Heidi Heitkamp has spent the entire election cycle trying to use North Dakota’s farmers, ranchers, and producers as political pawns.
REMINDER: Heitkamp makes these attacks because a pillar of Heitkamp’s campaign strategy is fanning the flames of farmer’s fears.
Throughout the entire Farm Bill process, Heitkamp has put politics above North Dakota’s farmers.
Her attacks increased when Kevin Cramer was appointed to the Farm Bill Conference Committee, a major win for North Dakota, but Heitkamp didn’t see it that way, labeling his appointment “politics at its worst.”
In stark contrast, Rep. Cramer congratulated Sens. Heitkamp and Hoeven when they were also appointed.
Heitkamp has changed her stance on agriculture-related issues just to score political points:
Heitkamp voted in 2014 to eliminate agriculture subsidies.
Heitkamp this year attacked Cramer for being part of a group where some members supported eliminating some subsidies.
When the House adjourned this year without finishing the Farm Bill, Heidi Heitkamp attacked Kevin Cramer for not demanding the House go back into session.
When the Senate adjourned without finishing the Farm Bill, Heitkamp said nothing.
Heidi Heitkamp claims she’s fighting for farmers, but her actions prolong these trade disputes and hurt the agriculture community in the process.
Despite Heitkamp’s fearmongering, great progress has been made for securing better trade deals:
- USA Today: Canada agrees to join U.S. and Mexico in new trade deal to replace NAFTA
- NPR: Trump Announces Trade Deal With European Commission That Will Lower U.S.-Europe Tension
- BBC: US moves to negotiate trade deals with Japan, UK, EU
- Politico: How Trump’s trade war is driving China nuts
Unlike Heidi Heitkamp, Kevin Cramer sides with North Dakota on trade:
- Kevin Cramer penned an op-ed expressing not only his concern for North Dakota’s agricultural community, but also his support for the President’s overall efforts and his work to end this dispute. These are the views shared by North Dakota’s agriculture community. For example:
REMINDER: Heitkamp makes these attacks because a pillar of Heitkamp’s campaign strategy is fanning the flames of farmer’s fears.
President Trump today announced a new trade deal has been reached to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. This trade deal is a win for our economy, as “the U.S. made very significant” victories.
But this news is a loss for Heidi Heitkamp, who has built her campaign on fanning the flames of farmers’ fears. As Rob Port notes in his story below, “It is undeniably bad news for Democrats trying to win elections this cycle. They needed Trump to fail. They needed chaos and uncertainty.”
Heitkamp has spent her campaign undermining the President every step of the way, but despite her efforts, President Trump has yet again succeeded. It’s clear that what is good for North Dakotans is bad for Heidi Heitkamp. In Case Your Missed It…
What Will Democrats Do if It Turns Out Trump Is Right on Trade?
Democrats, particularly “red state” candidates like incumbent Senator Heidi Heitkamp and U.S. House candidate Mac Schneider, have placed a big bet on trade this election cycle. Specifically, they’ve positioned themselves to benefit politically from any news about chaos or failure from the Trump administration’s efforts to negotiate better international trade agreements.
Thus the news this morning that Canada has joined the United States and Mexico in a reformed North American Free Trade Agreement, while welcome to most of us particularly here in North Dakota…
…it is undeniably bad news for Democrats trying to win elections this cycle.
They needed Trump to fail. They needed chaos and uncertainty. That tact has served them well in recent months, given President Trump’s iconoclastic and belligerent approach to negotiations, but it has also put them in the position of losing when Trump’s policies are successful. As they appear to have been in negotiations with Canada and Mexico.
Not only are we on the verge of improved trade relations with our North American neighbors, but pinning down a sort of NAFTA 2.0 gives our nation more clout in negotiations with China.
Those realities, however, are going to be subsumed in a cloud of politics.
Expect our Democratic friends – up to and including Senator Heitkamp and candidate Schneider – to express skepticism about the trade agreement. Because what’s in their interest right now isn’t sound trade policy but winning an election.
Make no doubt about it, though. The NAFTA agreement is a big win for Trump, and a serious rebuttal to those who say Trump’s approach to this policy area has been unserious.
During commercials of the Sunday shows and football games, be sure to check out this local profile of a North Dakota farmer and Congressman Kevin Cramer’s new op-ed on trade.
Steve Kirch of “Dickinson News” profiled North Dakota farmer and Trump supporter Wayne Gerbig to hear his position on trade. Some key points of the article:
- Some ranchers on the Western Edge of North Dakota are optimistic about how the market looks … One Slope County rancher said he feels good … Wayne Gerbig is a fourth generation rancher, and he and his family lease land on the H-T Ranch in Amidon, ND for their Black Angus cattle, and he said right now he feels pretty good about the cattle market.
- He is optimistic about the recent trade deal between the U.S. and Mexico, which President Donald Trump said will be “Great for our farmers. . . workers.”
- Overall, Gerbig said he still stands behind President Trump … “The administration’s before have never brought forward the imbalance of trade.”
This farmer’s views on trade mirror Kevin Cramer’s, who penned an op-ed for the Bismarck Tribune expressing not only his concern for North Dakota’s agricultural community, but also his support for the President’s overall efforts and his work to end this dispute. Some key points:
- In his recent visit to North Dakota, President Trump said the United States is the “bank” that other countries are robbing, and he is right … It is time for the world to start playing fair with us.
- China’s unfair practices result in a $376 billion trade imbalance and an additional $50 billion lost each year to their piracy of technology and intellectual property. We know their abusive trade practices are also affecting North Dakota’s farmers and ranchers … they unfairly stifle innovative American agricultural science, like genetically engineered crops.
- The President’s use of tariffs on Chinese products is not my preferred trade negotiation method. The collateral damage [of] China’s retaliation … is placing political pressure on the President to back down. … They are purposely agitating the President’s supporter base in hopes the internal strife will make us drop our actions to develop fair trade with them.
- I was the sole member of Congress to testify before the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative during two public hearings. I shared how China’s retaliatory tariffs impact North Dakota’s agriculture community and manufacturers. I have made it my mission to communicate clearly and directly with administration officials to ensure they fully understand the impact of China’s retaliatory tariffs. I will continue to urge the president and his administration to bring countries like China to the table to find a free, fair, and reciprocal solution.
- I believe the best way now to serve North Dakota is to offer solutions and I believe the best way to end a trade war is to win a trade war. When this is successful, our nation and our North Dakota agriculture community and manufacturers will benefit for generations to come.
Kevin Cramer’s work on trade is a stark contrast to Heidi Heitkamp, who inexplicably believes undermining President Trump every step of the way, while offering no real solutions, will somehow end this standoff.
The North Dakota Republican Party released a new digital ad today calling out Heidi Heitkamp for playing politics with North Dakota’s farmers and ranchers.
As Congress continues its work to author a new Farm Bill, Heidi Heitkamp has consistently put her own reelection campaign above the needs and concerns of the agricultural community. Throughout this process, Heitkamp has attacked Trump administration officials for visiting North Dakota to discuss agriculture, failed to deliver on a WOTUS rule repeal in the Senate’s Farm Bill, and attacked the President Trump-endorsed version of the Farm Bill for having what she called “poison pills.”
Ever since the Farm Bill Conference Committee began to form, Heitkamp has actively undermined the President’s efforts on trade negotiations, flip-flopped on the trade assistance package, and called a win for North Dakota agriculture “politics at its worst” only because she thought the news could hurt her reelection campaign.
Heidi Heitkamp’s rhetoric doesn’t match her record, and the North Dakota Republican Party is committed to holding her accountable this election season.
“Heidi Heitkamp is trying to win reelection by using farmers as political props to attack President Trump and Kevin Cramer,” said North Dakota Republican Party Communications Director Jake Wilkins. “While she claims to care about agriculture, Heitkamp has made it clear she only cares about herself. Kevin Cramer has worked tirelessly to be a strong voice for the agricultural community, and he’s the right choice for North Dakota’s farmers this November.”
VO: North Dakota’s entire Congressional delegation was appointed to work on the Farm Bill, and Kevin Cramer called it like it is: a big victory for North Dakota!
VO: He even brought leaders from Washington back to North Dakota to hear directly from our producers.
VO: But Heidi Heitkamp? She had different ideas.
VO: Heitkamp called this win for our farmers politics at its worst because she thought it’d hurt her reelection campaign.
VO: Heidi wants us to think she cares about agriculture, but now it’s clear she only cares about herself.
VO: It’s time we tell Heidi Heitkamp to stop playing politics with our farmers.
Heidi Heitkamp just introduced legislation to redistribute revenue gained from President Trump’s tariffs and give it to farmers and ranchers.
If you’re looking for a vocal critic of Heitkamp’s bill, look no further than Heitkamp herself. When President Trump’s Administration in July announced its trade assistance package to protect farmers and ranchers from China’s retaliation, Heitkamp was one of the first to criticize the plan, saying, “At the end of the day, farmers don’t want a check, they want a market.”
This most recent flip-flop on a major issue seems to be business as usual for Heidi Heitkamp, who has reversed her position on every major issue from Trump’s tax cuts, to illegal immigration, to Obamacare, to even abortion.
“Heidi Heitkamp is once again playing politics with North Dakota’s farmers and ranchers,” said North Dakota Republican Party Communications Director Jake Wilkins. “This new bill is nothing more than a political prop to attack President Trump and her opponent. What the agricultural community wants more than anything is a Senator who will fight for them instead of using them to score political points.”
While Kevin Cramer focused solely on North Dakota’s farmers, Heidi Heitkamp seems exclusively focused on Kevin Cramer. Look no further than the fact that Heitkamp’s piece criticized Cramer more times than she used the word “farmer.” Heitkamp also attacked President Trump’s supported version of the farm bill, wrongly calling its commonsense reforms “poison pills” that would create a “burdensome bureaucracy.”
Her dark and divisive tone comes amidst a recent slew of bad news for Heitkamp, who used this op-ed to yet again play politics with North Dakota’s agriculture community. Heitkamp has devoted her entire campaign to stoking fear into North Dakota’s farmers and previously called a win for them “politics at its worst.” These are not actions North Dakotans want from their Senators.
Unlike the relentlessly negative rhetoric of Heitkamp, Kevin Cramer’s op-ed focused on the substance of the bills and the work the House accomplished. He also notes his position on the important issues in the bill came directly from conversations with constituents, saying, “I have always believed the best solutions to our nation’s problems don’t come from Washington, they come from people that walk our streets and plow the fields in North Dakota.”
In case you missed it…
Cramer’s Farm Bill priorities for North Dakota
Rep. Kevin Cramer | Bismarck Tribune
Here’s some good news for North Dakota! Our state’s entire delegation was appointed to serve on the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Committee. I am honored to join Sen. John Hoeven and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in representing the interests of North Dakota in this very important process. This rare achievement is politics at its best and will serve North Dakota well. I look forward to meeting with all the conferees to hammer out our differences and produce legislation worthy of our hard-working farmers and ranchers.
The choice between the House and Senate versions of the Farm Bill is really good versus good. Neither is that far off from one another on the conservation title or commodity titles; and, both bills maintain the status quo for crop insurance as well as the sugar program.
Along with reauthorizing these important programs, the House version of the Farm Bill repealed the onerous Waters of the U.S. rule. Although North Dakota and 23 other states continue to benefit from a stay of WOTUS while the rule is being litigated, the 26 remaining states are once again under its yoke thanks to a decision by a South Carolina court. Notwithstanding the skill demonstrated by Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem in leading the litigation fight, the recent South Carolina decision reinforces the need to legislatively stop this extreme environmental regulation.
As our farmers know all too well, former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s implementation of the Agriculture Risk Coverage Program was materially harmful to too many of our producers, and only exacerbated by his refusal to correct his mistakes. Thankfully, we have a new sheriff in town, as clearly demonstrated by Secretary Sonny Perdue’s visit to Fargo just this past March and his discussion of this and other topics important to North Dakota. My bill, H.R. 4654, which is a part of the House Farm Bill, simply requires the secretary to prioritize average county yield data from the Risk Management Agency over the National Agricultural Statistics Service where such RMA policies are offered.
Unfortunately, Swampbuster, like WOTUS, is notorious regulation many of our farmers and ranchers know too well. My legislation, which is included in the House version of the Farm Bill, requires USDA to define minimal wetland thresholds within six months, and must apply them before they can allege wetland conversions against our producers. Hopefully we can reintroduce some common sense to this onerous policy.
Due to conversations with constituents, Commissioner Doug Goehring and I, along with representatives of the RMA, spoke with ranchers about problems associated with the pasture, rangeland, and forage crop insurance instrument. The common denominator was lack of rainfall data. As a result, I had included within the House Farm Bill a requirement for RMA and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration to evaluate the coverage considering alternative data collection methods to improve this lack of data.
As any producer can tell you, access to capital is key to any robust operation. Both the House and the Senate versions of the Farm Bill reauthorize the Farm Services Agency’s Loan Guarantee Program. Additionally, the House version increases the Farm Ownership and Operating Loan Program loan limits from $700,000 to $1,750,000.
I’m looking forward to working through this process to create a Farm Bill that provides much-needed long-term certainty for our ag community. My priorities are to maintain crop insurance protections and the sugar program along with improving ARC, repealing WOTUS and getting Swampbuster back on track.
Many of these important issues were brought to my attention during my travels across North Dakota and in my talk radio town halls. I have always believed the best solutions to our nation’s problems don’t come from Washington, they come from people that walk our streets and plow the fields in North Dakota.