Kevin Cramer

Kevin Cramer

NORTH DAKOTA

Cramer Statement on Launch of Airstrikes in Syria

2014/09/23

BISMARCK, N.D. – Congressman Kevin Cramer released the following statement after the United States began airstrikes last night in Syria to combat the Islamic State (IS): “Like many, I stand with our Commander in Chief in this bombing strike effort. Last week I voted to train and equip certain moderate Syrian rebels to join in combating the Islamic State. I am concerned about our ability to sustain the air strikes long enough for a sufficient amount of moderate Syrian rebels to be trained up and ready to fill the void. The timing of these events is critical, as terrorists adapt to air strikes and become harder to target. The fact we were joined in our efforts by a handful of Arab allies is a positive sign. I am hopeful the Administration is working to add more European and Arab nations to this coalition. I support doing all we can to root out extreme Islamic terror wherever it exists in the world. The threat of the Islamic State must be taken seriously. It is the highest priority of the federal government to protect the safety of American citizens.” Read More

U.S. House Passes Government Funding Bill with ISIS Amendment

2014/09/17

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed a continuing resolution to keep the government funded through December 11, 2014. An amendment to the resolution, passed on a separate vote, would grant President Obama the authority he requested to train and arm properly vetted Syrians to combat ISIS, so long as certain accountability measures are followed. Congressman Kevin Cramer voted for both the continuing resolution, and the amendment - which he said includes much greater accountability and transparency than the President requested. “I believe the President’s request was too open-ended, and so the amendment we approved today is much more strict. It specifically authorizes the President to allow the training and equipping of moderate Syrian forces, and provides additional oversight, requiring the Administration to submit detailed progress reports, and implement procedures to monitor this effort closely. We also have specific language in the amendment to make it clear no additional funding is authorized, and this is not considered an authorization to use military force. The President, and most of Congress, believe he already has that authority as an extension of the 2001 and 2002 authorizations in the War on Terror and a reprogramming request to utilize current funding can be made.” Cramer also voted for the continuing resolution, which keeps the government funded at the same spending level for Fiscal Year 2014 approved in the omnibus spending bill in January. This amount is $21 billion below the Fiscal Year 2013 level, and represents the first time federal spending has been cut four years in a row since the Korean War. “After Congress came together in January to pass the omnibus spending bill, the House went to work passing appropriations bills in an effort to restore regular order and return to the open budgeting process. Unfortunately the Senate did not pass a single appropriations bill. As a result, we are again required to pass today’s continuing resolution to keep the government funded.” Read More

Cramer and Mandan Small Business Owner Challenge EPA's Coal Regulation Scheme

2014/09/17

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressman Kevin Cramer challenged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on its pursuit of power plant regulations which threaten to dismantle the coal industry in the United States. Cramer was joined in a Science, Space and Technology Committee hearing, and a separate roundtable on the matter, by Perrie Schafer, owner of Environmental Services Ltd., a small business based in Mandan which provides services to the lignite coal industry in North Dakota. Rep. Cramer invited Schafer to Washington to offer his perspective on the rule during a roundtable convened by the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. The EPA has announced a proposed “Clean Power Plan”, which would mark the first time in history the federal government has imposed carbon dioxide emissions restrictions on existing power plants. The plan would force each state to comply with specific restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions determined by the agency through increased efficiency at existing power plants, giving priority to non-coal units running on the grid for the first time ever, requiring the building of new renewable generation, and demanding end-user efficiency programs. In order to hide the true economic cost of the rule, the EPA is claiming the total cost consumers pay for electricity will fall under its proposal. However, this lower total cost is deceptive because it is assumes consumers will reduce their electricity consumption by at least 10 percent and omits the costs of purchasing new air conditioners, new windows, or insulation the rule demands. In short, consumers would be forced to pay higher electricity rates, but use less electricity by making expensive home renovations. “There will be debate for many years on whether climate change is real, but we know today this rule is real, and it will cripple our economy,” said Cramer. “If we accept climate change is caused by humans, this so-called remedy is disastrous compared to climate change itself.” In May, Cramer requested the EPA have an extended comment period on the proposed rule for existing power plants. Yesterday, the EPA confirmed it would extend the comment period to December 1, 2014. Cramer and Schafer agree that while the comment period extension will allow electricity consumers more time to weigh in, the rule needs to be scrapped entirely. “The EPA needs to go back to the drawing board and evaluate the disastrous effect these rules will have on small businesses and their employees. Hundreds of small businesses in North Dakota are engaged in the lignite industry, and they stand to face a tremendous impact,” said Schafer. Cramer has called on the EPA to rescind its proposed power plant regulations on multiple occasions. He is also an original cosponsor of the Electricity Security and Affordability Act which would terminate both the proposed rule for existing power plants and an earlier proposal for new power plants, and prevent the EPA from issuing a similar rule for five years, and require authorization by Congress to do so. This bill passed in the House on March 6, 2014 and is awaiting consideration in the Senate. [[{"fid":"353","view_mode":"teaser","fields":{"format":"teaser","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-teaser"}}]] [[{"fid":"354","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full"},"type":"media","attributes":{"alt":"Cramer and Mandan Small Business Owner Challenge EPA's Coal Regulation Scheme","height":"380","width":"640","class":"media-element file-full"}}]]   Read More

Cramer: U.S. House Acts to Prevent Health Plan Cancellations

2014/09/11

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives took action today to protect employees of small businesses from health plan cancellations due to Obamacare. The Employee Health Care Protection Act would help fulfill President Obama’s broken promise to Americans, giving people in the group insurance market the opportunity to keep their policies through 2019. So far, health plan cancellations due to Obamacare have mainly affected those in the individual insurance market. Insurance experts now believe another 50 million workers across the country with employer-sponsored coverage could face plan cancellations or disruptions “Last fall, the cancelation notices were aimed at individual plans, and this year they are aimed at people who work for small businesses. What’s really important is: what does this mean for the average North Dakota employee of a small business. It means an increase of annual premiums of about 29.1 percent, and a decrease in weekly pay of just under $30, which equates to $1,488 fewer dollars at the end of the year for the average family of a person who works for a small business in North Dakota,” said Cramer. The legislation would also give small businesses and their employees the option to choose plans even if they are not deemed “compliant” by Obamacare, and ensure people enrolled in these plans would not face a penalty under Obamacare’s individual mandate. Read More

Cramer Statement on President Obama's Address

2014/09/11

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tonight Congressman Kevin Cramer released the following statement after President Barack Obama’s address on ISIS: "I am encouraged to hear the President speak with the kind of conviction which has thus far been missing in his handling of terrorism. I believe this is a serious threat, not just to the Middle East, but directly to the United States. When you have American citizens and others with western passports becoming fighters with ISIS, this becomes our fight. While I am inclined to support the President’s plan, I look forward to hearing more at a classified briefing by members of the President’s national security team tomorrow morning. I hope the President is prepared to lead and is committed to finishing the job, including building the right coalition to keep the region stable in the long term. The world is not safe when America isn’t leading, and we haven’t been leading for quite some time.” ### Read More

Cramer Questions US Fish and Wildlife Service Director on Redacted Information

2014/09/10

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressman Kevin Cramer questioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) on its lack of transparency and inconsistent redactions of information requested by Congress. For more than a year, the FWS has delayed fulfilling requests for documents providing insight into its enforcement of wildlife laws. The Obama Administration has also been selective in determining which energy producers are investigated or prosecuted under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA) and other laws. At the hearing held by the Natural Resources Committee, Cramer asked FWS Director Dan Ashe why his agency has redacted vast amounts of information when providing documents to Congress, while redacting significantly less when providing the same documents to bird conservation groups as well as the national media. At the same time, Ashe has claimed the requests are “draining [his] time and capacity to be responsive.” “It’s intriguing to me that more work goes into redacting a document than to simply photocopy it and have an intern run it over,” said Cramer. “Wouldn’t it be quicker to be transparent, rather than the other way around? We are talking about documents that have already been provided to someone else, un-redacted, and you went through the work of redacting it later.” [[{"fid":"351","view_mode":"teaser","fields":{"format":"teaser","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-teaser"}}]] An example of the inconsistency in FWS redactions (click photo to view larger version) On May 16, 2013, the Committee sent an initial document request letter to Director Ashe, seeking copies of its investigation reports and other communications. In December 2013, the FWS provided hundreds of redacted pages without any accompanying justification. As a result, on January 16, Cramer and the Committee voted 26 to 14 to authorize Chairman Doc Hastings to issue a subpoena for the information. To date, the FWS has still not fully complied with the subpoena and is withholding 10 documents enumerated in the subpoena. Since Cramer’s arrival in Congress, the Committee has been conducting oversight over a wide range of FWS activities, including specific listing decisions and policies under the ESA, the development of policies and enforcement of the MBTA and the BGEPA, and scientific integrity and peer review procedures.  [[{"fid":"352","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full"},"type":"media","attributes":{"alt":"Cramer Questions US Fish and Wildlife Service Director on Redacted Information","height":"380","width":"640","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] Read More

U.S. House Votes to Block EPA's Waters of the U.S. Rule

2014/09/09

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation cosponsored by Congressman Kevin Cramer to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers from moving forward with its “Waters of the U.S.” rule, which would drastically expand the agency’s authority over bodies of water including small ponds, creeks, ditches, and other occasionally wet areas, including those found on private property. The Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act of 2014 would prohibit the EPA and the Corps from further developing or administering the proposed rule in any form, and reaffirm the authority of state and local officials to determine how non-jurisdictional waters should be regulated. “What we did today in passing this bill was a decisive and quick response to the dramatic overreach by the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers by stopping this rule in its tracks,” said Cramer. “The bill requires consultation with state and local governments. That is, after all, the constitutional breakdown of jurisdiction over the waters. It’s not all federal jurisdiction. In fact, the vast majority of jurisdiction, as per our constitution, is to states.” Two weeks ago, Cramer announced the release of a highly detailed map of North Dakota developed in secret by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), likely for the purpose of expanding its regulation of water features. Investigations by the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, of which Cramer is a member, revealed the EPA has assembled detailed maps of all waters and wetlands in every state with no intention of releasing them to the public. “The lack of transparency is what brings us to this position of distrust in the first place. Their goal is to have jurisdiction over every puddle on every farm. This is a breach of private property rights, it is a breach of states’ rights, and it won’t be tolerated,” Cramer added. Congressman Cramer has consistently opposed the Waters of the U.S. rule and has called on the EPA to change course on numerous occasions, citing its devastating economic impacts, substantial regulatory costs, bureaucratic barriers to economic growth, and severely negative impacts on farms, small businesses, commercial development, road construction and energy production, as well as the fact waters are to be governed by states and not the federal government. Cramer has also been outspoken about the EPA’s recent attempt to garnish the wages of private citizens to assess its regulatory fees. Two weeks after he wrote to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, a swell of public outcry from citizens of North Dakota as well as other states forced the EPA to rescind its proposed wage garnishment plans. Read More

Cramer Demands Senate Take Action on House-Passed Human Trafficking Bills

2014/09/09

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressman Kevin Cramer demanded action from the U.S. Senate on a series of 13 bills passed by the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year to combat human trafficking. In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Cramer and 35 other members of Congress highlighted the importance of fighting this international crime epidemic. “Between May and July 2014, the House has passed a series of bipartisan bills to prevent and combat trafficking, provide support to trafficking victims, and offer additional tools to law enforcement to ensure that traffickers are brought to justice. Many of these bills were passed by suspension and with broad bipartisan support,” wrote Cramer and his colleagues. The bills include: Stop Exploitation through Sex Trafficking Act (H.R. 3610/S. 1733) Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation Act (H.R. 4225) Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (H.R. 3530/S. 1738) International Megan's Law to Prevent Demand for Child Sex Trafficking (H.R. 4573) To improve the response to victims of child sex trafficking act (H.R. 5111/S. 1936) Strengthening Child Welfare Response to Trafficking (H.R. 5081) Enhancing Services for Runaway and Homeless Victims of Youth Trafficking (H.R. 5076) The Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act  (H.R. 4980) The Human Trafficking Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Act of 2014 (H.R. 5135) Human Trafficking Detection Act of 2014 (H.R. 5116) Human Trafficking Prevention Act (H.R. 4449) Human Trafficking Prioritization Act (H.R. 2283) “It is appalling the U.S. Senate has failed to bring up a single one of these bills, while human trafficking continues to claim another victim every 30 seconds,” Cramer added. “Senate Democrats need to insist their leader, Senator Harry Reid, allow these bills to come to the floor for a vote.” In May, Representatives Cramer and Erik Paulsen (MN-03), and North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem held a roundtable discussion in Williston with law enforcement, social services, victim advocacy groups, and school officials to discuss human trafficking concerns and solutions in the Bakken region. The signed letter to Senator Reid can be viewed here. Read More

U.S. House Science Committee to Examine Characteristics of Bakken Crude

2014/09/08

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology will hold a hearing tomorrow examining the characteristics of Bakken crude oil. Congressman Kevin Cramer will deliver remarks and question witnesses at the hearing, including Timothy Butters, Deputy Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), Chris Smith, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Fossil Energy, U.S. Department of Energy, Kari Cutting, Vice President of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, Mr. John Auers, Executive Vice President of Turner, Mason, & Company, and Mr. Mark Zoanetti, Deputy Chief of Special Operations of the Syracuse Fire Department. “I look forward to utilizing the authority of the Science, Space and Technology Committee to further explore the properties of crude oil from the Bakken, in light of safety and transportation concerns,” said Cramer. The hearing will be held on Tuesday, September 9th at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time in Washington, D.C., and will be streamed live at this link. The official hearing notice from the committee can be found here. Read More

Rail Companies Issue New Status Reports on Grain Car Backlog

2014/09/08

BISMARCK, N.D. – Today Congressman Kevin Cramer announced BNSF Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) have publicly filed updated weekly status reports on the backlog in grain shipments. The figures from BNSF show a total of 936 past due rail cars in North Dakota averaging 8 days late as of September 5, compared to the report the previous week which indicated 1,016 past due cars were averaging 10 days late. The CP report shows a total of 5,866 open requests in North Dakota with an average age of 12.54 weeks. The previous report showed 7,535 open requests with an average age of 13.14 weeks. “The attendance at last week’s STB hearing illustrates the seriousness of these delays,” said Cramer. “It is encouraging to see continued progress from BNSF, while the reduction in open requests reported by CP appears to be primarily the result of orders being canceled, rather than fulfilled.” In June, the two companies were ordered by the STB to report their plans for resolving the backlog of grain car orders, and begin issuing weekly status reports until the problem is resolved. The BNSF report can be viewed here, and the CP report can be viewed here. Read More

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Contact Information

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

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

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

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

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

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


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