Roughrider Roundup – February 14, 2022

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


SAVE THE DATE: The NDGOP Convention will take place April 1-2, 2022 in Bismarck, ND at the Bismarck Event Center. More information to come. 

Photo of the Week

Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford congratulated seven recruits who graduated from the North Dakota Highway Patrol’s Law Enforcement Training Academy’s 24-week program last Friday “As members of the North Dakota Highway Patrol, you can hold your heads high and take great pride in the services you will provide to our state’s citizens,” Sanford said.

“You will make a difference in their lives every day through your unwavering commitment and professionalism – the hallmark of the Highway Patrol.”

North Dakota

Burgum appoints Rugby native to Public Service Commission
Minot Daily News
Gov. Doug Burgum on Friday appointed Capital Electric Cooperative Inc. board chairwoman Sheri Haugen-Hoffart of Bismarck to an open seat on the three-member North Dakota Public Service Commission (PSC), effective immediately. She will serve out the remainder of the six-year term vacated by former commissioner Brian Kroshus, who was appointed state tax commissioner in December and began serving in the role on Jan. 4. Haugen-Hoffart will join current commissioners Julie Fedorchak and Randy Christmann on the PSC.

New AG on the Block: North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley
“During my service, I will always be mindful of the outstanding work of my friend Wayne Stenehjem and I will keep his memory near as we all navigate the path ahead,” said Wrigley.

Police in Manitoba prepare for more convoys, counter-protests over the weekend
The Canadian Press
Also on Friday, Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson announced that the province is speeding up plans to lift COVID-19 public health orders. The decision had nothing to do with an ongoing protest outside the legislature or the one near the border, she said. Stefanson urged Trudeau to reach out to United States President Joe Biden now that the demonstrations have affected both countries. “It’s nothing that is unique to Manitoba,” Stefanson said. She said she also planned to talk to North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum. “There needs to be some sort of a plan on the part of the federal government to ensure that we can have the movement of goods across our border and that that’s not curtailed in any way.”

North Dakota Agriculture Chief Calls For White House To Rescind Truck Driver Vaccine Mandate
Truckers Report
“Over 75 percent of U.S.-Canada trade moves by truck,” Goehring reportedly said. “Forcing this vaccine mandate on the industry will hurt the livelihoods of truckers, create further supply chain disruptions and cause price increases in essential goods. The Agriculture Commissioner reportedly wants the vaccine mandate lifted immediately.

Wrigley Takes Oath of Office as North Dakota Attorney General
Former US Attorney Drew Wrigley has taken the oath of office as North Dakota Attorney General after being appointed by Gov. Doug Burgum. It was done in a private ceremony.  Supreme Court Chief Justice Jon Jensen administered the oath.

ND tribe to supply natural gas to hydrogen plant
Knox News
Bakken Energy and Mitsubishi Power Americas announced the deal Wednesday with the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation to be the natural gas supplier for its Great Plains Hydrogen Hub in western North Dakota. The $2 billion project was announced in June to produce clean hydrogen. Gov. Doug Burgum has hailed the project a key part of the state’s plan to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Burgum extends hours of service waiver for propane haulers for an additional 30 days
Devils Lake Journal
Gov. Doug Burgum has signed an executive order extending for 30 days a waiver of hours of service requirements for drivers of commercial vehicles transporting propane. Since the original 30-day waiver was issued Jan. 4, North Dakota has continued to face extremely low inventories of propane as a result of market conditions impacted by severe seasonal weather and increased heating fuel demands, the order states. Waiving the hours of service requirement will help carriers avoid delays and deliver propane to meet the state’s needs.

North Dakota land commissioner finalists named
The Bismarck Tribune
The committee will interview the candidates this week and will make a recommendation to the full Board of University and School Lands, said Mike Nowatzki, a spokesperson for the governor’s office. The five-member Land Board, chaired by Gov. Doug Burgum, is expected to interview whomever is recommended when it next meets on Feb. 17, according to a notice on its webpage.

Washington, D.C.

Hoeven opposes climate credit limits for farmers
KX News
The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has come out with a Proposed Strategic Plan for 2022–2026 proposing to assess loan risks to farmers and ranchers based on those producers’ climate scorecards. North Dakota’s Senior Senator John Hoeven is pushing back against the NCUA because he says it handicaps our food producers. “We’ve seen examples in a variety of places where they come out and they talk about cattle and methane, you know things like that, or confined feeding operations, but now they’re actually extending it to, you know, farming and ranching, and climate risks,” explained Hoeven.

Armstrong: All hands approach to stopping the opioid epidemic
Alarmingly, from April 2020 to April 2021, for the first-time in the United States, overdoses took the lives of more than 100,000 people in a one-year period. This is an increase of 28.5% from the previous year. At the same time, overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids such as fentanyl increased by 56%. North Dakota suffered a 49% increase in drug-related deaths in 2020, an increase largely attributable to fentanyl overdoses.

North Dakota Congressman Armstrong on new training for truckers: “This is a really bad deal”
AM 1100 The Flag
North Dakota congressman Kelly Armstrong is expressing concerns about new federal training requirements for commercial truck drivers which went into effect Monday. “This is a really bad deal. We already have a shortage of truck drivers and you’re dealing with something where they say it’s all done in the name of safety,” said Armstrong. 

UND receives grant to promote unmanned systems career opportunities
Grand Forks Herald
“We have grown our state into a primary hub of research, development, training and operations for the UAS industry,” said Hoeven. “As the nation’s demand for qualified pilots continues to grow, today’s grant will support UND’s continued efforts to engage with North Dakota students, raise their awareness of promising career opportunities and help meet the future needs of our aviation industry.”

Bipartisan group urges FDA to act fast in approving over-the-counter hearing aids
The Washington Times
A group led by Sens. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, and Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Democrat, urged the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday to act swiftly in finalizing a regulation that will clear the way for Americans to find hearing aids in stores without a medical exam or fitting by a specialist…Kevin Cramer of North Dakota [is] also on board.

Dickinson social worker honored with Stark County Spirit of Excellence Award
The Dickinson Press
[Seaks] created the Dickinson BackPack Program which has, since its inception, provided approximately 100,000 food packs to Stark County’s youth in need…Upon hearing from more than a dozen individuals speak before her as well as receiving letters from U.S. Senators John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer, both R-ND, and Congressman Kelly Armstrong, R-ND, Mayor Scott Decker took to the dais and shared how Stark County’s mayors selected Kristin as the next recipient — and why it wasn’t a difficult task.

Hoeven, Thune introduce bipartisan Ocean Shipping Reform Act
The Ripon Advance 
To help American producers more quickly export their products internationally, U.S. Sens. John Hoeven (R-ND) and John Thune (R-SD) on Feb. 3 introduced the bipartisan Ocean Shipping Reform Act to update federal regulations for the global shipping industry…“Farmers, ranchers and producers in North Dakota and across the country need fair access to components essential to the shipping industry, including chassis, containers and vessel space to efficiently get their product to market,” Sen. Hoeven said. “This legislation will update federal regulations to help reduce export backlogs and ensure that the global ocean shipping industry cannot unreasonably refuse goods from U.S. exporters, including our ag producers.”

Cramer staff to hold availability in McClusky, Washburn
The Bismarck Tribune
Staff of U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., will hold mobile office hours later this month in McClusky and Washburn. Staff will be available from 10-11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 14, at the McLean County Courthouse in Washburn, and from 1-2 p.m. the same day at the Sheridan County Courthouse in McClusky.  “Since it’s not always possible for people to travel to my in-state offices, these mobile office opportunities help bring the services we offer closer to the constituents who need them,” Cramer said in a statement. Area residents can stop by for help with veterans and Social Security benefits, Medicare difficulties, immigration issues, military records or medals, or assistance with federal agencies.

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