Roughrider Roundup – February 28, 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

Members of the North Dakota Army National Guard spent part of Tuesday in the bitter subzero cold, loading an airplane to take them to a two-week training exercise designed to increase the National Guard’s capacity to operate in the Arctic.

North Dakota

Claiming state tax credit ‘straightforward,’ commissioner says
The Bismarck Tribune
Claiming the credit of $350 for individuals or $700 for those filing jointly is “very straightforward,” state Tax Commissioner Brian Kroshus said. It appears as a line item on the form used by most North Dakotans. “It’s going to significantly reduce the number of North Dakota taxpayers who are going to have to make a payment,” Kroshus said. The legislation will create an estimated $211 million in income tax relief over the next two years. Some 300,000 North Dakotans will have no state income tax bill, and another 200,000 will see a reduction. The income tax relief was pushed hard by Gov. Doug Burgum, who recommended using a portion of the state’s ending fund balance of $1.1 billion in the last two-year budget cycle to provide tax relief to residents. 

Burgum developing spending plans for next budget cycle
Knox Radio
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and other state officials have begun the process of developing spending plans for the next two-year budget cycle. It’s a task that comes amid a treasury flush with increased tax collections. Burgum says fiscal cautiousness will rule the process.

Invasion of Ukraine Felt by Descendants in ND
Williston Herald
Ukrainians, along with many Germans and Norwegians, accounted for most of the European settlers who landed in North Dakota. Now, their descendants worry about what lies ahead for the country’s drive for freedom following Russia’s invasion…Gov. Doug Burgum issued a statement condemning Russia’s actions, saying, “Our thoughts are with those of Ukrainian heritage in North Dakota.” The governor also expressed concern about North Dakota farmers and businesses with interests in Ukraine.

Oil prices spike on Russian invasion of Ukraine
Williston Herald
Burgum also urged Biden to adopt policies friendly to American energy so we can “sell energy to our friends and allies, versus buying it from our enemies.”

ND businesses concerned over Russian invasion
North Dakota officials said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could have a huge impact on North Dakota companies that have satellite operations in the region. “They know the benefit of having that facility there provides economic stability, activity for that region, for that community. This has a ripple effect all the way back through the whole system,” said ND Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. Howard says he’ll be keeping a close eye on the situation as it unfolds.

North Dakota regulators approve $5 million for Project Tundra study
The Bismarck Tribune
North Dakota regulators have approved a $5.4 million grant for a final engineering study related to the Project Tundra carbon capture project. The study is expected to wrap up by the end of the year, around which time Minnkota Power Cooperative could begin construction if it decides to move forward with the project at the Milton R. Young Station near Center. The project aims to capture carbon emissions from the coal-fired power plant and bury them underground…The North Dakota Industrial Commission, chaired by Gov. Doug Burgum, voted 3-0 Tuesday to approve the funding. Minnkota will provide matching funds, with a small amount coming from one of its partners, Fluor Enterprises. The grant stems from the state’s Lignite Research Fund, which is comprised of coal and oil tax revenue.

Training set for produce growers
The Bismarck Tribune 
The Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 3, at the Baymont Inn & Suites in Mandan. It will coincide with the annual Local Foods & Pride of Dakota Conference, which runs March 4-5. “Fruit and vegetable growers interested in learning about produce safety and developing an on-farm food safety plan should attend,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “Attending the session will satisfy the Food Safety Modernization Act’s Produce Safety Rule requirement that requires at least one supervisor or responsible party on a farm to complete food safety training recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration.”

Washington, D.C.

Dunseith border station to be modernized
Minot Daily News
Funds from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act have been awarded to modernize the land port of entry in Dunseith, according to announcements by Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-ND, and the U.S. General Services Administration. The major border station project will significantly upgrade the Dunseith station to satisfy current and projected operational needs, address site constraints and enable efficient vehicle movement across the border, which will also foster economic growth and job creation in surrounding communities.

Hoeven, Cramer, Armstrong call for boosting domestic energy production
Grand Forks Herald
The delegation was virtually in lockstep in their remarks when it came to North Dakota’s role in energy production, and how partnerships with industry leaders, researchers and policymakers can drive energy production forward. “That’s why the EERC is so cool, because they have one foot in the university world but then the other foot in research, development and commercializing these technologies, working with all of you to make it happen and making North Dakota an energy powerhouse,” Hoeven said…Cramer also discussed the implications of the invasion of Ukraine, a situation he called a “sad, scary, tragic moment … the likes of which we’ve not seen since World War II in Europe.” Now, Cramer said, is the time to utilize all energy options on the table including carbon capture underground storage, clean coal and nuclear power “because Europe is learning a really tough lesson in a really hard way.” Armstrong took a small-government approach in his remarks, and said innovation in energy and agriculture needs to come from strategic partnerships. However, he said, in order for the partnerships to flourish, the federal government needs to stay out of the way. He said the world can’t be fed by “rooftop gardens in the Bronx, and it can’t be powered by rainbows and unicorns.”

Wheat prices rise on Ukraine conflict and more things to know this week in agriculture
Williston Herald
“The FSA provides vital services to farmers, ranchers and rural communities across North Dakota, and in particular, this agency plays an essential role in our efforts to help producers recover from recent natural disasters, like severe drought,” said Senator Hoeven, ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “We look forward to meeting with Marcy to discuss the needs of our producers and the critical work ahead to ensure their continued success.”…Sen. Cramer also said he looks forward to meeting with Svenningsen. “The state executive director position for the Farm Service Agency plays a critical role in implementing policy, administering loan programs, and promoting conservation, commodity, disaster, and farm marketing programs in the state. North Dakota’s agricultural producers have faced tremendous challenges in recent years with poor weather, trade disruptions, and supply chain breakdowns,” Cramer said. “The Farm Service Agency provides North Dakota’s farmers and ranchers critical assistance on time-sensitive matters.” Rep. Kelly Armstrong emphasized access to programs. “The Farm Service Agency plays a critical role in connecting North Dakota’s agriculture producers with federal resources,” he said. “We look forward to working with Marcy to ensure farmers and ranchers have access to FSA’s programs.”

ND’s senators seeking safety for farmer accused of assassination plot in Ukraine
Due to the conflict in Ukraine, Senators John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer are working with the State Department to bring Groszhans back to the U.S. so he can be held safely before his trial. “We actually had him moved from where he was initially to better accommodations. But of course, our concern now is with the Russian invasion of the country. They should release him, let us get him out of there so we know he is safe because of this invasion,” said Sen. John Hoeven. Senator Hoeven said getting the U.S. State Department on board marked an important step forward. They’re currently exploring options with the Ukrainian State Department.

ND’s senators push for stricter sanctions against Russia
“The Biden sanctions so far have not gone far enough. The United States needs to lead with full-blown sanctions on Russia. We need to make it impossible, if we can, for them to sell their energy. It is their only source of revenue. Europe can’t, at the same time, be threatened by Russian aggression, as we’ve seen in Ukraine, and be buying their energy from Russia,” said Senator John Hoeven. In addition to more sanctions, Senator John Hoeven also wants the president to allow energy producers to export more resources to Europe, which would benefit North Dakota’s energy industry. Another sanction Hoeven is calling for is to ban Russia from SWIFT, which is a high-security international banking network.

Amid ‘unjustified war,’ U.S. strengthens penalties for Russia, Putin
Wahpeton Daily News
Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., called the unprovoked attack on Ukrainians “a warning to all of Europe.” “The United States must work closely with our allies to oppose Putin’s efforts to subvert European peace and security. We must ensure Putin pays a heavy price not only as a response to his aggression in Ukraine but also as a deterrent against future aggression in Eastern Europe. We need to support the people of Ukraine, reinforce our allies, and immediately implement severe sanctions on Russia. We pray for the people of Ukraine in this tragic moment,” Hoeven said. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., is a member of the Senate Armed Service Committee and bipartisan Senate Ukraine Caucus. He called out Putin’s “fantasies of reuniting the Soviet Union.” “He has absolutely no right to invade Ukraine’s sovereign borders and impose Russia’s will on the freedom-loving people of Ukraine. The United States fiercely condemns this violent action and stands strongly in support of Ukraine,” Cramer said. “We needed sanctions months ago to ward off exactly this type of action. Now that Putin has taken these steps we must implement strong, primary and secondary sanctions immediately. Our response here is greater than Russia and Ukraine; what we choose to do will also send a message to China on Taiwan.”

GOP Sen. Cramer: Biden’s Energy Policy Gave Putin ‘a Weapon’ and Adds to Climate Problem
Cramer said…“[L]et’s just take the climate issue itself, the issue that the Biden administration pretends that they’re actually helping with. The fact that we are transferring more of the world market to Vladimir Putin and have allowed — that we’ve handed him a weapon in his war, in the — in Europe, but on top of that, he doesn’t have the same environmental, and certainly not the same workforce or workplace standards, labor standards that we have in the United States. So, we’re actually adding to the climate problem, adding to the human rights problem, all the while we somehow think we’re feeling better about ourselves? No, we’re just adding costs. … [E]nergy is in the supply chain or the value chain of everything. … It is the number one driver of inflation, and on top of that, we have inflation. And so, this is a strategy that is anti-national security. It’s certainly anti-energy security, obviously. It’s anti-economic security. It makes zero sense whatsoever.”

ND senators call for liquid natural gas export increase
Senators John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer, along with 25 other Republican senators, said in a letter to the Department of Energy that increasing natural gas exports will create U.S. jobs and help to lower domestic and global emissions. “It’s better environmentally. Our natural gas on a life cycle basis is 41% lower carbon emissions than the natural gas from Russia because their environmental standards are not as good,” said Senator John Hoeven. Senator Hoeven also emphasized that an increase in liquified natural gas exports would be good for North Dakota’s economy specifically. The senators’ letter was in response to tensions in eastern Europe and a recent call from Democrats to restrict LNG exports, something the Republicans called ‘concerning.’

GOP senators introduce TRUCKERS Act to eliminate proof of vaccination for non-citizen drivers
Fox News
A group of Republican senators introduced legislation Wednesday that would eliminate the proof of vaccination requirement for commercial truck drivers who are seeking to temporarily enter the United States for business through a land port of entry from Canada or Mexico. The Terminating Reckless and Unnecessary Checks Known to Erode Regular Shipping (TRUCKERS) Act was introduced by…Kevin Cramer of North Dakota…John Hoeven of North Dakota.

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