WASHINGTON—Three years ago this week, disaster struck in Casselton. A westbound train hauling soybeans derailed just outside of the North Dakota town, and when an eastbound train carrying crude oil hit the wreckage, the crash ignited fiery explosions that were heard and felt for miles. Fortunately, North Dakota is home to some of the bravest first responders in the country. They quickly ran toward the danger to contain the fire and keep our communities safe.
WASHINGTON—Anyone who's been to a place like Portal, N.D., knows the vast expanse along the northern border that U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and agents are responsible for protecting. And anyone who's visited the southern border can tell you it's a whole different ball game up north.
WASHINGTON—Destructive gridlock too often cripples Congress, and it frustrates me as much as anyone. Congress shouldn't be a place where good ideas with bipartisan support fail to move forward. If this election has taught us anything, it's that Congress needs to get to work finding the kind of practical, bipartisan solutions that I've pushed for and that North Dakotans rightfully expect.
WASHINGTON—Most folks across the state know me, one of my six brothers and sisters, or maybe even a bunch of us. And that means you probably know how we've turned debating, arguing and laughing into a virtual Olympic sport. And there's no time that we shine at that sport more than at Thanksgiving.
WASHINGTON—You heard the messages on the radio. You couldn't get away from the ads on TV. And by Election Day, it may have become one big, garbled tangle of sound and technicolor of pointed fingers, lauded backgrounds and desperate pleading for you to vote this way or that. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, presidential candidates raised more than $1.3 billion this election cycle, while the super PACs that supported them and were able to accept unlimited political donations raked in about $600 million.
WASHINGTON—Like most North Dakotans, when I walk into my local bank, I know and trust the folks behind the counter. They're my friends and neighbors and—and they're incredibly dedicated to their work and to our community. That's why when I learned that at least 5,300 Wells Fargo employees had been fired for opening roughly 1.5 million fraudulent bank accounts and 565,000 credit card applications over the past five years, I was flabbergasted. In North Dakota alone, Wells Fargo estimates that 1,939 accounts may have been unauthorized, and 84 of them incurred fees.
CLEVELAND, N.D.—Brushing aside cattails and wading into a wetland last week, I thought about how Congress would work better if members got out in the field more. In this case, it was farmer Denny Ova's field. He and his family grow wheat and corn near Cleveland, including on acres enrolled in a Delta Waterfowl pilot project I wanted to learn about up close. The program gives farmers incentives not to drain wetlands, protecting duck habitat while still letting producers farm their land.
WASHINGTON—North Dakotans shouldn't need to create community-wide Facebook groups to sort through stacks of mail that end up at the wrong address. But that's exactly what folks in a south Fargo neighborhood had to do last year to get their mail, including everything from bills to employment forms, tax returns to medication.
WASHINGTON — So many veterans carry invisible wounds of war — and it's not only veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, 65 percent of veterans who died by suicide in 2014 were older than 50, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Too many of these veterans' heroic stories end in tragedy, but we can change that.
WASHINGTON—It sounds like something out of a sci-fi novel. A mosquito-borne illness that silently and largely asymptomatically infects expectant mothers, causing a generation of children with severe birth and health defects. But this is not fiction. Reports from South America of the Zika virus causing babies to be born with microcephaly—a condition in which a child is born with fetal brain defects—quickly have spread to the continental United States and its territories.