Kevin Cramer

Kevin Cramer

NORTH DAKOTA

Cramer: Senate Democrats Stalling on Zika Funding Height of Political Irresponsibility

2016/06/28

 

Click here for audio of Cramer’s statement

Click here for release on the House passage of the MilCon/VA Zika conference report last week

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer released the following statement after Senate Democrats today filibustered and then defeated legislation funding military construction, veterans programs and $1.1 billion to combat the threat of the Zika virus:

“This behavior by Senate Democrats is the height of political irresponsibility.  My gosh, here we have a funding bill that not only passed the House and Senate to fund military construction important to our national defense, veterans programs and services important to our nation’s vets, but also to fund a fight against the spread of the Zika virus. As we head into the Fourth of July weekend when families are going to be out and about enjoying the festivities of Independence Day, Senate Democrats choose now to filibuster an agreed-upon reconciled appropriations bill between the House and the Senate? Now they decide to play fast and loose politics with something as important as this?  I am appalled at the Senate’s behavior on this.”

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Cramer: Benghazi Report Reveals Lack of Transparency, Accountability and Leadership

2016/06/28

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer released the following statement after the House Select Committee on Benghazi published its final report today.

Click here to view the House Select Committee on Benghazi’s full report.

Click here for audio of Cramer’s statement.

“The House investigation into the deaths of four people during the 2012 attack on the United States consulate in Benghazi was necessary because President Obama, Hillary Clinton and others who occupy the highest positions in our federal government refused to tell the truth about the tragedy.  The committee’s report shows an unconscionable lack of transparency, accountability and leadership by the Obama Administration. I hope the findings of this report will provide some long-overdue answers for the families who lost loved ones and educate us on how national security breaches like this can be avoided in the future.” 

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CRAMER: House Approves MilCon-VA and Zika Bill to Fund Urgent National Security, Veterans and Human Health Needs

2016/06/24

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer said he was pleased the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the conference report for the Fiscal Year 2017 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (MilCon/VA ) appropriations and Zika Prevention and Response bills.  The two bills were combined to accomplish legislative efficiency and passed Thursday. 

“The two spending bills that make up this legislation represent urgent needs for national security, veteran care and human health,” said Cramer. “It received bipartisan support in the House, and the Senate should waste no time in passing this priority and getting it to the President for his signature.”

This legislation funds military construction projects, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and programs to prevent the Zika virus from spreading.

“Through this legislation we are meeting our obligation to support our active-duty troops and their families with improved housing and military facilities,” said Cramer.  “For our veterans, it provides greater access and improved medical services.”

Included in the bill is report language requested by Cramer in the House-passed version of the bill which requires reports on providing additional services and care for women veterans. Other reports requested are how the VA is providing services to veterans with opioid addiction, and a review of the VA’s prescription practices and addiction treatment protocols.   

The bill also directs the Secretary of the Air Force to prioritize and accelerate the replacement of the weapons storage facilities and nuclear alert facilities at the ground-based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) facilities at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, as well as at bases in Montana and Wyoming. 

He said the Zika funding in the bill comes at a crucial time for stopping the spread of the Zika virus.  "As our nation, including North Dakota, enters the hot and humid mosquito season, it is critical the Senate acts on this bill now to do all we can to protect our citizens from the threat of Zika.”

The bill reiterates existing, strong legislative protections against the use of funding for abortions. And, it includes language to allow individuals or entities to use approved pesticides for control of mosquitos that spread the Zika virus, without an additional permit from the Environmental Protection Agency, for a specified period of time.

The Zika virus is spread to humans primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. A Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects. As of June 22, the Centers for Disease Control reported 265 pregnant women in the United States and the District of Columbia have tested positive with laboratory evidence of possible Zika virus infection.

 

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CRAMER: Supreme Court Immigration Ruling a Victory for Congressional Authority and Rule of Law

2016/06/23

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Congressman Kevin Cramer released the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling today in U.S. v. Texas, upholding a lower court ruling stopping the Obama Administration’s executive order on illegal immigration.  In May 2015, Cramer joined 112 Members of Congress in filing an amicus brief urging a federal court to declare President Obama’s executive action on illegal immigration unlawful and unconstitutional.  The brief was filed by the American Center for Law and Justice.  It supported the lawsuit filed by 26 states, including North Dakota, to challenge the President’s actions. 

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a victory for the rule of law.  President Obama’s executive actions and orders on illegal immigration are clearly unconstitutional and violate the intent of Congress. I am pleased the Supreme Court has again recognized a core function of Congress is to make laws, not the President and Federal agencies.”

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Cramer Congratulates Grand Forks Air Force Base For Being on KC-46 Tanker Short List

2016/06/23

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer released the following statement following today’s news that the Grand Forks Air Force Base is on the U.S. Air Force’s short list to be the home for the new KC-46 tanker:

“I’m pleased to see the Air Force has included the Grand Forks Air Force Base as a contender in its latest basing decision for the new KC-46 tanker.  We’ve been supporting this tanker modernization throughout the process and continue to advocate Grand Forks as a prime location and community for these planes to call home.  We have the experience and infrastructure ready to welcome this mission.”

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CRAMER: Hazen Artist Jonah Zimmerman Honored at U.S. Capitol

2016/06/23

 

Jonah Zimmerman discusses his artwork: 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer congratulated Hazen artist Jonah Zimmerman today for his winning entry in the 2016 Congressional Art Competition.  He was  honored at a reception at the Capitol recognizing all state winners of the competition.  Zimmerman is a recent graduate of Hazen High School and will attend North Dakota State University in the fall.

Zimmerman’s acrylic and pen painting, “Mighty Universe,” depicts a red and orange hawk, a yellow and green bison and a blue antelope on a starry black background.  This painting and all artwork chosen from each Congressional district will be on display for a year in the well-traveled walkway adjoining the House Office Buildings and the U.S. Capitol.

“Jonah’s painting captures the love of nature that is shared by all North Dakotans,” said Cramer. “Throughout this next year, thousands of people, including Members of Congress, staff and visitors from around the world, will pass by and admire this beautiful artwork.”

The works of five other North Dakota student artists were selected to hang in Cramer’s state offices. The students are:  Katie Mayer, Bishop Ryan School, Minot; Samantha Skym, Minot Central Campus, Minot;  Savanah Brintnell,  Bishop Ryan School, Minot, and Attison Mastel,  Discovery Middle School, Fargo.

About the Congressional Art Competition

The Congressional Institute sponsors this nationwide high school visual art competition every spring to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district. Since the competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated.  Zimmerman’s winning entry, along with those from all Congressional districts, can be viewed on the Congressional Institute website.

Any student in grades nine through 12 is eligible to participate in each year’s competition. Exceptions will be made for students in seventh and eighth grades on the same campus as a high school. Homeschooled and private school students are also encouraged to enter. Information on entering is available on Cramer’s website, cramer.house.gov, or by calling his Fargo office at 701-356-2216.

 

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CRAMER: Strong North American Security and Trade Vital to U.S. and Canada

2016/06/23

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer held an introductory meeting with Canadian Ambassador David MacNaughton at the Canadian Embassy today.

They discussed issues facing the neighboring countries on energy, trade, commerce, North American security and agriculture. “Canada is North Dakota’s top export destination for products including agricultural machinery and crops, and oil and gas,” said Cramer.  “There are many opportunities for us to continue to work together as neighbors and trade partners.” 

Cramer co-chairs the House of Representatives Northern Border Caucus, which encourages good relations between the United States and Canada. “Strong North American security and trade are vital so our countries can prosper and succeed.”

MacNaughton is a Canadian diplomat, business leader, political strategist, and strategy consultant who became the Canadian Ambassador to the United States in March.

 

 

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CRAMER: Court Ruling on Hydraulic Fracturing Another Victory for State’s Rights, Congressional Authority

2016/06/22

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer issued the following statement in response to Tuesday’s ruling by a Wyoming federal judge that the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) does not have the authority to issue its own hydraulic fracturing rule until lawsuits against it are settled.

“I am grateful but not surprised a Federal Judge has ruled in favor of states in their challenge to the Obama Administration’s Hydraulic Fracturing Rule. The judge rightly recognized Congress writes laws, not the bureaucracy. His opinion made very clear when in 2005 Congress specifically removed the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate hydraulic fracturing it did not intend for the BLM to instead have this authority.  Tragically, during the Obama Administration, the federal government has been working against states, forcing them to sue the federal government to regain their state’s rights.  This Administration’s egregious federal overreach and challenge to hydraulic fracturing authority affirms its intention to keep fossil fuels in the ground, at the great expense of national security, a strong economy and good jobs.” 

 

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CRAMER: New Law Increases Access to Health Care in Rural Nursing Homes

2016/06/22

 

View H.R. 4111 Hearing Video Here

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer announced legislation he sponsored was signed into law by President Obama this morning.  The Rural Health Care Connectivity Act of 2016 aids rural skilled nursing facilities by giving them access to funding within the Universal Service Fund (USF).  Having access to such funding will allow skilled nursing facilities to better use telemedicine by upgrading broadband access in rural areas.

Cramer was one of three sponsors of the House bill, H.R. 4111. The sponsor of the Senate bill, S. 1916, was South Dakota Senator John Thune.  Both bills had passed out of their respective committees, and the bill language was included in the conference report for H.R. 2576, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. The conference report was approved June 7 and the bill was signed into law today.

The new law amends the Communications Act of 1934 to permit public and nonprofit skilled nursing facilities to apply for support from the USF’s Rural Health Care Program.  This program funds telecommunications and broadband services used to provide health care in rural communities. 

This law addresses the broadband connectivity gap between rural and urban facilities and allows rural facilities to access health information at rates comparable to those charged in urban areas.  “Skilled nursing homes in small towns across North Dakota have the same need for broadband connectivity as facilities in larger cities,” said Cramer.  “This law will help North Dakotans increase access to much-needed health care without having to travel long distances to receive care.”

Thune said South Dakota nursing homes have similar connectivity concerns. “While the open air and vast plains are what make South Dakota an ideal place to live, they can also create some serious health care accessibility challenges,” said Thune. “This common-sense bill will support and improve health care services for people across South Dakota, including those in rural areas, and ensure that access to quality care can be as easy and affordable as possible.”

This legislation was supported by many rural skilled nursing facilities, including the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society (Good Sam), which started in North Dakota and now has its headquarters in Sioux Falls, S.D.  The Good Sam operates hundreds of skilled nursing facilities, including 10 of North Dakota’s 80 skilled nursing facilities.

Dan Holdhusen, Good Sam’s director of government relations, testified at the bill’s hearing in the House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology subcommittee in April.  “The Good Samaritan Society is fortunate to have many skilled nursing facilities and other levels of care serving the needs of many North Dakotans in multiple locations,” said Holdhusen. “Many of these facilities are in very rural areas, and rely on the transmission of remote virtual connections, medical records and other data across broadband networks throughout the state. We are indebted to Congressman Cramer, Senator Thune, and a bipartisan group of leaders in both chambers that worked together to ensure passage of the Rural Health Care Connectivity Act.  It will benefit rural residents in every corner of these states and across rural America.”

 

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CRAMER: FAA Rules Will Help North Dakota’s Growing Drone Industry

2016/06/22

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Kevin Cramer  released the following statement  on the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) final rule issued Tuesday for commercial uses of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), also known as drones:

“These long-overdue rules include guidelines similar to what is in the House FAA reauthorization bill.  They focus, as they should, on the safe integration of drones into national airspace.  They also provide flexibility for  technology advances in the drone industry.  These final rules encourage the continued growth of North Dakota as a leader in unmanned aircraft. This is especially important in Grand Forks, which is the home to an FAA unmanned aircraft test site, Grand Sky - the nation’s first UAS business and aviation park, and the University of North Dakota College of Aerospace Sciences. This industry offers great promise for a number of industries, including agriculture and energy applications important to North Dakota. I’ll continue to urge the FAA to implement reasonable rules in a timely manner as we move to larger UAS and ensure this rule works.”

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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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