Kevin Cramer

Kevin Cramer

NORTH DAKOTA

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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CRAMER: Time for the Senate to Vote on the BLM Methane CRA

2017/03/10

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Congressman Kevin Cramer issued the following statement today urging pro-energy senators to support the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn the Obama Adminstration‘s Bureau of Land Manangement (BLM) methane rule.

“This God-awful rule is aimed right at North Dakota in an effort to destroy the Bakken. The rule does nothing to help the environment, plus states and the EPA already have authority over flaring and venting. If the Senate passes this CRA, the rule can never come up again. But if the White House has to deal with it, this rule is destined to come back the next time we have a liberal president. That’s why I contacted Senator McConnell today and urged him to bring it up for a vote as soon as possible. I’m confident, even undecided, energy senators will find their way to the right side of the issue” 

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CRAMER: Defense Appropriations Bill Strengthens Military, Gives Troops Pay-Raise

2017/03/08

Click Here for Audio Statement 

Congressman Kevin Cramer voted with a majority of his colleagues today to pass H.R. 1301, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2017.

The bill provides $516.1 billion for the Department of Defense in fiscal year 2017 – an increase of $2 billion from last year’s base discretionary spending. H.R. 1301 also allocates $61.8 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding – $3.2 billion higher than current levels. Other highlights of the legislation include a $132.1 billion budget to support a pay increase for troops, and $117.8 billion for upgrades to military equipment including the MQ1 Predator drone, UH-72 helicopter, and UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, all of which have missions in North Dakota.

“Our military has been underfunded and underpaid for some time now. While we have more work to do, this is a positive step,” said Cramer. “Often lost in the various debates of the day is the fact that one of our first priorities as a federal government is to protect our nation. In order to do so in a rapidly changing and dangerous world, we need to ensure we have a well-equipped military. Today’s action points us in the right direction.”

“To keep our status as the world’s best military, we must continue to answer the needs of our soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines.  That means modernizing our equipment, investing in needed platforms, and doing what we can to retain our talented men and women in uniform.  A pay increase as well as funding for defense health will help do just that.”

In addition to the House bill passed today, an additional defense supplemental is expected in the near future to further bolster the U.S. Military.

For more information on the legislation, click here.

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CRAMER: Newly Released Executive Order Puts Americans’ Safety First

2017/03/06

Congressman Kevin Cramer issued the following statement today after the Trump Administration released its revised executive order entitled, Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.

“Putting the safety and security of Americans first is the highest priority of the federal government.  Much like the SAFE Act, which passed the House of Representatives in 2015 with a veto-proof majority of Republicans and Democrats, this executive order will provide the government the time it needs to properly identify weaknesses in the immigration vetting process and establish safeguards to ensure those coming into our country will not pose a danger to our citizens.” 

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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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