Roughrider Roundup – December 6, 2021

Happy Monday!

Dear Fellow Republicans,

We wanted to provide you with a roundup of everything you might have missed from North Dakota’s great Republican leaders this past week. Please share with family and friends!

– Perrie Schafer, NDGOP Chairman

North Dakota

State Christmas Tree lighting ceremony set Monday at Capitol
The Bismarck Tribune
Gov. Doug Burgum and first lady Kathryn Burgum will oversee the event at 5:30 p.m. in Memorial Hall at the Capitol in Bismarck. The 40th annual ceremony will include holiday readings, music and carols. The theme of this year’s Christmas tree is “Share Your Story.” It’s inspired by the first lady’s platform of encouraging people to share their experiences of how addiction and recovery have impacted their lives, but it also broadly applies to the notion that every person has a story worth sharing, according to the governor’s office. Kathryn Burgum often shares her personal story as a recovering alcoholic.

Auditors will ‘get to the bottom’ of Mayville State University payroll issue, state Auditor Josh Gallion says
Grand Forks Herald
State Auditor Josh Gallion spoke to the Herald this week, saying he wouldn’t describe himself as “alarmed” about the overpayment issue at Mayville State. “But there is definitely a reason to be concerned,” Gallion said. “And from an audit standpoint, things like this come up. It’s definitely something we need to look into and get to the bottom of. I refrain from passing judgment until I truly know what the circumstances are.”

Kringstad: West-East pipeline already has more than a dozen interested companies
Williston Herald
“Part of the distance that we’ve got between east and west or west to east is there’s no users in between,” [Burgum] said. “Part of what I think we’re trying to solve for the next 20, 30, 40 years is there actually will be users in between, whether those are you know, communities or value-added ag or something that would start showing up in the central part of the state. So you wouldn’t have like no customers until you go to Grand Forks.”

Burgum: New BSC Polytechnic Education Center will be Key to Addressing North Dakota’s Workforce Needs
The Valley City Times Record
State lawmakers approved and Burgum signed legislation last month providing $38 million for the BSC Polytechnic Education Center…Burgum praised the project’s concept of equipping students with workplace-ready skills, credentials and degrees driven by local demand for customized career pathways. He also commended BSC’s leadership for embracing a polytechnic focus that is responsive to the unstoppable forces of demographics, economics, technology and culture that are creating challenges for higher education institutions across the country.

Pride of Dakota Holiday Showcase set in Bismarck
The Bismarck Tribune
“This year’s Holiday Showcase features more than 200 companies offering unique, North Dakota-made products,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “Shoppers will find thousands of products to choose from, including gourmet food, wine and spirits, books, jewelry, apparel, personal care, pottery, quilting, photography and framed art, children’s items and more.”

Governor Burgum talks legal challenges to vaccine mandates; says NDSU should “pause” employee requirement
AM 1100 The Flag
“Then on December 7th coming up is the one on federal contractors.  That one has got the most, or the least I should say, the least likelihood.  If OSHA can’t do it for large employers and CMS can’t do it for nursing homes, I don’t know how in the world they are going to get a judge to agree that they can somehow do it for federal contractors.  So I think all three of these attempts at federal vax mandates are going to do down and North Dakota was on the front of the line and the tip of the spear helping to fight these things,” said Burgum.  

Governor Burgum: North Dakota no longer in “crisis mode” responding to Covid-19
AM 1100 The Flag
“We are in management mode.  I mean we are handling this thing, the serious issue that it is.  But businesses are all open.  Schools are all open. We’re focusing our time on fighting the Biden Administration and also driving a record amount of economic development with billions of dollars of new value added energy and value added agriculture coming to North Dakota,” said Burgum

FMCSA grants another extension for hours of service waiver for haulers of water and livestock feed

Devils Lake Journal
Gov. Doug Burgum has announced that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has granted his request for another extension of the hours of service waiver for drivers of commercial vehicles transporting water and livestock feed to help North Dakota livestock producers affected by continuing drought conditions.

N.D. Guard welcomes new commander for land component command
Devils Lake Journal
“The citizens of North Dakota are well served by the unwavering dedication of our National Guard Soldiers, thanks in part to outstanding leaders like Brig. Gen. Leo Ryan,” said Gov. Doug Burgum, commander in chief of the N.D. National Guard. “Our well-trained Guard Soldiers continually answer the call of duty here at home and across the nation and world. We are deeply grateful to Brig. Gen. Ryan for his service to North Dakota and the nation.”

Wind Farms Request Extension for Lighting System Requirement
A number of wind farms in North Dakota have asked for an extension – or a waiver – of the state requirement that they must have a new lighting system – called ADLS, or “Aircraft Detection Lighting System.”…Commissioner Brian Kroshus says the Public Service Commission will be considering the extensions and waivers on a case-by-case basis.

Coal Creek carbon capture, hydrogen hub among projects seeking clean energy funding
The Bismarck Tribune
The eight applications request a combined $49.5 million in grants, more than the $25 million the Legislature authorized earlier this year for the Clean Sustainable Energy Authority to consider. The projects requesting grant money have to do with biodiesel, saltwater, hydrogen, carbon capture, liquid fuels and flaring reduction…The three-member commission chaired by Gov. Doug Burgum is expected to choose the first awardees on Dec. 20. The state will consider future requests for assistance during additional funding rounds next year.

ND Housing Finance Agency approves $3M for GF housing projects
Knox Radio
“The development assistance managed by North Dakota Housing Finance Agency helps to ensure that our most vulnerable state residents have access to safe and affordable housing,” said members of the Commission in a joint statement. The Commission, consisting of Gov. Doug Burgum as chairman, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, oversees the agency.

Biden vaccine rule for health workers blocked in 10 states including North Dakota
The Bismarck Tribune
“This is significant for health care workers in North Dakota, especially rural hospitals who were facing serious impacts due to this mandate,” North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said in a statement. “While today’s ruling is a hopeful moment, there’s more work to be done, and we will continue fighting to push back on this unprecedented federal overreach.”

Reconciliation bill: Transportation secretaries from rural states raise alarm over green energy provision
Fox Business
Transportation secretaries from Wyoming, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana say in a letter obtained by Fox News to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that one provision of the bill gives the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) too much power. The letter says Section 110002(a) would give the FHWA the authority to impose general “consequences” on state highway programs if states do not reduce greenhouse gas emissions over a 10-year period.

Washington, D.C.

All sides wait for Biden administration WOTUS redo
High Plains Journal
“The Obama era Waters of the United States rule would have been a disaster for North Dakota’s farmers and ranchers,” said Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-ND. “Now, the Biden administration is trying to revive this failed one-size-fits-all policy that will destroy their livelihoods and decimate our rural communities… Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-ND, said, “It’s a shame the Trump administration’s rule was repealed at all. Americans deserve better than regulatory pingpong. I look forward to hosting EPA and the Corps of Engineers next week in Bismarck to give North Dakotans the opportunity to put our priorities in front of the Biden administration as the process moves forward.” Sen. John Hoeven, R-ND, said, “The EPA’s proposal undermines the certainty we worked to provide with the NWPR (Department of Army’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule) and is part of President Biden’s efforts to impose burdensome and costly mandates under a new WOTUS definition.

Legislation would prevent settlement payments to illegal immigrants
Minot Daily News
Senators John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer, both R-ND, on Thursday joined Senators Thom Tillis, R-NC, Tom Cotton, R-Ark., John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in introducing the Protect American Taxpayer Dollars from Illegal Immigration Act. “As the crisis at our nation’s southern border continues, American’s taxpayer dollars should not be used to financially reward individuals for coming to our country illegally,” said Hoeven. “This legislation is about preventing an incentive for illegal immigration.”…”The last thing we need is another incentive for more migrants to come here illegally. Our bill prevents hard-earned taxpayer dollars from going to absurd settlements for immigrants who didn’t even come here legally,” said Cramer.

Hoeven cosponsors bill prioritizing domestic energy production
The Ripon Advance
U.S. Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) joined almost a dozen Republicans to introduce legislation that they say prioritizes American energy production and protects America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve. “This administration put in place energy policies that have drastically restricted American energy production and caused prices to increase for consumers,” Sen. Hoeven said. “Rather than tapping into our nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which is intended for emergency purposes, the administration should boost production of American energy to help lower prices and ensure our energy independence.”

December begins with record heat in western North Dakota; significant snow possible this weekend
The Bismarck Tribune
U.S. Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., have signed on to a bipartisan letter urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to address a gap in coverage under the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program. Senators say the federal program provides aid for the cost of transporting feed to livestock during the drought, but not for transporting livestock to feed sources.

Biden’s Build Back Better plan ‘will fundamentally change America’: Sen. Cramer
Fox Business
SEN. KEVIN CRAMER: She’s [Janet Yellen] doing her best to spin this thing. But you’re exactly right, but both Penn Wharton, at least both Penn Wharton and the Council for Responsible Government Budget have both analyzed this… Build Back Better plan. And remember that the one point seven trillion-dollar cost is based on things like the child tax credit, for example, expiring after one year or that, or the child care tax expiring after one year. Well, we all know that’s not going to happen. But this is the budget trick that they use. They pass a 1-year bill and pay for it over 10 years, so it looks like it actually balances where it’s actually paid for. So you’re right, we’re talking about something between 4.5 and 5 trillion dollars over the course of 10 years. And then, of course, that it becomes permanent. I mean, it’s not just 10, it’s 20, it’s generations. It changes fundamentally changes America, which is what they want to do, which is why we’ve got to oppose it. 

EXCLUSIVE: Senate Republicans Demand Answers Over DOD Program That Could Target Military Members Who Speak Out On ‘Woke, Leftist Ideology’
Daily Caller
A group of Senate Republicans sent a letter Wednesday to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin demanding answers over the Department of Defense (DoD)’s recently established Countering Extremism Working Group (CEWG). The lawmakers believe could be used to “target service members who voice opposition to woke, Leftist ideology.”…The other Republicans who signed the letter included…Sen. Kevin Cramer[.]

Armstrong, GOP colleagues oppose Biden’s push for FTC investigation over gas prices
The Ripon Advance 
U.S. Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) led 19 of his Republican colleagues in denouncing President Joe Biden’s request that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigate oil and gas companies. “We write to express our concern regarding your November 17, 2021, letter to FTC Chair Lina Khan that encouraged an investigation into oil and gas companies based on inaccurate allegations concerning retail gasoline prices,” the members wrote in their letter to Biden. “It is obvious that your request for an FTC investigation is an attempt to distract the public from soaring retail gasoline prices that are a consequence of several ill-advised energy policies implemented by your administration.”

GOP lawmakers hammer Biden over increase in coal costs, historic shortage
Fox Business
“The supply chain crisis brought on by the Biden administration’s failed policies is causing shortages across the economy, including resources needed to meet our energy demands,” Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., told FOX Business. “We must empower energy producers in North Dakota and around the country to provide baseload power to millions of Americans, not burden them with more regulations and red tape that do nothing to make our air and water cleaner,” the congressman continued. 

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