Roughrider Roundup – March 21, 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

Students from Billings County, Fessenden-Bowdon, and Wilton with Congressman Armstrong this week in D.C.

North Dakota

US could not only supply our own energy, but support our allies: North Dakota governor
Fox News
WATCH: North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum argues the U.S. would be better off with energy security and independence on ‘America’s Newsroom.’

Burgum asks Canadian officials to help prevent CP work stoppage
Knox Radio
A work stoppage would be detrimental to our communities, compounding an already stressed supply chain that is still recovering from pandemic disruptions and managing rising transportation costs,” Burgum stated in the letter, noting CP annually transports more than 11 million tons of products from North Dakota to Canada and over 2 million tons in the other direction, including agricultural commodities and fuels. “We are grateful for the long-term partnerships we have enjoyed with CP and Canada and urge you to take all action necessary to protect the supply chain and avoid the disruption of goods between North Dakota and Canada.

Credit union agency won’t discourage lending to ag and fossil fuel industries
Grand Forks Herald
Burgum, in a statement on Thursday, March 18, said he would have preferred to see the climate risk language removed entirely. “We appreciate the NCUA Board clarifying its position so that credit unions know they can continue to provide financial services to our farmers, ranchers and energy industry without fear that such activity will put them in the crosshairs of federal regulators,” he said. “North Dakota continues to be a leader in carbon capture, utilization and storage efforts, recognizing that carbon neutrality can be achieved only through innovation, not regulation.”

North Dakota has made it easier for residents to claim state income tax credit
The Center Square
The North Dakota Legislature created a tax relief income credit for the state’s residents. Gov. Doug Burgum was a strong proponent of this relief, recommending the state use its ending fund balance to benefit its residents. “Full-year residents of North Dakota will receive a credit up to $350,” Rachel Flagstad, public information officer at North Dakota Office of State Tax Commissioner, told The Center Square. “For taxpayers who are full-year residents and married filing jointly, the tax credit is up to $700. To be eligible for the credit, an individual must be a full-year resident of North Dakota for the tax year and have a tax liability (before any credits) on their North Dakota income tax return. The credit is non-refundable and cannot be carried over and used in any other tax year.”

North Dakota community colleges formalize pact with Western Governors University
The Bismarck Tribune
Burgum first announced the pact during his State of the State address in February, touting it as a way to help meet workforce challenges. “To be successful, we must be better at aligning our degree offerings with the needs of North Dakota businesses,” Burgum said in a statement Thursday. “This new partnership with Western Governors University will provide North Dakotans with seamless access to one of the nation’s most innovative higher education institutions.”

Construction underway on Grand Forks’ new Technology Accelerator in Herald building
Grand Forks Herald
The Jobs Development Authority last year was awarded a $1,079,646 grant for construction costs of the project from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The tech accelerator is part of the local push to attract tech companies to the region, with the overall goal to diversify the economy.…State leaders, including Gov. Doug Burgum and Sen. John Hoeven, have noted the benefits the renovated building is expected to bring to Grand Forks and the region. Feland said the goal is to have the project substantially complete by August. 

North Dakota insurance commissioner to scrutinize Sanford Health Plan
The Jamestown Sun
North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread announced Thursday, March 17, his office will conduct an in-depth examination of Sanford Health’s insurance operations. The examination of Sanford, the Insurance Department’s first, will focus mainly on mental health and addiction services, claims processing and fraud reporting, Godfread said in a … news release. “The purpose of the exam is to make sure one of our larger health insurance companies is following our laws and upholding their promises to North Dakotans,” Godfread said.

New meat processing plant opens
Minot Daily News
Spruce Hill Meats in Bowman is the newest North Dakota company operating under the State Meat and Poultry Inspection Program, according to North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. Retired veterinarian Dr. Bill Rotenberger started the business as a custom-exempt meat processing facility in September 2020 and his first official day under state inspection was this past Jan. 17.

AM 890 AG News
North Dakota Department of Agriculture’s Emergency Feed Transportation Program will disburse funds this week to eligible producers for a portion of their feed or livestock transportation expenses incurred between April 8, 2021, and Dec. 31, 2021. “We opened the program last November after the drought drastically reduced forage production,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “Many producers had to purchase and transport supplemental feed, co-products or silage, or move breeding livestock to a feed source.”

State doling out hay hauling aid for drought-stricken ranchers
The Bismarck Tribune
A North Dakota Agriculture Department program that reimburses a portion of feed or livestock hauling expenses for drought-stricken ranchers will disburse money this week to hundreds of producers. The state in late August reactivated the Emergency Feed Transportation Assistance Program and approved $2.5 million to fund it. The program aids producers who do not qualify for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Emergency Assistance for Livestock Program. “We opened the program last November after the drought drastically reduced forage production,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “Many producers had to purchase and transport supplemental feed, co-products or silage, or move breeding livestock to a feed source.”

Rural North Dakota economy grows, looks to diversify as ‘agriculture remains a vital part’
The Center Square
North Dakota’s Rural Mainstreet Index ranking from Creighton University rose in February, signaling growth in the rural area’s economy. “North Dakota is a national leader in the number of agricultural and energy commodities produced,” Maria Effertz Hanson, director of the North Dakota Division of Community Services, told The Center Square. “The abundance of natural gas our state produces in conjunction with our oil production provides a path to several economic advancement opportunities.” Gov. Doug Burgum announced in his state of the state address last month he hopes North Dakota will become carbon neutral by 2030. Burgum announced late last year a $4.5 billion carbon capture pipeline and storage project in western North Dakota that he called the largest in the world.

NDIT and MHA Nation partner to increase cybersecurity
Devils Lake Journal
North Dakota Chief Information Officer Shawn Riley announced a memorandum of understanding between the State of North Dakota Information Technology (NDIT) department and the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara (MHA) Nation to provide managed security services for the purpose of protecting the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of tribal information systems and data.The partnership was made possible by House Bill 1417, which was approved last year by the 67th Legislative Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Doug Burgum. The new law allows NDIT to enter into agreements with tribes and other governmental entities to assist with cybersecurity strategy, prevention and response. The collaboration highlights the partnership between the state and the Tribes while improving overall security posture. NDIT will support through consulting, cybersecurity strategy, security monitoring, security awareness, enhanced network and endpoint security solutions, and threat intelligence briefings.With rationed food and nearby shelling, conditions worsen for North Dakotan held in Ukrainian prison
The Jamestown Sun
Kurt Groszhans’ living conditions have been deteriorating day by day as the violence of Russia’s invasion strikes closer to the Ukrainian prison where he sits behind bars…On Friday, Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., told The Forum in a statement that he and Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., are working with the State Department “to press” Ukraine to release Groszhans “as quickly as possible.” “(T)he situation for Kurt has only gotten worse. We support the Ukrainian people in their fight against Russia, but we need the Ukrainian leaders to act so my brother can get out of Kyiv before it is too late,” Magnusson said.

Washington, D.C.

Petroleum Council holds roundtable to discuss energy concerns
Senator Kevin Cramer participated in a virtual discussion about the state of the energy industry in North Dakota today.The roundtable was hosted by the North Dakota Petroleum Council and featured energy industry experts who discussed oil prices and the global market, as well as the ongoing labor shortage, permitting challenges, and the need for more midstream infrastructure. “We talk a lot about infrastructure, not just domestic infrastructure, but the domestic infrastructure that allows us to export even more. Because we live in this moment when what’s going on in Russia and Ukraine has clearly highlighted that energy can be both a weapon of war and a tool of peace. And I prefer to use our production as a tool of peace,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer.

What a Ukrainian coalition says about the U.S. getting Russian uranium
Deseret News
“Uranium is an important energy source and yet another example of how the U.S. needs to shore up our critical supply chains. Unfortunately, rather than producing and reestablishing our domestic uranium enrichment capacity, we have relegated our leadership and the revenue profits to Russia and its allies,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., one of the other senators involved in introducing the legislation.

Credit union agency won’t discourage lending to ag and fossil fuel industries
Grand Forks Herald
Sen. John Hoeven also cheered the news. “Farmers and ranchers not only serve as the foundation of North Dakota’s economy, they help ensure that every American continues to have access to the highest quality, lowest cost food supply in the world,” he said. “As such, our nation’s agriculture producers deserve our support, and we appreciate NCUA responding to our concerns and clarifying that credit unions will not be discouraged from lending to those in the agricultural sector.”

Ocasio-Cortez says fossil fuel industry to blame for missing and murdered indigenous women
The Blaze
Socialist Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York said that the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women was connected to the proliferation of fossil fuel extraction cites in the United States. Ocasio-Cortez was speaking at a congressional meeting on “The Neglected Epidemic of Missing BIPOC Women and Girls” when she made the comments on March 3. Republican Rep. Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota rejected the claims made by Ocasio-Cortez in a tweet. “I try and stay away from your crazy, but not tonight. I have worked with the reservations in North Dakota my entire adult life,” tweeted Armstrong with a link to the video of her comments. “Criminal defense, oil and gas, addiction services, and missing and murdered indigenous women,” he added. “Gaslight somewhere else. We are all full here.”

Cramer urges Biden to send planes to Ukraine
On Thursday, Senator Cramer introduced a Senate resolution to urge the Biden Administration to support the transfer of aircraft and air defense systems to Ukraine. Senator Cramer says this will, in part show Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the people of Ukraine that the U.S. stands with them “President Zelensky has asked for these aircraft multiple times, and we should have greenlighted them frankly from the beginning, I believe. I believe it’s our responsibility, as the leaders of the free world, to give the independent people of Ukraine, our friends, our allies, all the tools that they need to protect themselves against Putin’s thuggery and aggression,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer.

Sen. Cramer to Newsmax: Russia Pushing Green Energy to Make US Dependent on Their Oil
“The Senate, under Democratic … leadership, admitted as much; that Russia was spending money in the United States to push us toward the Green New Deal,” Cramer explained. “Both Russia and the political left in the United States get to promote what they love most, and that is a social[ist] economic system,” he added. “The Green New Deal, that has always been much more about a socialist economic agenda than it has been about the environment.”

Zelensky speaks to all Americans, Cramer says
Wahpeton Daily News
“It was an address to the American people,” said Cramer, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senate Ukraine Caucus. “His message has not changed for the last couple of weeks. At the end of the day, his request is simple and consistent: help protect the skies over Ukraine.”…“The Biden administration’s willingness to do business with Iran and Venezuela is troubling, and just as we are banning imports of Russian oil, we should not bring oil online from these two adversaries,” Hoeven said March 10. “Iran is the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism, and Venezuela is still under the rule of an illegitimate and violent regime. As such, the U.S. needs to maintain pressure on these two nations, not ease sanctions on their primary source of revenue, especially when we can and should produce that energy here at home.”

Airline Industry Continues to Struggle with Workforce Shortage Issues, XWA sees steady recovery
Williston Herald
North Dakota’s congressional delegation, which includes U.S. Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer and U.S. Rep. Kelly Armstrong, spoke in opposition of SkyWest’s request, stating “Access to continued, reliable commercial air service for Jamestown, Devils Lake and the surrounding communities is necessary to continue economic growth and opportunities in the region and to meet the needs of the traveling public.” “Air service demand in North Dakota has significantly increased from previous years. Notably, of the eight commercial service airports in North Dakota, Jamestown and Devils Lake airports are the only that have seen an increase in boardings year-over-year from January 2019,” the delegation added. “Clearly, now is not the time to cease commercial air service to these communities.”

North Dakota delegation commends Zelenskyy’s address to Congress
“President Zelenskyy is showing real leadership, and the people of Ukraine are doing a tremendous job as they bravely defend their nation,” Hoeven said. “We need to provide needed military equipment for Ukraine to continue to defend itself. At the same time, we need to put the greatest amount of pressure possible on the Putin regime, which can be accomplished both through increased sanctions and by expanding U.S. energy production to further isolate Russia from the global economy.”Rep. Kelly Armstrong said Zelenskyy did an effective job of painting a picture of the atrocities being committed by Vladimir Putin’s forces and said the U.S. needs to assess what more it can do to help.“President Zelenskyy’s address this morning highlighted the need for the United States to continue its commitment to provide military and material support for the army and the people of Ukraine. We must always stand on the side of freedom.”

Hoeven introduces legislation against federal mask mandate for public transportation
North Dakota Senator John Hoeven is among those saying it’s time for Americans to make their own decisions. “Now, look, if somebody wants to wear a mask, if for any reason they feel for their own health reasons, or advised by a physician or anything else, they can do it. They have that choice. But isn’t that what America is all about, is having that freedom of choice treating people as responsible to make their own decisions? That’s what we’re talking about,” said Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND).

The impact of rising fertilizer prices on lawn care
Nineteen Republican U.S. Senators, including North Dakota Senator John Hoeven and Montana Senator Steve Daines, asked President Joe Biden to review “all available options” to help lower price tags on fertilizer last week.

GOP Sen. Cramer: Biden Has Deprived Energy Producers of Capital by Floating Getting Oil from Iran, Venezuela
Breitbart News
On Monday’s broadcast of CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) stated that President Joe Biden has starved energy producers of capital through signals like “regulation, taxation, flirting with Maduro in Venezuela, or the ayatollah in Iran to fill the voids.” Cramer said energy producers are “capital-starved, largely based on signals being sent by the Biden administration on a regular basis. I mean, the nomination of various members of the Federal Reserve, for example. … There’s a chilling effect on every move. This tends to get oversimplified sometimes…the Keystone XL pipeline’s not going to be built and it’s not going to make a difference. But it’s a symbol of the larger issue of really bad signals being sent, whether it’s through regulation, taxation, flirting with Maduro in Venezuela, or the ayatollah in Iran to fill the voids.”

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