Roughrider Roundup – September 19, 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

Photo of the Week

Senator Hoeven and Congressman Armstrong greeted and thanked over 100 veterans on the Veterans Honor Flight of ND/MN in Washington D.C. for their service.


The RNC is absolutely right when they said this week: “Thank a Republican Governor!” We are truly blessed to have good, conservative leadership leading the way here in North Dakota. – Perrie 


North Dakota

Analyst: Burgum’s tax relief plan could work
The Center Square
“Now is the right time to provide meaningful, permanent tax relief to make our state a more attractive place to work and a more affordable place to live,” Burgum said. “Under this proposal, almost 60% of taxpayers won’t have to pay state  income tax, and those who do will see their income tax liability reduced  by roughly one-quarter to one-half, allowing North Dakotans to keep  more of their hard-earned money to offset expenses and invest in their families and communities.” Dr. David Flynn, research director for the institute, told The Center Square that in terms of looking for a method of delivering tax relief to residents that would not create massive shortfalls, the plan could work…State Tax Commissioner Brian Kroshus said that all income earners will see relief, “reaching the most people while providing the highest percentage tax reduction for new families, lower-income filers and those just entering the workforce, including college graduates.”

Bismarck’s Roosevelt Elementary honored nationally; Linton, Larimore schools also recognized
The Bismarck Tribune
Bismarck’s Roosevelt Elementary is one of three North Dakota schools recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School for 2022. Roosevelt, Linton Public School in Emmons County southeast of Bismarck, and Larimore Elementary in Grand Forks County in northeastern North Dakota are among 297 schools honored nationwide. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or its progress in closing achievement gaps among various student groups, such as those that share gender, race or learning ability characteristics…Roosevelt has 120 students, Linton 241 and Larimore 211, according to the federal Education Department. State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said the honored schools are “among the very best in the country.” Gov. Doug Burgum said the recognition “speaks to the hard work, passion and dedication that these exceptional students, teachers and administrators bring to their schools every day and the innovative approaches to teaching and learning being adopted and applied in classrooms across North Dakota.”

North Dakota posts $5.9 billion in second quarter taxable sales, up 11.5% from previous year
“This is the fifth consecutive quarter that North Dakota has seen double-digit growth in taxable sales and purchases,” Kroshus said via press release. “This growth shows that the state’s economy has been consistently growing since the second quarter of 2021.” Thirteen of the state’s 15 major industries saw taxable sales and purchases rise year-over-year. According to the release, the greatest percentage increase came from the mining and oil extration sector, where sales were up 37.7%.

Sendoff for ND National Guard members in Fargo
On Wednesday, 155 North Dakota National Guard members were honored in a sendoff ceremony. The soldiers from the Fargo-based 191st Military Police Company come from 35 communities across North and South Dakota and Minnesota. Last March, the soldiers were alerted about a possible deployment overseas for a year-long mission in support of the U.S. Central Command’s Operation Spartan Shield. The operation is made up of active Army, National Guard, and U.S. Army Reserve support units. The task force maintains the U.S. military presence in Southwest Asia to help strengthen defense relationships and build partner capacity. “You as your soldiers know that you can’t do it without the love and unconditional support of your families back home. And to the family members that are here, know that you’ve got our respect and you’ve got our support. And that’s not just with words but that also through all the veterans organizations and programs we have,” said Governor Doug Burgum.

Parents excited about Burgum’s childcare plan
Any parent will tell you that childcare is expensive. That’s why Governor Doug Burgum has introduced a plan that would help lower the costs. Kenzie Kelly loves her kids. But she says sometimes they can be spendy. “We’re fortunate to have our kids in a home daycare where we feel really comfortable with the provider, but even that is really expensive, you know, it’s like the cost of our mortgage,” said Kenzie. She says nearly half of what she and her husband make go towards paying for daycare. “Having the flexibility to keep more of our paychecks is going to make a huge impact on our lives financially,” said Kenzie. That’s why Burgum has paired with a group of lawmakers to draft sweeping legislation that would make childcare more affordable by creating a childcare tax credit, among other things.

Burgum to Biden: no student loan forgiveness
Governor Doug Burgum joined 21 governors from around the country Monday to urge President Joe Biden to withdraw his student loan plan immediately. In a letter, the governors cited economic concerns, adding, ”At a time when inflation is sky high due to your unprecedented tax-and-spend agenda, your plan will encourage more student borrowing, incentivize higher tuition rates, and drive-up inflation even further, negatively impacting every American.”

Burgum, Sanford unveil child care proposal
Prairie Public
Governor Doug Burgum and Lieutenant Governor Brent Sanford have unveiled their legislative proposal to improve availability, affordability and quality of child care services in North Dakota. Burgum says child care costs currently account for 15 to 40 percent of the average household budgets in the state, which isn’t often sustainable. He says about 6,000 employees work at 800 child care centers statewide, but with 64,000 children under the age of five living in North Dakota – many parents are met with long wait lists, if they can afford child care at all. And on the flip side – Burgum says employers struggle to find qualified workers to staff child care centers. Burgum says if North Dakota wants a thriving economy, it can’t ignore this challenge. “Our ability to keep growing in the future – whether it’s retaining an air base, or attracting multi-billion dollar investments for value added ag and energy, is going to come back to workforce, and workforce is tied to child care. I’m very optimistic about the future, but we will cap our future potential if we don’t solve this problem.”

Grid bending, not breaking, during energy transition 
Minot Daily News
Despite continuous warnings of rolling blackouts this summer, the grids serving North Dakota and the Upper Midwest held up. Pockets of record-breaking heat were manageable since they did not cover large swaths of the country all at once. No significant doldrums deadened wind power during heat waves.  Yet concerns persist. A major winter storm or deep cold snap creating surges in electricity demand at the same time solar and wind power assets under perform keeps energy experts, regulators and grid operators up at night.  Either significant rolling blackouts, or the unlikely event of a total grid failure, could be deadly in sub zero temperatures. Hospitals, other essential facilities, and the most vulnerable populations would be impacted the most.  “I think winter is a bigger challenge right now,” North Dakota Public Services Commissioner Julie Fedorchak said during an interview at the Capitol. “If we have extreme temperatures, or big, long cold spells, where the wind doesn’t blow as much, then we’re in big trouble.”…“We’re advocating constantly for changes to stabilize markets, to help stave off retirements, to create a more gentle glide path through this transition, and not jeopardize reliability or affordability,” she said. 

Reimbursement available for organic certification costs
Morning Ag Clips
Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said that applications are now being accepted for reimbursement of organic certification costs through the Organic Certification Cost Share Program for fiscal year 2022 “Organic farmers, ranchers, processors and handlers can receive up to $500 of the organic certification costs paid between Oct. 1, 2021, and Sept. 30, 2022,” Goehring said Certification assures consumers that products are produced by recognized organic methods. Certification enables organic producers and processors to label and sell their products with a federal organic seal. Such products typically command a higher price in the marketplace.

North Dakota School for the Deaf names new superintendent
The Dickinson Press
Donna Sorenson has been hired as the new superintendent of the North Dakota School for the Deaf, state superintendent Kirsten Baesler announced Monday, Sept. 12…Baesler was effusive in her praise of Sorenson. “We are delighted, and fortunate, to have a person of Donna’s background and expertise as the new superintendent of the School and Resource Center for the deaf,” Baesler said in a news release. “She brings a fresh perspective and outlook to providing services for North Dakotans who are deaf or hard of hearing.”

Suspension of poultry and bird events amended
Morning Ag Clips
The North Dakota State Board of Animal Health met [on September 7, 2022] and amended the statewide suspension of poultry/bird events. Effective immediately, following the detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), comingling events such as poultry and bird shows, sales and swaps are prohibited in the affected county and adjoining counties…“I applaud the board and industry working together to balance the needs of commerce while protecting poultry producers from this devastating disease,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said.

Specialty crops boosted by $3M in grants
The Bismarck Tribune
North Dakota’s Agriculture Department has awarded 21 grants totaling more than $3 million to promote specialty crops in the state. “North Dakota is already a leading producer of several specialty crops, such as dry edible beans, dry peas, potatoes and lentils,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “As our farmers seek to diversify their production, these grants help provide important information through specialty crop research, education and trade missions.” North Dakota received money through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service for the grants. North Dakota State University is getting the bulk of the money.

Washington, D.C.

North Dakota’s congressional delegation asks Motor Coach to reconsider decision to close Pembina bus plant
Grand Forks Herald
Members of North Dakota’s congressional delegation are asking Motor Coach Industries to reconsider its decision to close its Pembina, North Dakota plant. In a letter to MCI on Friday, Sept. 16, U.S. Sens. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and John Hoeven, R-N.D., and U.S. Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., expressed concerns about how the closure of the facility will affect the plant’s nearly 200 employees. “While we understand that domestic and global sales environments are key drivers in business decisions, we believe MCI’s Pembina Assembly Plant and its workers produce a top-quality product, and they should continue to have the opportunity to manufacture in North Dakota,” says the letter.

Optimism in US Senate on Future Benefits of Fusion Energy
The Epoch Times
Fusion energy experts spanning the government, academia, and the private sector testified on the prospects of fusion research before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Sept. 15…Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) had a simpler question, based on decades of promises made but not always kept by Big Science: “Is this really going to happen?” Luce replied that much of the scientific knowledge is already there. “Where we need the next frontier is technology. That’s where the mystery is and where the investment needs to be,” he added.

Cramer: One simple way Congress can support women and unborn children
Washington Examiner
We believe each and every life is sacred. Therefore, we must particularly emphasize compassion and support for new mothers, unborn children, and families. To help achieve this mission, I introduced the Unborn Child Support Act in July to provide assistance for children long before they are delivered. Maximum care must begin at the first moment of life: conception. My bill empowers mothers by giving them the choice to receive child support payments as early as the first month of their pregnancy. Though I believe fatherhood is both a blessing and obligation and that fathers bear responsibility for the child they helped create, I also recognize that child support is not the solution for every situation. That’s why the Unborn Child Support Act protects mothers who do not wish to seek financial compensation from the father by exempting them from a paternity test if it would put the mother or child at risk.

Marco Rubio Wants to Make Sure Antifa, Radicals Face Criminal Penalties if They Protest on Interstates
Florida Daily
U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-ND, is co-sponsoring the bill. “The Constitution is clear in granting Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce. The Safe Passage on Interstates Act reasserts Congress’ critical role by making intentional obstruction of interstates illegal,” said Cramer. The bill “would apply to any intentional obstruction of traffic on an interstate highway, so long as it occurs without proper governmental authorization.”

‘We Need Allies’: US Lawmakers Hail Bill That Would Boost Support for Taiwan
The Epoch Times
Legislators in the United States reacted favorably to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations’ approval of proposed legislation that would restructure the U.S.-Taiwan relationship. The 2022 Taiwan Policy Act (S.4428) would substantially increase American funding for Taiwan’s defense and augment the two powers’ warm but unofficial ties. “We’ve never needed each other as much or more than we do now,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) told NTD, a sister media outlet of the Epoch Times. “This is a longtime friendship, but it is a friendship that really demands greater formalization.”

The powder vs. crack cocaine disparity still exists, and it’s still unfair
The Washington Post
These facts inspired Congress’s previous reform efforts — and a new bill, the Equal Act, which was originally sponsored by Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) in the Senate and Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.), Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.) and Don Bacon (R-Neb.) in the House. The bill — which is backed by a number of law enforcement groups — would eliminate the powder vs. crack disparity,and it would apply retroactively, meaning currently incarcerated people would be eligible for reduced sentencing. It passed the House last year by 361 votes to 66, a massive bipartisan victory in a deeply divided body. It is now being considered in the Senate, where it has 21 co-sponsors — including 11 Republicans.

Strategic Petroleum Reserve falls to lowest levels in 38 years
Emergency crude oil stocks have fallen to their lowest levels since 1984. That was due, in part, to the federal government releasing about eight and a half million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which was the steepest withdrawal since the beginning of summer. The withdrawals have been ongoing since March, when President Joe Biden announced he’d release a million barrels per day to fight high gas prices, a move North Dakota Senator John Hoeven has been critical of. “Not only are they depleting the emergency reserve, but they’re costing our country money. He needs to take the handcuffs off our energy producers. That’s what’s good for our country. He’s got the wrong policy, the wrong approach,” said Senator Hoeven. The administration’s million-barrels-a-day plan is due to end in October. Biden could choose to continue the program, but it’s unlikely he will if oil futures continue to drop.

Send-off marks start of yearlong deployment for North Dakota National Guard soldiers
The Dickinson Press
A send-off ceremony for about 156 North Dakota Army National Guard soldiers to be deployed to southwest Asia was held Wednesday, Sept. 14, at the Fargo Civic Center. The soldiers will participate in the U.S. Central Command’s Operation Spartan Shield…A recorded message from Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., was played to the audience. “The North Dakota National Guard represents the very best of our country,” Hoeven said.

Joe Biden’s ‘beyond tone-deaf’ inflation party
Washington Examiner
Tuesday was a really bad day for the economy. Amid hopes that inflation might be abating, the Commerce Department reported that prices remain persistently high, and what is known as the “core inflation” rate actually rose in August…But here’s the thing: On the day that inflation proved beyond any doubt that it is a terrible problem likely to plague people for a long time to come, on this day that Democrats were celebrating a bill they called the Inflation Reduction Act, Biden said not a word about the day’s news about inflation. He just claimed the bill would reduce inflation, even as his own Bureau of Labor Statistics sent out more bad news. It was all, as Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) said on Fox Business, “beyond tone-deaf.” But the day was important beyond its awkwardness. In fact, Tuesday might mark a turning point of sorts in the fight for control of Washington.

Tribes receives EPA grant
Minot Daily News
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a Performance Partnership Grant of $897,636 to the Three Affiliated Tribes, Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-ND, announced. The funds will be used by the tribe for its existing environmental programs. The grant gives greater flexibility to address its highest environmental priorities, improve environmental performance, achieve savings, and strengthen the partnership between the Three Affiliated Tribes and EPA. This agreement funds tribal continuing environmental programs for air, water, land, and data quality; pollution prevention; Brownfields; and chemical safety.

Honor Flight of North Dakota/Minnesota wraps up final day in D.C.
Valley News Live
The 112 veterans on the North Dakota and Minnesota Honor Flight had an exciting final day in the nation’s capitol. On the morning of Tuesday, Sept. , the veterans visited memorial on the National Mall, starting with the World War II memorial. All veterans gathered in front of the fountains for a group photo, prompting sight-seers to stop and thank the veterans for their service…Whether at the Vietnam memorial, WWII memorial or at random times during the trip, strangers would often thank the veterans for their service. At one point, Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) met the veterans outside the Lincoln Monument to shake their hands and personally thank them for their service. Congressman Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) met with the group one night during the trip at the banquet and thanked the veterans during his time there.

Hoeven-led bipartisan effort encourages USDA to maintain robust sugar policy, supply chain
Ripon Advance
In the midst of tight supply chains, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) must maintain the nation’s sugar policy and ensure the sugar supply chain remains strong by rejecting requests that could undermine the status quo, said U.S. Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) and 11 of his colleagues. “Thanks to U.S. sugar policy, our sugar supply chain remains resilient and in a strong position to address future challenges,” wrote Sen. Hoeven, who led the bipartisan contingent of lawmakers in sending a Sept. 9 letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. 

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