WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer has announced the dates for eight Coffee with Cramer Town Hall events he is hosting across North Dakota the first two weeks in August.
As North Dakota’s only member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Cramer has made constituent outreach a top priority. "The best part of public service is the public,” said Cramer. “My Coffee with Cramer events, along with my weekly Talk Radio Town Halls, afford me access to North Dakotans that serves me and our state well.”
The August Coffee with Cramer events will be held in Mayville, Devils Lake, Rugby, Steele, Dickinson, Jamestown, Wahpeton and Tioga. Since 2013, the other communities in which he has hosted his coffee meetings are Bismarck, Casselton, Cavalier, Fargo, Garrison, Grafton, Grand Forks, Harvey, Hillsboro, Larimore, Linton, Lisbon, Mandan , Minot, Stanley, Valley City, Watford City and Williston.
According to the Capitol Hill government issues website Legistorm.com, Cramer has held the most town halls of any Member of Congress. Since taking office in 2013, Cramer has held 335 town halls, 122 more than the Member of Congress with the next highest number of town halls.
Cramer holds weekly radio town halls for two hours every week that are heard statewide Wednesday mornings at 10:00 a.m. central on four North Dakota stations: KFYR 550 AM (99.7 FM) in Bismarck, 1100 AM The Flag in Fargo, KLTC 1460 AM in Dickinson, and KTGO 1090 AM in Tioga; and Thursdays from 10-10:30 a.m. on KNOX 1310 AM in Grand Forks, and 10:30-11:00 a.m. on KHND 1470 AM in Harvey.
The details of the upcoming Coffee with Cramer events are below:
Monday, Aug. 1, 5:00-6:00 p.m.
Whistle Stop Restaurant
226 9th Ave S.E.
Tuesday, Aug. 2, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Dunn Brothers Coffee
210 Highway 2 West
Tuesday, Aug. 2, 3:00-4:00 p.m.
Coffee Cottage Cafe
106 Highway 2 SW
Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Coffee Cup Fuel Stop
620 Mitchell Ave. N.
Thursday, Aug. 4, 5:00-6:00 p.m.
215 Sims Street
Monday, Aug. 8, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Sabir’s Buffalo Grill
103 1st Ave. S.
Monday, Aug. 8, 3:00-4:00 p.m.
1010 Dakota Ave.
Tuesday, Aug. 16, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Neset Consulting Conference Room
6844 Highway 40Read More
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Kevin Cramer released the following statement about H.R. 5588 - the Veterans’ Compensation COLA Act of 2016, which was passed by the House of Representatives this week. The bill links cost of living allowance (COLA) increases for veterans to COLA increases for Social Security recipients. This includes disability compensation, compensation for dependents, clothing allowance, and surviving spouse benefits. Social Security recipients automatically receive annual COLA increases determined by the executive branch, based on the Consumer Price Index. With the passage of this bill, COLA rate changes for veterans will no longer require legislative action.
“The point of the bill is to permanently tie together the two rate increases to avoid any potential payout stall for veterans and their dependents. This bill gives veterans and their families the peace of mind that they deserve as they plan their financial futures. Many veterans depend on these benefits to assist with their housing, food, and other necessities, so it is essential they keep up with the cost of living. This is the least we can do for our veterans.”
Click here for audio clip 1
Click here for audio clip 2
Click here for audio clip 3
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer supported three bills addressing concerns one year after the United States approved its nuclear deal with Iran. These bills, passed by the House of Representatives today, are designed to block the Obama Administration from granting any more concessions and to hold Tehran accountable for its actions.
“July 14 marks the one-year anniversary of the Iran nuclear deal,” said Cramer. ”Our relations continue to be tense, not only with Iran, but the other countries in the region, both allies and adversaries. Iran continues to be a major sponsor of terrorism and its increasingly aggressive hardline Revolutionary Guard has tightened its grip on much of the country’s industry. Our bill simply addresses concerns with continued United States-Iran relations. Someone needs to take a stand on this, instead of coddling them like the Administration is doing.”
The bills are as follows:
H.R. 5119 – No Heavy Water (2H2O) from Iran Act – This bill, of which Cramer is a co-sponsor, prohibits the purchase of heavy water from Iran. This bill is in response to an announcement in April from the Department of Energy that the U.S. would purchase heavy water from Iran. It ensures that no funds will be used by any federal department or agency to purchase heavy water or to issue a license for the purchase of heavy water from Iran.
“The Iran nuclear deal does not require the United States to purchase excess heavy water produced by Iran,” said Cramer. “This bill ensures that our taxpayer dollars will not subsidize the regime.”
H.R. 5631 – Iran Accountability Act of 2016 – This bill imposes sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile program, support for terrorism, and human rights violations. It also requires the President to report to Congress on efforts to free Americans held hostage by Iran.
“The Obama nuclear agreement with Iran didn’t do a thing to address the regime’s egregious human rights record, its illicit ballistic missile program or its continuing role as the world’s leading state sponsor of terror,” said Cramer. “Our bill imposes sanctions to Iran for these violations. It’s time to hold them accountable, not reward them.”
H.R. 4992 – United States Financial System Protection Act – This bill codifies regulations to prevent Iran from accessing the dollar and U.S. financial system. It maintains Iran’s designation as a primary money laundering concern and denies Iran access to the U.S. dollar, including through any offshore dollar clearing system, for transactions involving the government of Iran.
“Granting Iran access to the dollar is a concession well above and beyond the letter of the nuclear agreement,” said Cramer. “This would give Tehran access to billions of dollars in additional commerce to supplement the billions it has already been provided in the form of nuclear sanctions relief. I encourage the Senate to consider similar legislation to show our concern for continued vigilance to keep what was a bad international agreement from causing more harm to our country. I know there are a lot of Senators who fell for it. This is an opportunity for them to make good on their mistake a year ago.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer voted for legislation today establishing a national mandatory disclosure standard for food that contains genetically modified (GMO) ingredients.
The House of Representatives approved S. 764, the Biotech Labeling Bill, which now goes to the President’s desk for signing. It requires disclosure for all bio-engineered foods except those in which meat, poultry, and egg products are the main ingredient. The labeling mandate does not go into effect until two years after its date of enactment, and allows for several different disclosure options, such as text, symbol, or electronic link.
The bill also gives the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) authority to exempt a food from labeling and prohibits the USDA from considering any food product derived from an animal to be bio-engineered solely because the animal has eaten bio-engineered food.
A year ago, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a voluntary labeling bill, H.R. 1559, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. It established a voluntary non-genetically engineered food certification program within the USDA to govern the labeling of food in a nationally uniform manner. In contrast to the House-passed bill, the Senate amendment approved today establishes a mandatory labeling requirement.
This law prevents the State of Vermont from enacting a mandatory labeling law, which took effect July 1. “The Vermont law is a perfect example of why we can’t have state-by-state interstate commerce laws,” said Cramer. “This is an area where the Constitution specifically provides Congress this authority. While our bill is not perfect, it does retain some flexibility for marketers as they put the labels on.”
Cramer said the law protects consumers from situations like what is now happening in Vermont. “The state’s new restrictive labeling laws, which aren’t consistent with other states, have forced the removal of 3,000 products from store shelves due to improper labeling as per one state’s laws.”
This legislation was supported by several agriculture manufacturers and producers, including the sugarbeet industry. American Crystal Sugar Company, an agricultural cooperative owned by approximately 2,800 sugarbeet growers along the Red River Valley, operates six processing plants, including two in North Dakota located in Hillsboro and Drayton.
American Crystal Sugar is a member of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association, which issued the following statement today: “This bill gives consumers across the country more information than ever before about genetically engineered ingredients in food while still protecting family farmers and small businesses from the costs and confusion of a patchwork of different state labeling mandates. The food and agriculture community came together like never before to advance a solution that works for consumer and stakeholders up and down the value chain.”
Click here for audio
WASHINGTON , D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer praised today’s passage of the 2017 Department of Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill for stopping the onslaught of regulations on North Dakota farmers and jobs.
The legislation includes an amendment sponsored by Cramer and passed by the House Tuesday night. The Cramer Amendment denies funding for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to move any further to implement regulations on non-federal oil and gas rights.
This amendment ensures no funds are provided to finalize or implement the proposed USFWS rule. “Not only do state regulators have the authority and expertise to regulate non-federal minerals, they have the most obvious incentive to do it well. After all, they live where the minerals are being produced,” said Cramer, “The USFWS does not have the authority nor the personnel or expertise to regulate oil and gas operations. These concerns are already being addressed by the appropriate regulatory bodies.”
Read more on the Cramer Amendment here.
Language in the bill includes provisions to prevent and stop the implementation of certain regulations. Specifically, the bill:
Other general provisions in the bill:
H.R. 5538 provides $32 billion for the Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and related agencies, a decrease of $64 million from last year’s budget and $1 billion below the President’s request. Among the agencies and programs funded are the Bureau of Land Management, the Indian Health Service, the National Park Service, the Historic Preservation Fund, the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Forest Service, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer supported legislation passed by the House of Representatives Wednesday that prevents discrimination against individuals and health care facilities declining involvement in abortions.
The bill, S.304, includes an amendment with language originally introduced as H.R. 4828, the Conscience Protection Act of 2016. Cramer, a longtime ardent pro-life supporter, co-sponsored the bill.
The legislation amends the Public Health Service Act to codify the prohibition against the federal government and state and local governments for penalizing or discriminating against health care providers for refusing to be involved in or provide coverage for abortion. According to the bill, health care providers include health care professionals, health care facilities, social services providers, health care professional training programs, and group health plans.
The legislation also directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights and Department of Justice to investigate complaints alleging discrimination. Any person or facility affected by discrimination will be able to seek equitable or legal relief through a private right of action.
“It doesn’t matter if you are pro-life, pro-choice, Republican, or Democrat, no one should be forced to violate personal beliefs and conscience and participate in an abortion,” said Cramer. “And, they especially should not fear losing their jobs. The Conscience Protection Act acknowledges that whatever your abortion views, Americans should agree the idea of ‘choice’ should not involve government compulsion. Healthcare professionals should be free to save lives, not take lives.”
He noted the Weldon Amendment, a long-standing provision included annually in appropriations legislation, is intended to provide protection for health care providers who decline to participate in abortions by blocking federal funds from state and local governments that discriminate against a health care facility the does not cover or pay for abortion. “However, far too often the Obama Administration has blatantly ignored this provision and refused to enforce it. The Conscience Protection Act codifies into law the Weldon Amendment and allows discriminated individuals and providers to seek legal relief through a private right of action.”
He said conscience protections are important for all Americans. “We cannot become a society that picks and chooses which moral objections are more deserving than others. We don’t force non-smokers to buy cigarettes. We don’t force vegetarians to buy meat. And we shouldn’t force those who oppose abortion to take part in anything related to abortion.”
Cramer is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and last Friday participated in a Committee forum on the Conscience Protection Act where he and his colleagues heard personal testimony from health care providers who have been pressured to carry out abortion procedures at the risk of losing their jobs. He also regularly participates in pro-life marches in North Dakota and Washington, D.C., most recently at a Right to Life Prayer day on the steps of the North Dakota Capitol January in Bismarck.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – An amendment introduced by Congressman Kevin Cramer prohibiting implementation of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) regulation passed the House of Representatives on a voice vote around midnight.
In February 2014, USFWS issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking for the “management of Non-Federal Oil and Gas Rights” rule, posted it Dec. 11, 2015, and closed comments Feb. 9 of this year, for the first time empowering itself with the authority to permit oil and gas development on federal refuges without federal ownership of the underlying mineral interests. USFWS, in part, cited the need to update existing rules to best protect society from the potential impacts of oil and gas development on wildlife refuges.
The Cramer Amendment ensures no funds are provided to finalize or implement the proposed rule. Cramer took his amendment to the floor of the House late last night during debate of the Department of Interior, Environment and Related Appropriations Act of 2017.
“Not only do state regulators have the authority and expertise to regulate non-federal minerals, they have the most obvious incentive to do it well. After all, they live where the minerals are being produced,” said Cramer, “The USFWS does not have the personnel or expertise to regulate oil and gas operations and its concerns are already being addressed by the appropriate regulatory bodies.”
The final vote on the entire Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Act is expected by the end of the week.
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer announced the House Appropriations Committee approved language today blocking new fertilizer regulations in the committee report to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 House Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education and Related Agencies appropriations bill. The legislation now awaits consideration on the House floor.
The language blocks the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) from enacting regulations relating to retail anhydrous ammonia facilities. On July 22, 2015, a guidance memorandum issued by OSHA dispensed of a 23-year policy exempting agricultural retail facilities from coverage under OSHA’s Process Safety Management (PSM) program. Enforcement of the memorandum is scheduled to go into effect on Oct. 1.
OSHA’s new interpretation of the PSM rule will force small one-tank anhydrous ammonia retailers employing a few seasonal employees to be subject to the same regulatory requirements and paperwork as large chemical manufacturing and storage facilities. These new regulations could impact 4,800 anhydrous ammonia facilities in the nation, including 275 in North Dakota. Currently, only eight large wholesale and distribution facilities in the state are subject to the PSM regulations.
Anhydrous ammonia is a vital crop nutrient used by farmers to grow many commodities. The North Dakota Department of Agriculture estimated as many as one-third of the current anhydrous ammonia facilities in the state could be forced to close. Cramer said this would force farmers to either travel farther distances to acquire anhydrous ammonia or use dry or liquid alternatives that could increase annual input costs by millions of dollars.
“Ultimately, these increased costs to the farmer could result in higher costs for consumers in the grocery store,” said Cramer. “I also have concerns about the cost to agricultural retailers to bring facilities into compliance, which could exceed $60,000 per facility according to industry estimates. It is inexcusable for OSHA to impose such burdensome regulations on rural fertilizer retailers without first going through the formal rulemaking process and soliciting sufficient input from impacted stakeholders.”
In March, Cramer and House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) led a bi-partisan group of 41 Members of Congress in sending a letter to the House Appropriations Committee urging it to block the OSHA fertilizer regulations in its FY 2017 Labor, HHS and Education appropriations bill.
“I am pleased the language we requested was included in the Committee’s FY 2017 appropriations bill,” said Cramer. “While this is a positive first step, there is still more work to be done. I call on my colleagues in both the House and Senate to work together to ensure these excessive regulations are stopped before they go into effect in October.”
Executive Order (EO) 13650 is cited as the reason for the revision to long standing policy. It was the result of the West Fertilizer Co. incident which took place in West, Texas, on April 17, 2013. While anhydrous ammonia was being stored at the West facility at the time of the incident, the explosion was actually triggered by ammonium nitrate, which is not subject to the safety standards. On May 11,an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives revealed that the cause of the explosion was due to a “criminal act.”
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer co-sponsored a bill that passed the House of Representatives today reasserting constitutional authority and reaffirming the separation of powers.
H.R. 4768, the Separation of Powers Restoration Act (SOPRA), seeks to restore the three co-equal branches of government by reversing the doctrine that has enabled administrative agencies to create rules that have the force of law. The bill overturns a 1984 Supreme Court decision (Chevron v. NRDC) which ruled that courts should, in many cases, defer to administrative agencies’ interpretations of “ambiguous” statutes written by Congress.
H.R. 4768 amends the Administrative Procedure Act to require courts to conduct a “de novo” – or from scratch – review of all relevant questions of law, rather than leaving such interpretation up to the whims of federal bureaucrats.
“This bill defends the separation of powers designed by our nation’s Founding Fathers,” said Cramer. “Unelected bureaucrats have gone too far in their interpretation of the laws they implement and have caused a runaway regulatory state. Every year more of the checks and balances enshrined in the Constitution are being taken over by a vast, overreaching executive branch.”
Cramer said in 2014 the Competitive Enterprise Institute documented more than 3,500 new federal regulations at a cost of $1.88 trillion or $14,976 for every household in the nation.
“We see this regulatory overreach negatively impact many areas of our lives,” Cramer said. “This ranges from the Federal Communications Commission rewriting telecommunications laws to regulate the internet and broadband policies to the Environmental Protection Agency taking control of farmers’ potholes. SOPRA is a big step in rebalancing government to operate in the way it was intended.”
Audio on opposing H.R. 5606 here
Audio on Supporting other bills here
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer supported several bills passed by the House of Representatives this week that strengthen the federal response to terrorist threats.
“The fight to protect our nation from terrorist threats is ongoing and must be engaged through every channel possible,” said Cramer. “These bills strike the balance of guarding privacy while strengthening financial transparency, information sharing and homeland security measures to better recognize suspicious and illegal activities.”
One bill, H.R. 5606, the Anti-Terrorism Information Sharing is Strength Act, Cramer did not support and it failed to pass. It would have enhanced safe harbor provisions for information sharing among financial institutions and government agencies and broadened the range of suspected illegal activities. It would have ensured that financial institutions can file suspicious activity reports without fear of civil litigation and facilitates the flow of critically important suspicious activity reporting.
“While this bill would have given the government more power to crack down on terrorist activities linked to financial institutions, I am concerned it could bypass due process and need more information to be comfortable supporting it,” Cramer said.
The bills the House passed and Cramer supported, are as follows:
H.R. 5469 – gives the International Monetary Fund (IMF) greater authority in combating terrorist-related money laundering. This bill allows the IMF to seek remedies to vulnerabilities terrorists have taken advantage of in financial systems that allow for an inappropriate level of anonymity and non-transparency in the execution of financial transactions.
H.R. 5594, the National Strategy for Combating Terrorist, Underground, and Other Illicit Financing Act – requires the Treasury Secretary to develop and publish an annual government strategy to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. This bill aims to improve federal information-sharing and inter-agency communications.
H.R. 5607, the Enhancing Treasury’s Anti-Terror Tools Act – improves the tools the Treasury Department uses in its efforts to combat the financing of terrorism, money laundering and related illicit finance. It specifically requires the Treasury Department to investigate ways to incorporate U.S. embassies into counter-terrorism financing efforts, assess ways to improve anti-terror finance monitoring of cross-border fund transfers, and implement a program to enhance intergovernmental efforts to combat terrorist financing. The bill also adds the Secretary of the Treasury to the National Security Council.
H.R. 5602 – authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to includes all funds when issuing certain geographic targeting orders (GTO), including those involved in an electronic fund transfer. GTOs impose additional, but time-limited, record-keeping and reporting requirements on domestic financial institutions or non-financial businesses in a particular geographic area to assist regulators and law enforcement agencies identify criminal activity. Current law allows the Secretary of the Treasury to seek a more-detailed reporting of coins, currency or monetary instruments. However, in some cases, it does not allow for requiring or compelling reporting of information on some non-cash transactions.
H.R. 4785, the DHS Stop Asset and Vehicle Excess Act – improves the management of the Department of Homeland Security vehicle fleet and helps better monitor vehicle inventory and employee use.
H.R. 5385 – revises the requirements of the quadrennial Homeland Security review to improve its quality and timeliness. It requires the Department of Homeland Security to conduct a risk assessment and more robust stakeholder engagement.
H.R. 5056, the Airport Perimeter and Access Control Security Act of 2015 – requires the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to update certain risk assessments related to security at airports, specifically along airport perimeters and points of access to secure areas. It requires TSA to report these assessments to Congress and update its strategic plan related to security measures at airports.
H.R. 4404, the Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel Exercise Act of 2016 – requires the Department of Homeland Security to develop and conduct an exercise to evaluate the nation’s preparedness against the threat of foreign fighters and terrorists. The agency will submit a report to Congress about the outcome of this exercise.Read More
1032 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
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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Retweeted by RepKevinCramer
Congratulations to UND's John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences on today's dedication of Robin Hall. This new building will be the home
I have scheduled eight Coffee with Cramer events in North Dakota in August. I look forward to visiting constituents across the state and hope
Serving North Dakota works best with AAA. We had a blowout on the prairie heading for Devils Lake before going to the State Fair.
In case you are wondering why some are skeptical of large trade deals, here is a photo of the Trans Pacific Partnership. It's hard to assume
This week's passage of H.R. 5588 - the Veterans’ Compensation COLA Act of 2016 links cost of living allowance (COLA) increases for veterans