(BISMARCK, ND) – With farmers “getting hit on all sides” by the escalating trade war, they’re more dependent than ever on the passage of a strong, bipartisan Farm Bill. Now that Heidi and the North Dakota congressional delegation have been named to the Conference Committee, it’s a real chance to deliver for our farmers and producers. But if history is any indication, Cramer will take this opportunity to play politics – and hurt our farmers in the process.
Since the early days of the trade war, Cramer has been dismissive of farmers’ suggestions, saying “I’m just not sure the Farm Bill is the vehicle for that” and calling it “an already far too-complicated bill.” On top of that, he’s been vocally supportive of extreme provisions in the House bill that jeopardized its passage.
Courtney Rice, Press Secretary for the North Dakota Democratic-NPL asked: “Cramer’s history of playing politics with the Farm Bill is well-documented. Will this time be any different?”
A Brief History of Cramer Playing Politics with the Farm Bill
- In his 1996 campaign, Cramer praised a bill that cut farm funding by an estimated $2 billion, saying that it was “fairly clear” that taxpayers wouldn’t “sit back and fund” federal crop price subsidies “into infinity.”
- In that same unsuccessful bid, Cramer promised to restore millions of acres to the Conservation Reserve Program. By the time he was running in 2010, Cramer had reversed his position.
- Cramer blamed everyone but himself for the initial failure of the 2013 farm bill, taking aim at both Democrats and Republicans before later complaining at a closed-door GOP meeting that failure to pass the legislation would end his congressional career.
- Cramer voted for a Farm Bill that did not reauthorize nutrition assistance programs that lifted 4.7 million Americans out of poverty in 2011.
- In 2013, the Williston Herald called on Cramer to “take a lesson from Hoeven and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp” and round up Republican support for the Farm Bill, saying it was “a chance to redeem knocks on his leadership.”
- That same year, the Grand Forks Herald Editorial Board slammed Cramer and House Republicans for carving food stamps out of the Farm Bill, saying the move was a “sign of ideologues who value purity above results.”
- This year, Cramer enthusiastically voted for the initial House Farm Bill which enjoyed zero bipartisan support because of its huge cuts to SNAP, threatening food support for millions of Americans.