Kevin Cramer

Kevin Cramer

NORTH DAKOTA

Cramer Criticizes Obama Administration, Praises Law Enforcement in Floor Speech on Dakota Access Pipeline Protest

2016/12/02

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Dec. 2, 2016

Contact: 202-578-9428


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer criticized the Obama Administration for improperly meddling in the Dakota Access Pipeline protest and praised law enforcement for protecting North Dakota citizens in a speech on floor of the House of Representatives Thursday night.

He also read into the Congressional Record a resolution by the North Dakota Veterans Coordinating Council condemning military veterans who participate in the pipeline protests.

“You can’t encourage illegal behavior and then wonder why there is violence,”  said Cramer in his criticism of the Obama Administration’s efforts to block the legally permitted pipeline project. “The rule of law matters.  We cannot allow lawless mobs to obstruct projects that have met all legal requirements to proceed.”

Cramer praised the work of law enforcement in protecting the citizens of North Dakota. “I am one of many North Dakotans who are tired of what once began as a peaceful protest and is now a full-fledged riot,” he said.  “It’s time for the bad actors, celebrities and political extremists to leave our state.”   

Watch the full speech here.

View the full speech transcript here.

 

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CRAMER: National Defense Authorization Act Restores Troop Cuts, Increases Soldier Pay, Funds ICBMs

2016/12/02

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer joined the majority in the House of Representatives today in passing legislation restoring troop cuts, increasing soldier pay,  and funding the intercontinental ballistic missiles at Minot Air Force Base. 

The House passed the Conference Report to S. 2943, the Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017. The legislation had been stalled during months of filibustering by Senate Democrats after the House passed its version of the bill in May. The Senate vote on this bill is scheduled for next week.  

The bill authorizes and prioritizes funding for the Department of Defense and military activities and construction, and sets military personnel strengths.  “The primary responsibility of Congress is to provide for the common defense of our country, and this bill includes those necessary resources,” said Cramer.   “It also provides for the well-being of our military personnel and their families, authorizing the largest troop salary raise in six years.”

The legislation provides $619 billion for the base defense budget and war-related overseas operations.  It eliminates 110 general and admiral positions and reverses the President’s drawdown of troops by adding 1,000 sailors, 3,000 Marines, 4,000 airmen and 1,000 active-duty Army soldiers, in addition to 15,000 who were set to be cut.

“America’s armed forces defend our nation in a world of ever-changing threats, and North Dakota continues to be crucial in that defense,” Cramer said. Of particular interest to North Dakota are the following provisions in the bill:

  • Prohibits funds from being expended to reduce, or prepare to reduce the responsiveness or alert level of U.S. intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), which is a key benefit of the nuclear triad in deterring an enemy strike.
  • Continues to fund ICBM fuze modernization and supports the Air Force proposal to structure the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program, to create a follow-on to the Minuteman III ICBM, as an integrated system consisting of the missiles, launch facilities, launch control centers, communications, and related infrastructure and equipment.  “The current GBSD program at Minot Air Force Base has served the country’s defense well and benefited North Dakota’s economy,” said Cramer. “However, to ensure these assets remain effective they must be modernized. Doing it in Minot is the best deal for the American taxpayer.”    
  • Supports the new B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber to upgrade the current bomber fleet. “This includes the B-52s stationed at Minot Air Force Base, which ensure viability against current and emerging threats,” Cramer said.
  • Makes no changes to out-of-pocket costs for current force or retirees in the Tricare Military Health Care Insurance Plan.  
  • Prohibits a new round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)

The legislation also:

  • Extends special pay and bonus authorities for nuclear officers
  • Includes a provision to deal with the California Guard bonus recoupment ordeal, shifting the burden of proof for accusations of fraud or misuse to the Department of Defense instead of individual soldiers.
  • Continues to prohibit transferring detainees at the Guantanamo Bay military prison
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CRAMER: 21st Century Cures Act a Game Changer for Medical Research and Innovation

2016/11/30

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Nov. 30, 2016

Contact: 202-578-9428


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer described  the 21st  Century Cures Act passed by the House of Representatives today as landmark legislation transforming how the United States treats disease and funds medical research.  The bill – which is expected to pass the Senate next week – originated in the House Energy and Commerce Committee where Cramer is a member. 

The bill also includes H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, which is one of the most significant reforms to the mental health system in more than a decade.  Cramer was a cosponsor of H.R. 2646. 

“All of us have suffered the pain of losing a loved one to a rare or deadly disease,” said Cramer. “All too often, a child is robbed of a parent, or a spouse falls ill one day only to discover they have an incurable disease.  These stories of loved ones we have lost are the motivators behind 21st Century Cures.  I simply cannot overstate enough how this legislation is going to be a game changer.  ‘Cures’ will remove the regulatory shackles from our scientists and allow the American medical industry to flourish.  It also protects American medical and biomedical jobs and brings new hope for patients and their families who have run out of options.”

Cramer said North Dakota hospital and health care professionals have reached out to him about their support of provisions in the bill that recognize new hospital outpatient departments, prevent the enforcement of the direct supervision regulations for outpatient therapeutic services at small rural hospitals, fund opioid abuse crisis programs, adjust socioeconomic status in the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program and extend for five years the Rural Hospital Demonstration Program.

In advancing the legislation, Cramer said Energy and Commerce Committee members worked with more than 300 patient groups, as well as individual patients, researchers, academics, health professionals, innovators, the Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health and the White House.  “There are 10,000 known diseases, 7,000 which are rare, and treatments are available for only 500,” he said.  “The 21st Century Cures Act will allow scientists and regulators to fully embrace advances in research and bridge the gap between the number of diseases and available treatments.”

Highlights of the 21st Century Cures Act include:

Catalyzes Cutting-Edge Research and personalized Drug Development

  • Authorizes innovation prize competitions to advance biomedical science for diseases that are serious and represent a significant burden. (Section 2002)
  • Establishes the Precision Medicine Initiative to help researchers develop medicines tailored to individuals, rather than one-size-fits-all treatments. (Section 2011)
  • Provides opportunities for new researchers and promotes earlier research independence. (Section 2021)
  • Supports high-risk, high-reward research that has the potential to transform the scientific field. (Section 2036) 
  • Expedites the development and review of drugs for subgroups of rare disease patients by authorizing FDA to rely on data submitted in previously approved applications involving similar gene targeting technology. (Section 3012)
  • Reauthorizes the pediatric priority review voucher program incentivizing the development of drugs for rare pediatric diseases. (Section 3013)

Modernizes Clinical Trials and Evidence Development

  • Directs FDA to provide clarity to drug developers about incorporating novel clinical trial designs into drug development. (Section 3021)
  • Supports the utilization of real-world evidence in regulatory decision-making. (Section 3022)
  • Harmonizes various regulations protecting patients in clinical trials to avoid duplication and unnecessary delays that researchers face on a daily basis. (Section 3023)
  • Authorizes FDA to rely upon qualified data summaries to support the approval of supplemental applications. (Section 3031)
  • Establishes an alternative approval pathway for sorely needed antimicrobial drugs intended for limited patient populations. (Section 3042)

Brings FDA into the 21st Century

  • Removes the silos at FDA by transitioning the agency towards a disease-centric approach. (Section 3073)
  • Codifies a structured framework at FDA for the submission, review, and qualification of biomarkers that can be used to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a product earlier in the process. (Section 3011)
  • Fosters development and utilization of incredibly promising approaches to regenerative medicine. (Sections 3033 - 3036)
  • Reforms the flawed combination product review process to provide certainty to manufacturers developing these complex therapies and technologies. (Section 3038)
  • Provides long-overdue clarification regarding how medical product manufacturers can discuss the value of therapies and technologies with insurers and formulary committees. (Section 3037)

Improves Medical Device Review Process and Reduces Unnecessary Regulation

  • Empowers FDA to apply efficient and flexible approaches to expedite the development and review of new medical technologies like the breakthrough path for drugs that Congress made law four years ago. (Section 3051)
  • Streamlines medical device and diagnostic regulations and ensures FDA uses the least burdensome approaches necessary. (Sections 3052-3059)
  • Exempts certain software and personal health apps from FDA regulation. (Section 3060)

Empowers Patients to Participate in Research and Development Activities

  • Ensures that patients can voluntarily provide hospitals and research institutions authorization to use their personal health data for future research purposes. (Section 2063)
  • Puts patients at the center of the drug development and FDA review process, requiring the FDA to routinely incorporate patient input and experiences into their regulatory decision-making. (Sections 3001-3004)

Incentivizes the Development of Medical Counter Measures and Vaccines 

  • Establishes a priority review voucher program that encourages the development of drugs and vaccines to protect Americans against agents that present a national security threat, like a bioterror attack. (Section 3086)
  • Provides current and potential vaccine manufacturers with more predictable CDC timeframes. (Section 3091-3093)

Fosters Interoperable Health Records

  • Expedites the interoperability of electronic health record systems to help make good on the $30 billion taxpayer investment and benefit patients, providers, and researchers. (Sections 4003-4006)
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Cramer Elevated to Key Leadership Position for Next Session of Congress

2016/11/29

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer was elevated to an influential committee in the House of Representatives in his election today to the Republican Steering Committee. This powerful committee of House leaders decides all committee assignments and chairmanships.  

“I am honored to be elected to this position,” said Cramer. “This will give me a greater voice in shaping the legislative agenda in the next session of Congress, and as the Small State Representative, I will speak out for states like North Dakota with small populations. Although it adds to my workload, which includes membership on the Energy and Commerce Committee, this elevates the influence of North Dakota in Congress.”

The 32-member Steering Committee is chaired by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.  Members include the Republican leadership and regional representatives of all states. In addition to being represented in a region, the states of Alaska, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Wyoming, American Samoa and Puerto Rico will have additional influence on the Steering Committee through Cramer as the Small State Representative.

Cramer has represented North Dakota as a member of the House of Representatives since 2013. He was re-elected to a third term on Nov. 8 by 69 percent of the vote. 

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Cramer Announces 2017 Military Academy Nominations

2016/11/23

 

Listen to Audio Here

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Kevin Cramer has nominated four students to the United States military service academies. Nominees would enter their academy in the fall of 2017.

Cramer nominated Jace Estenson of Devils Lake to the United States Military Academy at West Point; Thomas Irwin of Dickinson to the United States Naval Academy; Michael Shumate of West Fargo and Ryyan Reule of Devils Lake to the United States Air Force Academy.

“These are four outstanding young North Dakota men and I am honored to nominate them to our nation’s military service academies,” said Cramer. “There are no slouches among this year’s applicants, and these four demonstrated the characteristics that will not only allow them to get into the academies but to succeed.”

Students must be nominated to an academy by a member of Congress, the Vice-President of the United States, or a Service Branch Secretary. Final appointment decisions are made by the individual academies.

Those interested in applying for 2018 admission to a military service academy can find more information on Congressman Cramer’s official website, or by calling Randy Richards in the Grand Forks office at 701-738-4880.

Information on the students is below:

United States Military Academy at West Point:  Jace Estenson, Devils Lake.  Student at Devils Lake High School, with memberships in JROTC, student council, National Honor Society, orchestra, North Dakota National Guard. Sports include varsity wrestling and football.

United States Naval Academy: Thomas Irwin, Dickinson. Student at Hope Christian Academy, with memberships including volunteer coach for Dickinson Wrestling Club, children’s ministry volunteer at church, and North Dakota All Academic Team. Sports include varsity wrestling team captain.

United States Air Force Academy: Michael Shumate, West Fargo.  Student at West Fargo High School, with memberships in National Honor Society, jazz and pep band, math club, and student congress.

United States Air Force Academy: Ryyan Reule, Devils Lake. Student at Devils Lake High School, with memberships in National Honor Society, student council, and orchestra. Sports include varsity hockey and Team North Dakota Hockey.

 

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MR. PRESIDENT, APPROVE THE PIPELINE EASEMENT WITHOUT FURTHER DELAY, SUPPORT LAW ENFORCEMENT

2016/11/23

WASHINGTON – In a letter to President Barack Obama, Senator John Hoeven, Congressman Kevin Cramer and Governor Jack Dalrymple today called on the president to quit delaying and authorize the Army Corps of Engineers to approve the final federal easement for the Lake Oahe crossing of the Dakota Access Pipeline and to immediately provide the State of North Dakota with law enforcement resources to assist state and local enforcement to address violent protesters and keep the peace. The full text can be accessed here and is below.


November 23, 2016

 

President Barack Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington, DC 20500

 

Dear President Obama:

We call on you again to direct the Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) to approve, without further delay, the final federal easement for the Lake Oahe crossing of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Further, in the strongest terms possible, we recommend you provide federal law enforcement resources immediately to state and local agencies in order to maintain public safety, which has been threatened by ongoing – and oftentimes violent – protest activity. These resources are essential to prevent further destruction on and surrounding federal lands.

The pipeline, which is already 98 percent complete in North Dakota and 86 percent complete overall, has undergone years of thorough state regulatory reviews and an extensive federal environmental assessment, which found no significant environmental impact. In fact, the pipeline will be sited within an existing right-of-way that already includes a natural gas pipeline and a high-voltage electric transmission line. Twice challenged and twice upheld – including by your own appointees – federal courts found that the Army Corps had followed the appropriate process, the tribe was properly consulted and the project could lawfully proceed. As a former Constitutional law professor you certainly understand there is no legal reason to withhold this easement.

Further, you must respect the rule of law and help the State of North Dakota protect its citizens. Your inaction on the pending easement has created undue hardship and uncertainty for area residents, private landowners, tribal members, construction workers and law enforcement personnel. We have seen instances of trespassing, vandalism, theft and fire on privately owned ranchland. Residents have endured the challenges caused by roads being blocked or closed, either by protest activity or law enforcement’s response to it to ensure safety at a time when farmers and ranchers are busy harvesting, hauling hay, shipping calves and moving their herds from summer pasture. In addition, law enforcement is investigating cases of butchered, mutilated, injured and missing cattle, horses and bison in areas adjacent to sites occupied by protesters.     

In accordance with the finding of the Army Corps’ environmental assessment and court decisions, we call on you to direct the Army Corps to follow established regulatory criteria and approve the final easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing at Lake Oahe. In addition, we recommend federal resources be deployed expeditiously to protect people and property in the area of violent protests.

Sincerely,

 John Hoeven                  Kevin Cramer                         Jack Dalrymple

 U.S. Senator                   U.S. Congressman                   North Dakota Governor

 

 

 

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CRAMER: New EPA Biofuel Volume Rule Should Provide Some Certainty to Producers, Refiners

2016/11/23

 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer issued this statement following today’s release by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of final annual mandatory blending volumes for biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard.  Read more here.

 

“After repeatedly failing to do so in recent years, I’m pleased to see the EPA has finally issued biofuel volumes on schedule. Hopefully this will provide some certainty to producers and refiners. Now that the 15 billion gallon mark for conventional biofuel has been set, I hope industry can meet this new threshold.”

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CRAMER: Overtime Rule Injunction Stops Regulatory Burden on Workers and Small Businesses

2016/11/23

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer issued this statement following today’s preliminary injunction by a U.S. District Court judge against a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) overtime rule, which was set to take effect Dec. 1. The rule redefines those employees eligible for overtime pay based upon salary received, rather than duties performed. It also raises the salary threshold under which virtually all workers qualify for overtime pay to $47,476, more than double the current salary threshold of $23,660.

 

Cramer has consistently opposed this rule change, signing two separate letters, one to DOL Secretary Thomas Perez and the other to the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee requesting it block the rule in its appropriations bill. The full committee approved the appropriations bill in July with this provision included. He also cosponsored House Joint Resolution 95, blocking the rule from taking effect. 

“Once again an Obama-appointed judge has blocked the President from imposing an unconstitutional one-size-fits-all regulation on employers and workers. This rule would inflict a significant regulatory burden on small businesses, nonprofits, and local governments and result in fewer opportunities for job training, talent development, and managerial experience for employees. It also stifles upward mobility for employees. Any changes to federal labor policy should respect Congressional intent and include sufficient input from all affected stakeholders. Clearly this one does not.”

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Cramer Joins Colleagues in Signing WOTUS Funding Letter to House Leadership

2016/11/17


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer joined 65 colleagues in sending a letter to House leadership urging a prohibition of funds for the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. 

The letter was sent to Speaker Paul Ryan, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers and Ranking Member Nita Lowey.  Earlier in the year the House included language in the Fiscal Year 2017 Energy and Water and Interior and Environment Appropriations bills to ensure the rule does not go forward. This letter requests there be a limitation of funds provision in final appropriations bills considered for the fiscal year.

“We urge you to recognize the substantial cost, confusion, and regulatory burden this rule will have on the economy if this controversial rule is funded for Fiscal Year 2017,” wrote the signers of the letter.   

WOTUS defines which rivers, streams, lakes and marshes fall under the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and not the jurisdiction of states.

Calling it an unconstitutional power grab, Cramer has been an outspoken opponent of the proposed WOTUS, supporting all efforts in Congress and the courts to halt the rule.

“This is the Obama Administration’s brazen attempt to have jurisdiction over every puddle on every farm in every state,” said Cramer. “It is overregulation at its worst, placing an undue burden on every producer and landowner in North Dakota.”

Cramer said the federal government should be supporting the nation’s farmers, including those in North Dakota.  “Our farmers and ranchers feed the world and care deeply about their land. They do not need heavy-handed regulations to keep them from being competitive or profitable.”

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CRAMER: House Votes Hold Iran and Syria Accountable for Illegal Actions

2016/11/17

 Listen to Audio Here

 


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer said three bills the House of Representatives passed this week have given notice to the regimes in Iran and Syrian regimes they will be held accountable for their illegal actions.

 

H.R. 6297, The Iran Sanctions Extension Act extends the legislation imposing sanctions on Iran for another 10 years. When enacted in 1996, the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act imposed sanctions against foreign companies investing in Iran’s oil sector. It later expanded to provide a wider array of sanctions, including technology and weaponry related to weapons of mass destruction (WMD), gasoline, or participation in Iran’s gas, oil or uranium mining sectors. The original bill was due to expire on Dec. 31.

 

“The Obama Administration’s Iran Deal waived many of the sanctions in the original bill,” said Cramer. “However, this bill will continue sanctions on those knowingly helping Iran develop WMDs.  And, the snap-back sanctions in this bill send a strong message to Iran there will be consequences for non-compliance of the Iran Deal.”

 

The other bills address the sale of commercial aircraft to Iran and impose sanctions on the Assad regime of Syria. 

 

H.R. 5711 prohibits the Secretary of the Treasury from authorizing certain transactions by U.S. financial institutions regarding export or re-export of a commercial passenger aircraft to Iran. 

 

H.R. 5732, The Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2016 places sanctions on the Assad regime in Syria by targeting certain industries that do business with the government. The sanctions run through 2021, but can be suspended if there are meaningful negotiations. Specifically targeted are the sale of military equipment, aircraft parts and fuel.  It also authorizes State Department to assist entities investigating war crimes in Syria.

 

“Iran and Syria remain very troubled parts of the world,” said Cramer. “Through these bills, we are sending a strong message about the resolve of the leadership by the United States Congress to hold these regimes accountable for their actions.”

 

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Contact Information

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

Committee Assignments

Energy and Commerce

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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