Kevin Cramer

Kevin Cramer

NORTH DAKOTA

Congressman Cramer Announces Public Schedule

2014/12/15

Today Congressman Kevin Cramer announced his public schedule in North Dakota. The list of events is below: Tuesday, December 16 Tour of Dr. Susan Farkas’ Cardiology Practice 10:30AM Central  Sanford Heart Center 801 Broadway Fargo Tour of Monsanto Soybean Production Site 11:45AM Central Monsanto Soybean Seed Production 304 West Center Street West Fargo Thursday, December 18 Speaking to Mr. Carlson’s Government Class at Valley City High School 11:23AM Central Valley City High School, Room 105 460 Central Ave N. Valley City Friday, December 19 UTTC Honoring for Fall Graduates 10:00AM Central Lewis Goodhouse Wellness Center United Tribes Technical College 3315 University Drive Bismarck Read More

Cramer: Omnibus Spending Bill Approved in House of Representatives

2014/12/11

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressman Kevin Cramer voted with a bipartisan majority in the U.S. House of Representatives to pass an omnibus spending bill to keep the government running through September 30, 2015. The bill funds 11 of the 12 annual Appropriations bills through September 30. The 12th Appropriations bill, funding the Department of Homeland Security, is given a temporary extension through February 27, 2015 to give the new Congress leverage to influence immigration policy. “While any spending bill this large will be far from perfect, I am pleased it cuts waste significantly in large federal agencies including the IRS and the EPA, in order to focus on supporting national priorities including job creation, veterans benefits, and defense. It prevents provisions of the proposed Waters of the US rule from impacting farmers and ranchers, which North Dakotans have loudly and clearly spoken out against,” Cramer said. “The bill spends $164 billion less than President Bush’s last discretionary budget in 2008, and reduces regulatory overreach affecting millions of Americans.” Click here to view a summary of the bill Agriculture          Prevents provisions of the proposed Waters of the US rule from impacting farmers and ranchers          Exempts livestock producers from greenhouse gas regulations          Provides $79 million for Range Management to continue to reduce the backlog of grazing permit applications, and does not include Administration and Senate proposals to charge $6.5 million in new grazing fees on BLM and Forest Service lands Energy and Environment          Cuts EPA spending by $61 million, continuing a downward trend in EPA funding of $2.2 billion in cuts, or 21%, since 2010          Blocks the Interior Department from making any decisions on an Endangered Species Act listing for the greater and Gunnison sage grouses          Boosts fossil energy research programs by $8.9 million to fight back against the Obama Administration’s war on coal          Blocks President Obama’s attempts to reallocate further energy research funding to green energy          Prevents new inspection fees on onshore oil and gas producers and provides a $13 million increase for the Bureau of Land Management to improve onshore energy and minerals development          Provides $2.35 billion in grants to states for local drinking water and sewer construction projects through the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund          Prohibits the Department of Energy from forcing manufacturers to stop producing incandescent light bulbs Health and Safety          Ensures white potatoes are eligible for purchase through the WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) program, and institutes science-based requirements to determine which vegetables will be allowed for purchase in the WIC program          Provides local schools with flexibility in meeting the Obama Administration’s school lunch regulations          Boosts FBI funding by $93 million to focus on investigating human trafficking, counter-terrorism activities, and programs that combat the growing threat of cyber-intrusions    A new FBI field office is set to open in Williston          Boosts public safety grants by $65 million, including: $430 million for Violence Against Women programs, $376 million for Byrne Justice Assistance Grants, $185 million for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, $68 million for missing and exploited children programs, and $41 million for a new program to address the sexual assault kit backlog at law enforcement agencies          Contains several provisions to protect life, and continues all longstanding restrictions on abortion funding that have been included in Appropriations legislation in prior years National Defense          Increases key equipment funding for potential operations at the Grand Forks Air Force Base, including the MQ-9 Reaper and KC-46 Tanker          Supports operations at Minot Air Force base by increasing nuclear weapons activities spending to uphold the nation’s nuclear deterrence posture          Provides $10.8 million for an Army National Guard Vehicle Maintenance Shop in Valley City    The project includes construction of a 30,005 square foot vehicle maintenance shop and a 15,296 square foot unheated enclosed vehicle storage facility supporting both organizational and maintenance repair requirements to combat and tactical vehicles for the ND Army National Guard Transportation          Protects small businesses from overregulation of the trucking industry including weight limitations and driver hours of service          Enhances railroad safety inspection of crude oil routes by providing $370,000 for five new safety inspectors and $3,000,000 for an automated track inspection program          Provides no funding for high speed rail Tribal Services          Funds the Indian Health Service at $4.6 billion - $208 million above the fiscal year 2014 level          Funds the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Education at $2.6 billion – $70 million above the fiscal year 2014 level Veterans          Provides $2.5 billion for processing VA disability claims to end the backlog and rescinds $41 million in performance bonuses at the VA          Funds VA medical services including: $7.2 billion in mental health care services, $133 million in suicide prevention activities, $229 million for traumatic brain injury treatment, $7.4 billion in homeless veterans treatment, services, housing, and job training, and $250 million in rural health initiatives   Read More

Cramer Applauds Elimination of Unnecessary Daily Inspection Reports for Truck Drivers

2014/12/09

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressman Kevin Cramer applauded a decision by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to eliminate daily inspection reports on trucks when no safety problems are identified. Presently, commercial truck drivers are required to conduct pre- and post- trip inspections of their vehicles, and follow each inspection by filing a report. Approximately 95 percent of these inspections find no problems with the vehicle. Under the new rule, drivers will still conduct these routine inspections, but will no longer be required to complete paperwork in cases when no equipment or safety concerns are found. “The federal government estimates truckers spend 46.7 million hours each year filling out this paperwork. This rule change will maintain all existing safety standards while creating a time savings of $1.7 billion dollars each year by eliminating unnecessary filings,” said Congressman Cramer. The change does not affect any buses carrying passengers, which are also regulated by FCMSA. It is set to take effect on December 18, when the new rule will appear in the Federal Register. Congressman Cramer has consistently advocated for a fair regulatory process for the trucking industry. He cosponsored H.R. 3095, which stopped the FMCSA from skipping a transparent rulemaking process to require truck drivers to undergo burdensome screening and testing for sleep disorders. The legislation was signed by the President on October 15, 2013. Read More

Cramer Urges Vilsack to Withdraw Increased Agricultural Inspection Fees

2014/12/08

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressman Kevin Cramer urged U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to withdraw a proposal to dramatically increase fees for agriculture inspections at U.S. ports of entry. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) first proposed the increases to Agricultural Quarantine Inspection (AQI) fees in the Federal Register on April 24. The proposal would increase fees for commercial trucks by 52 percent, commercial trucks with transponders by 205 percent, commercial vessels by 66 percent, and commercial aircraft by 218 percent. “We are disappointed that APHIS officials did not...seek the views of many affected stakeholders before issuing the proposed rule making. Consequently, we urge APHIS to consider withdrawing the pending rule making and instead negotiate another more workable proposal with representatives of affected stakeholders,” wrote Cramer and 16 of his colleagues to Secretary Vilsack. The signed letter can be viewed here. Read More

Rail Companies Issue New Status Reports on Grain Car Backlog

2014/12/04

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressman Kevin Cramer announced BNSF Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) have publicly filed updated weekly grain backlog status updates as required by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB). A summary of the reporting data specific to North Dakota is below. Previous weeks are in italic.   BNSF Number of outstanding cars Average number of days late Number of new car orders Number of car orders filled Number of orders canceled by shipper Number of orders canceled by railroad 11/23/14 – 11/29/14 3,783 14.9 days 477 1,240 30 0 11/16/14 – 11/22/14 3,787 13.3 days 546 962 33 0 11/09/14 – 11/15/14 3,005 14.6 days 506 1,193 45 0 11/02/14 – 11/08/14 3,411 15.7 days 433 1,284 0 0 10/26/14 – 11/01/14 3,334 15 days 497 912 22 0 10/19/14 – 10/25/14 3,509 14 days 195 1,127 0 0 10/12/14 – 10/18/14 3,724 15 days 470 1,149 0 0 10/09/14 – 10/15/14 3,704 14.1 days 341 1,296 0 0   CP Number of outstanding cars Average number of days late Number of new car orders Number of car orders filled Number of orders canceled by shipper Number of orders canceled by railroad 11/24/14 – 11/30/14 1,871 3.70 weeks 143 1,153 127 0 11/17/14 – 11/23/14 2,112 3.84 weeks 84 1,513 215 0 11/09/14 – 11/15/14 2,684 2.94 weeks 897 1,378 377 0 11/02/14 – 11/08/14 2,479 2.85 weeks 636 1,293 363 0 10/26/14 – 11/01/14 2,324 2.42 weeks 756 894 677 0 10/19/14 – 10/25/14 2,529 2.14 weeks 1,219 1,424 527 0 10/12/14 – 10/18/14 2,031 2.82 weeks 1,293 1,935 767 0 10/06/14 – 10/11/14 1,801 3.77 weeks 1,015 1,045 1,015 0   View the full reports: BNSF | CP Read More

Cramer: House Passes National Defense Authorization

2014/12/04

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the House of Representatives passed an amended National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) after a compromise was released by the House and Senate Armed Services Committees. The House passed the NDAA with a bipartisan majority in May, however the legislation stalled in the Senate. The Senate is now expected to take up the amended NDAA next week. “In the face of continued cuts advocated by President Obama to our defense priorities, this legislation contains bipartisan work to find savings which don’t pose the threat of irrevocable damage to our armed forces, or harm to recruitment and retention of military personnel,” said Cramer. “The negotiations came down to the President and the Senate trying to cut personnel benefits by $26.4 billion and the House advocating no personnel benefit cuts. Fortunately the House position prevailed and the vast majority of benefits were restored.” The amended NDAA contains important provisions for North Dakota: Ensures the administration follows through on retaining all 450 ICBM silos in warm status: this facilitates silo maintenance, ease deployment of a follow-on missile, complicates adversary targeting, and is a low-cost means of improving national security Prevents the administration’s proposed Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) proposal Restores $30 million to Impact Aid, which provides school district funding to compensate for federal tax-exempt property such as Air Force bases, and provides a $70 million down payment for Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) Makes additional $103.2 million investment in MQ-9 Reapers: currently the ND Air National Guard flies the MQ-1 Predators which are less capable, and this will help the Guard to receive the more capable MQ-9 sooner Includes language supported by Congressman Cramer to prevent the transfer of any National Guard Apache helicopters to the Active force Commissions the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study the appropriate balance between the Active force and the Guard Extends the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) pilot permitting program to improve the processing of applications for permits to drill oil and natural gas wells This pilot project has a proven track record of success in reducing delays and increasing inspection capabilities. The pilot program did not include North Dakota until Congressman Cramer was elected to Congress and worked with Senator Hoeven to successfully pass the BLM Streamlining Act. With today’s legislation, BLM offices seeing the most demand will be able to utilize the program without requiring Congressional action Authorizes the Interior Department to hold live internet auctions for onshore oil and gas lease sales This provision was included in previous legislation Cramer supported in the Natural Resources Committee and passed in the full House Amends authorities for grazing on public land administered by the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service to reduce environmental review burdens without negatively impacting land health The NDAA also: Restores 80% of the President’s proposed reduction in basic allowance for housing Increases the number of embedded behavioral health care providers including psychologists, social workers, curse case managers, and operational psychologists Makes authorizations to support defeating the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) Includes $3.4 billion for sustaining operations associated with Operation Inherent Resolve and $1.6 billion to train and equip Iraqi and Peshmerga security forces The Iraqi government must share in train and equip costs Extends prior authorization to train and equip moderate Syrian forces Read More

Cramer: House Passes Legislation to Help Those with Disabilities and Their Families

2014/12/03

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill cosponsored by Congressman Kevin Cramer to create tax-free savings accounts for those who live with disabilities, allowing families to save for disability-related expenses in the same way that is provided for other major life events such as college and retirement. The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act passed with a bipartisan vote including 221 Republicans and 183 Democrats. While American families currently enjoy tax incentives to save for significant future expenses, people with severe disabilities face who significant challenges of their own do not have an equivalent savings instrument. The ABLE Act allows parents to save for their child’s long-term disability expenses in a 529A (or “ABLE”) account. 529A accounts would be administered in a similar manner as 529 college savings accounts, allowing contributions in after-tax dollars to grow tax-free. In a speech on the floor of the House, Cramer shared the stories of four North Dakota families who strongly believe the legislation will help their children with Down syndrome lead fuller lives. “My intention this morning was to get up and try to eloquent in talking about the ABLE Act that we are going to be voting on later today,” Congressman Cramer said on the House floor. “But since yesterday I’ve received four emails from parents in North Dakota whose words are far more eloquent than mine could ever be.” “How exciting that we are at this point where the dreams of the act passing may come true in the next days,” wrote Roxane Romanick of Bismarck. “Last spring, my own daughter, Elizabeth, turned 15. Due to her diagnosis of Down syndrome, she has the support of an Individual Education Plan at school.  Required by law, the school will start working on a transition plan for her within a few short months.  Passage of the ABLE Act will mean that we can start a savings account for her in much the same way that we did for her brother.” “My son is young and only time will tell what services and programs he may or may not need when he is an adult,” wrote Marijo Schwengler of Fargo. “But one message is clear: David must remain ‘poor’ in order receive the services. Even if the services may not provide for all his needs adequately. We can’t save for David in the same way we can for his brothers. The ABLE Act would mean that we could start saving for David’s future today.” “Our journey includes being blessed seven years ago with a beautiful baby boy with crystal blue eyes and a massive amount of blonde hair. His name is Grady and he has Down syndrome,” wrote Jamie Christensen of Bismarck. “Like many families, we want to care for our children equally, doing what we can to give them tools to help them reach their full potential. Shortly after Grady was born, I opened a 529 College SAVE account for Grady’s big sister. It was then that I realized I had no idea how to plan for Grady’s future.” “Our daughter Ella was born on Christmas Eve just about 4 years ago,” wrote Aaron Schuler of Bismarck. “Our lives have been fully enriched by Ella and we plan to give her every opportunity to grow and chase her dreams.  She will be a crazy teenager, graduate and go to college, work a full-time job, and have real meaningful relationship. We believe this for her. That is what makes the Able act is so important to Ella and to people all over our great country.” “This legislation will go a long way toward leveling the playing field for these families, enriching their lives just as they enrich the lives of our entire country,” Congressman Cramer concluded. In 2013 and 2014, Cramer was presented with the Superhero award from the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) for his commitment to people with Down syndrome. In February 2014, Congressman Cramer presented the national 2014 Buddy Walk of the Year Award to ‘Up with Downs’, a Down syndrome support network serving families in the Fargo/Moorhead area. Cramer is also a member of the U.S. House Down Syndrome Caucus, which supports legislative activities to improve Down syndrome research, education, and treatment. A photo of Cramer being presented with the Superhero award in 2013 can be viewed here, and a photo of the 2014 Superhero award presentation can be viewed here. Photos of Congressman Cramer presenting the Buddy Walk of the Year Award to Up with Downs can be viewed here. [[{"fid":"360","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full"},"type":"media","attributes":{"alt":"Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) on ABLE Act","height":"380","width":"640","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] Read More

Congressman Cramer to Serve on Three Energy & Commerce Subcommittees

2014/12/03

WASHINGTON, D.C. – It was announced last month Congressman Kevin Cramer will serve on the coveted Energy and Commerce Committee during the 114th Congress. Today, Committee Chairman Fred Upton announced Cramer’s subcommittee assignments as follows: Communications and Technology, Environment and the Economy, and Oversight and Investigations. "I am pleased to serve on these three important Subcommittees in the next Congress. Some of the most crucial issues facing North Dakota and our nation will be debated in their hearings and meetings," said Cramer. The Communications and Technology Subcommittee oversees electronic communications, including voice, video, audio and data, the broadcast, cable, and satellite industries, cybersecurity, privacy, and data security, the Federal Communications Commission, and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. “In this subcommittee we have the opportunity to bring the Telecommunications Act into the 21st century by addressing issues including broadband deployment and Universal Service Fund reform, while looking out for rural telephone cooperatives and their customers. I intend to put my experience regulating telecommunications as a North Dakota Public Service Commissioner to use,” Cramer said. The Environment and the Economy Subcommittee oversees soil and water health, including Superfund and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the regulation of energy combustion waste, emergency environmental response, the security of energy plants including cybersecurity, the regulation of drinking water (Safe Drinking Water Act), which includes hydraulic fracturing, and toxic substances (Toxic Substances Control Act). “This subcommittee provides an important opportunity for me to look out for North Dakota’s natural resources above and below ground, and their incredible contribution to national and economic security,” Cramer added. The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee has responsibility for oversight of agencies, departments, and programs related to the jurisdiction of the full committee, and for conducting investigations. “Oversight is a critical component of any committee in Congress, and agencies like the Department of Energy and the EPA need a lot of it. I look forward to contributing my energy background toward rigorous and substantive debate on the issues with our agency heads,” said Cramer. Read More

Legislation Gives Tribes Greater Control Over Housing Assistance Program

2014/12/02

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to provide individual tribes greater control over the Native American Housing Assistance Program. Congressman Kevin Cramer supports the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Reauthorization Act, which reauthorizes the program through 2018, turns it into a block grant program, and contains additional measures giving tribes more flexibility and autonomy in its implementation. The legislation would: Automatically approve tribal waiver requests for exemptions from housing plan, environmental review, or development cost requirements if the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development does not act within 60 days of receiving the request Give tribes the authority to substitute their own environmental reviews and maximum rent and homebuyer payment provisions for current federal reviews and provisions Waive the 30% rent cap currently in place for tribal affordable housing Establish a joint program between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to prevent homelessness among Native American veterans “This is a common sense bill to make housing assistance more efficient for individual tribes. It prevents unnecessary delays in housing project construction, and gives Native American tribes more room to implement the program in a way that fits their needs,” said Congressman Cramer. The bill is supported by the National American Indian Housing Council (NAIHC) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.   Read More

Cramer Asks FEMA Administrator to Allow Fargo Basement Exception

2014/12/02

BISMARCK, N.D. – Today Congressman Kevin Cramer and North Dakota’s Senators asked Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate to favorably review the City of Fargo’s application for the basement exception in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). In a letter to Fugate, Cramer and the state’s Senators expressed their strong support for the application. “The City of Fargo has successfully implemented the basement exception in the NFIP for close to 40 years.  Fargo has continually updated what elevations should be required for flood proof basements in order to minimize the risk of damage to the homes,” they wrote. “As the Federal Emergency Management Agency reviews Fargo’s application for the basement exception, we urge the agency to keep in mind how important the basement exception is to the people of Fargo and strongly support its continuation.” After the letter was sent, Cramer spoke with FEMA about his support for the City of Fargo’s application. They discussed the exception, basement construction, and economic concerns, including the already-significant increases in construction costs in North Dakota.  Congressman Cramer was instrumental in making sure the basement exception policy stayed intact during formulation of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, which was signed by the President on March 21, 2014. The text of the letter is below: Mr. Craig Fugate Administrator United States Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency-FEMA 500 C St SW Washington, DC 20472-3198 Dear Administrator Fugate,           We are writing to express our support of the City of Fargo’s application for the basement exception in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  This exception, which has been granted to Fargo since 1975, has been crucial in Fargo’s implementation of the National Flood Insurance Program.           Basements are an important part of the homes of Fargo residents. They serve as shelters during severe weather, and they have been effectively flood-proofed to reduce damage to the home. The construction methods of basements have allowed Fargo’s residents to have access to reliable shelter that is both affordable to construct and insure. The residents of Fargo have made long-term investments in their homes by making sure that their basements are protected from significant flood damage. These flood proof basements have been an effective part of reducing risk of damage to the property due to flooding.           The City of Fargo has successfully implemented the basement exception in the NFIP for close to 40 years.  Fargo has continually updated what elevations should be required for flood proof basements in order to minimize the risk of damage to the homes. The City of Fargo has proactively addressed the potential flooding issues in the past, and renewing Fargo’s basement exception will help to continue this practice in to the future.           As the Federal Emergency Management Agency reviews Fargo’s application for the basement exception, we urge the agency to keep in mind how important the basement exception is to the people of Fargo and strongly support its continuation.  Thank you for your consideration of this important matter. Read More

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Contact Information

1032 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-2611
Fax 202-226-0893
cramer.house.gov

Kevin Cramer was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012. He serves on the House Committee on Natural Resources and the Science, Space and Technology Committee. Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings appointed Kevin Cramer to three sub-committees including Energy and Mineral Resources, Public Lands and Environmental Regulation and Indian and Alaska Native Affairs. House Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith appointed Mr. Cramer to the Energy Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over such science as hydraulic fracturing and clean coal technologies, and as Vice-Chairman of the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, which has general and special investigative authority on all matters within the jurisdiction of the full-committee. Congressman Cramer also serves along with Rep. Bill Owens (NY-21) as Co-Chairman of the Northern Border Caucus, fostering continued growth in the U.S.-Canada relationship.

Cramer has a distinguished career in public service. In 1991, Kevin was elected Chairman of the North Dakota Republican Party, making him the youngest member of the Republican National Committee. From 1993 to 2000, he served in Governor Ed Schafer’s cabinet, first as State Tourism Director from1993 to1997, then as State Economic Development & Finance Director from 1997 to 2000. From 2000 to 2003, Kevin was Executive Director of the Harold Schafer Leadership Foundation, which connects emerging leaders from the University of Mary with community business leaders. In 2003, then-Governor John Hoeven appointed Kevin to the Public Service Commission, and in 2004 he was elected to the position, gaining over 65% of the vote. He was re-elected in 2010 with 61.5% of the vote in a three-person contest.

As North Dakota Public Service Commissioner, Cramer helped to develop and oversee the most dynamic economy in our nation. He worked to ensure North Dakotans enjoy some of the lowest utility rates in the nation, enhancing their competitive position in the global marketplace. An energy policy expert, Cramer understands our country’s energy security is integral to our national and economic security.

A strong advocate for the free market system, Cramer has a proven record of cutting and balancing budgets, encouraging the private sector through limited, common sense regulations and limited government.

Cramer has a B.A. degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, a Master’s degree in Management from the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND, and was conferred the degree of Doctor of Leadership, honoris causa, by the University of Mary on May 4, 2013. He is a native of Kindred, North Dakota where he received all of his primary and secondary education. Kevin and his wife, Kris, have two adult sons, Ian and Isaac, two adult daughters, Rachel and Annie, a seven-year-old son, Abel, and a new granddaughter, Lyla.


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