ICYMI: Trade War at Issue in #NDSEN as Cramer Rubber Stamps President’s Policies

Kevin Cramer has demonstrated time and again that he’ll be a rubber stamp for all of the president’s policies – even when those policies hurt North Dakotans. Unfortunately for Cramer, North Dakotans are taking notice, and they’ll hold him accountable in November.

Associated Press: How the trade war is changing minds in a Senate battleground
By Jonathan Mattise and Steve Peoples
July 7, 2018

Key Points:

  • Concerns [over trade] are roiling high-profile Senate contests in Missouri, Indiana, Pennsylvania and North Dakota and forcing GOP candidates to answer for the trade policies of a Republican president they have backed on almost every other major issue.
  • Now, as [the president] sparks an international trade war four months before the midterm elections, few policies could be more problematic for Trump’s allies in pivotal Senate contests.
  • The Trump administration imposed a 25 percent tax on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports on Friday, and China is retaliating with taxes on an equal amount of U.S. products, including soybeans, electric cars and pork. The administration has penalized steel and aluminum imports from allies such as Canada and Mexico, leading to retaliation against American-made products such as blue jeans, motorcycles and whiskey.
  • Nationwide, the U.S. Chamber reported that $75 billion in U.S. exports will soon be subject to retaliatory tariffs. Many of the hardest hit states are those that backed Trump and feature top-tier Senate races in November.
  • In North Dakota, Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp has seized on Republican challenger Kevin Cramer’s description of the tariff fallout as “hysteria.” Cramer blames China for the trade dispute that could affect as many as 111,000 jobs.

Read the full article here.

NEW VIDEO: Cramer’s Repeated Calls to Cut Social Security & Medicare

Cramer Doesn’t Want North Dakotans to Know His True Record on Social Security & Medicare

Following Congressman Kevin Cramer’s ad in which he falsely claims that he’ll protect Social Security and Medicare, today the North Dakota Democratic-NPL is launching a new video highlighting the numerous times Cramer has called for these programs to be cut. The video is backed by a Facebook ad buy.


Cramer has advocated again and again and again and again for making significant cuts to vital programs like Social Security and Medicare. Here are just a few examples:

  1. Cramer claimed Social Security and Medicare cuts were unpopular, but necessary – and specifically mentioned means testing and raising the retirement age.
  2. Cramer claimed cuts to Social Security and Medicare were required to lower the deficit.
  3. Cramer voted for his party’s disastrous health care plan – against the urging of the AARP – that would have harmed Medicare and imposed an age tax on older Americans.
  4. Cramer voted for a budget that would have begun the privatization of Medicare.
  5. Cramer’s fellow House Republicans recently released an extremist budget proposal that would enact massive cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and other vital programs.

“Kevin Cramer is desperately trying to rewrite history, but his record speaks for itself. Time and again, he supported cuts to Social Security and Medicare, programs that thousands of North Dakotans rely on,” said Scott McNeil, Executive Director of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL. “Cramer’s backward priorities leave us wondering: who is he looking out for in Washington, North Dakotans first or himself?”


#FBF: Cramer’s Farm Bill Failures

Cramer Has History Of Playing Politics With Farm Bill

Don’t let the misinformation campaign fool you: Congressman Kevin Cramer – who has never even served on the House Agriculture Committee – has a history of playing politics with the Farm Bill.

Cramer voted for a purely partisan Farm Bill, despite the historically non-political nature of this legislation. He voted to cut funding to crop insurance and rural infrastructure – both of which North Dakota producers rely on. Cramer’s partisan bill also cuts over $20 billion in nutrition assistance programs, leaving behind North Dakota families who need assistance the most. That’s why over 300 ag-focused groups, the National Farmers Union, and North Dakota hunger relief advocates opposed the legislation.

Reminder: Cramer is a dues-paying member of an extreme anti-agriculture group that has pushed for eliminating the Renewable Fuel Standard, eliminating the sugar program, and for devastating cuts to crop insurance and nutrition programs, all of which help North Dakota farmers and ranchers.

This isn’t the first time Cramer played politics with the future of North Dakota’s farmers. In 2013, Cramer was criticized for holding up passage of a bipartisan bill over his partisan political tantrums, with the Williston Herald Editorial Board calling on him to make it his top priority and to legislate more like Senators Heitkamp and Hoeven.

Williston Herald Editorial Board: Cramer needs to take a lesson from Hoeven and Heitkamp.

  • North Dakota needs its representation to step up… We feel Cramer needs to take a lesson from Hoeven and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in how to wield influence.
  • He needs to partner with the neighboring states of Montana, Minnesota and South Dakota on both sides of the aisle to make this work. He needs to make the farm bill his No. 1 priority, whether it is pushing to reconsider the House version or passing the Senate version.
  • The bill and North Dakota farmers need Cramer to reach into his influence to sway his fellow House members and reach out for bipartisan support, if for no other reason but to show signs of life in the farm bill fight.
  • [North Dakota voters] need to see real leadership, real influence and real fight in passing the farm bill.

“There’s only one person in this race who has, and will continue, to advocate on behalf of North Dakota’s interests – and it isn’t Kevin Cramer,” said Scott McNeil, Executive Director of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL.


Cramer Exploited Veterans for Political Purposes

Cramer Used Footage of North Dakota Veterans Cemetery for Campaign Purposes, Ignored Concerns of Veterans to Take It Down

(BISMARCK, ND) – In 2014, Congressman Cramer used footage of the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery in a campaign ad, even though the Department of Veterans Affairs expressly prohibits the filming of political ads. Despite explicit calls from local veterans and service members to stop airing the ad, Cramer dragged his feet – and even after he said he’d pull the ad from TV, he continued to “encourage people to view the ad online.”

There’s more: when confronted with why Cramer was so disrespectful to use this footage without permission, he didn’t apologize – in fact, he doubled down, saying “there’s nothing illegal” about it.

Here’s what North Dakota veterans had to say:

Vietnam veteran Neil Prochnow: “I would say it’s inappropriate…He should’ve used better judgment.” 

Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan veteran Bryan Watters: “I don’t think any political candidate should be cashing in on the sacrifices made by veterans in their final resting place. Let them rest in peace.”

Iraq veteran Christopher Deery: “Instead of showing us and the service members laid to rest in that cemetery the respect we deserved, he kept his ad online for the course of the campaign… Cramer didn’t care then whose rules he was breaking that he had disrespected veterans, and doesn’t care now.”

“Congressman Cramer campaigned on fallen soldiers’ graves, deciding that it was more important to exploit veterans for political purposes than to respect their final resting place and follow the rules,” said Scott McNeil, Executive Director of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL. “He even ignored calls from North Dakota vets and service members and kept directing folks to watch his ad online. It’s sad that North Dakotans have come to expect nothing less from Cramer: his refusal to admit wrongdoing is just another example of him putting his own interests above North Dakotans.”

See more:
MSNBC: Tasteless GOP political ad still online, despite rebuke.
Bismarck Tribune, LTE: Cramer continues to ignore rules.
Inforum: Cramer criticized for using vets cemetery as backdrop for ad.
MSNBC: Veterans’ cemeteries are not campaign props.


Does Congressman Cramer Still Think Military Spending is “Difficult Pill to Swallow”?

(BISMARCK, ND) – When it comes to funding our military, Congressman Cramer thinks less is more. In the most recent government funding bill, Cramer complained that a necessary increase in military spending to supply up-to-date equipment and training to keep our troops safe was a “difficult pill… to swallow.”

“Ahead of Independence Day, North Dakotans deserve to know: does Congressman Cramer still think military funding – including vital equipment and training upgrades – is a ‘difficult pill to swallow,’” asked Scott McNeil, Executive Director of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL. “North Dakotans want a Senator whose priorities are in line with their own – and Cramer’s comments make it clear that he is not that person.”

This isn’t the first time Cramer has sided against essential funding for our security:

Cramer On Funding For Pay Raises, Equipment, And Training For Active Duty Military: “There’s No Question It’s A Very High Priority, But It’s Becoming A Very Difficult Pill.” According to Reuters, “House Republicans emerging from a closed meeting on Tuesday morning, said there was little information provided by leadership about the state of play. ‘Most of the discussion … is trying to convince us that defense is so critical that we have to swallow everything else to give our soldiers and airmen and Marines and sailors the pay raise they need and the equipment and training they need,’ said Republican Representative Kevin Cramer. ‘There’s no question it’s a very high priority, but it’s becoming a very difficult pill,’ Cramer said.” [Reuters, 3/20/18]

Cramer Voted Against Motion To Concur With Senate Bill That Would Provide Funding For Department Of Homeland Security. [CQ, 3/3/15; H.R. 240, Vote 109, 3/3/15]

Cramer Opposed Shifting Additional Funds To Customs And Border Protection, Cutting ICE Administrative Funding. [HR 2217, Vote #197, 6/5/13]

“Right to Try” Legislation for Terminal Patients Drives Wedge: Armstrong vs. Trump, Republicans, and Common Sense Democrats

Kelly Armstrong voted against legislation that would have allowed terminal patients access to potentially life-saving experimental drugs. Now that President Trump has signed that bill into law, does Kelly want a do-over?

(BISMARCK, ND) — Yesterday, President Trump signed “Right to Try” legislation that would allow terminally ill patients the freedom to use experimental treatments that have not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

President Trump enthusiastically signed the bill. It passed the U.S. Senate unanimously, and Kevin Cramer voted for the House of Representatives version. But there is someone who doesn’t think this potentially life-saving bipartisan bill is a good idea for terminally ill North Dakotans: Kelly Armstrong.

In fact, when similar legislation was introduced in 2015, Armstrong was one of only 5 lawmakers in the North Dakota legislature who voted to deprive the most desperate patients this lifeline. And he did it three times.

“It’s sad to see Kelly Armstrong would vote to deny patients access to cutting-edge treatments when they are at their most vulnerable and desperate,” said Scott McNeil, Executive Director of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL. “His anti-‘Right To Try’ stance has put him at odds with the president, the vast majority of his colleagues in the North Dakota legislature, and Kevin Cramer, the lawmaker he’s running to replace. That vote shows that Kelly Armstrong is more interested in scoring partisan points than working across the aisle for patients.”

#FlashbackFriday: One Week After Missing NAFTA Deadline, Cramer Still Silent

The trade deal is important for North Dakota’s farmers, energy producers, and manufacturers. So why is Kevin Cramer so silent?


(BISMARCK, ND) — It’s been a week since Speaker Paul Ryan’s deadline for NAFTA renegotiations has come and gone. Now many North Dakotans are asking: Where was Kevin Cramer?

It’s no secret that Cramer has trouble leading. From his months of claiming farmers were being “hysterical” over trade policy to his mealy-mouthed walk back during a U.S. Trade Representatives hearing last week – Cramer’s had trouble explaining his inability to put North Dakota industries ahead of his own political ambitions.

Now we’re seeing more chickens come home to roost for these misguided trade policies. While the talks have been derailed and farmers, manufacturers, and energy producers across the state are left to wonder if there will be markets for their products, Kevin Cramer continues to bury his head in the sand on trade.

“Kevin Cramer’s silence on NAFTA is bad for agriculture, manufacturing, energy productions, and the thousands of people those industries employ across North Dakota,” said Scott McNeil, Executive Director of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL. “It’s another example of Cramer choosing to put his own interests in front of working families whose livelihoods depend on free trade. He’s tried to run out the clock on the NAFTA deadline, but workers and producers will continue to ask: Where were you?”