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Coffee with Cramer held in Rugby

By Staff | Aug 5, 2016

Congressman Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) talks to local residents in Rugby Tuesday.

North Dakota Republican Congressman Kevin Cramer stopped in Rugby Tuesday afternoon at the Coffee Cottage to meet with area residents and discuss concerns.

Cramer said that growing up in North Dakota he learned of the tradition of “solving the world’s problems twice a day” through sitting down with people and having cups of coffee and if more got together to have coffee more often, more problems could be solved.

Cramer said that since being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives he has held the most town hall events, as well as radio events.

“It helps me do my job better,” Cramer said.

An attendee gave Cramer flatbread made from Common Emmer, cited a study that the grain can yield up to 63 bushels an acre without pesticides, and a doctor in India wants to study its effects on blood glucose and asked why can’t more be grown in the U.S. Cramer said more could if a market could be created for it.

Another attendee expressed concerns about refugees and members of terrorist organizations hiding among them. Cramer said the House passed legislation that would not allow refugees into the country without proper vetting. Cramer also criticized extremists on both sides who are critical when there’s attempts to pass single issue and comprehensive immigration reform.

“There’s an entire industry in Washington, D.C. that benefits from disruption,” Cramer said.

Another issue discussed was the Affordable Care Act. Cramer said the ACA was ironic in that those paying for insurance were now paying for things they didn’t need. Cramer said he wanted to keep what was considered the good things about the ACA and prevent it from becoming a single payer-single provider health care system.

Lisa Thorp, registered nurse and diabetes educator at the Heart of America Medical Center, asked Cramer to show support for H.R. 1726. Introduced by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) on March 26, 2015, the bill would amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to authorize diabetes educators to provide self-management training services, including as part of telehealth services, under Medicare Part B.

Steve Dockter, of Envision, expressed concern about a memorandum from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration regarding anhydrous ammonia facilities. Cramer said the memorandum is a “typical” example of “an opportunity for overreach”, as if the memorandum was called a “rule” then it would require a public comment period. Cramer said a bill that would prevent enforcing the memo passed a House committee and would pass the House, but probably wouldn’t pass in the Senate.

Rugby resident Tom Childress asked Cramer’s opinion on Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and whether or not he’ll go back to Congress as a member of the Democratic party.

“I don’t know what he’ll do,” Cramer said.

HAMC CEO Patrick Branco asked Cramer what people need to do to help him.

“Two things: Hold me accountable and have my back,” Cramer said.

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