ICYMI: #TBT: Just Like in 2013, Kevin Cramer’s Political Scheming Over Farm Bill Passage Skewered

Grand Forks Herald editorial board wonders why if those vying to replace Cramer get it, “Why can’t others?”

(BISMARCK, ND) – This week, the Grand Forks Herald editorial board mourned the death of the 2018 Farm Bill in the House of Representatives. Without using Cramer’s name, the Herald wondered why such a broadly beneficial bill could be derailed by the same type of partisan politics Cramer endorsed before the bill tanked, dismissively saying “it’s what you do in this business.”

Citing instead the firm statements in favor of a strong Farm Bill from the candidates vying for Cramer’s soon-to-be vacated seat, the Herald asks the simple, exasperated question: “These guys seem to get it. Why can’t others?” Hmm, wonder who that question could be aimed at?

Flashback to the last Farm Bill when Cramer was up to his same political tricks – and the Herald blasted him for his efforts to hold the bill hostage which almost derailed its passage entirely. Just like in 2013, the Herald echoed the frustration of North Dakota farmers and ranchers and bemoaned North Dakota’s lack of a leader in the House who can put politics aside to bring about compromise. That lack of leadership led the House’s effort to pass the bill to collapse this month, leaving farmers out to dry.

So, why is Congressman Cramer still failing North Dakota farmers and ranchers? He’s had since 2013 to learn how to play nice with the other side of the aisle for the good of North Dakota’s ag community. But Cramer is still unable or unwilling to put partisan politics aside to get necessary legislation across the finish line.

“Once, again, Kevin Cramer has proven that he’s happy to leave his constituents high and dry if it pleases his party bosses,” said Scott McNeil, Executive Director of the North Dakota Dem NPL. “Time and time again, he’s demonstrated to North Dakotans that he’s not capable of reaching across the aisle, compromising, or achieving results. For years, the Farm Bill has stood alone in Congress as a rare example of bipartisanship. Kevin Cramer has stood by and done nothing as partisans on the far right hijacked the bill for their own political gain. North Dakota’s farmers and ranchers won’t forget his inability to deliver on this key piece of legislation.”

Read a quick summary of the Herald’s editorial below:

Grand Forks Herald: Our opinion: Aggies stuck in the middle of bill debate

  • It’s frustrating when legislation that’s so important to rural America fails due to issues that have little to do with crop and livestock production.

  • It’s difficult to stomach, since the farm bill means so much to the people who rely on agriculture and who have become pawns in a tiresome political game.

  • A trade war with China is looming. The price of corn has fallen by half in the past six years. Most commodity prices — including crop and livestock prices — have been moving downward for five consecutive years. The price of steel is rising, which means the price of farm equipment is destined to rise as well. Net farm income is expected to be down 7 percent this year.

  • Kelly Armstrong, the Republican, said Congress needs to “make sure supplemental crop insurance is taken care of. … Just because there was a drought last year doesn’t mean there is not going to be a drought again next year. Supplemental crop insurance is the difference between being able to plant your field the year after or going bankrupt.”

  • Mac Schneider, the Democrat, said the farm bill debate “is indicative of the larger problems in Washington: partisanship, political polarization, no willingness to work together as parties. … Let’s set ideology aside and find a way to secure a safety net for farmers and ranchers during these times of sustained low prices.”

  • These guys seem to get it. Why can’t others?