Kevin Cramer

Kevin Cramer

NORTH DAKOTA

CRAMER: Statement on USDA Opening up More Land for Emergency Haying and Grazing

2017/07/20

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer issued the following statement after U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue announced his authorization for use of additional Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands, namely wetland and buffer practices, for emergency grazing and haying in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana.  This includes, for example, CP 23 wetland restoration acres. 

 

“Secretary Perdue, once again, is demonstrating his concern for ranchers across the Northern Plains. As conditions in North Dakota hit exceptional drought territory, we must continue to respond as fast as possible for our producers. Through its actions today – the Administration acknowledge the urgency and severity of the situation.”

 

USDA recommends Landowners interested in emergency haying or grazing of CRP acres should contact the Farm Service Agency (FSA) office and meet with the local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) staff to obtain a modified conservation plan to include emergency haying/grazing.  Individual conservation plans will take into consideration wildlife needs.  CRP participants are reminded that a certain percentage of fields must be left unhayed or ungrazed.

 

Additional information about the counties approved for emergency haying and grazing and the eligible CRP practices in this area is available at www.fsa.usda.gov/emergency-hayandgraze.

 

More information can be found at cramer.house.gov/drought

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CRAMER: USDA Issues Updated Disaster County Declarations for North Dakota

2017/07/19

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released a new disaster declaration list for the following counties in North Dakota:

USDA

Primary Disaster Counties Designated

Contiguous Disaster Designation Counties

06/28/2017

Adams, Billings, Bowman, Burleigh, Divide, Golden Valley, Hettinger, McLean, Mercer, Morton, Oliver, Slope, Stark, Ward, Williams

Burke, Dunn, Emmons, Grant, Kidder, McHenry, McKenzie, Mountrail, Renville, Sheridan, Sioux

07/06/2017

Dunn, Emmons, Grant, Logan, McIntosh, McKenzie, Mountrail, Sioux

Adams, Billings, Burke, Burleigh, Dickey Golden Valley, Hettinger, Kidder, LaMoure, McLean, Mercer, Morton, Stark, Stutsman, Ward, Williams

07/19/2017

Dickey, Kidder, McHenry, Sheridan

Bottineau, Burleigh, Emmons, LaMoure, Logan, McIntosh, McLean, Pierce, Ransom, Renville, Sargent, Stutsman, Ward, Wells

 

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, primary disaster counties suffer from a drought intensity value of D2-D4, which ranges from severe to exceptional drought. Congressman Cramer continues to work with local, state, and federal officials to ease the burden of this drought for producers.

View the most recent disaster report here. For more information, visit cramer.house.gov/drought

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Cramer, Burgum Lead TV White Space Initiative Promoting New Wireless Broadband Technology in Rural America

2017/07/18

Cramer Contact: Adam.Jorde@mail.house.gov

Burgum Contact: mnowatzki@nd.gov

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Congressman Kevin Cramer and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum announced they will begin circulating letters for signature within the House of Representatives and across all 50 states to encourage the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to adopt new spectrum standards so a breakthrough high-speed wireless broadband technology can be made available across the United States, and specifically Rural America.

The broadband technology, known as TV White Spaces (TVWS) and developed by Microsoft, is a low-cost alternative to other conventional broadband platforms such as 4G or traditional fiber-optic broadband deployment. Much like a conventional Wi-Fi signal, TVWS can travel more than 10 miles on a single antenna and produce internet speeds of more than 100 megabits per second, making it perfect for use in extremely remote areas of Rural America. Because TVWS operates on a portion of the existing broadband spectrum that is mostly unused, the wireless internet signal is low-cost, requires minimal infrastructure, and is more dependable than the limited connections available in many rural areas. As part of Microsoft’s Airband Initiative, they are giving royalty-free access to at least 39 patents and sample source code for companies to develop and deploy TVWS technology.

“As Members of Congress, we like to stress the importance of eliminating the ‘digital divide‘ in America – this new technology could be one solution to do just that,“ said Cramer. “The public spectrum is owned by the taxpayers of this country, and to the best of our ability, we need make sure it‘s being used as efficiently and effectively as possible. Opening up one more channel of spectrum for unlicensed use will allow the TV White Space industry to take shape in the United States, and will bring us one step closer to giving 35 million Americans access to high-speed internet for the very first time.“

“Believing strongly in the power of technology and innovation to drive economic growth, we recognize that white space spectrum has the potential to dramatically expand access and reduce the costs of high-speed internet, especially for our nation’s rural communities,” Burgum said. “Broadband internet can transform communities, whether it’s connecting students to new skills, helping doctors treat their patients or empowering businesses to reach new markets and create new jobs.”

Over the coming weeks, Cramer and Burgum will seek signatures on their respective letters with the goal of freeing up unlicensed spectrum for TVWS broadband. Specifically, the letters will urge the FCC to preserve at least three 6 MHz television white space channels in every media market across the United States in order to promote access to affordable broadband internet, particularly in rural and underserved areas.

In the House of Representatives, Congressman Cramer is leading the letter along with Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Mark Meadows, and Austin Scott. As a co-chair of the Congressional Rural Broadband Caucus and a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has oversight jurisdiction of the FCC, Cramer continues to look for solutions to solve the digital divide across North Dakota and Rural America.

Burgum will be circulating a letter among the nation’s governors in the coming weeks, encouraging their endorsement of the new technology.

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CRAMER: Provides for the Common Defense, Supports Our Troops

2017/07/14

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer supported the widely bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) today, which passed the House of Representatives by a 344 to 81 vote.  

NDAA for fiscal year 2018 increases defense spending 10 percent from last year’s level – a total of $696.1 billion. The added funding will further equip, supply, and train our troops while also caring for them and their families and setting national security policy in a dangerous world.  The defense bill also acknowledges North Dakota’s prominent role in defending our nation’s freedoms with continued support of the Air Force Bases in Minot and Grand Forks, as well as our state’s Air and Army National Guard. 

“After a half-decade of cuts, Republicans are putting America back on track by confronting the readiness crisis in our military branches,” said Cramer. Our troops are the most valuable assets our country has, and we’re going to provide them the resources they need to get the job done. And, while increasing defense spending by ten percent, we’re also auditing the Pentagon for the first time in what I believe is a long-overdue effort to cut the fat from the DOD to ensure that taxpayer dollars are used efficiently and transparently.”

READINESS: The legislation authorizes increasing the size of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Army Guard and Reserve, Naval and Air Reserve, and Air Guard, and increases funding for maintenance for all Services, for increased training opportunities, and for sustaining, restoring, and modernizing facilities. It also enhances our defense by modernizing our nuclear weapons stockpile, missile defense, and military vehicles; and supporting defensive and offensive cyberspace strategy. Furthermore, It prohibits transferring detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the United States, and from transferring the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay back to Cuba.

RESOURCES: NDAA fully funds the 2.4 percent pay raise our troops are entitled to under law. It also extends special pay and bonuses for service members. It blocks the misguided attempt to close military medical facilities upon which our deployed troops and their families rely. Provides commonsense resources to help families manage challenges like relocations, including reimbursements for spouse’s obtaining licensing/certification in another state.

REFORM: NDAA instructs for the first-ever audit of the Pentagon, adds oversight to service contacts to prevent wasteful spending, and streamlines bureaucracy through transparent purchasing.

NORTH DAKOTA HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Authorizes the full budget request for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s nuclear weapons activities, including vital efforts to modernize the nuclear weapons stockpile. The bill authorizes $21 billion for nuclear weapon programs – including modernization of the infrastructure that supports the nuclear triad.
  • Includes $27 million for an indoor firing range at Minot Air Force Base 
  • Fully funds MQ-9 Reaper procurement at $122.5 million, which is flown by the North Dakota Air National Guard in Fargo.
  • Fully funds RQ-4 Global Hawk modifications at $32 million, which are flown out of the Grand Forks Air Force Base.
  • Authorizes a 2.4 percent  pay raise for our troops – a plus for the thousands of soldiers, marines, airmen, and sailors who serve in our state.
  • Directs the Secretary of Defense and the Director of National Intelligence to establish an intelligence fusion center to enhance the protection of nuclear command and control.
  • Does not allow for a new round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)
  • Commissions the DOD and National Guard to study the effectiveness of uses of  unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for National Guard operations

For more information, view the a full summary of the bill here.

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Noem, Cramer, Peterson Introduce Reforms for More Efficient Wetland Determinations

2017/07/13

 

Noem: Brittany Comins

Cramer: Adam Jorde

Peterson: Justin Rostad

Washington, D.C. – Reps. Kristi Noem (R-SD), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), and Collin Peterson (D-MN) today reintroduced the bipartisan Wetland Determinations Efficiency and Transparency Act. This legislation aims to enact permanent reforms that make the wetland determination process more efficient, accountable and transparent.

“Part of promoting sustainable conservation practices is ensuring programs and processes work for the producers who use them,” said Noem.  “Waiting years before knowing whether a person can improve their land without jeopardizing a wetland or their participation in farm programs is an unacceptable and costly delay.  This legislation offers real reforms that can help ensure timely and accurate determinations are made from here on out.”

"Not since the 1990s has there been serious discussion about Swampbuster, at least not with landowners’ and producers' best interests in mind,” said Cramer. “From streamlining wetland certifications to due process reform, this bill is a package of common-sense improvements which will benefit not only landowners and producers, but also the environment.  With a new Farm Bill on the horizon, I look forward to working with Kristi and Collin, stakeholders and the entire House Agriculture Committee to help make these reforms reality."

“This bill is a needed step to help ensure producers in our region don't face a determination backlog when trying to make improvements to their land. Making drainage improvements to land can increase yields, improve water quality and reduce the risk of flooding,” Peterson said. “This common sense bill will simply make the process more efficient for producers to stay in compliance with conservation rules.”

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is responsible for determining whether land qualifies as a wetland, and therefore, is protected for conservation purposes according to so-called “Swampbuster” rules.  If property is determined to be a wetland, certain changes – such as laying drain tile in a field – are not allowed without a landowner losing the ability to participate in federal Farm Bill programs and crop insurance.  In recent years, producers have faced a significant backlog in wetland determination.

More specifically, the Noem-Cramer-Peterson legislation would:

  • Ensure timely determinations.  The USDA would be given 60 days to make wetland determinations, after which producers would be protected from penalties during a transition period to come back into compliance.
  • Make the appeals process more efficient.  If a producer believes a determination is incorrect, they would be given the option of either going through the administrative appeals process or appealing directly to the federal district court.
  • Allow third parties to be better used as a resource to shrink backlog and ensure timely determinations.  The USDA would be able to utilize approved third-party data and technical assistance when making a final certification, leveraging outside expertise without a cost to taxpayers.
  • Improve transparency.  Clarifies in law the NRCS’s responsibility to share any and all information used for the determination with producers.  Additionally, the legislation puts the burden of proof to the federal government, rather than the producer.

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CRAMER: House Continues Its Work on Anti-Trafficking Efforts

2017/07/12

Recording: Audio

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer supported several bipartisan anti-trafficking bills today passed by the House of Representatives to stand with victims and law enforcement to crack down on human traffickers and strengthen protections for at-risk communities.

“The House has passed sixteen bills this Congress to help victims, punish criminals, prevent trafficking, and assist our law enforcement,“ said Cramer. “I hope my colleagues in the Senate will take up these items as soon as possible to take a real stand against human trafficking in North Dakota and across the world.“

Cramer has made stopping human trafficking a priority since joining Congress in 2013. In addition to his support for 16 bills this Congress, on June 27, he attended the 2017 Trafficking In Persons Report Event with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Ivanka Trump, where several international leaders in fighting human trafficking received awards for their remarkable anti-trafficking achievements. The Senate has yet to consider any of the bipartisan bills below.

Anti-trafficking legislation passed this week includes:

H.R. 2664, the Enhancing Detection of Human Trafficking Act, directs the Secretary of Labor to train Department of Labor personnel to detect trafficking and assist law enforcement in preventing trafficking.

H.R. 2480, the Empowering Law Enforcement to Fight Sex Trafficking Demand Act, expands the ability of the Department of Justice’s Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grants Program (Byrne JAG) to enable law enforcement agencies to compete for federal funding, specifically to develop and carry out programs that fight sex trafficking demand.

H.R. 2200, the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2017, reauthorizes $130 million in funding for the United States Government multi-agency international and domestic anti-human trafficking efforts, pursuant to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA), which is set to expire on September 30, 2017.

Other notable bills passed in the House this Congress include:

H.R. 1973, the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse Ace of 2017, extends the mandatory reporting requirements of child abuse to national governing bodies, like USA Gymnastics, to ensure that reports are immediately made to local or federal law enforcement authorities.  The bill also allows civil suits by minors against sex abuse perpetrators to be brought by clarifying that once a victim has established a harm occurred, the court will presume $150,000 in monetary damages. The bill also extends the civil statute of limitations for these cases.

H.R. 1761, the Protecting Against Child Exploitation Act of 2017, protects child pornography victims by remedying a federal court ruling in United States v. Palomino-Coronado.  This decision allowed a defendant to walk free from production of child pornography charges, despite photographic evidence he had engaged in sexual abuse of a seven-year-old child, because the court found that he lacked the specific intent to produce child pornography prior to abusing the child.  This legislation adds additional bases of liability to the crime of child pornography production to prevent this heinous crime and bring criminals to justice.

H.R. 1862, the Global Child Protection Act of 2017, expands the coverage of current laws relating to unlawful sexual conduct with minors during foreign travel.  Specifically, the bill amends Title 18 of the United States Code, to expand the definition of illicit sexual conduct to cover “sexual contact,” in addition to expanding the definition of a federal sexual offense against a minor to include this sexual contact.

H.R. 1842, the Strengthening Children's Safety Act of 2017, amends Title 18, of the United States Code, to include State crimes of violence as grounds for an enhanced penalty when sex offenders fail to register or report certain information.

H.R. 1188, the Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act of 2017, reauthorizes the two primary programs established by the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, and modifies the act to encourage state and tribal compliance.

H.R. 883, the Targeting Child Predators Act of 2017, protects valuable information used to prosecute and convict child predators by requiring Internet Service Providers to wait 180 days before notifying customers in child predator cases that law enforcement officials requested information attached to a specific IP address. 

H.R. 695, the Child Protection Improvements Act of 2017, directs the Department of Justice to establish a program to allow organizations that provide services to youth, the elderly, and the disabled to obtain information from criminal background checks in the Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprint database.

H.R. 1625, the TARGET Act, amends the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956 to authorize the State Department and law enforcement agencies to target international human traffickers by offering financial rewards for their arrest or conviction. 

H.R. 1809, the Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2017, reauthorizes the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act to better support states and local entities as they explore and implement ways to serve at-risk youth and juvenile offenders.

H.R. 1808, the Improving Support for Missing and Exploited Children Act of 2017, updates the Missing Children’s Assistance Act to align with best practices currently utilized at the state and local levels to recover missing and exploited children.

H.R. 1370, the Department of Homeland Security Blue Campaign Authorization Act of 2017, amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to require the Secretary of Homeland Security to issue Department-wide guidance and develop training programs as part of the Department of Homeland Security Blue Campaign to combat human trafficking.

 

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CRAMER: Insurance Providers May Waive 30-Day Ownership Requirement

2017/07/11

Date: July 11, 2017

Contact: Adam.Jorde@mail.house.gov

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Congressman Kevin Cramer announced today the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will allow insurance providers to waive the 30-day ownership requirement for Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) Specific Coverage Endorsements upon an individual producer providing proof of ownership. This policy is issued in light of the severe drought conditions in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana.

“Under this provision, insurance providers may choose to not hold producers responsible for changes in their livestock count due to loss or early sale, said Cramer. Secretary Perdue consistantly proves he understands the enormous impact this drought is having on North Dakota’s farmers and ranchers.”

Read more about the provision here.

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CRAMER: USDA Grants Emergency Haying for North Dakota Producers

2017/07/10

Recording: Audio

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer issued the following statement after Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is authorizing emergency haying starting July 16 for livestock producers dealing with the ongoing drought.

 

“Once again, I have to say thank you to Secretary Perdue for his incredible handling of this drought emergency across the Northern Plains. Under the Trump Administration, the USDA has shown the people of North Dakota that their livelihoods matter to the federal government. By expeditiously deploying every option at the USDA’s disposal, including emergency haying, North Dakota producers have a better chance to sustain their core herds and make it through this terrible drought. With all options on the table for ranchers, all we can do is continue to pray for better weather forecasts ahead.”

 

In addition, the USDA will authorize up to a 12 month exemption to the FSA farm loan requirement that borrowers maintain physical control of livestock during the term of the loan. This exemption will allow livestock producers the option of sending livestock to feedlots, drylots or otherwise relocate livestock to locations where feed, forage and water needs can be met.

 

For more drought information, visit Cramer.House.Gov/Drought.

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CRAMER: USDA Issues Updated Disaster County Declarations for North Dakota

2017/07/07

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released an updated disaster declaration list for the following counties in North Dakota:

USDA

New Disaster Counties Designated

Continuing Disaster Designation Counties

06/28/2017

07/05/2017

Adams, Billings, Bowman, Burleigh, Divide, Golden Valley, Hettinger, McLean, Mercer, Morton, Oliver, Slope, Stark, Ward, Williams

Burke, Dunn, Emmons, Grant, Kidder, McHenry, McKenzie, Mountrail, Renville, Sheridan, Sioux

07/06/2017

07/13/2017

Dunn, Emmons, Grant, Logan, McIntosh, McKenzie, Mountrail, Sioux

Adams, Billings, Burke, Burleigh, Dickey Golden Valley, Hettinger, Kidder, LaMoure, McLean, Mercer, Morton, Stark, Stutsman, Ward, Williams

 

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, primary disaster counties suffer from a drought intensity value of D2-D4, which ranges from severe to exceptional drought. Congressman Cramer continues to work with local, state, and federal officials to ease the burden of this drought for producers.

View the most recent disaster report here. For more information, visit cramer.house.gov/drought

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CRAMER: Zinke Promises Interior Will Be ‘Better Neighbor’ in Trump Administration

2017/07/06

Recording: Audio

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer issued the following statement after Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced a Secretarial Order to address the extensive backlog of permit applications for mineral leases on federal lands. The Order also aims to identify solutions for improving access to additional parcels of federal land for mineral development.  

 

“Considering the Interior has held more federal lease sales in the first six months than the Obama Administration did all of last year, it’s clear the Trump Administration and Secretary Zinke are making American energy a priority. North Dakota enjoys a wide-array of energy sources, and it’s about time we have an Administration with an all-of-the-above energy strategy. Congress should double-down on Zinke’s Secretarial Order with legislation to make sure the next ‘keep-it-in-the-ground’ president can’t pick winners and losers in the energy sector the way the last one did.”

 

By law, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) must review and process Applications for Permit to Drill (APDs) within 30 days of receiving one. According to data from the Interior, the average time to approve a lease permit is 257 days – with roughly 2,802 ADPs pending as of January 31, 2017. North Dakota’s BLM field office located in Dickinson had the third largest backlog with 488 APDs in the queue. There’s an approximately 1,000 parcel backlog within the Montana/Dakotas office control to be made available for competitive oil and gas leasing.

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Contact Information

1717 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 Energy and Commerce, which has the broadest jurisdiction of any committee in Congress. Cramer is assigned to three subcommittees: Communications and Technology, Energy, and Environment. In November 2016, Cramer was elevated to the influential House Republican Steering Committee – as the Small State Representative. The Steering Committee determines all committee assignments and chairmanships.

He is Co-Chairman of the House Rural Broadband Caucus, which develops policy solutions addressing Rural America’s digital divide, and the Northern Border Caucus, which fosters continued growth in the relationship between the United States and Canada. He is also a founding Chair of the Congressional Kid’s Safety Caucus.

He is North Dakota’s only member of the House of Representatives. Cramer has made constituent outreach a top priority, describing interacting with the public as “the best part of public service.” According to Legistorm, the Capitol Hill government issues website, since becoming a Member of Congress, Cramer has held more town halls than any other Member.

Cramer has had a distinguished career in public service. In 1991, he 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 from 1993 to 1997, then as State Economic Development & Finance Director from 1997 to 2000. From 2000 to 2003, he was Executive Director of the Harold Schafer Leadership Foundation, which connects emerging leaders from the University of Mary in Bismarck with community business leaders. In 2003, then-Governor John Hoeven appointed Cramer to the Public Service Commission, and in 2004 he was elected to the position.

As North Dakota Public Service Commissioner, Cramer helped oversee the most dynamic economy in the 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 America’s energy security is integral to 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 Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, a Master’s degree in Management from the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota, 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 nine-year-old son, Abel; one granddaughter, Lyla; and three grandsons, Beau, Nico and Chet.


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