WASHINGTON—A barley field outside Rolla, N.D., just below the Canadian border, is as far from Mexico as it gets in this country. But don't let that distance fool you. Disrupting trade with Mexico has consequences as far away as that barley field — especially when agricultural exports alone support 27,000 good-paying jobs in North Dakota, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
WASHINGTON—It's no secret that access to technology is now a key ingredient to the success of any student in any town, from those in rural communities in the middle of the country to those in cities on our nation's coasts. Without the proper resources in schools, our children and the future of our economy could fall behind. At least 37 percent of North Dakota's rural communities lack access to high-speed internet—that's 18 times higher than our state's urban areas—but as many as seven in 10 teachers nationwide assign homework that requires high-speed internet.
WASHINGTON—North Dakota understands the importance of public schools. Growing up in Mantador, I went to elementary school with a class of 13 other small town kids, and graduated in Hankinson with a class of almost 60. None of us came from much, but we all had a distinctly American opportunity that North Dakotans valued then, and that North Dakotans value today. We had the opportunity to learn, to achieve and to become anything we wanted.
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.