Kevin Cramer

Kevin Cramer

NORTH DAKOTA

CRAMER: Repeal of Obama-Era FCC Rule Restores Internet Privacy Framework

2017/03/28

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. Congressman Kevin Cramer supported a bill today, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives and will now be sent to President Trump for his signature.

S.J. Res. 34 nullifies a rule at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which places additional regulations on internet service providers (ISPs) regarding data collection. The rule, hailed by the previous administration as an internet privacy rule, does nothing to protect consumers and stands to hurt small and rural internet providers.

The goal of the rule in the FCC’s own words is to “protect the confidentiality of customer proprietary information.” However, instead of working with the FTC, who has successfully overseen the privacy protections of consumers for decades, the FCC chose to implement their own privacy rule that puts additional regulatory burdens on businesses without addressing any of the goals for protecting consumer information. In fact, a study at Georgia Tech by a former Clinton Administration official indicates that ISPs have very little access to personal information due to the complex encryption protocols enabled on websites today. The study notes that the top ten websites by traffic are all encrypted, and that Non-ISPs, like social media sites and search engines, have access to a much wider range of consumer data – all of which are overseen by an entirely differently privacy framework under the FTC.

“I’m all for privacy rights, but throwing the word ‘privacy' on a rule and calling it consumer protection doesn’t mean it’s a good rule,” said Cramer. The rule allows the federal government greater authority over internet providers – including small and rural providers – while completely ignoring the fact that these businesses collect little usable information in the first place. When ISPs are held to a greater standard of compliance than search engines and social websites, who collect personal information as part of their entire business strategy, there’s clearly alternative motives for implementing this rule. I’m glad Congress used the Congressional Review Act to rescind this harmful rule and I look forward to the President making it the rule of law.”

Cramer is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, which has jurisdiction over the FCC.

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Cramer to Attend Signing of ‘Energy Independence’ Order on Tuesday

2017/03/27

Listen to Audio Statement on Executive Order Here

Listen to Audio Statement on Clean Power Plan Here

Listen to Audio Statement on Coal Leasing Rule Here

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer will attend the signing of an Energy Independence Executive Order by President Donald Trump tomorrow at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The Order, which focuses on increasing domestic energy production while also bringing the EPA back to its core mission, will rescind multiple rules created under the Obama Administration, including the Clean Power Plan and the BLM Methane Rule that directly affect North Dakota’s energy industry. The Order will also be forward looking by directing agencies to identify other impediments to domestic energy production.

“This is a pivotal moment in energy independence for our country,” said Cramer. “Despite the actions by the previous administration over the past eight years, our domestic energy industry has continued to grow. Now, with a pro-job, pro-energy President in the driver seat, we’re about to see what our country can really accomplish from a job-growth, wage-growth, and economic-growth perspective. Again, I thank the President for his leadership and I look forward to the day when our country is 100% energy independent.”

Expected to be in President Trump’s Energy Independence Order tomorrow includes:  

  • Review and Rescinding of Clean Power Plan and New Source CO2 Rule: According to a National Economic Research Associates study, the EPA’s Clean Power Plan would cause electricity rates to increase an average of 12% to 17% through 2031. Congressman Cramer has been an outspoken critic of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  He wrote editorials published in the Wall Street Journal and The Hill, cosponsored and voted for legislation to stop the rule, including Congressional Review Act resolutions, and joined an amicus brief to overturn the rule.

“President Trump’s executive action to stop the Clean Power Plan and carbon dioxide emission rule for new electric generating plants is great news for North Dakota’s energy producers, consumers, and businesses to help maintain affordable and reliable electricity in our state and country,” said Cramer. President Obama singled out North Dakota in the Clean Power Plan by requiring the state’s energy producers to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by an unprecedented 45 percent, which is dramatically higher than the 11 percent reduction proposed in the initial rule. The rule for new sources of electricity has essentially been a ban on new coal-fired power plants since its introduction. I look forward to continue working with President Trump to grow jobs and restore our originally designed balance of government.”

  • Review and Rescinding of the EPA and BLM Methane Rules: New climate change initiatives were placed on the oil and natural gas sector on September 18, 2015, and February 8, 2016, by the EPA and BLM respectively.  By EPA’s own numbers, methane emissions have decreased while production has increased over the same time period. “These efforts are unnecessary, given methane is a product the industry is in the business of selling, not wasting, but also because they’re duplicative, costly, and will be detrimental to our North Dakota economy, said Cramer.” States, such as North Dakota, are charged with preventing resource waste and already have flaring and venting rules. In Congress, Cramer is a co-sponsor of H.J. Res. 36, the BLM Methane Resolution of Disapproval that passed out of the House on February 3, 2017. He has also advocated for a vote in the Senate on the same resolution.
  • Rescinding the Federal Coal Lease Moratorium: On January 15, 2016, the Obama Administration announced a temporary moratorium on coal leases for federal lands meant to curb the supply of fossil fuels in the United States. North Dakota is home to abundant coal reserves that provides low-cost, reliable electricity to over two million customers in the Upper Great Plains, and supports over 17,000 jobs and $3 billion annually in economic activity. The coal industry contributes over $100 million in state tax revenues each year, approximately $13 million of which is directly returned to counties and schools. 

“The moratorium on mining federal coal never did make sense. It’s bad for the environment, it makes coal mining inefficient, it robs the federal taxpayers of important revenue, and it’s clearly designed only to make coal more expensive so it drives up the cost of electricity. This was a bad idea from the beginning, and I’m grateful President Trump sees that. This is an important part of the overall effort to try and maintain coal’s competitive advantage.”

  • Rescinding of BLM Hydraulic Fracturing Rule: On March 20, 2015, the Department of Interior released a final rule regulating hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands.  On June 24, 2015, U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl granted a stay of BLM’s rule citing the fact that Congress specifically removed possible federal authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing in the Energy Policy Act of 2005.  The rule would have created new requirements duplicative of state requirements, including North Dakota, for issues such as well construction, waste water management, and chemical disclosure.  State rules are specifically tailored to each state’s unique geologic and hydrologic conditions to better protect the environment and groundwater than a one-size-fits-all federal rule.    

Other important provisions expected in the Order include:

  • Rescinding the Social Cost of Carbon Directives
  • Rescinding the CEQ guidance on factoring climate into NEPA reviews
  • Rescinding other climate change executive orders, memoranda, and guidance from the Obama Administration

Cramer is the at-large Congressman for the great State of North Dakota. An early-endorser and energy advisor for Trump’s presidential campaign, he also serves on the House Energy and Commerce subcommittees for energy and environmental issues. 

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Cramer Attends White House Signing Ceremony

2017/03/27

Listen to Audio Statement on H.J. RES. 44 Here

Listen to Audio Statement on H.J. RES. 57 and 58 Here 

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. Congressman Kevin Cramer visited the White House today to attend the signing of three joint-resolutions of disapproval, which will expedite the reversal of administrative regulations from the Obama Administration.

Cramer is a cosponsor of one of the resolutions signed today by President Trump. H.J. RES. 44 disapproves and nullifies the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Planning 2.0 regulation finalized on Dec. 12, which broadens the areas considered under a resource management plan, potentially stretching across BLM districts and state lines.

“It was an honor to attend the signing ceremony with President Trump today to revoke these senseless rules. The BLM Planning 2.0 rule, which was hurriedly passed in the final days of President Obama’s term, is another classic example of federal overreach. We should be putting more control into the hands of states and local county officials, not less. If allowed to go into effect, this rule would shift decision-making authority away from local BLM officials to Washington – making coordination between community leaders and federal officials near impossible. This is bad for agriculture, it’s certainly bad for the energy industry, and it’s bad for hiking and the multiple recreational uses on federal land. Centralized control does not work. It’s not what our Constitution is based on. It’s not what our culture is based on. And, it’s sure not the culture of North Dakota.” said Cramer.

President Trump also signed two education-related resolutions of disapproval:

H.J. RES. 57 rolls back a regulation by the Department of Education which constrains and hampers states’ flexibility in developing state-based accountability systems that result in annual school evaluations.

H.J. RES. 58 stops a Department of Education regulation establishing burdensome federal mandates for criteria states use to evaluate teacher preparation programs that are tied to financial aid received by students who commit to teaching math, science, foreign language or reading at a high-need school.

“These education regulations do exactly the opposite of what Congress intended when we passed the Every Student Succeeds Act last year. Instead of putting teaching decisions into the hands of parents and teachers, these rules brought the power back to Washington bureaucrats. It’s time to bring some sensibility back to our education system and I look forward to working with my colleagues and the Trump Administration to do just that.”

Through the Congressional Review Act (CRA), Congress may disapprove of administrative rules through joint disapproval resolutions. Under this law, there is a 60-day period in which to pass a resolution of disapproval from when the rule is reported to Congress.  When both the Senate and House pass a disapproval resolution that is signed by the President, the rule either does not go into effect or is considered as not having gone into effect.

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CRAMER: Statement on Pulling of Health Care Bill

2017/03/24

WASHINGTON, D.C. Congressman Kevin Cramer issued the following statement today after H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act of 2017, was pulled from consideration in the U.S. House of Representatives:

As disappointing as losing our chance to repeal and replace Obamacare is to Republicans, it is a missed opportunity to save the American people from the death spiral of this very flawed law. I hope my colleagues spend the weekend resting and preparing to come back to Washington Monday renewed for the next challenge. We must do better for our constituents than we did today. With a farm bill pending, infrastructure in need of upgrading, and a tax code that punishes American jobs and families in need of reform, we cannot wallow in misery. We must pull together and deliver results for our citizens. I appreciate the incredible work of Speaker Ryan and our entire House leadership team and the remarkable effort of President Trump and his team. Hopefully we've all learned some lessons from this experience and are ready to move forward.

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CRAMER: Statement on the President's Approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline

2017/03/24

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer issued the following statement today after the Trump Administration granted a federal permit authorization for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline:

Video of 2017 03 24 Keystone Approval

Click Here to Download High Resolution Video Statement

 The Keystone XL Pipeline is a very important piece of national security infrastructure as well as economic and energy infrastructure. The jobs it creates and the construction of it. The jobs it creates and maintains – good paying jobs in the United States refining that oil. It displaces oil from hostile countries with oil from our friendliest, longest neighbor in Canada, and restores parts of that relationship that have been frayed over the past several years. This is further evidence that Donald Trump is a man of action, not just rhetoric. That he has at his core – it is his highest priority – job and wealth creation for Americans. This is another American First infrastructure project. I’m grateful to him for his quick action. I was really pleased to get the call yesterday from the White House that he was approving it, and I look forward to working with him on many more of these types of infrastructure projects – to create jobs for United States and for North Dakota.

Congressman Cramer meets with Russell Girling, CEO of TransCanadaCramer meets with TransCanada, CEO, Russell Girling in his office on March 23, 2017

Since entering Congress in 2013, Cramer has been a leading advocate for the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. In the 114th Congress, Congressman Cramer introduced H.R. 3, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, which passed Congress, but was vetoed by President Obama. While serving as a North Dakota Public Service Commissioner, Cramer sited the original Keystone Pipeline through North Dakota. 

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CRAMER: Health Bill Puts Small Businesses on Equal Playing Field with Large Corporations

2017/03/22

Click Here to Watch or Download Video Statement

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer issued the following video statement today after the passage of H.R. 1101, the Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2017, which passed out of the U.S. House of Representatives with bipartisan support.

H.R. 1101 amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to allow small businesses to join together in association health plans (AHP) across state lines through bona fide trade associations to become larger purchasers of health insurance. Specifically, the bill relieves small businesses that form AHPs from costly state-mandated benefit laws that often make coverage prohibitively expensive.

The bill – which is considered part of phase three for health care reform – puts small businesses on an equal playing field with unions and larger corporations, enabling them to have a greater ability to negotiate lower health care costs for their employees.  In turn, this makes it easier for small businesses to offer their employees access to quality, affordable health care coverage.

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CRAMER: House Bills Address VA Accountability and Hiring Concerns

2017/03/17

Listen to Audio Statement on H.R. 1259 Here

Listen to Audio Statement on H.R. 1367 Here

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer supported two bills passed by the House of Representatives today addressing accountability and employment concerns at the Veterans Administration (VA).

H.R. 1259, the VA Accountability First Act of 2017, provides the VA Secretary increased flexibility to remove, demote, or suspend any employee, including senior executives, for performance or misconduct.  It improves protections for whistleblowers, and allows the Secretary to reduce federal pensions of VA employees convicted of felonies that influenced their jobs, or recoup bonuses or relocation expenses from employees for circumstances involving misconduct or fraud.

“The vast majority of VA employees are honest and hardworking, and it’s unfair for the good ones when the VA refuses to or cannot hold bad actors accountable,” said Cramer.  “This bill gives more powers to deal with the bad employees, and improves important whistleblower protections.”

H.R. 1367, the VA Hiring Bill, establishes staffing, recruitment and retention programs to enable the VA to recruit and retain the best employees in their field.  It establishes a recruiting database to make high-quality potential employees aware of positions at the VA, creates opportunities for career training and advancement for current VA employees through fellowship positions and a promotional track for technical experts.

“Our veterans deserve the highest quality medical care and the most efficient delivery of benefits possible,” said Cramer. “The VA must be able to efficiently recruit and retain highly qualified and motivated professionals at all levels.  This legislation improves the VA’s ability to recruit and retain high-quality professionals and more importantly corrects deficiencies within the VA’s overly bureaucratic and lengthy hiring process.”

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CRAMER: House Bill Ensures Second Amendment Protections to Veterans

2017/03/16

Listen to Audio Statement Here

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer supported a bill passed by the House of Representatives today protecting the Second Amendment rights of veterans.

H.R. 1181, the Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act, defends the right of veterans to own firearms, unless they are judged to be mentally incompetent through due process before a judge. 

The bill prevents the Veterans Administration (VA) from automatically placing veterans on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Criminal Background Check System (NICS) because they have a fiduciary helping them manage their finances.  Inclusion on the NICS list may consider veterans mentally incompetent and prohibit them from legally purchasing or owning a firearm. The burden is then placed on the veteran to apply for relief from the prohibition by a VA bureaucrat.

“Just because a veteran has help managing their finances doesn’t mean the government should automatically be able to take away his or her ability to go hunting,” said Cramer. “Our bill ensures no veteran is declared ‘incompetent’ simply because the VA appoints someone to assist with the management of their financial affairs.”

Cramer said freedoms granted by the Constitution should apply to all Americans, especially the men and women who have risked their lives to protect these freedoms. “Due process means the burden of proof is on the government to demonstrate that any individual is a danger to themselves or others, not the other way around.  This loophole is another example of how the government is encroaching on our right to bear arms, and I will continue to fight for the termination of this practice and any other practice that puts our individual freedoms in jeopardy.”

This legislation is similar to a vote by the House on Feb. 2, when it passed a resolution disapproving an Obama Administration regulation infringing on the Second Amendment rights of Social Security recipients.  H.J. Res 40 passed the Senate and was signed into law on Feb. 28.  Read more here.  

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CRAMER: Statement on Pause of BLM Fracking Rule Lawsuit

2017/03/15

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Congressman Kevin Cramer issued the following statement after the Trump Administration announced it would pause the lawsuit on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Fracking Rule: 


“Like President Trump, Interior Secretary Zinke is a man of action. Last week, when the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals invited the Departments of Justice and Interior to clarify whether there’s been a change in position with the change of administration relating to the BLM Fracking Rule, I contacted my friend and former House colleague and neighbor, Ryan Zinke, and we’ve been corresponding the last several days working through the issues as offered up by the 10th Circuit. I’m grateful that he and Attorney General Sessions took quick and decisive action to make it clear that the BLM Fracking Rule does not reflect this Administration’s views. And that, in fact, this Administration is for creating jobs, not killing them – and this is yet one more example. I’m grateful to the Attorney General, to the Interior Secretary, and certainly grateful to President Trump, once again, for looking out for North Dakota and the United States.”


Following an order sent by the 10th Circuit last week, Cramer issued a statement calling on Secretary Zinke to clarify the Administration’s position on the BLM Fracking Rule lawsuit. 

 

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Cramer Calls on Interior Secretary Zinke to Clarify Position on BLM Fracking Rule in 10th Circuit

2017/03/11

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Congressman Kevin Cramer issued a statement following an order from the 10th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals instructing the Federal Government to clarify whether earlier judicial arguments in support of the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) fracking rule continue to reflect their position.

Specifically, the Order states: "Given the recent change of Administration and the related personnel changes in the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior, the Court is concerned that the briefing filed by the Federal Appellants in these cases may no longer reflect the position of the Federal Appellants."

The BLM Fracking Rule asserts Department of Interior authority to regulate such practices even though it was removed in the Energy Policy Act of 2005.  The U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming agreed with the rule’s opponents, resulting in an immediate appeal to the 10th Circuit.

"Earlier today, I advised Secretary Zinke to send a clear signal on the BLM fracking rule.  With a new sheriff in town, anti-energy rules are no longer part of the status quo.  It seems the 10th Circuit realizes this fact, and perhaps recognizes many of the legal arguments made in the previous administration were long on politics and short on merit.  Defeat of this illegal rule will be another victory for the Bakken and states’ rights.  North Dakota has successfully regulated hydraulic fracturing and oil production as a whole for decades.  These rules are simply unnecessary”  

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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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