newest military branch.

On Monday I hosted General James Dickinson, Commander of the U.S. Space Command, for a visit to the University of North Dakota (UND) and the Cavalier Air Space Station to view North Dakota's space assets and hear how UND can contribute to our nation's space efforts.

North Dakota is well-positioned to play a role in protecting America's military advantage in space. General Dickinson's visit - along with General Raymond's visit earlier this year - illustrates the interest our military leaders have in the unique capabilities we possess. I appreciate the General coming to learn firsthand about what our state has to offer in the realm of space, and I look forward to working with him to make the possibilities we discussed a reality.

U.S. Space Command is a unified combatant command of the Department of Defense, responsible for military operations in space. It was first created in 1985 before being inactivated in 2002. In August of 2019, it was reestablished under President Trump with a renewed focus on space as a war-fighting domain.
General Dickinson and I participated in a Meet and Greet with UND's ROTC students before departing for Cavalier.

Discussing the Latest on COVID Relief Negotiations

I joined Charles Payne on Fox Business to discuss the latest on COVID relief bill discussions and Democrats refusing to come to the negotiating table. If we are going to get a deal, it will need to come from rank and file members who are being urged to act by their constituents.

Democrats not only rejected our COVID-19 relief proposal, they said no to considering or even debating a proposal. We cannot get something done if Democrats think a crisis serves them better than a deal.

USDA Releases Rules for Second Round of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Payments

President Trump and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the second round of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) payments. Applications can be made starting today.

America's farmers and ranchers are patriots who feed, fuel, and clothe the world. I applaud President Trump and Secretary Perdue for listening to their feedback and protecting them as we reopen and demand for their products returns. North Dakota's producers should familiarize themselves with the details of Friday's announcement and apply as needed.

New Bill Protects Our Police Force

On Wednesday I joined Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) in introducing the "Stop Blocking Hospitals Act," a bill making it a federal crime to obstruct any ambulance, fire department vehicle, law enforcement vehicle, or other emergency vehicles or personnel from responding to an emergency. Penalties for such obstruction would include imprisonment of one to five years, a fine, or both.

We recently saw someone in Los Angeles approach two innocent police officers in their vehicle, pull out a gun, and open fire at point-blank range. As an ambulance rushed these sheriff's deputies to the hospital, violent protestors — exploiting a movement which bills itself as a voice for life – blocked the entrance and yelled, "we hope they die." That is evil and pure hypocrisy. Our bill establishes proper consequences for such behavior.

Licensing Bill Supports Military Spouses

Senator John Hoeven and I joined Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) on Thursday in introducing the "Military Spouse Licensing Relief Act." This bipartisan bill requires states to recognize the out-of-state occupational license of a service member's spouse if the service member and their spouse are moved across state lines.

Half of military spouses work in a field requiring licensing. Our bill eliminates unnecessary red tape preventing them from doing what they are trained to do. It also helps our military recruit more talent who then will contribute to our local economies. It is a win for the military, the families who serve, and the states where they live.

Committee Advances Nominee Key to Resolving North Dakota's DAPL Protest Lawsuit

The Senate Armed Services Committee approved the nomination of Michele Pearce, nominee to be the General Counsel for the Army, on Monday. In our conversations, Pearce acknowledged there have been missed opportunities for the Justice Department to reach a settlement in North Dakota's DAPL lawsuit. She is right, and the federal government now has the chance to right the wrongs committed by the last administration.

With her nomination now heading to the Senate floor, I look forward to working with her and the Department of Justice to get the job done for North Dakota.

Receiving an "A" Rating from Pro-Life Advocacy Group

Senator Hoeven, Congressman Armstrong, and I received "A" ratings on the Susan B. Anthony List National Pro-Life Scorecard released on Thursday. The Susan B. Anthony List scorecard takes into account votes, cosponsorships, and letters throughout our tenures.

Life is an issue near and dear to my heart and to my family’s heart. It is one of the most important issues of our time, which is why I told the people of North Dakota I would fight for it in the United States Senate at every level. I am grateful to the Susan B. Anthony List for its support and partnership in this fight.

President Trump Strikes a Deal to Reduce Russian Uranium Imports

Under the leadership of President Trump, the Department of Commerce struck a preliminary deal to limit Russian uranium imports through 2040.

Once again we see President Trump’s "America First" administration in action, bolstering our efforts to produce reliable, clean energy and reduce reliance on foreign adversaries. The deal secured by Secretary Ross, if finalized, will protect American producers and diminish the possibility of Russian influence in the nuclear energy industry. This is a win for America's economic and national security, and I applaud the administration for their work.

I signed a bipartisan letter led by Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) to the Department of Commerce calling on the administration to take these steps. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the deal on Tuesday.

Working with Defense Officials to Keep Nuclear Modernization on Track

I urged Defense Department officials to help keep nuclear modernization efforts on track during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Thursday. Commander of the U.S. Strategic Command Admiral Charles Richard and Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord both expressed their support for the effort and confidence it will move forward successfully.

I have been to the Minot Air Force Base with Vice President Mike Pence, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette. It is clear modernization is a very high priority for this administration. I want to be confident we are on track, we will remain on track, and we will be aware of anything that could put that progress or timeline in jeopardy.

Advancing Defense Nominees Important to North Dakota's Military Efforts

On Tuesday the Senate Armed Services Committee approved three defense nominees which will have responsibilities directly affecting North's military community once they are confirmed by the full Senate. These nominees are important for efforts throughout North Dakota like timely nuclear modernization at Minot; enduring intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance efforts in Grand Forks; and upgrading Air Force and Air Guard effectiveness in Fargo.

They all play a role in protecting our country and implementing President Trump's directive to rebuild our military and equip our forces with the tools they need. I look forward to working with each of these nominees once they are confirmed, and I hope to see them in North Dakota soon.

Letter Urges HHS to Address Pharmaceutical Companies Undermining 340B Program

On Thursday I joined a bipartisan letter led by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar urging immediate enforcement action to halt pharmaceutical companies which threaten to undermine the 340B Drug Pricing Program and to ensure safety-net providers are able to continue providing life-saving medications to patients.

It is critically important 340B covered entities and other safety-net hospitals and providers are able to continue to serve the individuals who seek out their care. As these threats to the program progress, we fear the potential exacerbation of these shortfalls in resources for providers at a time when they are needed most.

Extension of COVID Relief Reporting Deadlines Requested in Letter to Treasury Department

On Tuesday I wrote a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Acting Inspector General Richard Delmar urging them the extend the Coronavirus Relief Fund and CARES Act reporting deadlines for state, local, territorial, and tribal governments by 30 days.

Extending these reporting requirements would provide much-needed flexibility for these governments which face time-consuming and costly bookkeeping, documentation, and reporting preparations. Reporting extensions would be particularly beneficial to tribal governments, as they bear a disproportionately challenging bookkeeping and reporting burden.

Senate Passes Wildlife Conservation Legislation

The Senate unanimously passed the bipartisan America's Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act. This legislation helps conserve wildlife and wildlife habitats, addresses the threats of emerging wildlife diseases, protects livestock from predators, and combats invasive species. I was happy to cosponsor it.

I urge the House to take up this common sense, bipartisan bill and send it to President Trump.

EPA Finalizes Rule to Increase Transparency in Developing Regulatory Guidance

On Monday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized its rule to establish consistent requirements and procedures for the issuance of guidance documents.

This final rule brings more accountability and transparency to the EPA by making guidance documents and processes available to the public. Well done to Administrator Wheeler for following President Trump's Executive Order to shine a light on the bureaucracy and curtail burdensome regulatory overreach.

Celebrating Constitution Day

Thursday was Constitution Day, a day to celebrate this inspired document which safeguards our liberties and holds our republic together.

U.S. Air Force Celebrates Its 73rd Birthday

On Friday the U.S. Air Force turned 73. To the Airmen at The Minot Air Force Base, the North Dakota National Guard, the Cavalier Air Space Station, and the Grand Forks Air Force Base: thank you for keeping our country safe.

POW MIA Recognition Day

Friday was POW MIA Recognition Day, a day to recognize the members of our military who left to fight for our country but were captured or have not returned. We are grateful for their service and renew our commitment to honoring their sacrifices.

Ushering in the Jewish New Year

On the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, I wish all who celebrate in North Dakota, the United States, Israel, and around the world a Shanah Tovah U'metukah, a happy and sweet new year.

Grants For North Dakota

$6.2 Million to Minot for Construction of the Magic City Discovery Center

The Department of Defense's Office of Economic Adjustment awarded $6,293,820 to the City of Minot. The funds come through the Defense Community Infrastructure Pilot Program and will go toward a $13,977,964 project to support the construction of the Magic City Discovery Center for military-connected children of the Minot Air Force Base.

$4.7 Million to the ND Dept. of Corrections

The U.S. Department of Justice awarded three grants totaling $4,791,140 to the North Dakota Department of Corrections.

Nearly $4 Million to UND through Research Effort to Ensure Grid Reliability and Environmental Protection

The U.S. Department of Energy awarded $3,999,994 to the University of North Dakota (UND) for a project entitled, "Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) Technology Development." The major outcome in this project will potentially be a syngas cleanup train demonstrated to yield a coal syngas capable of sustaining SOFC performance equal to that of natural gas at (projected) commercially viable capital and operating costs.

$873k to NNDOH to Enhance Victim Safety and Hold Offenders of Domestic Violence and Assault Accountable

The U.S. Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women awarded $873,347 to the North Dakota Department of Health (NNDOH). The funds come through the STOP (Services, Training, Officers, Prosecutors) Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program. They will be used to foster partnerships between law enforcement, prosecution, courts, and assist victim services organizations to enhance victim safety and hold offenders accountable in cases of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

$837k for Law Enforcement Efforts in North Dakota

The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs awarded two grants totaling $837,877 to the North Dakota Attorney General for local state, and tribes to prevent and control crime; and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians for safety training for law enforcement and other criminal justice agency personnel responsible for sex offender registration.

$810k to Spirit Lake Tribe and Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded the following two grants totaling $810,000 to the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians and the Spirit Lake Tribe.

$709k to Cankdeska Cikana Community College

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded $709,465 to Cankdeska Cikana Community College. The funds come through HHS’ Administration for Children and Families and will be used for the Head Start Professional Development Program.

$432k to ND Dept. of Corrections Funds for Delinquency Prevention, Juvenile Justice Improvements

The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs awarded $432,402 to the North Dakota Department of Corrections Division of Juvenile Services. The funds will be used to support state and local delinquency prevention and intervention efforts and juvenile justice system improvements.

$400k to Turtle Mountain Band Of Chippewa Indians for Law Enforcement Training

The U.S. Department of Justice awarded $399,920 to the Turtle Mountain Band Of Chippewa Indians. The funds will be used to support continued implementation of safety training for law enforcement and other criminal justice agency personnel responsible for sex offender registration, notification, monitoring and investigating failure-to-register cases and/or management. Additionally, a training plan will be developed.

$357k to Housing Authorities Across North Dakota

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded five grants totaling $357,472 to Housing Authorities across North Dakota. Three of the grants come from CARES Act funds through Housing Assistance Payments Supplemental Funding, which aims to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19.

$379k to North Dakota Health Department

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women awarded $379,150 to the North Dakota Department of Health. The funds come through the "Sexual Assault Services Formula Program," which assists states in supporting rape crisis centers and nonprofit organizations.

$353k to Tribal Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention Efforts

The U.S. Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women awarded $353,615 to First Nations Women's Alliance. The funds come through DOJ's Tribal Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalitions Grant Program, which helps develop outreach and training events, include a statewide law enforcement training, a sexual assault advocacy training, multiple awareness and education campaigns, and the development of resources for marginalized victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

$200k to Pathfinder Services of ND for Children with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Education awarded $200,000 to Pathfinder Services of North Dakota. The funds come through the Parent Information Centers Program and will be used to assist parents in understanding their children's rights to educational and early intervention services, their children's disabilities and their educational and developmental needs. It also goes toward helping them communicate effectively with the personnel responsible for providing special education, early intervention, and related services.

Nearly $70k to the ND Safety Council

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration awarded $69,926 to the North Dakota Safety Council. The funds will provide education and training programs to help workers and employers recognize serious workplace hazards (including COVID-19), implement injury prevention measures, and understand their rights and responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

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.


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Washington, D.C.

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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

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


Chris Berg - Point of View

6:30 p.m. central (Semi-Monthly)

Valley News Live - Fargo

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